Thailand is a welcoming country, regardless of whether you stay in the short term or the long term. As such, many foreigners have made the country their home, and some have had children with Thai partners during their stay.
But everybody’s circumstances are different and some people might wonder if they qualify for a visa. For example, some foreigners have Thai children but are not married, potentially leaving doubt over whether or not they can get the visa they need.
The good news is that you can qualify for a Thai-Child visa regardless of whether or not you are married.
The visa that lets foreigners stay with their children in Thailand is a variety of non-O visa. To qualify for this visa, you will need proof that you are the parent of a Thai child, which means you need to show a birth certificate.
Non O Visa is a single entry visa valid for 90 days which is extendable for a year. You can obtain a Non O Visa either at the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate or at a nearby Immigration office in Thailand. If you are a frequent flyer, you can add a Multiple Re-entry Permit to your stay which will allow you to fly in and fly out of Thailand as many times as you want. If you don’t fly at all, you can stay in Thailand straight for 15 months (initially), you will have to extend your stay yearly just before its expiry. In order to obtain a Non O Visa, one of the requirements is to have a Thai Bank account with at least 400,000 THB. You will need to keep the funds in your Thai Bank account at least for 2 months before you apply for an Extension of stay for a 12 months period.
Non O Visa single entry is valid for 90 days but is extendable for another 12 months. Therefore, it is one of the great solution for long term stay in Thailand as you can extend your stay yearly without even having to leave Thailand.
While a Non-O visa is usually the best option for people wanting to stay with their Thai kids, there are also other options. These options include but are not limited to the following:
Exempt Visa Stamp
Exempt Visa Stamp is when you walk through the Immigration at the airport and if you are one of the 64 countries, you will receive exempt visa stamp upon arrival. Please note, Exempt Visa stamp and On Arrival Visas are two different things. On Arrival visa is for those countries who can’t enter Thailand on an Exempt Visa stamp but can apply for Visa on Arrival and there are countries which must have a Thai Visa prior to arriving in Thailand. Exempt Visa stamp is usually for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days. It is strictly meant for short term holidays makers or short term visitors. This is probably the least suitable option but can still be useful in some cases.
For example, you might want to spend a couple of weeks with your Thai kid before making a more permanent move later, in which case entering Thailand on an Exempt Visa stamp can be ideal. However, you will need to find a better alternative for longer stays.
Many people will apply for a Thai tourist visa in their own country before heading to the land of smiles. Although you can also apply for them in any country with a Thai embassy or consulate, which includes neighbouring countries. Some of the Embassies may require you to be the resident of that country, depending on which passport you are holding. Therefore, always check directly with the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate prior to your visit.
A tourist visa is for 90 days but you will be permitted to stay for 60 days upon arrival. You will then have to extend it a nearby Immigration office for another 30 days, if you are from certain countries, you may get only 7 days. (7 days is not real extension of your stay, it is a denial of extension but gives you 7 days grace period to leave Thailand) You must not overstay your Tourist Visa in Thailand and Tourist Visa holders are not permitted to work, you must convert your Tourist Visa into work visa after your employer has successfully hired you. Overstaying Thai Visas and Working illegally in Thailand has some serious consequences.
Tourist visas are not a good long-term option because renewals and extensions are limited. However, they can make a suitable short-medium term solution.
A non-B visa is usually the best option for people who want to work in the country. The visa allows you to apply for a work permit which will let you work in the country legally, which is a godsend to many foreigners with families in the land of smiles.
Finding work and getting a non-B visa is one of the best options for people who want to stay with their children in Thailand. Not only is it a good long-term solution, but it also lets you work legally, helping you support yourself and your family.
How to Get a Visa?
You can apply and obtain at any Thai Immigration office inside Thailand or at the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate outside Thailand.
If you are in Thailand and have all the requirements then you don’t have to travel to the Royal Thai Embassy but in case if you don’t have sufficient days left on stay as required in order to process Non O Visa then you will have to visit the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate in a nearby country.
Neighbouring countries like Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia are popular options for people already in Thailand for their proximity. Other countries like Singapore and Hong Kong are also popular for people with a more flexible budget.
However, you can choose to apply from any country that has a Thai embassy or consulate, giving you plenty of options.
At least one overnight stay is usually required, and you will normally pick up your passport, along with your visa the day after you make your application. You can then choose to re-enter Thailand the same day or spend longer exploring your host country.
Simplifying the Process for You
All foreigners are bound by Thai law and there are no shortcuts. However, while getting a visa is essential, there are ways to help make the process easier and less of an inconvenience. One such step is to recruit the help of an online agency.
Here at Thai Visa Expert, we understand the processes involved in applying for a Thai visa regardless of your personal circumstances. We have helped numerous parents stay with their Thai child in the long term, and we can also help with any other type of visa.
Our team will take on as much of the work for you as we can and ensure all the correct documents are used. As such, you can have confidence in a smooth service that helps you stay in Thailand with your kids in the long-term.