Visa Options for Thai Business Owners
If you have the capital to start a business in Thailand, your money can open opportunities that most other would-be immigrants do not get. Let us tell you about your options for applying for a Thailand business visa, so you can start planning your move today. We’ll discuss viable options as well as methods that are not advised that some people will tell you to try anyway.
The typical Thailand business visa is better known as the Non-B or non-immigrant business visa. Depending on the length of validity of the work permit, this will cost between 2000 Baht for a three-month single entry visa to 5000 Baht a one-year multiple entry visas.
Once the Non-B visa is granted, and you finally make it Thailand, the permit gives the right to visit Thailand for as long as the visa is valid. It also allows the bearer the right to work in Thailand for as long as they wish. The holder may even start a Thai business, but keep in mind that since the Non-B is only valid for one year at most, you will have to renew it ahead of time to avoid the hassle of having to leave when it expires.
Possible, Non-O (Marriage or Child Support) or Non-B-BOI
A Non-O visa due to family relations can get you residency in Thailand. However, it presupposes getting a spouse or child who is in Thailand, so it is not available to all persons.
Non-B-BOI visa is the option for those who have significant funds. The government grants the permit on the presumption that the applicant has money to invest and intends to start a business in Thailand using the capital.
Not Possible (Non-O retirement)
There isn’t a retirement visa in Thailand. A Thai visa granted to retirees is a One-year O visa that gets extended year by year based on retirement. This is easy to obtain because the applicant must show that they make an income of at least 65,000 Baht (or about $2000 a month) or you have savings of 800,000 Baht (or about $25,000).
However, since the applicant is a retiree, they are likely older in age. Besides, there is an element of dishonesty if someone claims to be a retiree, then tries to apply for work in Thailand. We advise that you do not use a Non-O retirement visa to work. Get a Thailand business visa instead.
Tourist will need to change to Non-B
Thanks to the pro-tourist orientation of Thailand, a tourist visa is easy to obtain. The requirements are achievable since Thailand wants as many tourists as possible. However, once you get to Thailand, you can find work and use your earnings to finance getting a Non-B Visa.
Doing things this way is a little tricky since it assumes that you can find work once you are there. However, this is the way you can get a Non-B if your funds are limited or if you do not have a clear job waiting for you in Thailand at the time you made your plans to go there.
Thai Elite need to get Non-B, but elite status stays intact.
To get a Thai Elite, you need two things: lots of money and the willingness to spend much of it for the convenience of being placed on the fast track to immigration. Thai Elite visas as elite in the literal sense — the cost for one is astronomical compared to the other visa options we’ve discussed.
Nevertheless, for the privileged few who might be able to afford it, the Thai Elite provides a level of convenience and luxury that is unmatched.