Can I get a Guardian Visa if my child is not Thai National?

Thailand’s appeal as a place for families to live is undeniable, and navigating the visa requirements is crucial for families from diverse backgrounds. For foreign parents with non-Thai children, the question of obtaining a Guardian Visa looms large. In this article, we’ll explore the eligibility criteria for obtaining a Guardian Visa, the process involved in securing this visa, and the options for extending and renewing it. We’ll also discuss the limitations of this visa and the pathways for parents seeking employment in Thailand.

Living in Thailand as a Family

Thailand is a great place for families to live, and many from around the globe have made a new home in the country. Personal circumstances will vary wildly from family to family, meaning they will need different types of visas for their circumstances.

Expat family enjoying Thailand as their new home.
Expat family enjoying Thailand as their new home.

Applying for a Guardian Visa

Not all people will be able to qualify for the visa they need, potentially leaving them in a difficult situation. For example, some foreign parents might be wondering if they can get a Guardian visa if their children are not Thai nationals.

The good news for those parents is that the answer is YES!

Qualifying for a Guardian Visa

Guardian Visas were introduced for foreign parents of non-Thai children studying in the country. To qualify, you must be able to prove that you are a parent of a child (or children) studying in Thailand. A proof of relationship will be required such as a birth certificate. If it is in English, it can be used right away. However, if it is in a foreign language, you have to translate it into English and verify the translation from your Embassy in Bangkok. The school will provide the registration documents along with the letter requesting Immigration for a Visa change or Extension as per the requirement. If your child is in Thailand on a Tourist Visa or Exempt Visa stamp, you can get a Non-Immigrant ED visa for your child at a Thai Immigration office. Non-Immigrant ED visa is a single-entry visa valid for 3 months which needs to be extended yearly. Usually, you can file an extension 45 days after the Non-immigrant ED visa has been issued.

Your child doesn’t have to be Thai to apply for a Guardian Visa. In the past, parents had to get Non-Immigrant O (Guardian) Visa from the Royal Thai Embassy prior to traveling to Thailand but now it is not the case, you can also process the Non-Immigrant O (Guardian) Visa at a local Immigration. This can be extended yearly. If you are a frequent flyer, you can also add a Multiple Re-entry Permit to your stay so that you can fly in and out of Thailand as many times as you want.

Guardian Visas are extendable yearly just before their expiry. Although there are additional requirements. For example, you will need to have 500,000 THB placed in a Thai Bank account for at least 30 days for the first-time Extension application, and from 2nd extension onwards, the money must be in the bank for 3 months.

Visa Extensions and renewals are available for as long as you continue to qualify for the visa, making this visa a good long-term option for parents with non-Thai children studying in Thailand.

However, while this visa makes a great option for many, it’s not suitable for people who want to work.

Understandably, many parents will want to find a job if they stay in the country long term. To do so, you will first need to find legal work with an employer who is willing and able to help you get a non-B visa.

You will also need to apply for a work permit before you can work legally, and this can be obtained in Thailand.

Professional Advice and Support

Based on our expertise, seeking professional guidance on the visa process and any legal requirements is essential to ensure a smooth transition when moving to Thailand as a family.

Obtaining a Guardian Visa

To obtain a Guardian Visa, you have the option of applying at the Royal Thai Embassy before traveling to Thailand or at a local Thai Immigration office. Regardless of the method chosen, you will need to provide school documents, and your child must already be on an Education Visa.

Application Process

If applying for a Guardian Visa in Thailand is not feasible, you have the option to travel to a neighboring country, where the process can be easier and more affordable. Typically, the application can be submitted one day, and the passport and visa can be collected the following day.

After the visa is acquired, you can choose to re-enter Thailand immediately or spend a few extra days in the host country.

Extending Your Guardian Visa

Initially, the Guardian Visa allows a 90-day stay, which may not be sufficient in most cases. However, it can be extended annually just before its expiration. Additionally, a Re-entry Permit can be added to accommodate multiple entries and exits from Thailand.

  • Single Re-entry Permit: Allows for a single journey
  • Multiple Re-entry Permit: Enables multiple journeys

To qualify for the extension, a minimum of 500,000 THB must be maintained in a Thai bank account for at least 30 days during the first application. If the balance remains at or above 500,000 THB, the stay can be extended for a year.

If no travel occurs, you can remain in Thailand for the duration permitted by your Visa Extension. However, it’s essential to report your address to the Immigration every 90 days. This can be done online, but in our experience, if there are any issues, assistance can be sought to complete the process on your behalf.

Conclusion: Understanding the process of obtaining a Guardian Visa as a foreign parent with non-Thai children studying in Thailand is key to successfully securing the right visa for your circumstances. While the Guardian Visa is a good long-term option for parents, it’s important to note that it does not permit employment in the country. Seeking professional assistance and guidance can help navigate the complicated visa regulations and ensure a smooth transition for you and your family. Your children’s education and your stay in Thailand are important, and expert support can provide the answers and support you need throughout this process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, you can get a Guardian Visa if your child is not a Thai national as long as they are studying in Thailand.

To qualify for a Guardian Visa, you must prove that you are a parent of a non-Thai child studying in Thailand. Documentation such as a birth certificate and school registration documents will be required.

A Guardian Visa can be extended yearly just before its expiry. Additional requirements include having 500,000 THB placed in a Thai bank account for a certain duration.

No, the Guardian Visa is not suitable for work purposes. To work legally in Thailand, you will need to find employment and apply for a non-B visa, as well as obtain a work permit.

You can obtain a Guardian Visa either from the Royal Thai Embassy prior to traveling to Thailand or at a local Thai Immigration. School documents and your child’s Education Visa are necessary for the application.

Initially, a Guardian Visa allows you to stay in the country for 90 days. However, you can extend the visa yearly before its expiry and add a re-entry permit depending on your travel requirements.

To qualify for an extension, you will need to have 500,000 THB in a Thai Bank account for a specified duration. Additionally, you must notify your address to the Immigration every 90 days.

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