At a Glance
- The Immigration Bureau, One-Stop Service Center and Provincial Immigration Offices in Thailand now require nationals of 47 African countries to submit a police clearance certificate when filing their long-term visa applications.
- The additional document requirement can lengthen the visa application process by approximately 10-15 business days and requires an appearance at the National Police Bureau in Bangkok or the provincial police office where the foreign national resides.
- This change only affects the principal applicant (not dependents) and only impacts applicants from companies not registered with the Board of Investments.
The Immigration Bureau, One-Stop Service Center (OSSC) and Provincial Immigration Offices in Thailand now require nationals of 47 African countries to submit a police clearance certificate (PCC) when filing their long-term visa applications.
A closer look
- Affected countries. The additional document requirement affects foreign applicants from the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Affected applicants. The PCC is required for initial and renewal long-term visa applications filed by the principal applicant with the Immigration Bureau, OSSC, or Provincial Immigration Offices. It will not be required for applications filed by applicants from Board of Investments-registered companies.
- Personal appearance required. Applicants must appear at the National Police Bureau in Bangkok or the provincial police office with jurisdiction over their place of residence to obtain a PCC.
- Additional documents and costs. Affected foreign nationals will need to provide additional documents to support their PCC application, will need to pay a THB 100 fee (approximately USD 3.25) and submit their fingerprints.
- Potential delays. Government processing of the PCC will lengthen the long-term visa process by approximately 10-15 business days. This does not include the time to travel and appear before police officers. As such, this can delay the long-term visa process.
Thai immigration authorities are placing greater scrutiny on screening visa applications from African nationals due to recent trends showing that the highest number of criminal cases involving foreign nationals in Thailand include nationals from this region.
Authorities will likely continue implementing stricter documentary requirements for the foreseeable future. There are also indications that it may be expanded to other nationalities including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda and others.
Fragomen will closely monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.