Under the immigration laws of Thailand, there are two types of Non-Immigrant Visa issued to foreigners who want to stay in the Kingdom – Non-Immigrant Visa “B”, and Non-Immigrant Visa “O”. For better understanding on how to go about the visa application process, you can consult an immigration lawyer in Phuket for better process guidance.
The following describes each visa class or category:
Non-Immigrant Visa “O”
This type of visa is issued to foreigners seeking to stay in Thailand for a long period of time. Strictly speaking, this Non-Immigrant Visa “O” can be obtained by anyone although the most likely person to obtain this visa class is a spouse of a holder of a Thai Non-Immigrant Business “B” visa. The “O” visa of the spouse will be based upon the other spouse’s “B” visa. With the Visa “O”, the holder may or may not be able to obtain work permit in Thailand. In general, only those in Thailand holding Non-Immigrant Visa “O” based upon marriage to a Thai “B” visa holder will be entitled to obtain a work permit.
How the Visa Works
This Visa “O” is available as a single entry with 90 days validity or a multiple entry with 12 months validity.
Non-Immigrant Visa “B” (for business and work)
This visa is issued to foreigners who wish to work or conduct business in Thailand. Foreigners who undertake investment activities in the Kingdom will be issued a Non-Immigrant Visa “B”. Under this Visa class, other categories of Non-Immigrant Visa B are provided to meet the needs and qualifications of individual business persons – Business Visa category B; Business-Approved Visa Category B-A and Investment and Business Visa Category 1B. Visa holders of this category must be granted work permit before starting work. It is available as single entry with 90 days duration and multiple entry with 12 months duration.
A Non-Immigrant Visa ‘B’ works in exactly the same way (in terms of leaving and reentering Thailand every 90 days, up to the 12 months visa validity period) as Non-Immigrant Visa ‘O’ with one exception. The Visa “B” can be a business visa or work visa, which is a prerequisite to obtaining a work permit in Thailand.
To know more about the process of employment in Thailand for foreigners, please see this post.