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Immigrate to Thailand from South Africa

Immigrate to Thailand from South Africa

Immigration to Thailand from South Africa is possible through various types of visas and residence permits. Determining the type of pass one needs to obtain relies on the duration and purpose of stay.

Below, our lawyers in Thailand explained how to choose the type of visa one can apply for when moving to Thailand from South Africa. We offer tailored assistance in various types of relocation matters.

Types of visas for people relocating to Thailand from South Africa

Those who want to immigrate to Thailand from South Africa have plenty of possibilities in terms of visas and residence permits. They are divided into:

  • visas for short-term visits that allow stays of up to 90 days for activities like travel or business;
  • long-stay/non-immigrant visas are extended temporary visas that are available for study or employment under fixed-term agreements, requiring the holder to stay in Thailand for a predetermined amount of time, usually between 3 and 12 months;
  • Thai residence permits allow South Africans to live in Thailand for an extended period of time or permanently, usually more than 12 months.

Once one knows the reason for immigration to Thailand, he or she can request the services of our attorneys for support in starting the relocation formalities.

Non-immigrant visas for South African citizens relocating to Thailand

For those who immigrate to Thailand from South Africa and need to stay in the country for a longer amount of time for various purposes – such as business, work, or study – but do not intend to immigrate, the government grants long-stay visas.

The non-immigrant B visa is required for those who want to work in Thailand for a long time. Employment passes are usually issued for 90 days, however, if one meets the requirements, he/she may obtain a one-year visa. Also, one will need a work permit from the Thai Ministry of Labor and an offer from a Thai company.

Entrepreneurs in the scientific and technology sectors might be interested in Thailand’s Smart Visa initiative. Our attorneys in Thailand can offer more information on this option.

South African investors moving to Thailand to make investments or collaborate with Board of Investment (BOI) companies are advised to apply for a non-immigrant IB visa. They can stay for up to 90 days with an IB visa. They should submit a letter of permission from the BOI instead of one from the Ministry of Labor.

How to immigrate to Thailand from South Africa and obtain long-term residency

The long-term resident visa is one of the newest and most exclusive immigration schemes. Also known as the privilege visa, it allows those who want to relocate to Thailand from South Africa to live in the country for a maximum period of 20 years.

There are 4 categories of immigrants who can apply for this type of visa, along with their spouses and dependents. Each of them requires the applicant to have valid health insurance or social security benefits worth USD 50,000 that are valid in Thailand. Also, for every category of visa, a minimum payment must also be made. The lowest amount starts at TBH 900,000 (approximately USD 25,000) for a 5-year residence permit for Thailand.

Considering this is a new type of visa, our immigration lawyers in Thailand can advise on all the requirements of the Elite Visa Program.

Other immigration options for South African nationals

People who want to migrate to Thailand from South Africa can make use of various relocation means, including family reunions and retirement. For each of them, the requirements are specific which is why it is advisable to ask for specialized support.

Feel free to contact our Thai law firm and find out how we can help you emigrate from South Africa.