Step 2: Entering Thailand Legally – External Visa

Congratulations on your acceptance into the COC or Haven Foundation. It is now time to begin your application for a visa to enter Thailand.

This visa is being issued subject to the agreement you have made with COC or Haven Foundation pertaining to your intended activity whilst in Thailand. You are not legally able to undertake any volunteer or work activity outside of your agreement with COC or Haven Foundation, unless prior approval is given by Headquarters. Essentially, the Foundation is telling Immigration that the Foundation is endorsing your honesty and integrity in relation to your intended activities in Thailand.

PRIOR TO ENTERING THAILAND: External Visa Application

  1. Ensure that you (and all travelling family members) have at least 12 months validity on passports. You will be required to apply for a new passport in your home country prior to arriving in Thailand if you have less than 12 months passport validity.
  2. Member needs to use the visa application form on your local Thai Embassy/Consulate website. Make sure you read this form thoroughly and advise the Legal Department of the following:
    • Which Embassy / Consulate you intend to apply from (this will impact on the language we write the letter in).
    • Any specific information this form states is required to be included in the Foundation Invitation “Notary” Letter.
    • The anticipated visa processing time frame and your intended travel dates.
  3. Legal Department provide required Foundation documents to accompany your visa application (1500 TB).
    • The invitation letter will request a three month, single entry, Non-Immigrant “O” visa. This is a standard time frame and will be extended in Thailand. We ask that you do not apply for a different time frame, unless this has been approved by the Legal Department.
  4. Filling out the application form:
    • Visa Type: Non-Immigrant “O” – Volunteer / NGO, single entry.
    • Role / Job Description / Purpose of Visit etc.:  Volunteer. It is extremely important that you write “VOLUNTEER” on your application form. DO NOT write anything else (e.g. teacher, social worker, pastor etc).
    • Duration of visit: three months.
    • Thai guarantor:
      • COC: Jonathan Vickers, National Chairman Christian Outreach Centre Foundation, 78 Theparak Road, Chang Puak, Muang Chiang Mai 50300, +66 (0)53 212 904.
      • HAVEN: Jonathan Vickers, National Chairman, 78 Santisuk Road, Chang Puak, Muang Chiang Mai 50300, +66 (0)53 212 892.
    • Ensure you have prepared all other documentation required as listed in the application form (differs per Embassy)
  5. Your visa will be issued by the Embassy/Consulate.
  6. Member to advise Legal Department via email of success of visa application and final arrival date.



*The same processes as above apply. However, you will need to leave Thailand and apply at an international Embassy/Consulate, then re-enter Thailand on your new visa. All family members will need to travel for the new visa to be placed in their passport.

*Ensure that you have discussed with the Legal team any requirements regarding cancelling previous visas, e.g. education visa, business visa, non-immigrant O visa from another Foundation.



Now that you are ready to travel, we need you to be vigilant and undertake the following during your travels:

  1. At the airport in Thailand
    1. Show Immigration your Non-O visa (otherwise they will stamp you as a tourist).
    2. Check the date on your entry stamp (and visa if they stamped this). Ensure this clearly states “non-o” visa type and the date of entry is correct. If it is not correct, you need to go back to the issuing officer for this to be changed.
    3. Check your “departure card”- keep this stapled to your passport at all times.
  2. Contact with the Legal Department – Head Quarters and Branch Office
    1. Provide a copy of your visa, entry stamp and departure card within 24 hours.
    2. Provide you current address and telephone number as soon as you are aware of these – if not provided prior.
    3. Make an appointment with your local branch office to attend and have your passport photocopied by the Legal Team.
  3. You must carry your current visa (i.e. passport) on your person at all times, as this proves your right to be in the country. You may choose to carry a photocopy at your personal discretion, however be advised that this may not be satisfactory to Police if they request to view your current visa.


WELCOME TO THAILAND. You are now ready to move onto Phase 3: Work Permit Application and Maintenance