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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawChanging from a Thai Retirement Visa to a Business Visa

Changing from a Thai Retirement Visa to a Business Visa

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the conversion from an O or an O-A Retirement Visa, I guess in theory an O-X Retirement Visa is possible as well to a Business Visa. Is that possible to do?

Well under normal circumstances, so under usual circumstances when we weren't dealing with this COVID shutdown and the response associated with COVID, we weren't under this Emergency Decree which provided some more latitude for Immigration Officers, it was really the preferable policy on the part of Immigration that if you wanted to change from one Non-immigrant category to another, you needed to leave the country and get a new visa and come back in. 

Now presently, there is a little bit more leeway. We have seen situations arise wherein it may be possible to get someone converted from one category to another. There are certain situations where it has proven impossible so it is factually dependent, it is circumstantially dependent. I will say that generally speaking, from a paradigm standpoint, the overall paradigm of Thai Immigration is not conducive to a conversion from Retiree status into Business Visa status. The reason for that is retirees are specifically precluded from working so if someone came into Thailand on a Retirement Visa they would have come in based on the presumption and based on the assertion that they had no desire to work in Thailand. So to convert over from Retirement status into Business Visa status in the Kingdom you are going to have to show some compelling reason for that and you are probably going to have to show that you did not intend for that to occur when you made the application for retirement status, to prove that you weren't being for lack of better term duplicitous when you were filing for the Retirement Visa in the first place. Now I don't think they are looking to call anybody a liar, don't get me wrong. There is just sort of a general, again I see this in American Immigration, I see it in Thai Immigration, there is just sort of a general sense that "look whatever the category you came in on, we are presuming that that was the category you were planning to stick with so you need to show compelling reason why you are changing in order for us to go ahead and affect a conversion”. 

It will depend on the facts of the given circumstances but it may be possible to convert from Retirement status to Business Visa status if the facts are conducive and the adjudicator feels that it is warranted under the circumstances.