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Use the Correct Visa to Travel to Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai visas. We are specifically discussing the notion, I have seen this a lot online, I have done a specific video on this in the context of Retirement Visas but I thought a general video was warranted. 

Folks are basically saying, "Well the Tourist Visa is open. Just go ahead and come in to Thailand on a Tourist Visa and convert to whatever Visa you want to get once you are there." That is not a great idea for a lot of different reasons most notably you are specifically misleading the Adjudicating Officers with respect to your actual intent and more specifically, and to put as fine a point on it as I can, it is not a foregone conclusion that you will be able to convert status once in Thailand. Conversion of status is a tricky proposition at the best of times.

Now some categories of visas, in a way, I hesitate to use the word easier, but you see with more frequency certain categories seeing conversion. For example people that have been in Thailand on an Education Visa that then may apply for and obtain a job in Thailand, it may be possible to convert them depending on their circumstances because again the Adjudicating Officer’s discretion is a play here and they may say “Yeah I understand why that person needs to convert”. That is sort of a righteous conversion for lack of a better term. Meanwhile folks that have been working in Thailand and then convert to something like a Retirement Visa, again the Adjudicating Officer may look at that and say "yeah I understand why you need to do that. I am going to go ahead and allow that." But again, it is at the Officer’s discretion. And if you knowingly enter Thailand for example wishing to retire and you used a Tourist Visa to get here they are probably going to look at that and say look you had the option to get a Retirement Visa. You should have done that. That can create real problems for you. The same could be said, Tourist Visa to Business Visa conversion. Again circumstances will dictate. I am not saying this is impossible but what I am saying is you are putting yourself in a detrimental position further down the road by presuming that this exercise of discretion in favor of conversion of a Visa will be a guarantee with respect to that forthcoming. That may not. The adjudicating officer may decide "no I don't want to approve that conversion because you had the option somewhere further upstream to get the correct visa that you should have gotten to enter Thailand." I have seen that happen over the years.

So it is a really good idea just as a general rule, use the type of Visa, the correct category that most accurately encapsulates your purposes for coming to the Kingdom of Thailand.