Thai O visas are the subject of a great deal of myth and misinformation. Although a useful visa under the right circumstances, if used for an improper purpose an O visa for Thailand could be more trouble than it is worth.
For family member of a Thai national or Thai Permanent Resident, the O visa is a logical and effective method of Immigration to Thailand. One of the most common uses of the Thai O visa is for non-Thai spouses of Thai nationals. For those legally married to a Thai, an O visa may be used to immigrate to Thailand. In a sense, when used by a non-Thai spouse in this way, the Thai O visa is similar to a
US Marriage Visa.
Unfortunately, many people use the O visa to visit Thailand improperly. Even though the Thai O visa is a kind of “miscellaneous” visa category for those who do not fit squarely into another visa category, Thai immigration authorities take a rather dim view of those using multiple O visas with no particular purpose for being in Thailand. For this reason, obtaining a Thai work permit on an O visa could be difficult. For those married to a Thai, a work permit on an O visa will very likely be granted (provided the applicant for a work permit in Thailand meets the prescribed criteria of the Thai Ministry of Labour). For those in Thailand on an O visa with no specific reason for presence in Thailand, a work permit could prove difficult to obtain.
An often asked question regarding Thai visas is: which is better, a Thai O visa or a Thai business visa? As a general rule, unless the applicant is married to a Thai or in any other way related to a Thai, the Business visa is likely a better immigration option. The business visa is less heavily scrutinized by Royal Thai Immigration because the visa holder’s purpose in Thailand is explicitly stated on the visa. Further a permit to work in Thailand is acquired with more ease on a B visa, versus an O visa. For these reasons a Business visa is probably a better option for those seeking a Thai visa.
For more information about the benefits of Thai O visas, Thai Business visas, and Thai work permits contact Integrity Legal regarding Thai Immigration options and strategies. Info@Integrity-Legal.com
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