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Tourist visas for Thailand

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Tourism is a significant economic driver in Thailand, and in 2016 the country attracted 32.6 million tourists, which brought in THB1.64 trillion of revenue. In fact, tourist numbers rose by nearly 9% in 2016.

However, as a result of recent changes in Thai immigration regulations, it's important to be aware of up-to-date visa rules and how they affect you. Before you travel to Thailand, it's advisable to contact your nearest Royal Thai Embassy or a Royal Thai Consulate-General to find out the necessary requirements and procedures before you travel.

Visa exemption

Under the new provisions of the Visa Exemption Scheme and Bilateral Agreement, which has been effective as of 31 December 2016, citizens from certain countries are allowed to enter Thailand without a visa so long as they are entering strictly for tourism purposes and can present a return ticket that confirms they will be leaving Thailand within 30 days of their arrival. Each person may also need to show proof that they have funds of at least THB10,000 to support themselves during their stay.

If you are a citizen from one of these 55 countries and are entering Thailand at an international airport, you will receive a stamp on arrival that will allow you to stay up to 30 days in the country. Citizens from Korea, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Chile are permitted to stay for up to 90 days. So long as you enter by air, you can travel to Thailand as many times as you wish to each year without requiring a visa. However, if you enter the country by land or sea, the exemption is granted at most twice in a calendar year, unless you are a Malaysian citizen.

Visa on arrival

Citizens from 19 countries are eligible for a visa on arrival in Thailand, so long as they are travelling for tourism purposes and can provide details of a valid proof of address in Thailand. Those arriving by air will be given a 30-day stamp in their passport on arrival, but those crossing into Thailand by land will only be permitted to stay in the country for 15 days. According to the Thai Immigration Bureau, this new regulation has been created to encourage foreigners to secure a proper visa from a Royal Thai Embassy before their arrival in the country. If you are eligible for a visa on arrival, you will need to show proof that you are flying out of Thailand within 15 or 30 days of your entry date, depending on whether you choose to arrive by air or by land.

You will need to pay a fee of THB2,000 in cash on arrival, which is subject to change without notice, and you will need to provide evidence of at least THB10,000 to support yourself during your stay.

Tourist visa

If you are not from a country that has made bilateral agreements with Thailand to allow its citizens to be exempt from a visa or permitted to gain a visa on arrival, then you will need to apply for a tourist visa at your nearest Thai embassy or consulate before your trip. In general, the validity of a tourist visa ranges from three months to six months, but in some cases visas may be valid for one or three years. However, it's important to understand that that the period of visa validity is different from the period of stay. The visa validity is the period during which a visa can be used to enter Thailand, whereas the period of stay is granted by an immigration officer at the port of entry and is displayed on the arrival stamp in accordance with the type of visa. You can extend your tourist visa when you are in Thailand by submitting an application for an extension of stay at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok or at an immigration office in the provinces.

How to apply for a visa

To apply for a tourist visa, you will need to submit the following documents to your nearest Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General:

  • Your passport, which needs to be valid for at least six months after your entry date
  • A completed visa application form
  • A photograph (4cm x 6cm)
  • Your return flight tickets
  • Proof that you have at least THB20,000 baht to support yourself during your stay
  • US$30.00 (or equivalent) per entry.
  • Those who are travelling from/through these 45 countries will also need to submit an international health certificate to prove that they have had their yellow fever vaccination.

Consular officers may request additional documents when deemed necessary, so it is advisable to look presentable when you submit your documents. The visa fee is also subject to change, so it is a good idea to visiting your nearest Royal Thai Embassy or a Royal Thai Consulate-General to confirm details.

  Useful links:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Thailand
Thai Airways
Countries that have a visa exemption and Bilateral Agreements
Immigration Bureau

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
3 Comments
sandboxred
sandboxred
2 years ago

As citizen of Uganda, staying in Singapore on a visitor's visa, can I obtain a Thailand visitor's visa at the Thai embassy in Singapore (which is not the nearest to my home country)? Regarding funds, is a current bank statement with enough funds sufficient for the application, or is a bank history over several months required?

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GarethO
GarethO
3 years ago

British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa - this is known as a visa exemption. It?s not possible to extend your stay beyond the 30 days granted by the visa exemption. If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days, or you intend to work, you must get a visa before you travel. If you have entered Thailand on a visa, it?s possible to apply for an extension of stay but you must do this before your permission to stay expires. If you overstay, you?ll be fined 500 baht per day up to a maximum of 20,000 baht. You also risk being held in detention, fined, deported at your own expense and black-listed from re-entering Thailand. The Thai authorities have stated that they will always enforce detention for overstays of more than 42 days. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand/entry-requirements

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thetefldon
thetefldon
3 years ago

Land entries are now 30 days for citizens of G7 member states.

Reply

See also

Expats who want to work in Thailand will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa, as well as for a work permit. Certain occupations are off bounds to expats
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