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nylilly May 14th, 2018 08:57 AM

90 Days in Thailand - Visa questions
Hello -
My 19 y/o son is booked to visit Thailand beginning in early July. He's participating with an international organic farming initiative, i.e. WWOOF. He's American with a U.S. passport. I'm trying to balance being helpful while also giving him the independence to figure things out for himself, but the visa requirements are confusing me. It seems that he can enter the country for 30 days without a Visa, but for longer stays a Visa is required. He will only be entering the country once and I think he can get a 60-day tourist Visa, but how does he extend the visa for the additional time he'll need? If he's a volunteer who will be working (uncompensated beyond room and board), is he still a tourist rather than a worker? We would have to mail his passport in to have the Visa placed within it. Does anyone have experience doing this? Does the Visa become active upon issue or upon arrival?

I apologize for all of the questions, but travel to Asia is an unknown and I'm finding it a little daunting.

Thanks - Silvia

Kathie May 14th, 2018 09:12 AM

He should get a visa covering his whole 90 day stay before going to Thailand.

nylilly May 14th, 2018 09:17 AM

How? I haven't seen that as an available option. Any chance you might be able to direct me to whatever office might be able to assist with this?

MmePerdu May 14th, 2018 09:21 AM

It's my understanding that any work, including volunteer work, in most places is regarded as "work" and cannot be embarked upon with just a tourist visa. Regarding all the implications, have you spoken to the organization that is arranging his stay? They would have the experience to know the ins & outs as it applies to your son's particular circumstances. I wouldn't proceed without reliable information. If he doesn't qualify for the program he could still travel in the region, enter & leave Thailand and maybe enter again, while seeing more of SE Asia.

crellston May 14th, 2018 09:35 AM

The fact that he is working, even though he is not being paid likely means that he will have to apply for a non immigrant B visa, rather than a tourist visa ( although many do volunteer on tourist visas, albeit technically illegally)

Probably best to contact the Thai embassy well in advance. There is a lot of info on the Thailand Foreign Ministry website @ Thailand Visa Information - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand although it is not easy to follow. Given his age it would be wise to ensure that he has the required proof of enough funds to maintain himself whilst there. I think it is 10 or 20 k Baht

SirHalberd May 15th, 2018 05:24 AM

Apply for a 60 day tourist visa that he extends for 30 days will give him 90 days. If he tries to enter Thailand using the free 30 day Visa Exemption he will need a verifiable flight out of Thailand before the 30 days is up. This is proof of onward travel. He may not even be able to leave the home airport without a flight out of Thailand within 30 days. With a tourist visa he can enter without a verifiable flight and extend. At the 60 day point some tourists fly to a second country for a few days and when they fly back to Thailand they will get the free 30 day Visa Exemption stamp in their passport. (Assuming he has a verifiable departing flight home or to another country.)

Yes, a work permit might be needed to be legal. Penalty could be jail time at least getting kicked out of the country. Thailand is very protective of foreigners taking work away from Thai citizens. (Unlike other countries who don't seem to care!)

What does WWOOF way about visas and if work permits are needed? If this is considered "education" or "training" there are visas for that too.

Besides visas he should make himself aware of scams to avoid. Know how to handle his money, how to use ATMs, etc. If he intends to ride a motorcycle or scooter he needs a proper license for that too. Motorcycle accidents accounts for a very high percentage of death and injuries to tourists. He will need some sort of medical plan to pay for medical care if in an accident, gets sick somehow, falls in a hole, etc. Riding a bike and getting in an accident without proper license might void medical plans. There are tourists in Thai hospitals pleading for money to pay for their care.

Google search can be useful. Visit a Thai embassy or at least pull up their website for information. Below forum caters to expats. Thai Visa Forum. (Like me at times, they can be snarky in the comments but usually the information can be helpful)

Google search for WWOOF Thailand:

July is not too far away.

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