Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Visa Rules

When you start traveling more and stay for longer periods of time then you need to start getting familiar with Visa Rules.   I never used to pay much attention to be honest, I have a Canadian Passport and most countries will issue visa on arrival.  Even when I lived and worked in Europe for a couple years I never ran into any issues even though visa rules say I can only spend 6 months out of the year in Europe.  Perhaps having been born in Europe helped and speaking German fluently.  It sure helped when getting pulled over doing 220km/h in a 120km/h zone, but that's another story.

Now that I live in Thailand I have to pay closer attention to Visa Rules.   The Thai Visa Rules just changed and now you can only get 30 days on arrival (via plane) and renew 1 time for another 30 days.  Thereafter you have to leave again and re-enter.   Entry by land can get you less time, 15 days.  And border guards now check for proof of at least 20,000 Baht.

Some other visa options are a work-visa.  No thanks! :)   Retirement visa, age 50 and up.  (Still have a few years to wait on that one) which gives you a 1 year visa that is renewable every year.   Or in my case an education visa which gives you one year and can be renewed once, maybe twice, but you have to leave the country and come back.   Since I want to learn the language and have time on my hands this is what I chose.   Traveling every 60 days and re-entering is another option but to be honest I don't want to go because I have to, but rather travel when I feel like it.  With an education visa (as with work and retirement visas) you can also buy motorbikes, cars, and get Thai driver's licenses).

Lately I have been getting the travel itch again and I'm starting to miss some aspects of Western lifestyle.  So I'm considering going back home to Vienna Austria again for a couple weeks and potentially set up shop for 6 months out of the year.  There or in Malta.   Or perhaps Spain.  Somewhere warm would be nice with European food and culture.  Only downfall is that the food, although very good, isn't as healthy as Thai cuisine, and sure is more expensive to dine out.

Oh one visa I forgot is the family visa, if you are married to a Thai or have Thai children then you also have one year renewable visas without needing to re-enter Thailand.

When it comes to Visa Rules you are best off checking your destinations visa laws if you plan on staying for 30 days or longer.   Some countries like Russia, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia are tougher too and you need all sorts of paperwork.

You have heard of first world country problems.  Well I suppose you can call these Day Trader problems.  I don't know about you but I like to stay in a place for more than a few weeks and set up some sort of a comfortable trading environment.  Budget-wise being able to rent long term has it's benefits too.  1 week in a hotel is the equivalent to 1 month's rent in a house.  So it pays to stay longer.