Visa Reciprocity for Thailand

Visa Reciprocity is an agreement between two countries on the terms and conditions for issuing visas to nationals of the reciprocal country. Generally, there is an agreement to treat the other countries nationals with the same conditions and limitations that they treat their nationals. However sometimes a visa reciprocity is a retaliatory action as in response to additional costs or actions which a foreign county imposes on the retaliatory nation’s citizens. An example of this is if a Country A charges an additional requirement for citizens of Country B, Country B may impose the same requirements to the citizens of Country A.

Visa reciprocity can traditionally be classified into four separate grouping – types of visa which can be issues, the visa issuance fee (MRV), the maximum number of times the applicant can use the visa, and the validity period of the visa. The reciprocity agreements are generally internationally standardized but sometimes a nation may reduce the terms validity period or entry period below those that are internationally recognized.

In Thailand, there is a limitation for visa reciprocity for E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Investment visas. While most nations allow a visa holder to receive a multiple entry 60 month visa, the Thai government imposes a single entry 6 month visa on United States citizens.

The United States has issued a reciprocal visa limitations on Thai citizens entering the United States. Thai nationals need to enter the United States within 6 months of receiving their E-1/E-2 visa and needs to reapply for a new visa after each exit outside the United States, Mexico, Canada, or Caribbean. This visa reciprocity agreement places a heavy burden on American Citizens investing in Thailand and on Thai Citizens investing in the United States.

Prior to applying for a specific non-immigrant visa, it is important to review the United States Department website to review the visa reciprocity schedule. Visa reciprocity agreements are constantly updated and may affect your decision on which type of visa is best suited to your requirements.


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Category: US Immigration, US Investor Visa

About the Author (Author Profile)

Mr. Robert R. Virasin is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, Mr. Virasin completed his Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston and a Masters of Laws (Business) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Mr. Virasin is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is a licensed U.S. attorney with over 15 years of legal experience. Robert is a regular contributor and author of a number of immigration related articles.