Visa transfers to new passports getting greater scrutiny

2 Sep 15

THAILAND

IMPACT – LOW

What is the change? Individuals seeking to transfer an existing Thai visa to a new passport are likely to face greater scrutiny from immigration authorities over passport requirements.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals transferring a visa to a new passport must show that their old passport was stamped with a cancellation by their embassy and must procure a letter from the embassy confirming that the old passport is being replaced.

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas, except tourist visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who have acquired a new passport and are applying for a visa transfer.
  • Business impact: Visa transfers may be rejected and business schedules interrupted if applicants fail to present the required documents.

Background: Recent applicants have found that authorities are now strictly requiring an embassy letter during the visa transfer (“transfer of endorsement”) process. This documentary requirement is not new, but in the past was only lightly enforced.

A visa transfer is mandatory for foreign nationals applying for a visa extension, because the new passport is needed for the application. A visa transfer is also required when a visa holder’s passport contains no more blank pages.

BAL Analysis: To avoid potential delays and rejection of applications, foreign employees should be aware of the strict enforcement of required documents when applying for a visa transfer to a new passport.

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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