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Staying in Thailand for 1 year

By doina — last modified Nov 05, 2007 12:10 PM

Published: 2007-11-05 12:10:35
Countries: Thailand

We are intending to sail into Thailand next year from New Zealand and want to spend about a year travelling both around the coast and some inland travel. I am having trouble finding information about visas as to whether it is possible in the first place or if we need to leave the country for a while and if so how long?

Have a look at www.thaivisa.com which has quite a lot of information for all things Thai related not just visas.

You can get a regular tourist visa usually a double entry which requires you to leave every 90 days X 2 entries.

That tourist visa can be obtained in Penang on the way up - I don't think it is worth getting in NZ as I am not sure how long you will take sailing up to Thailand.

You are also allowed to stay for 30 days without a visa when coming in by boat / land / air.

If you want to leave by land or plane the nominated captain (considered crew) will need to pay a refundable security of 20,000 Baht at immigration in Phuket Town to be allowed to leave by road or air.

This is a bond for the skipper not the boat and is paid as he or she is signing off the boat and is meant to be funds to cover getting them out of the country if the crew member decides to stay illegally. It is more related to ship's crew than yachts but they haven't a different rule for each.

There are some other limits on how long you can stay but most can be got around by swapping visa types and mixing it with the 30 day non visa entries.

Langkawi Island Malaysia is only 140NM south of Phuket dotted by Thai islands most of the way down so short hops if you decide to do the month by month non visa and leave by boat. You can stretch the month overall to maybe 45 days easily.

There are retirement visas also available but you need to be over 50 with 800,000 Baht in the bank in Thailand or proof of a income source that can support you while you are here

Check with your NZ Thai embassy as well

Bob Mott

SEA Editor Noonsite.

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