The industry of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) is an industry that generates 7.55 percent of all tourism revenue, with an average spending of people entering Thailand on MICE purposes more than three times higher than an average spending of general tourists and with an average stay of 5.28 days per visit. In 2013, the industry earned 88,485 million baht for Thailand, or 7.55 percent of all tourism revenue, with a growth of about 11 percent compared to a year earlier. In the same year, 1,013,502 people entering the country for MICE, with most of them coming from People’s Republic of China, India, Malaysia and Japan.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor, Immigration Bureau and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (public organization) have realized the importance of MICE industry and would like foreigners entering Thailand for MICE to have a better understanding about types and procedures of visa and work permit application. The following information, therefore, is released:
||Type of Visa
1. Foreigners entering Thailand for the purposes of being “employees or contractors of organizers of conferences and seminars” to make the conferences or seminars happen are regarded as working under Foreigner Working Act of B.E. 2551 (2008). They must apply for a work permit with Ministry of Labor, except for entering to work on needed and urgent matters for a period of no longer than 15 days. In that case, they shall submit a Tor Tor 10 form.
Non-immigrant visa code B
2. Foreigners entering Thailand for the following purposes of trading and investment are not regarded as working and need no work permit and no Tor Tor 10 form:
- Participating in meetings, conferences or seminars
- Attending exhibitions or trade shows
- Visiting businesses or having business meetings
- Attending special or academic lectures
- Attending lectures at technical trainings or seminars
- Purchasing goods at trade shows
Foreigners entering Thailand for MICE without the purposes of being employed or working for income, but being event attendants will be regarded as tourists under the definition of Tourism Authority of Thailand Act of B.E. 2522 (1979).
Remarks: Foreigners of certain nationalities who are allowed to enter Thailand without visa or who are allowed to apply for Visa on Arrival (VoA) are able to look for information on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
** To avoid problems on travel, foreigners who have a visa to enter Thailand should understand about visa validity and period of stay. Visa expiry refers to the amount of time people get a visa to travel to Thailand. The consular officer will determine the age of visas and visa stickers will appear on the visa or stamp of the Embassy or Consulate General. In general, the age of visa is 3 months starting from the date its issued. But in certain cases and for certain categories of visa expiry may be six months or one year or three years. The period of stay, means the time traveler is allowed to stay in Thailand. The immigration officer will determine the length of stay of foreigners on arrival. And will appear in the inlet seal. The period of stay depends on the type of visa, such as the transit visa will be allowed to stay for up to 30 or 60 days and non-immigrant visa is 90 days, if there is a need to address over the period. Such a time is allowed. Foreigners must apply for permission to stay at the immigration office. (With offices in Bangkok and provincial) Otherwise, if over the maximum period allowed. It will be fined 500 baht per day.
- Tourism Authority of Thailand Act of B.E. 2522 (1979)
- Foreigner Working Act of B.E. 2551 (2008)
- Memo of Office of the Council of State No. 152/2556
- Website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Website of Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor http://www.doe.go.th
Please visit Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more information.