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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawIs the 1 Year Multiple Entry Visa Still an Option for Expats in Thailand?

Is the 1 Year Multiple Entry Visa Still an Option for Expats in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

 As the title of this video suggests we are discussing the one-year multiple-entry visa for Thailand. In a video in the past, I think I did one specifically, “Has that Regime Come to an End? and at the time I made that video I felt “yes it was pretty clear that the twilight had come for massive issuance of 1 year multi entry Thai visa and by multiple entry Thai visas I mean a Visa that is initially issued with one year’s validity and every time an individual travels into the Kingdom on such a visa they are accorded 90-days of lawful status therein.

There was something of a sea change or has been in the last two or three years here in the Kingdom with respect to Immigration Policy. This has been across the board, not only within the Royal Thai Immigration Police but also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has tightened up regulations with respect to issuance of 1 year multiple entry visas. Most notably where once Honorary Consulates were able to issue 1 year multiple entry visas rather readily, that era has come and gone. We are no longer seeing any Honorary Consulates even having the ability to issue such long-term travel documents. That being said the Embassies and the Consulates General were also tightening up the restrictions with respect to who could be issued a one-year multiple-entry Visa.

In recent weeks it has come to my attention that various changes in both the labor laws here in the Kingdom under two emergency decrees that have been issued within the past 24 months, as well as various aspects of the regulations regarding issuance of one-year multiple entry visas has led me to believe that they have at least come back as something of a viable option compared to say the last roughly year or so. What are we talking about? Well for example Amity Treaty companies; the Director, or Directors of an Amity Treaty company may be able to get a one-year multiple-entry Visa in the United States pursuant to being a Director on such a company. Now the facts and the circumstances have to come in to sort of an alignment in order for that to occur but it does look like it is within the realm of possibility to go ahead and get such a visa under the circumstances.  That being said, although there are certain  relaxations with respect to who needs a work permit, moreover there are many relaxations which recently have come about with respect to the scope of ones geographic area and ones scope of activity under ones work permit;  there has been a lot of relaxations with respect to that.

The thing to take away from this video is that although multi-entry may, especially in an Amity context, it may now be possible to get one and it may not necessarily be required, especially for a Director that they go ahead and get a work permit. In my opinion a work permit is pretty well essential for anybody as a practical matter who wishes to live and work in Thailand. This is especially the case with respect to subsequent Visa extensions so for the first year for example, a multi-entry Visa may be possible for an American who has a company in Thailand certified under the Treaty and they are a Director thereof. That being said, in the long term, an extension is generally advisable. Moreover work permits are a good document to have, also a Visa and work permit extension which occurs over a long period of time may unlock certain visa and immigration benefits down the road; for example things like permanent residence etc.

So the thing to take away from this video is, although the multi-entry may be back, and I think it is being for lack of a better term re-implemented because especially directors who are simply sorted based in the region and only may be in Thailand for relatively short periods of time to conduct relatively narrow scopes of  services, especially with respect to directors who just have to come in and sign something, I think certain relaxations was felt needed in order to accommodate those folks and a multi-entry Visa in order to serve sort of accommodate their convenience.

So while this is coming back as a viable option I would not take away from this video that one is going to see this sort of on a broad scale. I don't think every, for lack of a better term, Tom, Dick and Harry out there is going to be able to get a one-year multi-entry Visa. I think it is mostly going to be circumscribed to Directors under narrow circumstances under certain narrow types of companies. But that being said, it does appear to be back. I have received anecdotal evidence and I have actually seen them issued now; I am always sort of hesitant to bring that up unless I actually see one being issued. But it looks to me like the multi-entry Visa may be possible and how that is going to play out moving forward remains to be seen but at least for now it appears to be an option; at least in certain sets of circumstances.