It is common for those that intend to stay in Thailand for extended periods to want to bring along their dependent children. This is allowable under Thai law. The immigration process can however be somewhat complex and require the preparation and submission of a lot of paperwork. Note that acquiring a dependent child visa will in large part depend on the kind of visa the sponsor or parent has. The kind of visa you will apply for is the Non-Immigrant “O” Visa for accompanying family members. This can be applied for dependent children, spouses, or parents.
Who qualifies for this visa?
The children or step-children of the sponsor parent working or living in Thailand can qualify for this visa. They must be under the age of 20 years. Children over the age of 20 years may only be considered under certain medication conditions that make them legally dependent.
How do I find out the requirements for a dependent child visa?
Given the complexities and many requirements, it is advisable to get in touch with professionals even before you travel with your child. Depending on which country you are travelling from, you may be required to provide additional official paperwork that would be more difficult to obtain if already in the Kingdom. You also have to be aware of timelines to ensure you submit your documents in good time without compromising your visa situation or that of the child.
With early consultation, you can ensure you have all the necessary requirements in order and improve the chances your application will be approved from the first submission. Our understanding of Thai immigration legalities and ability to effectively consult with authorities will help ensure you have all the information needed to meet the requirements. You can also consider getting in touch with the local Thai embassy in your country to determine what is required from you and your child.
What visa should be held?
The sponsor should be a long term visa holder. The dependent child must be their immediate relative. The visa holder should have any of these visas to apply for a dependent child visa:
- Hold a Non-Immigrant “B” visa and a valid work permit
- Hold a retirement visa with the dependants being under the age of 50 years
- Hold a Non-Immigrant “O” visa with a valid work permit for working in foundations and charities
How to prove the child is a dependent?
Part of the dependent child visa application process requires that you prove that the child is your dependent. This requires official documentation that ascertains the relationship between the sponsor and child. This should take the form of a birth certificate that indicates that the sponsor is the child’s parent. If the child is adopted, the adoption papers will need to be provided. This should include an official translation of the documentation in Thai. The documents will also need to be legalized by your embassy in Thailand before submission to the immigration office.
What is the visa application process?
The first step is to apply for a single entry visa for the child that will grant them a stay of 90 days. During this first 90-day period, the immigration office will seek to verify the documentation and information provided in your application. Once the verification is done and all is in order, you may then apply for longer extensions on this visa.
You may apply for extensions of up to a year at the local Thai immigration office thereafter. This can however only be done when you have at least 21 days validity remaining on the existing visa. This visa does not permit your child to work while in the Kingdom. If they want to work, they will need to follow the necessary process for applying for a Non-Immigrant “B” visa and work permit. This should be done through their employers.
The basic documentation required when applying for a dependent child visa include:
- Duly completed and signed application forms
- An original passport with at least 6 months validity
- Recent colour passport-sized photos on a white background
- Birth certificate or adoption papers of the child
- Copy of the sponsoring parent’s information page and Thai visa page from their passport
- Copy of sponsoring parent’s work permit
- Visa fee (amount will depend on which Thai Embassy you are applying at)
Documentation required may vary according to the Thai embassy or consulate you are applying through. More so for sponsor parents with work permits. Additional information may be sought on the employer including employee guarantee letter, company registration, shareholding list, company financial statements and VAT.
Enquire from us or the embassy to get the most up-to-date list of requirements. We recommend making this enquiry before travelling with the child so that if additional paperwork is required, you can easily obtain it. You may still apply for this visa when already in Thailand, but you run the risk of lacking certain documentation that can only be obtained from the other country.
What happens after I get the dependent child visa?
Just like the sponsor, the child is expected to submit a 90-day report at the nearest local immigration office. This should be done every 90 days, for the duration of their stay. It is to verify current address details. It may be done in person, through the mail or via an agent. You can also report online, but this can only happen from the second 90-day reporting. The first report must have been done in person or through the mail.
It should also be done within 15 days before or 7 days after your 90-day period expires. Failure to make this report can attract a fine of THB 3,000. It is however not a requirement if you have already travelled out of the country by the time the report was due. The visa is a single entry visa, however, when applying for extensions, it is possible to get a re-entry permit. This will be helpful if you intend to travel in and out of Thailand repeatedly with your child on the same visa.