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Planning a business trip to Thailand from Singapore? Right at the top of your to-do list should be getting yourself a Thailand business visa.
With the right visa, you’ll be able to enter the Kingdom of Thailand for business meetings, contract negotiations and perhaps even entrepreneurial opportunities.
Read on to find out more about the different Thai business visa types, how to apply and of course, how much it costs.
And once you’ve got your visa sorted, don’t forget to take a look at the Wise multi-currency account for convenient, low-cost spending during all of your business trips - in Thailand, Singapore and all over the world.
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Singapore is one of a number of countries eligible for Thailand’s visa exemption scheme. However, it only applies to tourists, who can visit for up to 30 days visa-free¹.
If you are heading to Thailand strictly for business purposes, it is recommended to apply for a visa.
As a Singaporean business visitor to Thailand, you have a few options when it comes to getting a visa. Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of Thai business visa available:
It may not have the catchiest name, but this visa is tailor-made for business travellers wanting to enter Thailand for business meetings, investments and other commercial activities.
It’s a single-entry visa, valid for 90 days. However, you can potentially extend it, or apply for a re-entry permit if you need to return to Singapore and come straight back to Thailand.
This is a new type of Thai business visa aimed at tech-focused entrepreneurs, startups, investors and executives wanting to work in Thailand.
If you work in an eligible industry (such as smart electronics, biotechnology, digital, robotics to name just a few) and meet other strict income and employment criteria, you may be granted a four-year Smart Visa. You’ll be exempt from the work permit requirements, and will also benefit from other privileges. ³
If you’re a Singaporean citizen with an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card, you can enter Thailand without a visa. ⁴
All you’ll need is a Certificate of Entry and a valid passport, along with an APEC Business Travel Card with ‘THA’ on the reverse.
This grants you fast track access into Thailand for business trips of up to 60 or 90 days ⁵.
The documents you’ll need to provide depend on which kind of Thailand business visa you’re applying for. But as a guide, here’s what you’ll need for the Non-Immigrant Visa-B (Business):²
- A completed online visa application - you’ll need to do this at least 10 working days before travelling
- Recent passport-size photographs of yourself
- Your Singapore passport, with at least 6 months validity remaining
- Letter of invitation or other documents from a relevant company in Thailand, stating the purpose and duration of your business trip
- Authorised documents from your current employer in Singapore
- An original bank statement showing deposits amounting to around S$22,000 over the last 6 months
- A valid Certificate of Entry (COE) - you can apply for this online with a copy of health insurance documents and a valid ticket with Singapore Airlines.
Singapore citizens can apply for a business visa for Thailand, from the Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore⁶. You can do this online⁷, or submit your application in person. Make sure you have all the relevant documents ready, or you could face a delay in your application being processed.
It usually takes between 3-5 working days ⁶ for Thai business visa applications to be processed. However, it can take longer (around 10 working days) if you go through a visa application agency.
Now for the important matter of how much it costs to get a Thailand business visa. If you apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa-B (Business), the fee is S$100 for a single-entry visa. If you’d like to apply for a multiple-entry visa, it could cost up to S$500 depending on the length of validity. ⁸
If you’re eligible for the Smart Visa scheme, the fee to apply is S$500. ⁸
With your Thai visa sorted, it’s time to make other essential preparations for your business trip.
To make it cheaper and easier to cover your business and personal expenses while you’re away, take a moment to open a multi-currency account with Wise.
You can hold Thai baht, Singapore dollars and up to 50 other currencies in your account at once, switching between them when you need to.
When it comes to spending, whether it’s booking travel and accommodation or simply buying lunch, you can use your linked Wise multi-currency debit card. This automatically converts the currency, with no hidden fees. So you can just tap, pay and get onto the next meeting.
And that’s pretty much it - everything you need to know about getting a business visa for Thailand from Singapore.
The Kingdom is pretty welcoming to business visitors from Singapore, especially if you have valuable skills in a tech-focused industry or want to invest in Thailand. Good luck with your business trip!
Sources used for this article:
- Royal Thai Embassy - Visa Exemption Scheme
- Royal Thai Embassy - Non-Immigrant Visa-B (Business)
- Royal Thai Embassy - SMART Visa
- Royal Thai Embassy - APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)
- The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card
- Royal Thai Embassy - Instructions For Visa Application
- Royal Thai Embassy - Comments on the revised visa exemption regulation
- Royal Thai Embassy - Visa Applications Fees
Sources checked on 12 February 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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