What is the change? New procedures have been put in place for foreign employees of Board of Investment sponsored companies needing to transfer a visa from an old passport to a new passport when the existing visa was only granted until the expiration date of the passport.

What does the change mean? The new process entails additional steps, including applying for an extension and obtaining a new re-entry visa; therefore, employers and individuals should expect longer time lines when transferring visas.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visa transfers.
  • Who is affected: BOI-sponsored companies and their employees who need to transfer a visa to a new passport.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants must get the visa transfer before they can queue for a visa extension for the full duration of the work authorization in the BOI approval letter. The wait time at the One Stop Service Center is approximately 4-5 hours.
  • Business impact: BOI-sponsored companies should anticipate the longer process for employees requiring a visa transfer.

Background: Under the new process, an existing visa that was valid only until the holder’s passport expires will not be transferred to a new passport for the full work-authorization period per the BOI approval letter. As a result, the applicant must first apply for a visa transfer at the Service Center, then apply for a visa extension stamp for the full work-authorization period stated in the BOI approval letter. The government fee of 1,900 baht (about US$54) applies to the visa extension. Applicants should also then apply for a re-entry visa if they intend to travel abroad and return to Thailand.

BAL Analysis: Companies and employees should plan for longer timelines and a two-step process at the Service Center when transferring visas. BAL can assist in the process and reduce the employee’s queueing time at the Service Center.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Thailand. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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