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Thailand Elite Visas Must Still Be Extended

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thailand Elite Visas. A recent comment on our channel regarding another video that was discussing Elite Visas, I want to go ahead and quote this because there is some information that I wanted to extract and do a video on.

Quoting directly: "Thanks for pointing out that even with the Elite Visa, one still has to face Immigration each year for a yearly extension. This fact is often hidden in the Elite Visa promotions. The yearly extension, though not cumbersome as an O Visa extension, is still a little off putting." 

I don't think it is safe to say they are hiding it. It is just part of the thing. Yeah, I wouldn't say it is hidden, it is just presumed actually. I think everybody just sort of knows that "hey look, your Visa has an expiration date on it." So that means you are going to have to deal with it; either leave and a year and a half ago, the way you deal with this on an Elite Visa is you leave the country and come back in. Most folks didn't even actually go to Immigration. They would take a weekend holiday and then come back to Thailand and they are back in for another year. Unfortunately, right now we don't really have that option really particularly readily available or at least it is not something most folks want to do if they have to go through sitting in quarantine for prolonged periods of time. So most people aren't doing but yeah he brings up a good point in this comment. Yes Elite Visas do require an extension. This is a misnomer. The sticker has a five year validity but not unlike for example a multi-entry one year Visa, that sticker validity may not reflect the actual status that is put into your passport; the stamp. So it won't be fact dependent because with an Elite, it has got a 5-year validity on the sticker but every time you are stamped into the country you get a year and if you don't leave the country on a yearly basis you have to affirmatively extend that status or fall into overstay. Elite Visa holders can be in overstay. It is not an Impossibility and frankly dealing with overstay in an Elite context can be pretty nettlesome. 

So the thing to take away from this video, bear in mind that notwithstanding the fact that you may have a five year Elite Visa, your duration of status in the country at any given time is in one year increments.