A Thai tourist visa is for any foreign national who wishes to visit Thailand for the purpose of travel, tourism, or leisure activities. On a Thai tourist visa you cannot conduct business, work, or take up any form of employment.
Most tourists will receive a Visa Exemption stamp or Visa on Arrival when arriving in Thailand, meaning you do not need to apply for a tourist visa unless you wish to stay longer than the given amount of days.
Tourists from the following countries will be given 30 days on entry in Thailand when entering visa air, or 15 days when entering via a land boarder: UK, USA, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Macau, Hong Kong, Laos, and Vietnam.
Tourists from the following countries will be given 90 days when entering Thailand: Korea, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Chile.
For a full list of countries and visa exemptions, please see here: http://www.immigration.go.th/nov2004/en/base.php?page=voa
If you wish to stay in Thailand for the purpose of tourism, longer than the given number of days you will receive with a Visa on Arrival, you must apply for a Tourist Visa before entering the country. This must be done at a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Consulate outside of Thailand.
Thai Tourist Visas can be applied for as a single entry (60 days), or multiple entry (up to 3 entries of 60 days each). It is also possible to extend each 60 day enter by 30 days at an immigration office in Thailand, as long as your visa has not expired.
The requirements for a Thai Tourist Visa are quite straight forward, but these may change from time to time and there may be some regional specific requirements in some countries. To be sure of the necessary required documents, make sure to check with your local Thai embassy or consulate in advance.
The most common required documents are:
- Your passport or travel document with a validity not less than 6 months from the date of application
- A completed Visa application form
- A passport sized photo (4 x 6 cm)
- A copy of your round trip ticket
- Proof of financial means (20,000 baht per person/40,000 baht per family)
- The Visa fee paid in full
Your application for a Thai Tourist Visa will not be considered until you have supplied all the correct documents and your payment has cleared.
Not every embassy and consulate will ask for proof of travel and proof of your finances, but it is often worth providing them if you can, in order to insure your application goes through smoothly.
How to apply
Most Thai Embassies and Consulates will allow you to make your application in person but some Thai embassies can get incredibly busy with long waiting lines, so it pays to get there at the earliest possible time, making sure all your paper work is in order and you have already printed an application form from the embassy website and filled it out in full.
In person applications can be ready to pick up again in as little as 2 working days, and in most cases your visa will be ready to collect within a week.
For those who do not live near an Embassy or Consulate, or do not have the time to make an in-person application, many Embassies and Consulates will also allow you to make your application by post. When doing a postal application you should make sure to do this by priority or recorded mail, and allow up to 10 working days to receive your visa. You should doubly insure that you have sent all the correct paperwork and given a correct number and email address in case there should be any problems, to avoid any potential delays.
Visa fees vary from country to country, but the average fee is around $30 US, or equivalent, per visa entry.
Extension of stay
Each Thai Tourist Visa entry can be extended for a further 30 days but your visa will expire 3/6 months after its issue date. A single entry visa will be valid for 3 months, while a multiple entry visa will be valid for 6 months.
Immigration Bangkok Tips
Think twice about when you will apply for your Thai Tourist Visa. If you apply too early you may find your visa will run out before you get to use every entry, especially when applying for a multiple entry visa. Thai Tourist Visas cannot be forward dated, they are valid from the day they are granted.
You must also make sure to not apply to late. While postal visas are often processed in under a week, in some cases there may be delays due to heavy workloads, problem with your application, or even local postal issues. Make sure to allow at least 2 full weeks for postal applications, and if you have less than a week to get your visa, it is advised to make your application in person. Paying by check also delays the process as they will need to wait for the check to be paid in to the bank and cleared before they can process the application; the best form of payment by post is via postal check which clears immediately.
Your Thai Tourist Visa application form will ask you to provide a valid address during your stay. If you will be moving around just give the address of the first hotel you plan on staying in; you do not have to list every condo or hotel you plan on staying at during your visit to Thailand.
Click here for our Visa Companies section – these companies can help you with any Visa issues you may have.