Thai Visa Advices

Thai Visa Advices

Visa in Thailand is confusing. The rules are constantly changing, meaning that most things you read and most opinions you hear are normally wrong. This is a complete easy guide for digital nomads who want to visit Thailand, and wish to keep it updated:

Thailand doesn’t help this situation, there are lots of several visas and constantly changing rules, and the governments’ websites are poor.

If you are from the UK or the USA, this is maybe the first time you have had to think about a visa. Ever! As getting Thailand visa sounds complicated.

For that reason will explain different types of Thai Visa

Visa Exemption / Visa Waiver Entry when you arrive in Thailand without a visa, but you should be one of the 55 countries that Thailand allows to enter without prior documentation (this includes UK, USA and most of Europe). You will get a stamp in your passport when you arrive and can stay for 30 days. There is no payment required.

Some people refer to this method of entry as “Tourist Visa” or “Visa on Arrival” – this is wrong and confusing. You don’t get a visa in your passport with this type of entry, just an entry stamp telling you when you need to leave.

Tourists travelling there on Visa Waiver / Visa Exemption can get their 30 day stay extended by visiting an immigration office and applying for a 30 day visa extension.  

List represents countries that can use Visa Exemption / Visa Waiver entry is as follows, and includes the UK and USA:

Argentina    Australia    Austria    Bahrain   Belgium   Brazil   Brunei

Canada   Chile    Czech Republic   Denmark   Estonia     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
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Russia
Singapore
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Vietnam

 

Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV) aka “60 day tourist visa”

You have to apply permission in advance for the Single Entry Tourist Visa of your visit (outside of Thailand).

It’s normally a 2 day application – apply one day, pick up the next day, and costs around £30/$50.

Once you are given the visa, try to travel to Thailand within 3 months to activate it.

You get a visa put in passport, so when you arrive in Thailand, as soon as you arrive you will get a stamp to use the visa, and you can then stay for 60 days.

If you want to leave Thailand during the 60 days, your remaining days are forfeit, unless you get a Re – entry Permit for your visa. 

If you can extend your stay – normally 30 days – by applying for a visa extension at immigration office of Thai.

Main Steps for getting a Single Entry Tour Visa for Thailand:

Applying for an SETV could be done from any country outside of Thailand that has a Thai Embassy/Consular/Official office. The requirements for getting an SETV varies slightly from country to country. If you prepare for the following requirements you shouldn’t have an issue:

  • Completed application form with 3 passport/visa photos
  • Current passport with 6 months validity before the visa date application
  • Photocopy of relevant passport information pages
  • Return/onward air flight information in and out of Thailand / Print out of booking
  • Accommodation details of your stay in Thailand / Print out of booking
  • Exact cash to pay SETV fee in local currency.

Please Note that visa application forms available for download on the Thai Embassy websites are sometimes out of date. Try to Use them as a guide to prepare your answers, but expect to fill out a new form when you arrive at the Embassy.

A Single Entry Tourist Visa costs £30 ($40 USD or around 1000 THB). Applications are typically done over 2 days – apply one day, pick up the next. Some Embassies offer same day service (like Los Angeles) but this is an exception rather than a common rule, so plan for two days to receive it.

Some Embassies allow you to post in your application, it is better to do this in your home country, being stranded abroad without a passport isn’t good.

Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV) aka “6 month multi entry visa”

Since October 2015, The METV is a new visa was allowed, you need to apply for in advance (outside of Thailand, in your home country.

It is normally a 2 day application – apply one day, pick up the next day, Visa costs around £150/$175.

Once you are receiving the visa, it’s valid for six months.

You get a visa put in passport, so when you arrive in Thailand, you will get a stamp on the visa, and you can then stay for 60 days.

You can leave and travel to Thailand as many times as you want, as long as your entry is before the visa “Enter Before” date, each time you enter you can stay for 60 days.

You can stay for 60 days on any entry stamp, so even though the visa is often called a “6 month visa” this means it can be used for 6 months, it doesn’t allow  you the ability of staying  in Thailand completely for 6 months.

Main Steps for getting a Multiple Entry Tourist Visa for Thailand


For getting a METV varies slightly from country to country, you need to apply for an METV in your country of residence. Below listed the requirements for the application:

  • Completed application form with 3 passport/visa photos
  • Current passport with 6 months validity before the visa date application
  • Photocopy of relevant passport information pages
  • Return/onward air flight information in and out of Thailand / Print out of booking
  • Accommodation details of your stay in Thailand / Print out of booking
  • Original bank statement showing £5,000 in your account (for at least 6 months) or print-out stamped by the bank
  • Letter from UK employer addressed to Thai Embassy or if self-employed, self-assessment and company registration document or student identification
  • Exact cash to pay METV fee…

You need to show £5,000 in a bank for the last 6 months, and should have a letter from your employer to get an METV.

How many Visa Exemptions can I apply for?

By land entry, you can have 2 per year. By Air, there doesn’t being consistently firm rules.

A Thai visa service that deals with visas every day say that when travelling by air “people using OUT/IN method to extend their stay” – so flying out the country, spending 1-2 days away, the coming back to Thailand – “might be questioned after SIX visa exempt entries. There is no specific period given and there is no rule on how many visa exempt will be issued for one person“. But six entries in one year seems to be enough to make immigration say “what is this person doing there?

The Royal Thai Consulate in Cardiff states “Those who enter by air can only enter 3 times over a 6 month period (with a visa exemption)”.

   If you’re a tourist hopping around Asia for a few months you might go through Thailand a few times.

It is clear that any rules that do exist are designed to prevent people staying long term on something designed for tourists. So the general rule must be that using Visa Exemptions repeatedly after each other will make some trouble.

When you arrive in Thailand without a visa, it is allowed purchasing a visa on your arrival but you have to be one of the 21 countries, this list includes China and India.

The visa costs around 2,000 THB (£45/$60) and allows you to stay for 15 days. A visa is put in to your passport and then stamped with an entry stamp telling you when you need to leave.

The below listed 21 countries for VOA

Andorra
Bulgaria
Bhutan
China
Cyprus
Ethiopia
India

Kazakhstan
Latvia
Lithuania
Maldives
Malta
Mauritius
Romania

San Marino
Saudi Arabia
Taiwan
Ukraine
Uzbekistan

Tourists entering on Visa on Arrival can possibly get their stay extended by visiting an immigration office and applying for a visa extension. You are likely to only get 48 hour or 7 day extension. Illness is a good excuse to get an extension.

Important point you can do for the E-VoA from 1-30 days before arrival, fill in the forms and then pay online.

The fee is taken in Thai Baht, so make sure to use a multi-currency credit or debit card to avoid your bank exchange fees. The E-VoA then takes 1-3 days to process.

Below listed the requirements for the application:

  • Scan of the front cover of your passport
  • Scan of personal info page in passport
  • Arrival and return flight tickets showing name same as passport
  • Proof of residence – a confirmed hotel booking or registration document from person you are staying with

Below airports are the only place you can use the E-VoA when landing in to Thailand:

  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
  • Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK)
  • Phuket International Airport (HKT)
  • Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
  • Krabi International Airport (KBV)

When you landing, you will need to look for eVisa lanes at immigration – these should have far less queues, with claims of passing through at a speed of 1 minute per person (rather than 1 hour+).

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    For discussion !!
    Does anyone have experience getting a tourist visa in Savannaket, Laos?

    As I understand you do not need an appointment like in Vientiane. Can we confirm this?

    Anything else I should be aware of like special requirements?

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    Questions on Thai visa

    (US Citizen) Are there official rules on the number of times you can enter without a visa? I was here in December last year and extended into January. I left for nearly 4 months and just came back. Border patrol had a lot of questions this time. Feeling lucky to have got in. Not sure if I am pushing the boundaries of entering without a visa. I will stay 28 days this time and was planning on coming back in December. So that would be 3 entries with one extension and one entry was in the previous year.

    Also what happens if you are denied entry will I be able to just quickly book a flight and fly out a few hours later or will I need to sit in some detention center?

    Should add I make money from US real estate investments and am a shareholder in a Nevada company. So very easy to prove I do not work here. And I never enter or exit by land.

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    Thai visa advice
    How long can I stay by doing visa runs please. We intend to spend five months every year and looking for best way to do this . Any help appreciated thanks . Both over 50

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    I need advice

    Hi, I need some advise – how to apply for Non O visa in Savanakhet?
    I’m a teacher in Thailand, I’m going to convert my 60 days tourist visa into Non-B as soon as my school will prepare the documents.
    I live with my husband and son – we are all EU citizens (they also have 60 days tourist visa now) and at the Immigration they said, that first I need to get my temporary Non B, next get the extension for 1 year, and after that I can apply to convert their visas into Non O at the Immigration office.
    However I think it’s gonna take too long, so as soon as I’ll get my temporary Non B visa, I’m planning to go with family to Savanakhet to apply for temporary Non O in there, than just make an extension at the local immigration.

    I did it before in Vientiane, but have no experience in Savanakhet. Does everyone know if:
    1. Marriage Certificate and Birth certificate must be stamped by Embassy and Ministry of foregin affairs? (in Vientiane No such requirement)
    2. Does my husband must give a bank statement and if yes – is there any particular amount to have?
    Please help me if you can. I’m so worried to collect all the proper documents before going to Savanakhet.

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    Thai visa advice needed

    Hi .im living in udon,i have retirement visa up to november 2019.im staying in rented accomadation.my contract expires november 2019.so thats ok.i have just bought a condo in nong khai.when i asked in immigration in nong khai.whether i had to change address.i was given a paper to keep in my passport.that says i am now registered and that can carry on living in udon , because my address is there.now i have just been told that once i have my house book in my hand i have to change address to nong khai.i hope someone understands what im talking about and can help to advise.im gettjng too many dufferent versions from immigration offices.thanks for trying.

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    Advice needed
    Fellow members, some advice needed.
    I am currently on a 12 month ME ‘O’ visa based on marriage, it expires on Sept 4th 2019. I appreciate I can obtain another 90 days if required, pending the timescale of the process.
    I have all required finances.
    We have been married since Oct 2008 , so have a UK marriage certificate.
    My question is, what is the full process to apply for a 12 month extension based on marriage to a Thai National ?
    Can I use my UK certificate ?
    Would it easier to register our marriage in Thailand ?
    We are currently living in Hua Hin, my wife is originally from Kalasin.
    I think I have included all required info.

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    Thai visa advice

    Transferring from a “tourist visa” which has already been extended for 30 days to non o based on marriage at Samut Prakan immigration.
    I arrived early 7:45 waiting for the office to open at 8:30. I was second in the que.
    my wife and I then spent an hour with the immigration officer at the desk going through all the relevant paper work.
    In addition to the normal paper work they asked my wife for her name change document.
    Luckily we had a scanned document on the phone with us and they printed it off for us.
    My bank book was updated yesterday but that was not good enough as they wanted it updated on the day of document submittal. A quick motorbike taxi to the nearest bank sorted that out. We went straight back to the immigration officer so didn’t need to go to the back of the line.
    The letter from the bank which was made yesterday was sufficient.
    Another spanner in the works is we don’t have out children in the tabian ban (that’s another story) wife had to write a letter about that.
    I have paid my 2000 and been told to come back in a month for the result.
    I didn’t get a stamp in my passport rather a receipt with June 24 stamped on and stapled in my passport.
    All in all not a bad experience, as long as you’re patient and smile a lot then everything should go smoothly.

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    Advice on Thai visa
    Hi,
    I am currently working in phuket on a non immigrant b visa, the documents were submitted on april 10th for the one year visa and immigration stamped my passport till 24th may in order to get the one year work visa.my questios are
    1)Do you usually get the one year visa by the date that is stamped in your passport?
    2) If you do not get the visa by that date…. does immigration give you an extension on your by visa until they have finalized the one year visa?
    3) how long is the extension on the b type visa given for if there is delay?
    4) does any one know how long the delay is in them issuing the visa if the date that is stamped in the passport is expiring?

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    Hi there,
    I am new to the page and I would like some advice;

    I am a UK citizen applying for a Thai Tourist Visa (maximum stay: 60 days).

    I was wondering if I needed to buy my plane ticket before I apply for my visa or should I wait to hear if my visa is accepted before purchasing ??

    And I roughly know the documents I must provide as evidence, but is there anything major I must include with my evidence ??

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
    Thank you for taking the time to read.

  • Visa advice

    Visa advice

    May 24, 2019

    TM30 nightmares. Applying for an extension less than two weeks ago, manger never answered the phone and I managed to get the owner of the room on the phone with immigration, I was fined 800b. A couple of days ago the manager said she will do it whenever I enter back into Thailand. Now that she has looked at the online page and info, she is stating she will NOT do it and suggested I call the owner of the room, whom I have never met and is nearly blind. Owner of the room has no idea of the regulation, yet he spoke to immigration a couple of weeks ago. They are both playing the “I don’t know, and don’t want to do it card”. What should I do? I just returned from Cambodia yesterday.

  • Put sun

    Put sun

    May 24, 2019

    The Hong Kong Thai consulate gave me a new issue today when I tried to renew my multi Non-B visa that I’ve previously gotten there annually the past 5 years. Apparently, because I have a work permit, they have now decided this means a Non-B can only be issued within Thailand, and they even said in Thailand, I would only qualify for a single entry yearly visa with re-entry permits required every time I leave. Their logic is that having a work permit means that you live in Thailand and do not live in Hong Kong (despite me being a HK passport holder and having address proof in HK and HK ID), so you cannot apply for a Non-B in HK.

    They also claimed that all Multi-entry Non-B visas are only given to those without work permits who need to be in and out of Thailand frequently for meetings, and if you have a work permit, it means you cannot get a multi-entry visa since a work permit means you must live in Thailand. I argued they had given me a Multi-entry non-B at the HK consulate 5 years already before, and that my entry stamps do show that I do go in and out of Thailand frequently and do not stay for long periods, since I am just the director of the company (and 49% shareholder) and do not work there on a regular basis. I explained I was required to have a work permit or else I am not allowed to even sign checks or perform other “work” activities, but I don’t work there in the traditional sense.

    They didn’t care and said regulations had changed and Multi-entry Non-Bs are not allowed for anyone with a work permit, and refused to give me the Multi Non-B, finally agreeing to give me a single entry Non-B with 3 month validity. The clerk even went in back for over 10 minutes with all my paperwork to check with supervisors and then all 3 of the counter clerks together explained this same thing to me, so I don’t know if rules really have just changed in this way.

    The question I have is: my next 2 trips to Thailand are for 5 days in early June, then from mid-August to mid-September. The June trip is likely not enough time to get a year-long Non-B at immigration in Samui since some of the days are on a weekend. My 1st June entry stamp should therefore allow a stay of 3 months. If I get a re-entry stamp during my June trip before exiting, and I return in mid-August, that re-entry still only allows me to stay till end of August per my original entry on that visa. If I apply in mid-August at Samui immigration for a Non-B good for 1 year, will I be allowed to remain in the country till mid-September, per my existing travel plans, or will I still have to leave the country before the original entry stamp’s stay expiration at the end of August?

  • James Le

    James Le

    May 24, 2019

    Trying to evaluate a Plan B
    To the Oracles of this splendid group.
    My OA Long Stay is expiring 6 August 2019
    I will have had 2 years out of it by then.
    I have a Lease on a condo expiring mid October 2019.
    Original plan A was to return to Australia August 6 and apply for a new OA long stay. Then assuming it was approved make my back to LOS for another 2 years.
    Fly in the ointment
    Possible Health Insurance requirement. read it again..
    Possible!
    I’m 73 years young but cannot get cover that I can afford….if indeed the Health Insurance is made mandatory.
    So Plan A goes in the bin. NO return to LOS.
    So plan B is I exit LOS as required on 6 August 2019 …but go to say Penang or another close city and apply for a Tourist Visa and if issued come back to LOS see my Lease out by mid October 2019 and return to Australia at that point.
    Is this doable?
    I’m in Pattaya so which exit to which country for a tourist visa would be the most sensible?
    I’d be coming back into LOS for approximately 2 months.
    Please advise.
    And whilst a little off topic…if the Health Insurance becomes law for OA Long Stays I expect there will be one or two others facing same predicament…Has anyone an opinion on another Asian Country?

  • Carla

    Carla

    May 24, 2019

    Hello, I want to know more options here. My current visa expires on June 10 and I won’t be going home until 20 August.
    Can I go to Mae Sae on 10th which will take me to July 9? and then get an extension which will take me to August 8? and then do Mae sae again for the last 12 days? I haven’t done any runs to the border this year. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Pete

    Pete

    May 24, 2019

    I’ve been over the land border twice on visa entry stamps (bus to Myanmar). I’ve now applied for a 12 month Thai language visa, but the paperwork has taken much longer than intended. This means I need to leave and come back into Thailand before I get my paperwork (the paperwork I need to activate the visa). I’ll need to leave a 2nd time after I get back, to activate my language visa.

    Will I be able to get back in the 1st time to get my paperwork etc? My language school wrote a letter, and told me I’ll be able to get in… but when I left Thailand today, they told me I would have to get another tourist visa…

    Can anyone please confirm

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