September 5, 2013

In August new regulations came into effect which link the maximum validity of a Thai employment visa to the employee’s passport. Additionally, the visas for dependents of the employment visa holder will also expire, at the latest, on the expiration date of the employee’s passport, regardless of the expiration date of their own passport. This change was implemented by the Head Quarter of the Immigration Bureau on August 13 and by the One Stop Service Center on August 26.

For employees currently holding visas with an expiration date later than the expiration date of their passport this means that they will need to apply for an extension once they obtain a new passport, as if their visa was expiring itself; transfer of the visa from old to new passport is no longer possible. The same documents as for a normal extension are required, including the extension fee.  Dependents are then able, and advised, to apply for an extension of their own visa with same validity as the employee’s visa. Overstay is penalized by a fine of 500 Baht per day.

Pro-Link GLOBAL advises foreign employees with passport validity of less than 1 year to renew their passport before applying for their first Thai visa or before the start of their (normal) visa extension.