Visa Section

As way of a brief introduction, we have been working in Chiang Mai for the last 10 years primarily focused on visa issues. Having processed 1000s of visa for ex pats in Chiang Mai we have a great understanding of the visa systems and regulations. One thing to note however is the officers have a large amount of discretion, which is why there are often 2 or more answers to the same question! Currently visas in Chiang Mai are processed at the Immigration office just before Chiang Mai airport. The current concerns that most people have are as follows; TM30s Health insurance linked to visas Changing regulations related to visas Boarder runs and Tourist visas (entry requirements) Although these concerns are warranted once understood they aren’t problematic. So to start with TM30, this is the require for the home owner to report any foreigner staying in the property within 24 hours. This has been enforced in Chiang Mai for almost 2 years, however only recently has it been done in Bangkok and this is where a lot of complaints are coming from. Due to the backlash the TM30 can now be done online and they are continuing to roll out an app from immigration. Failing this you can update in person at the immigration offices. Health insurance linked to visas is a huge concern to many. The main reason being people with health insurance already may not qualify, people without it may not be able to be insured and finally if they are able to insure they may not be able to afford it. Whilst we always recommend to all of our clients to take insurance cover, we understand its not always possible. For the moment the requirement to have the insurance doesn’t look like being brought in. So like most things with Thai immigrations our suggestion is to not worry until the regulations are passed and enforced. If you have lived in Thailand for longer than a few months you will be very familiar with the changing rules of immigration. Luckily we are at immigration everyday so we see the changes as they are being brought in. Many people however only deal with immigration once a year, and so the changes that occur can be a large shock. We still receive emails from clients who only just found out their embassy will no longer issue income statements, even though this has been the case since January! The rules do change and the best way forward is to be proactive with your visa. Seek advise and if you are unsure go and talk to an expert. The online forums tend to do more harm then good, as stated above there can often be 2 or 3 different answers to the same questions and they may all be correct. Every visa case is judged on the individual application, and the officer can always request more information. Finally we get a lot of questions about 30 day visa on arrival, and people being turned away at the airport. An easy fix for these situations is as follows; If you intend to stay in Thailand get on the right visa. There are many options and if you are unsure contact an agency to help. If you are only coming in on a visa exempt, make sure you have funds available (20,000 Thai Baht) a return ticket and a hotel reservation or an address where your staying. Where possible you should always try to enter Thailand with a visa this will limit any problems you can have. We are always happy to answer any questions and if you have any visa concerns feel free to contact info@assistthaivisa com.

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