Can You Get 12-Month Non-Immigrant B Visa at Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur?

petronas towers malaysia thai visa
Don’t bother going to Malaysia for a Non-Immigrant B visa for Thailand. You can no longer get one – Photo Petronas Towers: copyright andygeog Creative Commons


I’ve had a couple of people ask me the question “Can you get a 12-month Non-Immigrant B visa at the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2013?” That’s because there have been several news stories about 12-month Non-Immigrant B visas no longer being issued by the Kuala Lumpur embassy. So, is it true? Yes, unfortunately, it seems to be.

While Non-Immigrant B visas have always been obtainable in KL, at least during the 10-plus years I’ve lived in Thailand, it seems the KL embassy, in all their wisdom, has now decided to stop issuing them. (You have to wonder, in some respects, what on earth the embassy is there for?). They gave no reason as to why.

Two friends of mine who did go to KL assuming they could get a 12-month Non-Immigrant B visa, as always, were told in no uncertain terms by an embassy official, “You need to apply for one in Thailand”.

Let me tell you, the Thai school they are both working at was fit to be tied when the two westerners arrived back from Kuala Lumpur without┬áthe Non-Immigrant B visas they went for. After all, it was apparently someone at immigration in Thailand who told the school their teachers would be able to get them outside Thailand, as they didn’t have enough time to get them in Thailand before their original visa expired. The person at immigration had also recommended they go to KL.

Imagine that. Someone at the immigration department in Bangkok not knowing what’s going on!

Apparently, the Kuala Lumpur Thai Embassy is still issuing 3-month tourist visas, (at least for the forseeable future but, it being Malaysia and a Thai embassy, who knows how long that will continue?).

That means, if you have been told to go to Kuala Lumpur for a Non-Immigrant B visa you should ask at the embassy before you apply and, if told ‘No’, should apply for a tourist visa instead. At least then that will give you and your workplace 3 months to get you a Non-Imm B at the immigration department in Thailand, or time to figure out something else instead.

And they wonder why so many foreign teachers leave Thailand. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the increasing hassle of getting visas and work permits so they can remain ‘legal’ now, could it?

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for information about other ways besides a 12-month non-immigrant B visa in order to stay in Thailand permanently, don’t miss reading this.