Expat Resource Centre

Thailand Visas

When you’re moving to Thailand, getting a visa whether you wish to work or if you’re planning to retire there, can be confusing. Looking online, there’s a lot of information, and some of it can be contradictory. Here, our team have put together a guide on the visa you’ll need if you’re moving to Thailand, as well as information on how to get hold of one.

Moving To Thailand

A beautiful country in tropical climes, it’s no wonder that Thailand is referred to as the Land of Smiles. The country certainly has an interesting history, unique to the Far East it is the only country that has never been colonised by Europeans – great past leaders encouraged the Thai people to have a great sense on national pride.
Added to this, the culture of Thai Buddhism instils great generosity and giving, coupled with strong social hierarchy and a deeply spiritual connection with the past.
It’s maybe for these reasons that the country is now so popular as a tourist destination, and, once visited, many choose to return again and again, increasing popularity with expats from around the globe.
In fact, being an expat in Thailand is nothing new – think ‘The King and I’ and you’re transported to Siam in the 1860s where Anna Leonowens was governess to the children of King Mongkut. The expat community has grown somewhat since then and Thailand is becoming ever more popular as a relocation destination in the Far East.

Getting A Visa 

When moving to Thailand, you’ll need to get a visa – a requirement by Thai Immigration Law.
Most people who emigrate to Thailand do so with a tourist visa (valid for 60 days) or a non-immigrant visa which is initially valid for 90 days and which will then need to be extended through Thai Immigration. 
Typically, a short term extension of stay is granted up to 30 days for tourist visas or non-immigrant visas, while if you need to extend your stay for longer, on a non-immigrant visa it’s possible to apply for an extended stay for one year, for the following purposes:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Marriage 
  • Retirement

Both the tourist and the non-immigrant visa can be issued by a Thai Embassy or Consulate outside of Thailand, while extensions are issued by Thai Immigration in the country itself.
The types of visa that can be issued by Thai Embassies or Consulates include:


This visa cannot be used for business or employment purposes. It allows an initial stay of up to 60 days, which can then be extended for another 30 days.

When you are employed or sponsored by a Thai company you can obtain a business visa, which allows a stay of up to 90 days for a single entry or one year for multiple entries.

If you’re going to study in Thailand, this visa allows a stay of up to 90 days for a single entry or one year for multiple entries.

For those over 50 years old who wish to retire to Thailand or people marrying a Thai national, this visa again allows a stay of up to 90 days for a single entry or one year for multiple entries.
Whichever visa you need, it’s a good idea to check with the Thai Embassy for the latest information and requirements before applying.

Moving To Thailand – All Angles Covered

With a very different culture and infrastructure to the UK, making sure all angles are covered when moving to Thailand makes good sense. From your visas, the food you’ll eat through to making sure you’re covered with healthcare being prepared can help to ensure a low stress, successful emigration experience.