Non-Immigrant Visa-M

Guidance for foreign journalists who wish to work in Thailand

1. Filing for Request

A journalist who wishes to receive permission to work in Thailand as correspondent in a representative office of a foreign news, newspaper, television or radio agency in Thailand, and who wishes to live in Thailand for up to one year or over without having to extend visa every 3 months, can file a request (together with the important documents listed under 2.) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for approval.

Please contact directly with:

1) the Press Division, Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 443 Sry Ayudhya Road, Bangkok 10400. Tel (662) 6435105, Fax (662) 6435106-7.

OR 2) the Royal Thai Embassy, 370 Orchard Road, Singapore 238870 (please also email the supporting documents to helpdesk@thaiembassy.sg)

2. Specific Requirements for a Media (M) Visa

A foreign journalist must send in the following documents to the Press Division in Bangkok:

2.1 An official letter from the news agency he or she is working for to introduce the journalist to the Director-General of the Information Department and to confirm the appointment of the journalist to work in Thailand;

2.2 The journalist’s resume;

2.3 Details of background, circulation, list of owner and editor(s) of the publication;

2.4 A copy of valid passport (expiry date must be no less than 6 months from the day the application is submitted to the embassy); 2.5 identity card of the journalist issued by the news agency and any other relevant documents should you feel that they will help support your application;

2.5 At least three examples of published news reports or other forms of news reports, especially those related to Thailand, that has been done in the past by the journalist in English (if it is not in English, the translation in English is necessary).
- For print media, we require originals of the publications in which each article has been published. Clippings or photocopies are not acceptable
- For television reporters, CD or DVD of the aired segments is required.
- For radio journalists, radio producers or other off-air personnel, CD of the programs is required.
- For television cameramen, producers and directors, CD or DVD of the sequence of credits of the programs containing their names.

2.6 Two photographs
Note: Other relevant documents are required if members of the journalist's family wish to accompany him/her to reside in Thailand. Eg. a copy of marriage certificate and birth certificate

2.7 Application fee of SGD $100 (CASH ONLY)

3. Processes and Procedures

3.1 Request directly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- submit relevant documents to the Press Division at least 1 month prior to your date of departure for Thailand;
- the Ministry will seek necessary information from the respective Thai Embassies or Consulates-General where the headquarters of the journalist's news agency is located;
- the Press Division will schedule the journalist for an interview after receiving all the relevant information from the Embassies and Consulates-General;
- if the permission is granted, the Ministry will issue 3 letters of acknowledgment to the relevant governmental agencies;
- for the journalist who has obtained non-immigrant visa category "B", the visa will be renewed without having to leave the country; - for the journalist who has obtained visa category "TR" * must leave the country in order to obtain non-immigrant visa category "M" before reentering Thailand.

3.2 Via the Royal Thai Embassy of Singapore -submit relevant documents at least 1 month prior to your date of departure for Thailand - contact helpdesk@thaiembassy.sg or Tel: 6737-2475-6 after submitting the documents to make an appointment for an interview with a member of the Embassy;
- Embassies / Consulate-General will forward all relevant documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand;
- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will notify the decision to Embassies / Consulate-General;
- If the permission is granted, the journalist will be issued a 90-day non-immigrant visa, category "M";
- after arriving in Thailand, each journalist must contact the Press Division, Information Department, at the earliest occasion, to report of his/her arrival;
- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue 3 letters** of acknowledgement certifying the eligibility of the journalist.

** One of the letters is to be presented to the Department of Public Relations for the issuance of the journalist's Thai press card. The other two letters are to be presented to the One-Stop Service Center for the application for work permit and visa as well as permit of stay extension.

Please be informed that, in all cases, it takes approximately 1 month to process the document. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore have the right to reject any applicants who submit their request less than 1 month prior to their departure and/or have insufficient documents in suport of their applications.

** If his/her visa is going to expire/has been expired while waiting for the process. It is the journalist's responsibility to obtain another valid visa.

4. Thai Press Card

A Thai Press card is the journalist's personal identification while working in Thailand and is needed in order for him/her to be able to attend official functions, press conference and briefings. The press card is usually issued within a week upon receiving your application, and must be renewed every year.

For further details regarding other required documents to apply for a Thai press card, the journalist should contact the Foreign Office, Public Relations Department (7th floor), Soi Aree, Thanon Phaholyothin 7, Samsen Nai, Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Tel: 0 2618 2323 Ext. 1700, 1708-09.

5. Work Permit and One-Year Visa Extension

The One-Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits, located at, Rasa Tower 2, 16th Floor, 555 Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok. Tel. 0 2937-1155, Fax: 0 2937 1191, will process both the work permit and visa as well as permit of stay extension within three hours, assuming all necessary supporting documents are provided.

6. Renewal of Work Permit and Visa Extension

A journalist, who is still working with the same news agency, and wishes to renew work permit and visa, can do so by summiting the following documents:

6.1 an original letter from the news agency, confirming the appointment of the journalist to work in Thailand.

6.2 a copy of passport indicating name and number of passport, as well as the expiration date of the visa;

6.3 a copy of the press card and work permit;

6.4 An application form for media registration together with one photograph

6.5 at least three samples of published news reports or other forms of news reports by the journalist (please see detail in 2.5);

All documents must be submitted at least one month in advance of the expiration date. For further information, please check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website
(http://www.mfa.go.th/web/830.php)