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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawSix Month Passport Validity and Thai Visa Issuance

Six Month Passport Validity and Thai Visa Issuance

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing passport validity; specifically in the context of Thai visas and Thai Visa issuance. 

Why are we talking about this? Well it can be a major issue. I recently had a client who this became an issue for. Basically, most posts, most Thai Embassies and Consulates will not issue longer-term visas; for example the one-year multi-entry Visa; specifically the one year multiple entry B Visa, or the 1 year multiple entry O Visa, unless there is at least 6 months left on the underlying passport. Moreover, there are various travel restrictions that may be placed by airlines on individuals who are traveling with a passport with a validity of less than 6 months. In some cases it may not allow folks aboard a plane etc. I found that that is not really a common practice.  But six months validity on a passport, this 6-month issue, it can have substantial ramifications.  It is especially important with respect to Thais or with respect to the Thai Immigration apparatus because as I said, most Thai Embassies and Consulates  will definitely not issue a longer visa than the expiry of the passport although they might if the passport has more than 6 months validity.  So for example a multi-entry visa may be issued on a passport with nine months validity even though the validity of the visa might outlast the validity of the underlying passport.  The presumption is that individual would go ahead and get another passport and then use the two passports together to travel. This happens fairly frequently.  I have seen it a lot of US Immigration context and I have seen it in the context of Thai Immigration as well. 

So the thing to take away from this video though  is as we've seen as a hard-and-fast rule, Thai Embassies and Consulates are not willing to issue long-term visas to those with passports that are not valid for over 6 months.  So if you're expecting to get a one-year visa don't expect to be able to use a passport with less than 6 months of validity left on it to go ahead and get that visa as it is probably and in fact I would say with some virtual certainty that application for that 1-year Visa will be denied.