The use of a Thai Visa application to generally refer to visiting the immigration office or Thai embassy/consulate overseas to obtain, renew or extend an entry permit is a common misnomer among baffled neophyte expats in Thailand. While the difference doesn’t really matter to the common Thai visa applicant whose main concern is to successfully obtain his pass, it certainly helps to be familiar with these different terms especially for future reference in relation to the maintenance of your long term visa in Thailand. Moreover, it also facilitates a more efficient communication with your visa agent who may be well-versed with these common terms and may be using it to explain the procedures to you.
Below are the common terminologies that are used in applying for a Thailand Visa:
Thai visa application as the word implies generally refers to obtaining an entry permit from the Thai embassy or consulate abroad. Depending on your circumstances and the type of entry permit being applied for it can also be done inside Thailand. Thai Visa application is the initial procedure prior to Thai visa extension as current entry permits are subject to extensions when needed. For example, the usual retirement visa application procedure starts with a NON O Visa application from the Thai embassy applicant’s home country. This is usually a 90-day pass. The same process goes with the Non B application. An initial 90-day B visa is given to the applicant during the application. These initial visas are then extended into one year retirement or one year or another 90 day B visas as long as the requirements are met.
Thai Visa extension, therefore, is carried out to lengthen or extend current entry permits whose validity is due for extension. The extension is granted as long as requirements are met. Extensions are normally done at any immigration office across the kingdom. A 60-day tourist visa for example can be extended for one month at the at the immigration office for a fee of 1900 Baht.
Thai Visa Conversion refers to the switching from one visa type to another. Say a business to a retirement visa. There are certain travel documents that can be switched without the necessity to leave Thailand. If you have a competent visa agent then you may need to go out of the country anymore when switching the said travel document into another type.
Thai Visa renewal is another term you may need to wont yourself to especially if you are not a Thai PR holder in Thailand. Most long term entry permits are good for one year however they are subject to renewal with the proper requirements. A retirement visa for example is renewed for another year as long as you have the required funds. A marriage visa can be renewed as long as you are still married and you have the required funds. The good thing about this type of renewal is that it’s simple and straightforward as long as you have the requirements.
Thai Visa Validity refers to the entire period the visa is valid. This is normally stamped in your passport when you enter to Thailand so you have to be wary with this date to avoid overstay fine later on. This should not be confused with the validity of the visa (or the grace period) prior to entering Thailand once the visa is obtained from the Thai embassy abroad. This is normally indicated with the phrase “ENTER BEFORE (DATE)” in the visa itself.