A Guide to Thailand Visas

Thailand Visas, information on Visa requirements for Thailand

If you are coming to Thailand for a short stay, 30 days or less, and you are a holder of a Western passport, you do not need to apply for an official visa.  You will be granted a 30 day stay under the Tourist Visa Exemption on arrival at one of Thailand’s 6 international airports. (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phuket, Ko Samui) 
If you are arriving in Thailand from a neighbouring country at a land border, you will only be granted a 15 day stay.
You must have proof of an outward ticket and the purpose of your visit must be strictly for tourism.

As with most trips abroad, your passport must always be valid for at least 6 months before travelling to Thailand.

The Tourist Visa Exemption rule applies to passport holders from the following 48 countries, in alphabetical order:

Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam

If you know you will be staying longer than 15/30 days then you should apply for a 60 day tourist visa from a Thai embassy and this costs around £30. (at time of writing)

It is often confused, however the Tourist Visa Exemption is not the same as the Thai Tourist Visa on Arrival.

The Visa on Arrival rule applies to passport holders from the following countries 21 countries, again in alphabetical order:

Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Estonia, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

The Visa on Arrival can be obtained from all Thailand’s international airports and at most large border crossing points. 
You must complete an application form and supply a passport sized photo.   There is also a 1,000 baht fee.
The Tourist Visa on Arrival allows for a stay of maximum 15 days.

As with the Visa Exemption rule you must show proof of outward travel and have a valid passport.

Multiple Entry Non-Immigrant Visas are available for 90 days per entry and valid for one year.  The cost for this type of visa is around £100. (subject to change)  
These visas need to be obtained before arrival into Thailand and you need to be able to show a reason for your visit other than tourism.

Supporting letters and an application form is needed to apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa.

Categories for these visas are: 
B – Business or paid work
ED – Education, training course, attend a conference or to study as a Monk
M – Media, Journalist or Reporter
R – To perform Missionary work and Religious duties
RS – To conduct scientific research or teach at a research institute
O – Other activities

You should never overstay on any Thai visa as this can have hefty repercussions, including jail and deportation. 
You will also face a fine and once at the airport be required to pay a fee of 500 baht (£10) for every day that you overstayed.

Visas for Thailand are subject to change and current information should always be sort out before travel. 

There is also an official rule in place for all visa types that you need to be able to show financial proof for the duration of your stay in Thailand, usually around 10,000-20,000 baht (£200-£400) however this is very rarely requested at immigration.  

If there is any doubt about what visa you might need for your intended trip to Thailand, or for more information on Thai visas and their requirements, you should check with the Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country or seek out further information from a reliable travel agent. 

One Way Tickets:
Foreigners flying on a one way ticket into Thailand will not usually be permitted unless they hold a valid visa which allows for this situation.  
From our experience a B type Multiple Entry Non-Immigrant visa was considered valid for use with a one way ticket to Thailand.
For other types of visas that allow one-way travel, consult a Thai Embassy. 
Also check with your flight operator as they may be reluctant to board passengers travelling on a one way ticket even if you have a valid visa.

* please note, information correct at time of writing*

Sacha El-Haj – 8 Miles from Home

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