Can I change tourist visa to business visa in Thailand? A Step-by-Step Guide
If you plan to do business or work in Thailand, ensuring you have the proper visa is essential. The type of visa you need depends on the nature of your business and how long you plan to stay in the country.
A common question we receive is whether converting your tourist visa to a business visa is possible. This blog post will explore how to achieve this.
- Thailand offers several types of visas, including tourist visas and business visas.
- A tourist visa is typically valid for 60 days, while a business visa can be valid for up to a year.
- You will need a job offer from a Thai company together with company documents of the employer to apply for a business visa (it is called a non-immigrant B visa)
- The application process for a non-immigrant B visa typically takes a few days and requires various supporting documents.
- After you have received your business visa, you must apply for a work permit.
What is a Business Visa?
A business visa (non-immigrant B visa) is a type of visa that allows you to enter Thailand and apply for a work permit in Thailand. Furthermore, a business visa ONLY allows you to conduct limited business activities in Thailand. This can include attending meetings, conferences, and seminars, conducting market research, or exploring business opportunities.
It’s important to note that a business visa differs from a work permit, which is required if to work in Thailand.
Thailand has a broad definition of what is considered work. Section 5 of the Foreigners Working Management Emergency Decree of 2017 describes ‘work’ as the use of physical strength or knowledge for engaging in an occupation or a job with or without an intention to obtain wages or any other benefit.
Can You Convert a Tourist Visa to a Business Visa?
Yes, converting a tourist visa to a business visa is possible while you are in Thailand. However, specific requirements must be met to do so. These include:
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months.
- You must have a valid tourist visa.
- You must have a letter of invitation from a company in Thailand that explains the purpose of your visit and confirms that you will be conducting business activities.
- You must have at least 3 weeks remaining visa – In practice, applying for a Business Visa out of Thailand is easier as the process and required supporting documents are generally less.
It’s important to note that the conversion process can take up to 10 business days, so starting it as soon as possible is best to avoid delays.
How to Convert Your Tourist Visa to a Business Visa
To convert your tourist visa to a business visa, you must visit the Thai Immigration Office. Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you:
- Your passport
- Your departure card
- Your tourist visa
- A letter of invitation from a company in Thailand
- A completed application form
- WP3 (pre-work permit approval)
- Supporting documents from the company
- Two passport-sized photos
What else should I know?
Here are some common questions that people have about converting a tourist visa to a business visa in Thailand:
Can I work in Thailand with a business visa?
No, a business visa does not allow you to work in Thailand. If you plan to work in Thailand, you must obtain a work permit.
Can I extend my business visa?
Yes, it is possible to extend your business visa if you need to stay in Thailand for a longer period of time. However, you must apply for an extension at least 15 days before your visa expires.
How long does it take?
Converting a tourist visa to a business visa in Thailand is straightforward as long as you have all the necessary documents and meet the requirements. It’s essential to start the process early and be prepared for potential delays. If you have any questions or need assistance with the process, it’s always best to consult a qualified legal professional.
How can Belaws help?
Our team of immigration experts is on hand to help you make your visa applications and renewal as smooth as possible.
You can browse our visa and work permit services here if you require assistance concerning staying in Thailand or working in Thailand.
Belaws understands that visas in Thailand can often be confusing, so to get more information, why not talk to one of our experts now?
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
Our consultations last for a period of up to 1 hour and are conducted by expert Lawyers who are fluent in English, French and Thai.
Consultations can be hosted via WhatsApp or Video Conferencing software for your convenience. A consultation with one of our legal experts is undoubtedly the best way to get all the information you need and answer any questions you may have about your new business or project.
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Frequently asked questions
Can I change tourist visa to business visa in Thailand?
Yes, it is possible to convert a tourist visa to a business visa in Thailand. However, there are specific requirements that must be met, and the process can take up to 10 business days.
Can I change my visa type in Thailand?
Yes, it is possible to change your visa type in Thailand, but the process and requirements depend on the type of visa you have and the visa you want to change to.
What is the process for business visa in Thailand?
The process for obtaining a business visa in Thailand includes obtaining a job offer from a Thai company, gathering various supporting documents, and applying for a non-immigrant B visa at the Thai Immigration Office. After receiving the business visa, you must apply for a work permit to work legally in Thailand.
Can I change tourist visa to work visa?
Yes, it is possible to change a tourist visa to a work visa in Thailand, but the process and requirements are different from converting a tourist visa to a business visa.
Can you apply for another visa on a tourist visa?
Yes, it is possible to apply for another visa while on a tourist visa in Thailand, but the process and requirements depend on the type of visa you want to apply for.
What is the latest visa changes in Thailand?
As of March 2023, there are no major changes in visa regulations in Thailand. However, it’s always advisable to check with the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country for any updates.
Can I extend my tourist visa while in Thailand?
Yes, it is possible to extend a tourist visa while in Thailand, but it must be done at least 15 days before the visa expires.
How to change single entry visa to multiple entry for Thailand?
To change a single-entry visa to a multiple-entry visa for Thailand, you must apply for a new visa at the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country.
How do I change my visa category in Thailand?
To change your visa category in Thailand, you must gather the required documents and apply for a new visa at the Thai Immigration Office.
Can tourist visa be converted to dependent visa in Thailand?
Yes, it is possible to convert a tourist visa to a dependent visa in Thailand, but the process and requirements are different from converting a tourist visa to a business visa or work visa.
Can I convert my visa?
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