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WP3 and B Visa Applications at a Thai Embassy

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Business Visa application and we are discussing Business Visa applications which are sought at Thai Consulates or Embassies abroad; so not here in the Kingdom.

When you are dealing with a Business Visa matter here in the Kingdom, you are generally dealing with a B Visa Extension. We are talking about a B Visa application at an Embassy or Consulate outside of Thailand. 

Increasingly we have seen a document called a WP3. That is essentially a work free authorization document. We have seen WP3 being required more and more and more broadly at different posts in recent months and weeks frankly. Where once WP3 was not required for B Visa issuance at certain Embassies and Consulates, more and more it is being required and I sort of look at it as kind of there is an epicenter which is Thailand and then moving outward from Thailand sort of regionally, you have to deal with B Visa applications in the ASEAN community. Well they are all requiring WP3 it seems as of the time of this video are requiring a WP3 to see a B Visa issued.

Moving further out, countries like once Hong Kong, Macau, China, Korea, Japan where once WP3 was not necessarily a hard-and-fast requirement for B Visa issuance, we are seeing that requirement being applied a little bit more now; actually much more frequently than we used to. Then getting out to Oceania and Australia, we are seeing WP3 being requested more and more. Even in the United States and Europe, WP3 is almost becoming a constant requirement. We are not quite to the level where everybody is seeking it and under certain circumstances it may be possible to get a Business Visa without a WP3 but that window seems to be closing by the day and it seems to be a narrower and narrower band of Consulates that are allowing B Visa issuance without WP3. The issue with WP3s, especially for SMEs is it can create a kind of catch-22 wherein you need a Company up and running to sponsor a WP3 but you are looking to get a Business Visa to get into Thailand to go ahead and do that kind of thing to set up such an entity. So it can be kind of an issue but moving forward, I think WP3 is going to be increasingly necessary. 

For this reason, it is probably not a bad idea to get in touch with a legal professional prior to making any moves with respect to a business opening here in Thailand. So like setting up a business an incorporation here. I think it would be a good idea to get in touch with legal professional long in advance of that because one can go ahead and put themselves in a position where they are in an optimal position once in Thailand from a B Visa and Work Permit standpoint and sort of forestall problems that can come up having to do multiple Visa runs etc. in connection with incorporation of a business and maintaining a Work Permit here in the Kingdom.