Many tourists and visitors to Thailand come on a 60 day tourist visa. With the ability to extend the visa for another 30 days in Thailand, the total time allowed in the country is 90 days. But, once the 90 days expires, then what?
Is it possible to stay longer than 90 days in Thailand and, if so, how?
There are several ways to stay longer than 90 days in Thailand – legally. Some are easy, some not so much but, if you follow the law and do things the correct way, there’s no reason why you can’t stay longer.
Apply for a Second 60 Day (90 Day) Tourist Visa – Once your first 90 day tourist visa has expired, you can apply for a second tourist visa, as long as you plan on only being a tourist ie: you won’t be working in Thailand.
To get a second tourist visa, you do have to leave the country. Most people take a 2-3 day trip to Malaysia, Laos or Cambodia, where they visit a Thai embassy and apply for a second visa.
To apply, you will need 2 passport sized photographs, your passport, a photo copy of your the photo page of your passport, a completed tourist visa application form and the fee (currently 1,900 baht or $60). The visa processing takes around 36 hours, so you will have to stay at least overnight, if not two days or longer.
Be warned, the Thai government is well aware many people have been using back-to-back tourist visas to stay in Thailand, while working illegally. Against the law, if the embassy staff suspect you are doing this, your visa application will be denied.
To prove you are not, it is best to have a photo copy of a bank statement from your own country, showing ATM withdrawals in Thailand, as well as a plane ticket out of Thailand at the end of the next 90 days.
Get a Job – A second way to stay longer than 90 days in Thailand is to get a job. Overall, westerners are only allowed to be teachers in Thailand and one or two other occupations, as most jobs are closed to people who
are not Thai.
So, if you expect to walk into Thailand and get a job as an office worker, an accountant, a lawyer, a coffee shop worker or one of thousands of types of jobs, in most cases it is not possible.
If, however, you have teaching experience, a university degree and have or are willing to take a TEFL certification course in Thailand, getting a teaching job is quite easy.
Just make sure you have a job offer at least 16 days before your tourist visa expires as, with 15 days still left on the visa, your new school can get it transferred to a non-immigrant B visa so you can work legally.
Of course, you can also try to get a job with no teaching experience and no degree, but it’s much harder if not almost impossible in the present climate in Thailand. And, even if you do, your chances of getting a work permit for the job are slim.
Marry a Thai – If you meet a Thai man or woman and fall in love, you can get married in Thailand and apply for a marriage visa. That will allow you to stay in Thailand for a year, which is then simply renewed every year after as long as you stay married.
To get a marriage visa though, if you are less than 50 years of age, you have to prove you make at least 50,000 baht a month and, over 50 years of age, have at least 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account.
The 800,000 baht (around $27,500) also has to stay in your account – you cannot remove it once you receive your marriage visa as, sometimes, immigration does do spot checks.
Study Something – If you want to study in Thailand, you can apply for a one-year education visa. You will have to pay for your study course up front (ie: fees for a year), and you will have to leave the country to a neighboring country for two days to apply for the education visa, before you can come back to Thailand to begin studying.
You can study Thai language, Thai culture, take a Masters degree in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), Thai music and several other disciplines.
These are just four ways to stay in Thailand longer than 90 days. There are others, more complicated and more expensive, but these are the four more popular ones.
Just remember, as long as you do things legally and follow the rules, the Thai government is very happy to have you.