Since the memorable visa changes on the 1st October 2006, the city of Penang in Malaysia has become a host to hundreds of visa seekers on a weekly basis, as this seems to be a less harsh consulate to do business with. In Penang there is an array of visa agents willing and waiting to help you with your visa requirements but the visa you was hoping for is not necessarily the visa you are given.
Like all Thai consulates around Asia it is all about the correct documentation you present that makes a trip to a consulate more successful. If you are planning to use the services of a visa agent like Key Visa then always check you have the correct documents before you travel. Since the visa rule changes in October 2006 anybody under the age of 50 years and not married to a Thai citizen and not working with a valid work permit and without a valid visa in your passport it has been made very difficult to stay in Thailand for long periods of time. The 90 days in a 180 days period put a stop to the monthly
Cambodian visa run people, so the 60 day tourist visa from Penang become very popular in the respect that after your 90 days had finished you can then go to Penang and obtain a single entry tourist visa allowing you to re-enter Thailand almost immediately, given you 60 days on entry and then an option to extend for 30 days at your local immigration office. This is a life line for people wanting to stay in Thailand longer. But in October 2007 they announced that in Penang they are restricting applicants to three tourist visas only, meaning three trips to Penang. But be careful because they can count previous 60 day tourist visas issued at other consulates and include these in their decision when issuing and then you have to visit a different consulate around Asia.
In September 2007 there was a life line given to people married to a Thai citizen it was announced that non-immigrant O type visa multiple entry were available, but like all visas issued there is a criteria. If you are legally married to a Thai national and you have 400,000.00 baht in your Thai bank then there is the option in Penang to get the multiple entry non immigrant O type visa. If you are married to a Thai national and don’t have the money in the bank then you can be awarded with a single entry non-immigrant O visa 90 days. You can ask the consulate or your agent to try for a multiple entry but without the money in the bank it is very unlikely they will issue. You must always check with your agent or consulate before traveling to ensure your documents are correct.
The clients we see on a daily basis that seem to come up against problems in Penang are traveling to obtain a non-immigrant B type visa which is classed as a business visa.
The main reason for this is because the documentation is incorrect. To obtain a non immigrant B visa from a Thai consulate around Asia you must either have a current work permit still in date or show the consulate you have applied for a work permit from