Thailand visa requirements  |  New Zealand

Thailand Visa Requirements for New Zealander Citizens.

Updated 1 month ago at Sat, Jun 01, 2024
Visas  |  Requirements  |  Demographics  |  Crime  |  Food  |  Culture  |  Fundamentals  |  Relationships  |  Visa Extension


  Visa Duration

60 Day Visa Exemption is available for New Zealander citizens

30 days Extension

15 Day Visa on Arrival is NOT available for New Zealander citizens

15 days
no Extension

Tourist Visa is Available for New Zealand

60 days
30 days Extension

Destination Thailand Visa is Available for New Zealand

6 months
6 months Extension

Retirement Visa is Available for New Zealand

1 year
1 year Extension

Retirement Visa 10 Year is Available for New Zealand

5 year
5 year Extension

Education Visa is Available for New Zealand

varied Extension

Business/Work Visa is Available for New Zealand

1 year
1 year Extension

Marriage Visa is Available for New Zealand

1 year
1 year Extension

Family Visa is Available for New Zealand

3 Months - 1 Year
varied Extension

Privilege/Elite Visa is Available for New Zealand

5/10/20 years
varied Extension

LTR Visa is Available for New Zealand

5 years
5 years Extension



Population and Size of Country

Thailand has a significantly larger population compared to New Zealand. As of recent estimates, Thailand’s population is around 70 million, whereas New Zealand’s population is approximately 5 million. In terms of land area, Thailand covers about 513,120 square kilometers, making it larger than New Zealand, which spans approximately 268,021 square kilometers.


Thailand is predominantly ethnically Thai, with over 90% of the population identifying as such. There are also minority groups including Chinese, Malay, and various hill tribes. New Zealand’s population is more diverse; around 70% identify as European (Pākehā), 16.5% as Māori, 15% as Asian, and 8.1% as Pacific Islanders.


In Thailand, Buddhism is the dominant religion, practiced by about 95% of the population. Islam is the second largest religion, mainly in the southern provinces, followed by Christianity and other religions. New Zealand is more religiously diverse; about 48% identify as Christian, while a significant portion (around 38%) claim no religious affiliation. Other religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.


Thailand has a higher GDP in absolute terms due to its larger population and economy. As of recent data, Thailand’s GDP is approximately $543 billion USD. New Zealand’s GDP is smaller at around $250 billion USD. However, on a per capita basis, New Zealand’s GDP is higher.

Population Age Brackets

Thailand has an aging population with a median age of around 40 years. The proportion of people aged 65 and over is increasing. In contrast, New Zealand has a younger median age of around 38 years, though it too is experiencing an aging population trend.

Men vs Women

In both countries, the gender ratio is fairly balanced but slightly favors women. In Thailand, women make up about 51% of the population, while men account for around 49%. In New Zealand, women also constitute about 51% of the population, with men at approximately 49%.

Source of Popular Types of Income

In Thailand, the economy is diverse but heavily reliant on manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. Key exports include electronics, automobiles, and agricultural products like rice and rubber. Tourism is also a significant source of income.

New Zealand’s economy is driven by agriculture, particularly dairy, meat, and wool products. Tourism also plays a crucial role in the economy. Additionally, New Zealand has a growing technology sector and significant contributions from forestry and fishing industries.


Violent Crime

In comparison to New Zealand, Thailand generally has a lower incidence of violent crime. However, it is still important to remain vigilant, particularly in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. Violent crimes against tourists are relatively rare but can occur, especially in nightlife districts. It’s advisable to avoid confrontations and be cautious in unfamiliar areas.

Casual Crime

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching, and theft are more common in Thailand than in New Zealand. These incidents often occur in busy markets, public transportation, and crowded tourist sites. Travelers should keep an eye on their belongings, use anti-theft bags, and avoid displaying valuables openly.

Crimes of Passion

Crimes of passion, including domestic violence and bar fights, can be more visible in certain areas of Thailand, particularly where alcohol consumption is high. While tourists are less likely to be directly involved, it is wise to steer clear of heated situations and avoid excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to altercations.

Safety for Solo Women Travellers

Thailand is generally safe for solo women travelers, but extra caution is advised. Harassment and unwanted attention can occur, especially in nightlife areas. Women should stick to well-lit and populated areas, avoid accepting drinks from strangers, and consider using reputable taxi services or ride-hailing apps for transportation.

Walking Around at Night

Walking around at night in Thailand can be safe in well-populated and tourist-friendly areas. However, some neighborhoods may become less secure after dark. It’s advisable to stay in well-lit areas, avoid walking alone in secluded places, and use trusted transportation options when moving around late at night.


Scams targeting tourists are more prevalent in Thailand than in New Zealand. Common scams include overcharging by taxis or tuk-tuks, gem scams, and fake tour operators. Travelers should agree on prices beforehand, use official taxi stands or ride-hailing apps, and book tours through reputable agencies. Being aware of these common scams can help travelers avoid falling victim to them.


New Zealanders visiting Thailand will find some delightful similarities and exciting differences in the culinary landscape. Both countries emphasize fresh ingredients and have a strong seafood culture. However, Thai cuisine is renowned for its intricate balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.

In Thailand, travelers can enjoy a variety of street foods and local dishes. Pad Thai is a must-try; this stir-fried noodle dish combines tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar with shrimp or chicken, and is often garnished with peanuts and lime. Another popular dish is Tom Yum Goong, a hot and sour soup with shrimp, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chili.

Seafood lovers from New Zealand will appreciate dishes like Pla Pao, a salt-crusted grilled fish stuffed with lemongrass and served with a spicy dipping sauce. There’s also Som Tum, a green papaya salad that’s both refreshing and spicy, often accompanied by sticky rice.

For those seeking comfort food, Khao Pad (fried rice) is similar to New Zealand’s fried rice but with the addition of Thai spices and herbs. Green Curry (Gaeng Keow Wan) is another staple, featuring tender chicken or beef in a rich coconut milk base with green curry paste, bamboo shoots, and Thai basil.

Dessert options include Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Mamuang), where sweet mango slices are paired with sticky rice soaked in coconut milk. Another option is Roti Gluay, a Thai-style banana pancake that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Overall, while New Zealanders might recognize some familiar elements in Thai cuisine, the unique blend of flavors and preparation methods offer an exciting culinary adventure.


Cultural Differences and Social Etiquette for New Zealand Travellers in Thailand

Making Friends: Thais are generally warm and hospitable, but relationships often start more formally. Politeness and respect are key. Use the traditional greeting, the “wai” (a slight bow with palms pressed together), especially when meeting elders or in formal settings. Smiling is an essential part of Thai culture, often used to diffuse tension and show friendliness.

What to Do:

  • Respect Elders: Always show respect to older people. This includes offering them seats and allowing them to speak first.
  • Dress Modestly: Especially when visiting temples or rural areas. Shoulders and knees should be covered.
  • Learn Basic Thai Phrases: Simple phrases like “Sawadee” (hello) and “Khop Khun” (thank you) go a long way.
  • Remove Shoes: Always take off your shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple.

What Not to Do:

  • Avoid Public Displays of Affection: Holding hands is generally acceptable, but kissing and hugging in public are frowned upon.
  • Don’t Point Your Feet: Feet are considered the lowest part of the body and pointing them at people or religious objects is disrespectful.
  • Don’t Touch the Head: The head is considered the most sacred part of the body, so avoid touching anyone’s head, even children.
  • Avoid Loud Behavior: Thais value calmness and self-control; raising your voice or showing anger in public is considered rude.

Habits Not to Bring from New Zealand:

  • Casual Attitude Toward Time: While New Zealanders may have a relaxed attitude towards punctuality, Thais appreciate timeliness, especially in professional settings.
  • Overt Directness: Thais often communicate indirectly to avoid confrontation. Being too blunt can be seen as rude.

Deportment and Respect:

  • Public Presentation: Dress neatly and conservatively. Cleanliness and grooming are important.
  • Public Transport Behavior: Keep your voice down on buses and trains. Offer your seat to monks, elderly, and pregnant women.
  • Respect for Monks: Women should avoid physical contact with monks. Men should also be respectful, giving them space and not sitting higher than them.

Religious Places:

  • Temple Etiquette: Always dress modestly, remove your shoes before entering, and avoid pointing your feet at Buddha statues. Photography may be restricted in certain areas.
  • Respect Religious Practices: Participate respectfully if you choose to engage in religious activities.

Losing and Gaining Face: In Thai culture, “face” refers to one’s reputation, dignity, and social standing. Losing face can occur through public embarrassment, confrontation, or criticism. To avoid causing someone to lose face:

  • Be Indirect in Criticism: Offer feedback gently and privately.
  • Show Respect Publicly: Praise and acknowledge others’ efforts in public settings.

Gaining face involves actions that enhance one’s reputation, such as showing generosity, kindness, and respect. Public recognition of achievements also helps in gaining face.

Understanding these cultural nuances will help ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience while visiting Thailand.


Bringing Phone from New Zealand:

If you’re bringing your phone from New Zealand, ensure it is unlocked so you can use a Thai SIM card. Most modern smartphones should work seamlessly in Thailand, as the country supports widespread GSM and 4G LTE networks. Check with your carrier for international roaming options as a backup.

Internet Availability:

Thailand has excellent internet penetration with widespread availability of 4G LTE and emerging 5G networks in urban areas. Free Wi-Fi is common in hotels, cafes, and shopping malls, but for consistent access, consider purchasing a local SIM card.

Dominant Messaging Apps:

LINE is the most popular messaging app in Thailand, followed by Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Download these apps to stay connected with locals and fellow travelers.

Must-Download Apps Before Arrival:

  • Grab: For ride-hailing and food delivery.
  • LINE: For messaging and social connectivity.
  • Google Maps: For navigation.
  • Airbnb or Agoda: For accommodation options.
  • XE Currency: For real-time currency conversion.
  • Translate: Google Translate for language assistance.


The official currency is the Thai Baht (THB). Currency exchange booths are abundant in airports, shopping malls, and tourist areas. Major credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s advisable to carry some cash for smaller vendors and markets.

ATM Use:

ATMs are widely available throughout Thailand. Most ATMs charge a fee of around 200 THB per withdrawal for foreign cards. Notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage.

Taxi Apps:

Grab is the most reliable ride-hailing app in Thailand. It offers a range of services including taxis, private cars, and motorbike taxis. Always check the fare estimate before confirming your ride.

Food Delivery:

Food delivery services like GrabFood and FoodPanda are popular and offer a wide variety of local and international cuisines. Both apps are user-friendly and accept cash or digital payments.

Credit Cards:

Credit cards are widely accepted in urban areas, especially in hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted. However, smaller businesses and street vendors may only accept cash.


Thailand is a shopper’s paradise with options ranging from high-end malls like Siam Paragon in Bangkok to bustling street markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market. Bargaining is common in markets but not in malls.


Thailand has an extensive rail network operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). The trains are a budget-friendly way to travel long distances, with options ranging from basic third-class seats to luxurious sleeper cabins. Booking in advance is recommended for long-distance travel.

Local Buses:

Local buses are an economical way to get around cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. They can be confusing for first-time visitors due to language barriers and lack of clear routes. The BMTA website or the ViaBus app can help navigate bus routes in Bangkok.


Acceptance of Men from New Zealand

Thai women generally have a positive impression of men from New Zealand. They are often seen as respectful, friendly, and easy-going, which aligns well with Thai cultural values. Your Kiwi accent and demeanor can be a charming novelty.

Funny Ways to Tell Women You Are from New Zealand

You can playfully say, “I’m from the land where sheep outnumber people!” or “I’m from the country that gave the world Lord of the Rings.” These light-hearted comments can break the ice and make you more relatable.

Which Dating Apps to Use

Popular dating apps in Thailand include Tinder, Badoo, and ThaiFriendly. These platforms have a large user base and are widely used for both casual dating and serious relationships.

Good Opening Lines to Use with Thai Women on the Apps

  • “Sawadee krap! I’m [Your Name], and I’m new to Thailand. What’s your favorite thing about living here?”
  • “Hi! I’m a Kiwi exploring Thailand. Any tips for a first-timer?”
  • “Hello! I’m from New Zealand. Ever met a Kiwi before?”

Teaching Thai Women About New Zealander Culture

Share interesting facts about New Zealand, such as its indigenous Maori culture, stunning landscapes, and love for rugby. You can also introduce them to Kiwi slang and traditional foods like pavlova and hokey pokey ice cream.

Dressing and Personal Hygiene

Dress neatly and modestly. Thais appreciate cleanliness and good grooming. Avoid wearing overly casual attire like flip-flops and tank tops unless you’re at the beach. A smart-casual look usually works best.

Examples of Red Flags You Should Watch For

  • Overly eager to meet in private locations.
  • Asking for money or financial assistance early on.
  • Inconsistent stories or background information.
  • Reluctance to share personal details or photos.

Examples of Scams on Dating Apps

  • Catfishing: Fake profiles using stolen photos.
  • Romance scams: Building a relationship only to ask for money.
  • Blackmail: Threatening to release private information or photos unless paid.

Major Difference in Dating Between New Zealand and Thailand

In Thailand, dating can be more traditional and conservative. Family approval is often important, and public displays of affection are less common compared to New Zealand. Relationships may progress more slowly, with a greater emphasis on getting to know each other deeply.

Major Differences Between Thai Women and New Zealander Women

Thai women may place a higher value on traditional gender roles and family-oriented values. They might also be more reserved initially but warm up as they get to know you. New Zealander women are generally more independent and may expect equality in various aspects of the relationship.

Popular First Date Activities

  • Visiting a night market.
  • Having dinner at a local Thai restaurant.
  • Exploring a temple or cultural site.
  • Taking a walk in a park or by the river.
  • Enjoying a coffee at a trendy café.

Red Light Districts

Areas like Patpong, Soi Cowboy, and Nana Plaza in Bangkok are known red-light districts. These places are famous for their nightlife but be cautious as they can be overwhelming and not ideal for genuine dating.

Prostitution on Dating Apps

Be aware that some profiles may be linked to prostitution. Indicators include overly provocative photos, immediate offers to meet without much conversation, or profiles that seem too good to be true.

10 Places to Meet Thai Women Outside of Dating Apps

  1. Cafés and Coffee Shops: Popular spots for young professionals.
  2. Night Markets: Great for casual encounters.
  3. Gyms and Fitness Centers: Common places to meet health-conscious individuals.
  4. Universities: Attend public events or lectures.
  5. Language Exchange Meetups: Perfect for cultural exchange.
  6. Shopping Malls: Many locals spend their free time here.
  7. Social Clubs or Groups: Join clubs related to your interests.
  8. Cooking Classes: Learn Thai cuisine while meeting locals.
  9. Temples: Participate in cultural activities or festivals.
  10. Parks: Engage in outdoor activities like jogging or yoga classes.


Practical Guide to Extending a Thai Tourist Visa or Visa Exemption for New Zealand Passport Holders

If you’re a New Zealand passport holder currently in Thailand and wish to extend your stay, you have two main options: extending your Thai tourist visa or your visa exemption. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

1. Required Documentation

Before visiting the immigration office, ensure you have the following documents ready:

  • Passport: Must be valid for at least 6 months.
  • TM.7 Form: Application form for visa extension. This can be downloaded online or obtained at the immigration office.
  • Passport-sized Photo: A recent photo (4x6 cm).
  • Photocopies of Passport Pages: Include the bio-data page, current visa page, and the latest entry stamp.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Hotel booking or a letter from your host.
  • Extension Fee: 1,900 THB (subject to change).

2. Locate the Nearest Immigration Office

Find the closest immigration office to your current location. Major offices are located in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya, among others. Note that office hours are typically Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

3. Complete the TM.7 Form

Fill out the TM.7 form with accurate information. Attach your passport-sized photo to the designated area on the form.

4. Visit the Immigration Office

Arrive early to avoid long queues. When you arrive at the immigration office:

  • Queue Ticket: Obtain a queue ticket and wait for your number to be called.
  • Submit Documents: Present all required documents to the immigration officer.
  • Pay the Fee: Pay the extension fee of 1,900 THB.

5. Wait for Processing

The processing time can vary. In most cases, you may need to wait for a few hours at the office. Some offices may ask you to return later in the day or another day.

6. Receive Your Extended Stay

Once your application is approved, your passport will be stamped with the new extended date of stay.

Important Notes

  • Extension Duration: Typically, extensions are granted for an additional 30 days.
  • Overstay Penalties: Avoid overstaying your visa as it incurs a fine of 500 THB per day and potential legal consequences.
  • Re-Entry Permit: If you plan to leave Thailand and return during your extended stay, apply for a re-entry permit before departing Thailand.

By following these steps, you can successfully extend your stay in Thailand as a New Zealand passport holder. Always check for any updates or changes in regulations before proceeding with your application.

Kia ora, Kiwi adventurers! Ready to spice up your travel plans? Dive into the vibrant heart of Thailand with Thai Kru, your ultimate travel partner! From securing your visa to finding the cosiest digs, we’ve got you sorted. Experience Thailand like a local with our personalized tours, cultural insights, and handy translation services. Whether you’re keen to explore bustling markets, serene temples, or lush landscapes, our personal travel guides will ensure your trip is chocka with unforgettable moments. Let Thai Kru be your guide to the Land of Smiles – it’s time to get your Thai on!