Archives January 2013

Thai Immigration Lawyers

Thai Immigration Lawyers

If you want to live and work and in Thailand then speak to us at Thailand Law Firm for more information. With offices in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai we are best able to serve your needs in Thailand. Speak to us about marriage registration, your Thai visa or retirement in Thailand or even leasing property or about buying property. See our full listing for all our offices in Thailand. If you are arriving in Bangkok then visit our Head Office in Bangkok for more information and guidance.

immigration lawyers thailand


Offices located in Thailand


Interchange 21 Building,
399 Sukhumvit Road, North Klongtoey,
Wattana, Bangkok 10110

Moo 5, Bangtao Place T. Cherngtalay, A. Thalang,
Phuket 83110, Thailand

Moo 6, North Pattaya Road,
Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 Thailand

Chiang Mai
Curve Mall,
215/2 Chang Klan Road, Mueang,
Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand

Re-Entry Permits

Re-Entry Permits

Re-Entry PermitsIf you have a work permit in Thailand or you have a 1 year marriage visa or a retirement visa then you cannot leave Thailand without a re-entry permit. This is a permit that is placed in your passport to ensure that when you leave Thailand you do no invalidate you visa status. With the re-entry permit in your passport you can enter Thailand and continue on the ‘old’ visa you had before you left.

The single entry re-entry permit costs 1,000 Baht but if you are going to leave Thailand more than once in the space of a year then you are best served with a multiple entry re-entry permit which costs 3,800 Baht. Consider the options and you will note that it is better to obtain the re-entry permit. This can be issued at the border or at the airport but it is always best to have it done in Bangkok as it takes about 3 hours to have it done and you don’t want to miss your flight.

Any questions?

Retirement in Thailand

Retirement in Thailand

Retirement in ThailandIf you are going to retire in Thailand then consider for a minute what would be needed for your visa. Firstly you need to meet 2 set of requirements. The first is an age requirement and the next are the financial requirements to retire. The first requirements tro obtain the Retirement Visa is the easiest. You need to firstly apply at a Thai embassy for the OA visa and this visa is valid for 3 months once you enter Thailand. This is what would be needed:

Requirements for Retirement in Thailand

  • – You must be 50 years or older when you apply for the 1 year extension in Thailand;
  • – You must have a medical certificate to show you don’t have a transmittable disease;
  • – You must prove that you don’t have a criminal record.
  • – You must show that you have 800,000 Baht in a Thai bank account; (or)
  • – You have an income of 60,000 Baht per month

Those are the basics for the retirement visa in Thailand. Over the years we have noted that many who do retire in thailand are not new to Thailand and they tend to buy property in Thailand and get married again in their twilight years. Many do not apply for a retirement visa in the end and simply apply for a marriage visa as it is easier and the requirements are much lower.

90 Day Reporting

Once you retire you also need to remember that you need to contact Thai immigration every 90 days and they will place a slip into your passport to show that you have reported you 90 days to Thai immigration. When you report you need to give them your latest address in Thailand where they may find you. This is called the 90 day reporting in Thailand. You can also mail them the reporting status but it is always best to go in person so that there are no mistakes.

Re-Entry Permits in Thailand

When you have a 1 year visa you cannot simply leave Thailand you need to have a re-entry permit in your passport. If you leave Thailand without a re-entry permit your visa becomes null and void and the process has to start again. Always ensure that before you leave that you have applied for a re-entry permit. This can be single or multiple entry. It normally takes 2-3 hours to have this done at Thai immigration. This is valid both for the retirement visa and the 1 year marriage visa.

If you are looking at retirement in Thailand then speak to us online to settle your questions and allow us to complete the process for you from beginning to end. The first start is applying for the OA Visa at a Thai embassy, then extending this visa in Thailand and once that is done you have 6 months to bring your household goods in from your home country without an import duties.


Start the process now!


Passport & Work Permits

Passport & Work Permits

Passport & Work PermitsWhen you are in Thailand you must much like Thai citizens carry your passport on you at all times. The very same goes with work permits. The work permit and passport must be with you at all times. An interesting note that when the local newspapers asked Phuket Immigration about the issue after a number of foreigners had been arrested in Phuket for not having their passports on them during the raid on the nightclub.

“The law here is that all foreign tourist must have their passports to hand when the police ask for them. Tourists being in possession of their passports is similar to Thai people having identity cards – they must keep their ID cards with them for when police want to check their identify. However, if you are worried about losing your passport you can make a photocopy and carry that instead. At present we have problems in this country with international criminals, so inspection of passports is essential for safety and security reasons.” Pol Lt Col Panudej Sookwong, Superintendent of Phuket Tourist Police.

So always ensure that you have your passport on you while in Thailand. If you are afraid that you might misplace the passport on a night out on town then at the very least keep a copy of the front page of the passport and the TM card and also the entry and valid until stamp in your passport and the visa. Those are the 3 pages you would need to have to show.

  • – Face page of your passport;
  • – TM card in your passport;
  • – Visa in your passport;
  • – Entry date and due date stamp in your passport.

Those are the very same stamps and pages that Thai Immigration asks for when you apply for a work permit so ensure that those 4 pages are what you have when you make a copy. You can normally do this on 1 A4 page. This however changed a few months later when the reply to the Phuket Gazette was as follows

“The Gazette notes that the “photocopy rule” appears not to apply everywhere. Pol Maj Phanthana Nutchanart, of the Bangkok Investigation Tourist Police (Division 2) stresses:Tourists must carry their passports with them at all times. This is an international rule. A passport is like an ID card; if you don’t have it with you, the police may arrest you.

Better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t have the original then at least the photocopy. The work permit is another issue as they do not accept a copy for the work permit. You need to ensure that this is on you at the office, on your way to and from work. Better yet staple it to your passport to make much easier.

What is normally used is the following law:

Section 58: Any alien who has no lawful document for entering the Kingdom under Section 12 (1); or has no Residence Certificate under this Act; and also has no identification in accordance with the Law on Alien registration, (I have yet to find this Law on Alien Registration) is considered to have entered into the Kingdom in violation to this Act.

Then this is followed by:

Section 59 :The Director General, or the competent official deputized by Director General, shall have the authority to arrest and suppress any person violating this Act. They shall also have the authority to issue a subpoena, warrant of arrest or search, make arrest , search , or detain. They shall also have the authority to conduct inquiry into the offense against the provisions of this Act in the same manner as the inquiry official under the Criminal Procedure Code.
If you are arrested in Thailand for not having your passport on you or your work permit then call any of our offices in Thailand to ensure that the matter may be put to rest. Call us today or walk into any of our offices in Thailand for assistance.
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Thai Marriage Visa

Thai Marriage Visa

Thai Marriage VisaIf you are married to a Thai or have a Thai child then you can apply for the 3 month Thai “O” Visa at a Thai embassy. The Thai marriage visa is valid for 90 days when you enter Thailand and can be extended in Thailand for 1 year if you meet the financial requirements of the visa. This is what would be needed when you apply for the Thai visa at the embassy:

Documents at Thai Embassy:

  • – Your passport;
  • – Copy of your Thai wife’s Tabian Baan;
  • – Copy marriage certificate;
  • – Copy of birth certificates of children if any
  • – Copy of Thai wife’s ID card

These are the documents that would be needed when you apply at the Thai embassy for your marriage visa. This would get you your Thai marriage visa. Note that in Asia they don’t like to issue more than 2 of these visas back to back and will encourage you to extend the visa in Thailand to a 1 year visa. When back in Thailand you will have 3 months to extend this visa and these are the documents needed for the 1 year visa. Don’t overstay your visa in Thailand.

Documents at Thai Immigration:

  • – Copy of your passport + original;
  • – Copy of your Thai wife’s ID card;
  • – Copy of your marriage certificate;
  • – Copy of children (if any) birth certificate(s);
  • – Photos of your family together;
  • – Map drawn to show your house or apartment in Thailand;
  • – Copy of updated bank book showing 400,000 Baht in it; (or)
  • – Copy of income slip if no deposit showing 40,000 Baht per month in income.

These documents would be needed when you extend the marriage visa in Thailand. The process takes about 2-3 weeks and you need to do this every year to keep the visa current. Once you have this visa you must not forget that every 90 days you have to report to Thai immigration to state that you still live at the same address as was on your visa.  also note that if you wish to leave Thailand and return you need to have a re-entry permit so that your visa is not invalidated when you leave Thailand and return. If you have any questions ask us online or walk into any of our offices in Thailand for more assistance.

Call us today!

Overstay & Deportation in Thailand

Overstay & Deportation in Thailand

Overstay & Deportation in ThailandThere are 2 major issues with overstay in Thailand. The first is admitting that you have overstayed, bought your ticket out of Thailand and going to Thai immigration to pay your overstay fine. The overstay fine has been 500 Baht per day to a maximum of 20,000 Baht. It makes no difference if it is a 1 month overstay or a 1 year overstay the maximum is 20,000 Baht. That normally goes off well however getting back into Thailand may become an issue as it is up to the immigration officer to allow you in or not. There are no rights to entering Thailand. If you are on a long overstay if is always advisable to take a lawyer with you to immigration as it could become a problem as you might be blacklisted.

The second is being caught by the police on a overstay. This becomes a major issue as they will arrest you and send you to Bangkok for processing. You would normally be taken to a court in Bangna where you will be charged with overstaying your Thai visa. At this point in time you need a lawyer as you are more likely than not going to plead guilty. The court will then issue a deportation order and you would need to find the 20,000 Baht overstay fine money and also a ticket out of the country. Some embassies may give you a loan however you will not allowed to have your passport again until your loan had been repaid in your country.

Once arrested you can expect to see the court with the next 10 days and this will depend on where they caught you and how far the IDC (Immigration Detention Center) is from where you had been caught. In the IDC they tend to split people into common nationalities in order to avoid fights and chaos. Cambodians with Cambodians and Westerners most times with other Westerners. Once you have paid your fine and have your ticket you need to pay the police to deliver you to the airport. The day before you are allowed fresh clothing and they will bring you to the airport 4 hours before your flight.  Yes you arrived chained and you have to pay 800 Baht for the ride to the airport.

Once you stamp out of Thailand at immigration at the airport they will hold you in a special room to ensure you do not runoff. Once the plane loads a police officer will walk you from the room to the plane and ensure that you get onto the plane. Normally they are very friendly on your way out. If you have not been blacklisted you can apply for a new visa and return to thailand again.

Take advice – don’t overstay your visa in Thailand!