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VISA

Visa Requirements for Thailand

“Do I need a visa for Thailand? If so, how do I apply for one?” Visa regulations for Thailand are pretty confusing: not everyone needs one and rules for applying change on a regular basis. This page is all about informing you about the various “entries” and explaining the rules.

Update July 27, 2017:
Do you travel to Thailand regularly and do you have multiple Thai visa stamps in your passport? If so then Thai immigration services are liable to ask you for a payment of 20,000 baht in cash as “proof” that you’re not living and working in Thailand illegally. Other currencies or methods of payment are not accepted. There are no ATMs before arriving at the airport’s immigration services, so make sure you have cash in hand before getting on the plane. This rule doesn’t apply to tourists traveling to Thailand for the first time.

 

1. Visa-free travel

Currently, passport holders of 57 countries are allowed to travel, to Thailand without a visa, whether it’s by land or by air. This is generally referred to as the “visa exemption rule”. A visa-free entry doesn’t cost anything, but there are a few conditions that need to be met that differ from country to country. Consult the image below for more information about regulations for your specific country.

Conditions:

  • You’re visiting for tourist purposes only.
  • Your passport is valid for at least another 6 months on the day of entry and contains at least one blank visa page.
  • You arrive by plane. Rules occasionally differ for arrivals by land.
  • You have a valid return/onward ticket that clearly indicates that the date and time of your flight out of Thailand is within the maximum duration of authorized stay. Open tickets usually aren’t allowed. Bus, train and boat tickets to neighboring countries are accepted occasionally. These conditions weren’t put in place by the Thai government but by the Thai aviation industry, so for more information, we advise you contact your airline company.

As mentioned before, visa conditions are subject to regular change, so make sure to check this URL, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Thailand, for any last-minute updates.

Visa policy of Thailand

By Gorden Cheng – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12773076

90 days

Passport holders of the blue countries are allowed to stay in Thailand without a visa for up to 90 days, with a one-time possibility of a 30-day extension.

30 days waiver

Passport holders of the dark green countries are allowed to stay in Thailand without a visa for up to 30 days, with a one-time possibility of a 30-day extension.

30 days exemption

Passport holders of the light green countries are allowed to stay in Thailand without a visa for up to 30 days. This exemption may be awarded a maximum of two times in one year, be it for entry by land or entry by sea. There are no restrictions upon entry by air. Once again, there is a one-time possibility of a 30-day extension.

14 days

Passport holders of the purple countries are allowed to stay in Thailand without a visa for up to 14 days. Citizens of Myanmar only get a 14-day stay when entering by plane. Duration of exemption is unlikely to be extended. Contact the local embassy or consulate for more information.

2. Visa on arrival

Passport holders of the orange countries can apply for a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 15 days (visa on arrival). A visa on arrival cannot be extended. Submitting all of the required documents is followed by an interview on your traveling plans and accommodation(s) in Thailand, after which your application will either be accepted or denied.

Conditions:

  • You’re visiting for tourist purposes only.
  • Your passport is valid for at least another 6 months on the day of entry and contains at least one blank visa page.
  • You have a valid return/onward ticket clearly indicating departure within 15 days of arrival.
  • You have a verifiable overview of all accommodations booked
  • for your stay in Thailand.
  • You have a bank statement proving you to be the holder of adequate financial means (proof of adequate finances): at least 10,000 baht (250 USD) per person or 20,000 baht (500 USD) per family.
  • You filled in an application form (available on the spot (fill in with black or blue pen).
  • You have a recent passport photo, size 4x6cm.

Application fees are 1,000 baht before September 1, 2017, and 2,000 baht after this date. To be paid in cash, in the local currency.

Click here for an up-to-date overview of the conditions and the procedure.

3. Tourist visa (TR)

If you’re planning to stay in Thailand longer, or if you’re not eligible for visa-free travel or a visa on arrival, you can apply for a tourist visa. There are two types of tourist visas in Thailand: a single entry visa and a multiple entry visa.

It’s not possible to apply for a tourist visa on Thai soil. The application is done through your home country’s consulate or embassy. However, it is possible to do this elsewhere; like in a neighboring country (Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia).

Not all consulates and embassies issue both types of tourist visas. The application procedures differ as well; some apply stricter rules than others. That’s why it would be best if you make the necessary inquiries concerning the procedures beforehand, by contacting your home country’s embassy or consulate.

Click here for an overview of all Thai embassies and consulates in the world.

Visa type 1: Single entry (60 days)

A single entry visa is valid for a maximum of 60 days. A one-time 30-day extension is possible, which means that, potentially, you can stay in Thailand for 90 consecutive days. A single visa entry is valid for 3 months from the issue date.

Conditions differ according to consulate or embassy, but are usually as follows:

  • You’re visiting for tourist purposes only.
  • Your passport is valid for at least another 6 months on the day of entry and contains at least one blank visa page.
  • You filled in an application form (with a blue or a black pen). These are available on the spot, but you can also print a copy from their official website. Click here for an example of a filled in application form from the US.
  • You have two recent passport photos, size 4x6cm/2x2in.
  • You have a copy of your passport (page with photo).
  • You have a bank statement proving you to be the holder of adequate financial means (proof of adequate finances): at least 120,000 baht (500 USD) per person or 40,000 baht (1,000 USD) per family.

Conditions vary for minors traveling on their own. Contact your consulate or embassy for additional information.

Application fees differ per country:

Country Cost single entry visa
Australia 55 AUD
Canada 40 CAD
China 230 RMB
Europe (France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands) 30 EUR
India 2.000 INR
Japan 4.500 JPY
United Kingdom 25 GBP
United States 40 USD

Visa type 2: Multiple entry (3 x 60 days)

With a multiple entry visa (METV) you can enter Thailand three times, each time with a maximum authorized stay of 60 days. It is not possible to stay for 6 consecutive months: after every 60-day entry, you will be required to leave the country. However, it is allowed to leave and re-enter the country on the same day for the purpose of renewing your authorized stay. You can also extend your entry with 30 days, which opens up the possibility of a stay in Thailand for 90 consecutive days.

After the issue date, you have to enter Thailand within 90 days. The visa itself is valid for 6 months from the issue date, so not from the entry date.

Conditions:

  • You’re visiting for tourist purposes only.
  • On the day of departure from Thailand, your passport is valid for at least another 6 months and contains at least one blank visa page.
  • You have two recent passport photos, size 4x6cm/2x2in.
  • You filled in an application form (with a blue or a black pen). These are available on the spot, but you can also print a copy from their official website. Click here for an example of a filled in application form from the US.
  • You have a copy of your flight schedule or a print-out of your e-ticket, indicating your flight to Thailand (departing from the same country from which you applied for your visa) and a flight leaving Thailand. Your name is clearly identifiable on the documents.
  • Minors traveling with their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) will need to be able to adjudicate a copy of their birth certificate.
  • You have an employer’s declaration (proof of employment). Click here for an example.
  • Entrepreneurs must be able to adjudicate a copy of their “business license” or “business registration” (at least 6 months old), clearly indicating the name of the applicant.
  • You have a bank statement proving you to be the holder of adequate financial means (proof of adequate finances): at least 200,000 baht (5,000 USD) per person.

A multiple entry visa application requires you to be the holder of a bank account with funds equaling the amount of 200,000 Thai Baht. Please check what the requirements are with respect to this “proof of adequate finances” at your consulate or embassy, as some will agree to a print-out of a single bank statement of the most recent month, while others will need to see statements going back as far as six months, all of which will require an official validity stamp by the bank.

Conditions vary for minors traveling on their own. Contact your consulate or embassy for additional information.

Application fees differ per country:

Country Cost multiple entry visa
Australia 275 AUD
Canada 200 CAD
China 1.200 RMB
Europe (FranceGermanyItalyThe Netherlands) 150 EUR
India 10.000 INR
Japan 22.000 JPY
United Kingdom 125 GBP
United States 200 USD

4. Extend visa:

Both those traveling under the “visa exemption rule” and those traveling with a tourist visa can apply for a one-time 30-day extension at an immigration office, upon every entry in Thailand (30-day visa extension). Costs for a visa extension are 1,940 baht.

Example 1:

You travel to Thailand without a visa and are stamped for a 30-day free entry visa (visa exemption rule). This can be extended by another 30 days, allowing you to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 60 consecutive days.

Example 2:

You’re traveling with a multiple entry visa that’s valid for three 60-day entries. That’s a 6-month stay in total, during which you’re required to leave and re-enter the country every 60 days. Every entry can be extended by 30 days, allowing for a total of three 90-day entries, effectively constituting a 9-month visa. Applying for an extension of all three entries at the same time isn’t allowed; so if you’re planning on staying in Thailand for 9 months, you’ll need to visit the immigration office at least three times, each time paying 1,940 baht.

Application procedure

The following is required to apply for 30-day visa extension:

  • A valid passport.
  • A departure card (obtained at the border or in the airplane to Thailand).
  • A recent passport photo (4x6cm).
  • Cash: 1,900 baht per application + a 40 baht administration fee.
  • Copies of the first page of your passport, your visa, your most recent entry stamp and your TM. 6 departure card. Sign every copy.
  • Completed TM. 7 form (with blue or black pen). Click here for an example of a filled in application form.
You won’t need to wait for an extension until your entry is almost expired: the extra 30 days will be added to the original number of days of your entry.

At most immigration offices arrangements such as the filling out of forms and the taking of passport photos can made on the spot. Still, we advise to do it beforehand, as this will facilitate and speed up the process significantly. To be on the safe side, bring a black or a blue pen with you.

Bear in mind as well that immigration offices are government buildings and therefore have dress codes. So cover your knees and your shoulders, wear a nice pair of shoes and look presentable. As nowhere near everyone meets the required dress codes, employees will appreciate this and sometimes give you priority.

Immigration offices

All of them are closed during the weekend and public holidays, so make sure to check that before your planned visit as well. In addition, we would like to advise you to go as early as possible. Also, avoid Mondays and Fridays as those days are incredibly busy.

Click here for an overview of all immigration offices in Thailand. The best-known are:

Bangkok
Building B, 120 Chaengwattana Road, Thungsonghong Sub-District, Khwaeng Thung Song Hong, Khet Lak Si (map)
+66 2 141 9889
Mon-Fri 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, lunch from noon to 1:00 PM
Chiang Mai
Promenada Mall, 192-193 Moo 2, Tumbon Tasala, Amphur Muang Chiang Mai (map)
+66 53 201 755
Mon-Fri 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, lunch from noon to 1:00 PM
Koh Samui
333 Maenam Road, Soi 1 Moo 1, Tambon Maenam, Amphoe Koh Samui, Suratthani 84330 (map)
+66 77 423 440
Mon-Fri 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, lunch from noon to 1:00 PM

Overstay

Staying in Thailand longer than your authorized entry period is not allowed. For every extra day, you accumulate a fine of 500 baht, with a maximum of 20,000 baht (40 days). For overstays that exceed 90 days, you risk high fines, jail-time and being barred entry into Thailand. One day of overstay is tolerated; I (Mariska) wasn’t fined for my one day overstay. However, I was taken from the queue at immigration and an annotation was made in my passport. You won’t need to wait to extend until your entry is almost expired: the extra 30 days are added to the original number of days of your entry.