What is a Non Immigrant Visa B ?
October 1st, 2010
Foreign investors who wish to come into Thailand to conduct a business or to work must first obtain a Non Immigrant Visa B with a Royal Thai Embassy.
The Non Immigrant Visa B will allow you to stay in Thailand for a period of not more than 90 days at a time. This visa may be granted for a single entry or multi entries.
If a multi-entries visa is granted it may be for a period of 3, 6 or 12 months. During the multi entries visa period of validity you will be able to enter Thailand for a period of 90 days at a time. Multi entries visa B valid for a one year period are very rarely granted by Thai embassies nowadays
Note: It is also possible to change visa type once in Thailand providing that the legal requirements applicable to visa changes are fulfilled (We will discuss this matter in a future post therefore keep posted). Note that the change of visa to a visa B is only possible if the applicant will be working for a company that has more than one year of existence and has filed a balance sheet. Newly incorporated company (less than one year and no balance sheet filed) may not be used anymore to support a visa change
Note: We recommend you to apply for visa at the Thai Embassy/ Consulate in the country where you have your residence or from which you are a national.
Note: There are from time to time discrepancies between Thai embassies practices. Some embassies have the reputation to be more helpful than others. We cannot recommend you one embassy over another as the situation is changing constantly. Also note that Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Thai embassies may abruptly change their practices without notice. Therefore please call the Thai embassy the closest from you location before to start the formalities.
What rights does a Non Immigrant Visa B grants you?
There are several categories of Non-Immigrant Visa B depending of the qualifications and specific of the case of the investor (i.e Category “B”, Category “B-A” and investment and business visa Category “IB”). In this post we will only discuss the Visa B to work in Thailand and the Visa B to conduct business in Thailand
Note: Holding a Visa B does not give you the right to work in Thailand. You will need to obtain a work permit before starting work. The only exception is for employees of BOI companies who can start to work once the BOI Company has received its BOI promotion license.
Note: Definition of work in Thailand is very broad (please see our post on work permits) so you may be deemed working even if you do not receive a salary.
What are the common requirements to obtain a Non Immigrant Visa B?
The common requirements for the obtaining of a Visa B, B-A or I-B to enter Thailand for a period of not more than 90 days are:
- Passport or travel document with validity of not less than 6 months;
- Completed visa application form.
- Recent passport-sized photograph (4 x 6 cm) of the applicant taken within the past 6 months.
Note: If you whishes to apply for a one year extension once in Thailand you will need a passport with a validity of not less than 18 months
Requirements specific to the Visa B to work in Thailand
A foreigner who wishes to work in Thailand must provide the following documents in addition of those mentioned above:
You will need to provide the following specific documents:
- Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family).
- Letter attesting that the Ministry of Labor has accepted the application for a work permit that has been filed by your employer on your behalf.
In addition and if you have already worked in Thailand:
- a copy of work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor and alien income tax or Por Ngor Dor 91.
Supporting documents from your employer:
Your employer shall provide you with the following documents
(1) business registration and business license
(2) list of shareholders
(3) company profile
(4) details of business operation
5) list of foreign workers stating names, nationalities and positions
(6) map indicating location of the company
(7) balance sheet, statement of Income Tax and Business Tax (Por Ngor Dor 50 and Por Ngor Dor 30 of the latest year)
(8) value-added tax registration (Por Por 20)
Note: If the company who hired you is in the tourism business the document indicating the number of foreign tourists if it is in the export business a document indicating export transactions issued by banks N.B.
Note: Copies of company documents must be signed by the Board of Directors or authorized managing director and affix seal of company and must be recent
Requirements specific to the Visa B to conduct business in Thailand
If you wish to conduct business in Thailand must provide the following documents:
- Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family) for the duration of stay in Thailand
- Letter from the applicant’s company indicating the applicant’s position, length of employment, salary and purpose of visit(s) to Thailand.
- Documents showing correspondence with business partners in Thailand.
- Evidence of financial status in the case where the applicant is self-employed.
- Letter of invitation from trading or associated partners/companies in Thailand.
- Corporate documents of associated partners/companies in Thailand such as:
- (1) business registration and business license
- (2) list of shareholders
- (3) company profile
- (4) details of business operation
- 5) list of foreign workers stating names, nationalities and positions
- (6) map indicating location of the company
- (7) balance sheet, statement of Income Tax and Business Tax (Por Ngor Dor 50 and Por Ngor Dor 30 of the latest year)
- (8) value-added tax registration (Por Por 20)
Note: The copies of company documents must be signed by the Board of Directors or authorized managing director and affix seal of company and must be recent
The documents listed above are the minimal requirements applicable and the fact that you have provided all the documents requested does not always guarantee a favorable outcome.
Additional documents may be requested as and when necessary by the officer at the Thai Embassy.
In the absence of a required document, applicant must provide a letter explaining the unavailability of such document. For example the most common case is when an investor start a new business in Thailand. A company that has been just registered will not be able to provide documents listed under No 7 or 8 above. This absence may be overcomed providing that you explain it in the cover letter that accompany your visa application. However take note that this practice has been discontinued in relation on Visa B one year extension. For the time being Thai embassy still issue Visa B to directors of newly started company.
In the next post we will review the conditions applicable to the extension of a one year business visa.
About the Author:
The author Rene-Philippe DUBOUT is a lawyer since 1990 when he was admitted to Geneva bar (Switzerland). He practiced as a litigator there for 10 years until he moved to Thailand in 1999. In 2002 he founded with a group of Thai lawyers Rene Philippe & Partners Ltd a local law firm that specialized in Cross Borders Investments and Real Estate. He has been lecturing in several Thai Universities and a speaker to numerous conferences and seminars. He is the author of a must read book:”How to Purchase Real Estate Offshore Safely: The Case of Thailand”.