Staying in Thailand as a monk on the "ELITE" visa

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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unassumingtable
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 4:05 pm

Staying in Thailand as a monk on the "ELITE" visa

Post by unassumingtable »

Hello dhamma practitioners,

I have already read through many of the previous forum posts about visa related issues for foreign monks living in Thailand.

Before ordaining, I have the opportunity to purchase a 20 year "ELITE" Thai tourist visa. I'm wondering if it's acceptable for a monk to hold this type of visa, or if it would be necessary to go the route of a "type R" non-immigrant visa instead.

The person I spoke to at Thailand elite told me "no, this is only a tourist visa, you need a special visa to be a monk", but it seems strange to me that they would confiscate the visa simply because one ordains as a monk. So I would really appreciate any firsthand experience, if someone here has tried using the ELITE visa while living in Thailand as a monk.


Here is a relevant and indescribably relatable meme which another user posted in a previous thread:

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BKh
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:43 am

Re: Staying in Thailand as a monk on the "ELITE" visa

Post by BKh »

Monks have special status in Thailand. For example when a form has a check box for sex, I believe it has male, female, and monk. Also, I believe that when a Thai national ordains, they have to give up their visa if they wish to leave the country and apply for a new monk-vias. So the notion that different rules apply for monks is not a strange one. As well, the government wants to keep special control over foreign monks. If that was an immigration officer that gave you the information then it is surely correct.
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Staying in Thailand as a monk on the "ELITE" visa

Post by JamesTheGiant »

Wow, how can I get a 20 year visa to Thailand!? :heart:
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JamesTheGiant
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Staying in Thailand as a monk on the "ELITE" visa

Post by JamesTheGiant »

I looked up 20 year Elite visa, and all I'd need is to pay $29,000 USD. Hmmm... maybe I'll pass on that! :tongue:
unassumingtable
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 4:05 pm

Re: Staying in Thailand as a monk on the "ELITE" visa

Post by unassumingtable »

BKh wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 2:47 am Monks have special status in Thailand. For example when a form has a check box for sex, I believe it has male, female, and monk. Also, I believe that when a Thai national ordains, they have to give up their visa if they wish to leave the country and apply for a new monk-vias. So the notion that different rules apply for monks is not a strange one. As well, the government wants to keep special control over foreign monks. If that was an immigration officer that gave you the information then it is surely correct.
Thanks for the info. :anjali: It wasn't an immigration officer who told me this, it was a sales rep for the Thailand Elite company.
Last edited by unassumingtable on Mon May 23, 2022 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
santa100
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Re: Staying in Thailand as a monk on the "ELITE" visa

Post by santa100 »

JamesTheGiant wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:39 am I looked up 20 year Elite visa, and all I'd need is to pay $29,000 USD. Hmmm... maybe I'll pass on that! :tongue:
One can opt for the lower option which costs only 17,569 USD, according to Thai's embassy site: https://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand-vi ... elite-visa

But I could be wrong cuz in the states: 600,000 Thai bhats means six hundred thousands, not six hundreds bhats ( which would be: 600.00 bhats , in US notation)
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Goofaholix
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Re: Staying in Thailand as a monk on the "ELITE" visa

Post by Goofaholix »

You are probably best to ask this question on the Thai Visa forum https://aseannow.com/forum/61-thailand- ... on-forums/

I don't know the rules for this type of Visa but it doesn't surprise me that you can't ordain on this tyype of visa as countries have different visa types for different purposes for a reason. Unless the rules have changed since I last looked at it foreign monks have to register with the headquarters of the sect they have ordained in and verify their visa status and prove they are still a monk each time they renew their visa.
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