Understanding Thai Tourist Visa Rules

Understanding Thai Tourist visa rules is important for a smooth and fun trip to this interesting country. Whether you're going for a short vacation or a long visit, this guide wants to give you the info you need to make your journey to Thailand as easy as possible.

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Ways to Enter Thailand

  • Visa Exemption: 

Some countries have an agreement with Thailand that allows their citizens to enter the country without a visa for a certain period, typically up to 30 days. However, the duration can vary based on nationality. Citizens from countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and most European nations enjoy this privilege. Check Visa Exemption Countries here.

  • Visa on Arrival: 

This visa allows a stay of up to 15 days.
Under the Visa On Arrival program, for passport holders of the following countries/territories who may apply for a VOA at the airport: Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu.  The visa fee of 2,000 THB will cost for these countries.

  • 60-Day Tourist Visa: 

Travelers can apply for a 60-day tourist visa at Thai embassies or consulates in your country before the trip. For even easier and more convenient options, you can apply for a Thai tourist visa online while Thai Kru can assist you with the process, eliminating any concerns.

  • 90-Day Tourist Visa Exemption:

Certain countries are granted a 90-day visa exemption when visiting Thailand. Argentina (90 days), Brazil (90 days), Chile (90 days), South Korea  (90 days), and Peru (90 days). This means travelers from these nations can stay in Thailand for up to 90 days without needing to obtain a visa in advance.

Visa Extension Options

  • Visa on Arrival Extension: 

You cannot extend your stay if you are on Visa Arrival. If you need to stay for longer than 15 days, then you should apply for a regular Thailand 60-Day Tourist Visa.

  • Visa Exemption Extension:

This type of visa can be extended once for another 30 days while in Thailand, requiring a visit to a nearest immigration office.

  • 60-Day Tourist Visa Extension: 

Travelers with a 60-day tourist visa can extend their stay for another 30 days by visiting an immigration office. This process can be done only once.

Flying into Thailand: Requirements

  • Return or Exit Ticket: Proof of a return or onward ticket is generally required upon arrival or when applying for a 60-Day Tourist visa.
  • Sufficient Funds: When applying for a 60-Day tourist visa, it's essential to provide financial evidence of at least 20,000 THB (Single) or 60,000 THB (Multiple). This evidence, such as bank statements or sponsorship letters, may not always be required for visa exemptions or on-arrival visas, but it's wise to carry proof of funds with you.
  • Address/Hotel: When applying for a 60-day tourist visa, you need to provide proof of hotel reservations to show during the application process. For visa exemption or visa on arrival, while not always enforced, having a confirmed address or hotel reservation is recommended.

Getting an Extension in Thailand

For extending your stay beyond the initial visa period:

  • Where to Go in Bangkok: 
    • Visa Exemption Entries - IT Square Laksi, Chaengwattana Rd, Talat Bang Khen, Lak Si, Bangkok 10210
    • 60-Day Tourist Visa - the Immigration Bureau office Government Complex (B Building, Thung Song Hong, Lak Si, Bangkok 10210
  • Outside Bangkok: 
    • The Provincial Immigration Office.

Requirements and Costs: 

  • Application form TM.7 (application must be made in person)
  • Copy of applicant’s passport
  • Photo 4 x 6 cm. (not older than 6 months)
  • Application fee 1,900 Baht.

Getting More of Tourist Visa

Border Run:

A "border run" involves leaving the country and re-entering to reset the visa. A brief trip out of the country and back in order to "restart the clock" on one's allowed period of stay, where it would otherwise have expired.

Flying Out vs. Taking a Bus:

  • Laos:
    • Flights from Bangkok to Laos.
    • By bus starting from Chiang Mai, regular buses run to Huay Xai, a Laotian town on the Thai-Laos border.
    • Starting from Bangkok, consider taking an overnight bus to Vientiane or a train to Nong Kai, both near the Thailand/Laos border.
  • Cambodia:
    • Flights from Bangkok.
    • By Bus : if you're near the Poipet border crossing. Cambodia's Poipet border crossing is the closest option for Bangkok residents.
  • Vietnam:
    • Flights from Bangkok or Chiang Mai
    • By bus, from Mukdahan to Laos then to Hue city Vietnam
  • Malaysia:
    • If you're in Southern Thailand, Malaysia is a viable border run choice for both bus and flights.

Frequency: 

  • If entering Thailand by land or sea, eligible travelers holding normal passports will be granted visa-free travel to Thailand twice per calendar year. There is no limitation when entering by air.

Recommendations Based on Stay Duration

  • 90 Days or More: Opt for the 60-day tourist visa and extend it once for an additional 30 days.
  • 60 Days or Less:  Apply for a 60-day tourist visa or enter with the visa exemption and extend it once for an additional 30 days.
  • 2 Weeks or Less: Utilize the visa on arrival or a visa exemption if your nationality allows it.

Planning your Thai adventure involves understanding the visa options, entry requirements, and extension processes that align with your travel plans. Keep in mind that immigration rules can change, so it's always a good idea to double-check with official sources before your journey. With this guide in hand, you're well-equipped to make the most of your time in the Land of Smiles.

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