Thai Visa Option
There are a number of visa options in Thailand. These are both short-term and long-term visa options. If you are over 50 years of age or are married to a Thai national then you have a better range of visa options than most. If you are working in Thailand or going to work in Thailand then the 1 year Thai work permit is normally the way to go.
Thai Marriage Visa
The marriage visa for Thailand also called the Thai “O” visa meaning “Other” is the most common visa for visiting your family in Thailand or when you are married to a Thai national. If you are married to a Thai or have a Thai national as a child then you can apply for this visa and stay in Thailand for 12 months at a time. You simply need to meet the financial requirements set for the visa and also have a documented Thai family member.
If you are older than 50 then you can apply for a retirement visa to stay in Thailand. Note that the financial requirements are higher than that for the marriage visa. If you are married to a Thai national or have Thai family members then you can apply for a marriage visa or the Thai “O” visa as the requirements are lower but there are also lower amounts of paperwork and red tape. Should your Thai wife die and you are over the age of 50 then you can apply for a retirement visa which means you don’t need to leave Thailand.
Thinking of working in Thailand will require a Thai work permit. This work permit will allow you to work at a business who sponsored your visa. In order to start the process you will need to have a business visa or a marriage visa. Most leave Thailand to obtain a business visa then come back to Thailand and apply for the work permit. Note that there is no such thing as a “Work Visa” in Thailand. The business visa does not give you the right to work in Thailand.
This visa is used mainly to apply for a work permit later. Once you enter Thailand you will have 90 days to extend your business visa with a work permit. Note that the business visa does not allow you to work in Thailand. You can obtain a multiple entry visa for Thailand however they do not issue these in Asia due to what has been seen as visa abuse. You might be able to obtain one in your home country with an invitation letter from a large Thai company.
90 day Reporting
If you have an extended visa for Thailand such as a 12 month retirement visa or marriage visa then you need to report your address to Thai immigration every 90 days. Failure to report will get you a 2,000THB fine and a stamp in your passport to show that you have reported late. Note that work permit holders also have to report their address every 90 days.
Holders of an extended Marriage visa, Retirement visa as well as work permit holders in Thailand need a re-entry permit in their passport before they leave Thailand. If you do not have a re-entry permit before you leave then when you return your visa or work permit will be invalidated. You will only receive a 30 day visa waiver and you would need to start the visa application or work permit process again.