An introduction to Thailand Visas

General Thailand Visas Information

A foreign national who wishes to enter the Kingdom of Thailand must first receive a Thailand visas from a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate outside of Thailand, unless their citizenship and length of stay make them eligible for a Visa on Arrival or Visa Exemption stamp.

Visa on Arrival

Some foreign nationals will be granted a Visa on Arrival when entering Thailand, provided they meet the requirements and intend to visit Thailand for the purpose of tourism.

To qualify for a Visa on Arrival you must have a confirmed return ticket and you must be flying out from Thailand within 15 or 30 days (open tickets do not qualify). Proof that you are leaving Thailand by sea or land is also not accepted.

You may also need to prove you have funds of at least 10,000 Baht per person or 20,000 Baht per family, to cover the cost of your stay.

You will also need to pay a fee of 1,000 Baht for the visa.

There are currently 19 Countries eligible to enter Thailand on a Visa on Arrival, they are:

  • Bhutan
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Poland
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Taiwan
  • Ukraine

Visa Exemption

A Visa Exemption allows foreign nationals to enter Thailand without a visa for a period of 30 days, for the sole purpose of tourism, when entering Thailand via an international airport. When entering Thailand via land or sea a Visa Exemption of 15 days will be given.

To qualify for a Visa Exemption you must have a confirmed return ticket and you will be flying out from Thailand within 15 or 30 days (open tickets do not qualify). Proof that you are leaving Thailand by sea or land is also not accepted.

You may also need to prove you have funds of at least 10,000 Baht per person or 20,000 Baht per family, to cover the cost of your stay.

A fee may be levied on persons entering Thailand on a Visa Exemption, although in the vast majority of cases there are no charges.

There are currently 152 Countries allowed to enter Thailand on a Visa Exemption stamp. They are:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Citizens of Korea, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Chile will actually get 90 days in both airport and land border entry.

If you wish to stay in Thailand as a tourist for a longer period of time, or you wish to enter Thailand for a purpose other than tourism, you will need to obtain the appropriate visa before entering Thailand.

What Thai Visa Should I apply for?

There are several different types of Thai visa. You should apply for the appropriate Thai visa based upon the purpose and length of your planned stay in Thailand.
Tourist Visa

A tourist visa is for anyone wishing to visit Thailand solely for the purpose of tourism. With a tourist visa you will receive 60 days (or up to 3 x 60 days on a multiple entry visa). Each stay of 60 days may also be extended by an additional 30 days, until the date of the visa expiry (3 months from the date of issue on a single entry, and 6 months from the date of issue on a multiple entry).

Non-Immigrant Visa

There are several categories of Non- Immigrant Visa which allow you to enter Thailand for purposes other than tourism. They include:

Non-Immigrant B – For the purpose of conducting business or investment (you cannot take up employment in Thailand on this visa).
Non-Immigrant B Teaching – For the purpose of teaching in Thailand.
Non-Immigrant OA – Also known as a Retirement Visa , this visa allows foreign nationals over the age of 50 to stay in Thailand for extended periods of time.
Non-Immigrant ED – Also known as an Education Visa, this visa allows foreign nationals over the age of 12 to study full time in Thailand.
Non-Immigrant O Voluntary Services – This visa allows foreign nationals to take up unpaid voluntary work in Thailand.
Non Immigrant O Marriage Visa – This allows foreign nationals married to a Thai national to stay in Thailand for an extended period of time.

Permanent Resident Visa

Foreign nationals who have already stayed in Thailand for at least 3 consecutive years on a Non-Immigrant Visa may also be able to apply for a Thai Permanent Residence Visa. This Visa allows a foreign national to love in Thailand for an extended period of time with limited restrictions and the possibility to later apply for Thai Citizenship.

How do I apply for a Thai Visa?

Most Thai Visas need to be applied for at a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate in a country outside of Thailand. In some cases you will need to apply for a Thai visa in your country of citizenship or permanent residence.

In order to make an application for a Thai visa you will need to complete the relevant Visa form (this should be printable from the embassy or consulate website at which you wish to make your application), and you must complete it in full and supply all the correct documentation and fees in full in order to make your application.

Most visa applications can be made in person or via the post.

What documents do I need to apply for a Thai Visa?

The documents required for making a visa application differ greatly depending on your circumstances and the type of visa you are applying for. It is important that you first check the requirements necessary with the Embassy or Consulate you will be applying to.

The following documents are required as standard:

  • A completed application form.
  • A passport with at least 6 months of validity left at the time of application.
  • Passport photos (4 x 6 cm) taken within 6 months of the application.

How long does it take to get a Thai Visa?

The length of time taken to get a Thai Visa differs greatly depending on your circumstances and the type of visa you are applying for.

In some cases a visa can be granted the next working day, while more complex visas may take up to 6 weeks.

It is always much quicker to apply for a visa in person, rather than by post. You should contact the Embassy or Consulate you wish to apply to for more accurate waiting times.