Located in the sunny south of Thailand, the town of Krabi is the gateway to a large number of picturesque tropical islands. Large numbers of people fall for region’s charms and decide to extend their stay here, and the first consideration is sorting out an appropriate Thai visa in Krabi.
Although few people relish the prospect of spending several hours at immigration, this is a compulsory part of staying in Thailand and it is best to get things right from the start. While smart tourists will be able to obtain visas in Krabi that last for as long as nine months, visitors who choose to study or work in Krabi should be able to score visas for 12 months without too much hassle.
Holders of passports from more than 40 different countries including the UK, EU countries, the USA, Canada, Australia and many others are able to obtain a visa when they enter Thailand without having to make any advance preparations. While those who arrive by air are granted 30 days, this is reduced to 15 days when crossing overland from a neighbouring country such as Laos or Cambodia.
Visa on arrival
Residents of 28 countries and territories will receive a visa for 15 days when arrive in Thailand at the border. However, these visitors are at the disadvantage of having to pay 1,000 baht for the privilege.
Tourist visas in Krabi
Visitors who travel to Thailand from one of the countries that is not listed above will need to apply for a tourist visa, which is valid for a total of 30 days.
People who hail from those countries that are granted visa waivers are also entitled to apply for a tourist visa that will permit them to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days.
In order to extend this visa, applicants need to present immigration officers with two photocopies of the arrival/departure card, additional forms and visa stamp pages of passport, as well as two passport-sized photographs and a fee of 1,900 baht. It is also possible to apply for multiple entry tourist visas, which give travellers up to three entries, which adds up to nine months when each entry is extended for 30 days.
Multiple-entry tourist visa: this recently introduced visa allows stays for 60 days per entry over six months.
Retirement visas in Krabi
Provided that you have 800,000 baht in the bank and are over the age of 50 with no criminal record, it is possible to obtain a retirement visa. This can also be granted for those who receive a regular monthly income of 65,000 baht or more, or who have 800,000 baht in savings held in a Thai bank account.
Non-immigrant visas in Krabi
Available to people who either look after Thai partners and/or children in Thailand or plan to work here, this visa for Krabi lasts a full year (unless employment is terminated). Non-immigrant visas in Krabi need to be applied for outside of Thailand and take around four weeks in total, while applicants are usually granted a temporary visa of 90 days will that go through the application process.
Types of non-immigrant visas
(find full conditions on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Non-imm B: this is a business visa that is reserved for anyone who has been given permission to work in Thailand. Of course, the proof of employment will need to be submitted at the time of application as well as details of the company, as each company that intends to hire a foreign national must have at least two million baht capitalisation and four Thai staff members. This type of visa takes around four weeks to receive from start to finish and is conditional on a work permit being granted.
Non-imm O-A: this type of visa can be granted to people who either wish to retire in Thailand or are staying here in order to look after Thai dependents – wives and children. Successful applicants need to produce a lot of paperwork to obtain this visa, and retirees must be able to prove that they have an income of 65,000 baht per month or have savings of 800,000 baht or more, as well as ID documents. Having a Thai marriage certificate is essential for obtaining spousal visas in Krabi, as well as either proof of a monthly income from abroad or least 400,000 baht in a Thai bank account.
Non-imm Ed: this is a great way to stay on Krabi for up to 12 months. Thai language courses are offered by language schools, who will provide all the necessary paperwork, for a fee of around 20,000 baht.
Other types of non immigration visas are less common and include;
Non-imm M: journalists who wish to work and are endorsed by an accredited media agency can apply for this type of visa.
IM: investor visas must be approved through the Board of Investment. They are also available for people who want to set up a business on Krabi and have the necessary financial means. Lasting for up to three years, these visas can be rather tricky to obtain but are worth the effort.
Permanent residence in Krabi
This type of visa is regarded as the Holy Grail by those who want to make Thailand their permanent home. One of the things that makes application for this visa so tough is that applicants have to take a rigorous Thai language and culture test and produce documents to prove that their backgrounds are squeaky clean. The fee for this type of visa is 195,000 baht (97,500 if married to a Thai national), while the application fee alone is 5,000 baht, which is payable even if your application is rejected.
Overstays and extensions in Krabi
The staff at Krabi’s immigration office will be able to extend your visa, provided by you have enough funds. It is possible to extend your tourist visa once only for a period of 10 days, which costs 1,900 baht.
Overstaying your visa is the last thing you want to do as you will be charged 500 baht for every extra day you remain in the Kingdom. This fee goes as high as 20,000 baht, and travellers who overstay by more than 40 days at a time may be detained by the authorities.
Immigration Department blues
The ‘Tor Mor’, as it is known in Thai, is a department of the Royal Thai Police and deals with some 200,000 visa applications a year in the best tradition of government bureaucrats. Few expats can speak positively of their annual visa run-around, which usually involves multiple visits, long queues and blunt staff. Although the department has tried in recent years to streamline and improve their services, a great deal of patience is required when dealing with them. You can expect some rather petty ‘barriers’, which might be smoothed out if you left it all to an expensive lawyer.
Krabi Immigration Department
Sai Thai, Mueang, Krabi 81000. Tel: (075) 611 097
Opening Hours: 08:30-12:00, 13:00-16:30 (Monday-Friday).
Try to get to immigration as early as possible as queues tend to be the shortest around opening time.