Getting a tourist visa for Thailand

Traveling in Thailand

At 29 May 2022, the corona measures that have been stopping us from traveling for 2 years seem to be lifted more and more. And people start traveling again worldwide, also to Thailand. And you might be wondering "Can I travel to Thailand again?". Yes you can!

But there are some things you should know. First of all at this moment of writing there are still some health measures for entering Thailand and about health measures in general in Thailand. But this information is changing so fast and there is so much gossip about it that I am not going to waste my time with it. Best is to inform at your local Thai embassy or consulate. The bottom line is at the moment you still need to apply for a Thailand Pass and you still need to proof that you have a healthcare insurance. And bottom line at the moment is that wearing a face-mask in public places is still compulsory. But you might find more up-2-date information about that with facebook page Richard Barrow in Thailand.

So then what is this Travel Tip Thailand about? It is all about the immigration regulations for entering Thailand as tourist with an ordinary passport. Reading questions from people it looks like there are many misunderstandings about this. If you are planning to travel in Thailand and need help with planning then send me a email at The Little Elephant in Thailand.

First of all, just like at any other country you will need permission to enter & stay in Thailand. The immigration officer at immigration of the airport will give that permission in de form of an Entry Stamp. But for immigration we are not all created equal so there are some rules about who will get permission to enter and how long you can stay. At the entry stamp is written until what day you are permitted to stay. So check this and remember this when you enter Thailand! Be aware that overstaying is a criminal offense!

Visa On Arrival

First of all there is a group of passport holders that have to apply for a Visa On Arrival (VOA) at the airport. And with that VOA they can enter & stay in Thailand for max. of 15 days. This includes passport holders from Bulgaria, China, India, Taiwan and a few more. Be aware that the list of this countries can change. Also be aware that some of these passport holders can extend their stay with 7 days (costs 1.900 baht), but some other passport holders with VOA can not extend their stay at all.

Tourist Visa Exemption

Then there is a group of passport holders that can enter Thailand without a visa and they will be allowed to stay in Thailand for 30 days entering via any land-border or airport. And they can extend their stay with another 30 days. This includes passport holders from Belgium, Australia, Germany, France, USA, UK, Sweden and many more.

Tourist Bilateral Agreement

Then there is a group of passport holders that can enter Thailand without a visa and they will be allowed to stay in Thailand for 14 days (Cambodia and Myanmar), 30 days (Hong Kong, Laos, Russia, Vietnam) or 90 days (Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Peru, Chili). Be aware that not all passport holders with Tourist Bilateral Agreement will be able to extend their stay in Thailand.

Tourist Visa

If you want to stay longer in Thailand as mentioned above or if you are not a passport holder that grants your visa free entry to Thailand then you will have to apply for a Tourist Visa at a Thai embassy or Thai consulate. More and more embassies & consulates are requiring that you apply at an embassy or consulate  of the country of your passport. Also more & more embassies & consulates are offering only E-Visa. There are 2 types of Tourist Visa : Single Entry or Multiple Entry. And there is a Special Tourist Visa (only single entry).

A Single Entry Tourist Visa gives you the permission to stay max. 60 days in Thailand. This visa is valid for 3 months. This means that within the validation of this visa you can enter Thailand one (1) time and you will get an 60 days entry stamp. And this can be extended one (1) time with another 30 days.

I will try to make it more clear :
You applied & did get a Single Entry Tourist Visa on 10 March 2022 and on the visa is stated that the visa must be used before 9 Juni 2022. That means between 11 March 2022 and 9 Juni 2022 you can enter Thailand and you will get a 60 days entry stamp. So if you would enter on 25 May you would get an entry stamp until 25 May + 60 days = 25 July. But once you did enter Thailand your single entry tourist visa becomes invalid. That means if you would stay 20 days in Thailand and go to Laos for fun, when you come back your entry stamp and tourist visa are not valid anymore and you will get a new entry stamp based on your passport.

A Multi Entry Tourist Visa also gives you permission to stay max. 60 days in Thailand. But this visa is valid for 6 months and you can enter Thailand as many time as you like (multiple times). Every time you enter you will get a 60 days entry stamp. Your last stay of 60 days can be extended with another 30 days. This means that if you would exit & enter Thailand on the day before the end of the visa you will be given another 60 days entry stamp. And this could be extended one (1) time for 30 days. So you could actually stay in Thailand in total for 6 months plus 60 days plus 30 days. Be aware that not all embassies or consulates are giving this type of Multi Entry Tourist Visa.

Special Tourist Visa gives you permission to stay max. 90 days in Thailand. This is only available as single entry and gives you permission to stay in Thailand for max. 90 days. This visa is valid for 3 months. Your permission of stay can be extended twice, each time for max. 90 days. So you could stay max. 3 times 90 days in Thailand.

Applying for E-Visa

You can apply for a E-visa at Thai E-Visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand. Be aware there are many websites claiming to be the website to apply for e-visa for Thailand but really there is only 1 correct website for this.

Extending your stay

When you are almost at the end of your permission to stay in Thailand you can apply for a permission to stay longer, this is called an Extension of Stay. 
  • Where : At any immigration office nation wide in Thailand
  • Costs : 1.900 Thai baht
  • Needed : Passport, Application form and money.
  • What you get : Stamp in your passport with a new date until when you are allowed to stay in Thailand. 

Other immigration requirements for entering Thailand

Immigrations also requires you to proof that you are leaving Thailand within the timeframe you are permitted to stay in Thailand. Now actually immigration might not bother to check it but they can if they not like you. But airlines are requited to check it and it is their responsibility to transport you back if you are not allowed to stay in Thailand. So they will check your visa and flight data.

Immigrations also requires you to proof that you have enough funds to pay for your stay in Thailand. Personally I have never been asked for it, but again they can if they not like you.

Border bouncing

This is when you are staying in Thailand and you permission of stay is almost finished then you just go over land to a neighbouring country and once there you go back again to Thailand. Very easy if you are one of the passport holders that will get a visa exempt 30 days entry stamp. Actually in the old days some people where living in Thailand like that for many years. But since a few years that is not possible anymore, at least to a maximum of 2 times per year as the government of Thailand made a new law : You can only enter Thailand over land twice (2 times) per year. And also entering Thailand as tourist multiple times per year by air might get you in trouble (refused entry).

Links to more information

Disclaimer : All information is created in good faith and is an expression of fair comment.

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Chang Noi Traveling in Thailand

A non-commercial travelogue to promote traveling to Southeast Asia since 2009, made for the sheer love of traveling and to make off the beaten track places more accessible for English speaking tourists and people living in Thailand. To travel beyond just the highlights. Enjoy! You do not have to become a (paid) member, there are no advertisements and you can use / copy all information from this travelogue as long it is not for commercial use and as long you refer to this travelogue.

One night in Bangkok and the world is your oyster

I belong to that race of men that don't fit in, a race that can't sit still, so they break the hearts of kith and kin and they roam the world at will. In 1985 I started to roam the world at will in Indonesia & Thailand and since then I did not stop. And now living in Thailand I am still roaming the world. If you have a question or need help in planning your holiday in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam ? Send me an email at Chang Noi Traveling in Thailand.

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