The Thai eVisa is an electronic travel authorization, which allows eligible citizens to pre-register for a short stay in Thailand for tourism purposes.
On 14 February 2019, the Immigration Bureau of Thailand, in collaboration with VFS Global, announced a new Thailand eVisa on Arrival (eVOA) service. To our great dismay, the new eVisa service does not provide much more value than the previous E-Visa Thailand (E-VoA)*.
In contrast, the new VFS Global Thailand eVisa is even more costly than the previous one!
*From the 23rd of April, 2019, eVISA Thailand will be temporarily closed for service enhancement.
Since Valentine’s Day 2019, a new Thailand eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service has been in operation. The new Thai eVisa service is provided in collaboration with VFS Global, the world’s leading outsourcing and technology services provider to governments and diplomatic missions throughout the world.
The new Thailand eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service is available to travelers from 18 countries that are qualified for Thai Visa on Arrival, including China and India. The new online visa system is designed to reduce visa on arrival processing time at the airport to as low as one minute.
Travelers from Visa on Arrival-eligible countries may get their travel authorization from Thailand’s Immigration Bureau before departure. After submitting the Thailand eVisa on Arrival application, travel permission may be issued online within 24 to 72 hours.
For a ridiculously expensive extra service price of 2500 THB (Visa on Arrival fee is not included! ), and express eVOA may also be obtained within 24 hours.
When arriving at the airport, passengers with previous travel permission merely need to submit their passports and authorized eVOA code to the authorities at the relevant Immigration passport control desks, and their Visa on Arrival will be granted in less than one minute.
In This Post
Thailand eVisa on Arrival New Website
Travelers from Visa on Arrival-eligible countries may utilize the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival (eVOA) service on VFS Global’s website at thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com.
The new eVOA method allows you to apply for a Thailand Visa on Arrival from 30 days to at least 24 hours before your trip.
Thai Airways and its subsidiaries want to promote the eVOA service to its passengers by including a link to the New Thailand eVisa on the Arrival website on their websites and smartphone apps.
Countries Eligible for eVisa on Arrival in Thailand
The new Thailand eVisa on Arrival online system is now accessible to citizens of the following countries:
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
Thailand eVisa on Arrival Entry Ports
Thailand’s four main international airports now provide the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival service:
- Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) in Bangkok
- Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) in Bangkok
- Phuket International Airport (HKT) in Phuket
- Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) in Chiang Mai
How to Apply for Thai eVisa
We were among the first to test the new Thailand eVisa on the Arrival application system, which had already been introduced. After all of the promises made by the Immigration Bureau of Thailand and VFS Global, we were disappointed that the Thailand Visa on Arrival online application procedure was not as quick and simple as we had hoped.
The following steps may be taken to receive a Thailand eVisa on Arrival application:
Going to the website thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com
You must first sign up for an account on the website. It should be simple since all that is required for registration is a valid email address and a password, but it isn’t! It might be difficult to come up with an appropriate password!
When generating a password for your Thailand eVisa account, you must include not only upper case, lower case, and number characters, but also special characters. And the special character must be selected from a list of five characters; any other special character in the password will not work. Because of this weird condition, even the extra safe password provided by the most famous online password generator does not function.
Yes, we recognize the need for strong passwords and data security, but why just these five characters?
The exact password needed for your Thailand eVisa on Arrival account is as follows:
“Password must be minimum 8 and maximum 20 characters long. It should contain both upper cases and lower case characters (a-z, A-Z). It should also contain numbers (0-9) and special characters (@,$,%,&,*)”
Fill out the online Thailand Visa on the Arrival application form with your personal and travel information.
We anticipated the needed information to be the same as on the standard Thailand Visa on Arrival Form, however, it isn’t.
When applying for a Thailand eVisa on Arrival, you must supply the following personal information:
- Given Name
- Date Of Birth
- Passport number
- Place Of Issue
- Passport Issue Date
- Passport Expiry Date
- Country of Residence
- State Or City
- Permanent Address
- Yearly Income – Why VFS Global needs to know about your income is a mystery, given you don’t generally need to supply such information on your Visa on Arrival form, but it’s best to appear to be wealthy to prevent any misunderstandings.
Travel information required when applying for a Thailand eVisa on Arrival:
- Is this your first trip to Thailand?
- Type Of Flight
- Arrival Airport
- Arrival Date
- Arrival Time
- Arrival Airlines
- Arrival Flight Number
- Departure Date
- Departure Time
- Departure Airlines
- Departure Flight Number
- Purpose Of Visit – This is a tricky question; be sure you choose “Holiday,” since any other option would raise issues or result in rejection.
- Length Of Stay
- Country Where You Boarded
- Next City/Port Of Disembarkation
- Are minor children traveling on the same passport.
Uploading of all required papers. You will require digital copies of the following papers when applying for a Thailand eVisa on Arrival:
- Passport Cover Page (.jpg file)
- Passport Bio Page (.jpg file)
- Photo (.jpg file)
- Arrival Flight Ticket (.pdf file)
- Departure Flight Ticket (.pdf file)
- Accommodation (.pdf file)
This approach has the advantage of displaying samples of the papers requested.
There are quick links to samples of passport cover pages, passport bio pages, and full picture requirements. However, why are the picture requirements in Portuguese while the rest of the application is in English?
The issue here is the format and size of the materials required. Passport covers, bio pages, and photos must all be in JPG format; no other image types will be approved. Because one picture can only be up to 1024 KB in size, you will almost always need to decrease the photo size before uploading it. If you don’t think resizing a picture is a difficult undertaking, keep reading.
Flight tickets and hotel confirmation must be in PDF format, with a file size of no more than 100 KB.
While airplane tickets are often compressed enough to meet these criteria, hotel booking confirmations are seldom! We just reviewed our ten most recent hotel booking confirmations from Booking.com and Agoda, and just one was tiny enough to post!
Of course, compressing PDF is doable, but it is not as simple as downsizing a picture file, and the result size may still be too high in many circumstances.
Examine all of your files, and if they don’t meet these ridiculous standards, don’t waste your time and bypass this eVOA system.
Providing Accommodation Specific details:
- Accommodation – the type of accommodation
- Accommodation Name
- Sub District
- Street address
- Name and address of the person(s) of reference in Thailand
You may believe that this is the simplest step. Good luck figuring out the Thai system of districts and sub-districts, since both of these fields are required!
Another difficult aspect is determining the name and address of the person(s) of reference in Thailand. Normally, they will only ask for these data if you are staying with a friend or family or have hired a local tour agency. However, this information is required on this application form.
Accepting Disclaimer – read it carefully before accepting since you may be startled if anything goes wrong because VFS Global is not liable for anything other than collecting your money and not refunding it in any situation.
Full text of the disclaimer that you should read before choosing whether or not to use this service (most important places are underlined).
“Applicant understands that once the E-VOA results are informed, the passenger must not change the date of arrival or the arrival airport. If they do, E-VOA will be considered void and another visa must be obtained again at the visa on arrival counter.
On the day of arrival, the passenger must present the same passport as used in the E-VOA application. Otherwise, E-VOA will be considered void and another visa must be obtained again at the visa on arrival counter.
Applicant should ensure that the passport used for the E-VOA application and presented on arrival is not damaged, else the applicant may be denied entry.
Applicant must note that both visa fee and service fee once paid are non-refundable irrespective of the outcome of the visa result/decision or the time taken to process the same. Neither VFS Global nor Immigration Bureau of Thailand shall be liable for any claim whatsoever including but not limited to refund of visa and service fees, in any event/s of any kind including but not limited to especially where an application is not fulfilling the eligibility criteria as prescribed by Immigration Bureau of Thailand. The applicant specifically agrees to the same.
Applicant understands that in case of E-VOA approval, a printout of the approval must be presented to the airline before boarding the flight and at the immigration port of entry.
The applicant has checked all local regulations (country of origin) for re-entry e.g.: local country health regulations such as having yellow fever inoculations for reentry to be permitted
An applicant has taken the necessary measures for travel medical insurance or is willing to assume full responsibility for any inconveniences whatsoever.
If the stay is longer than 15 days, passengers need to contact the Immigration Bureau of Thailand to report the extension.”
Paying the Visa on Arrival charge of 2000 THB (visa fee waiver till 30 April 2020) plus the extra eVisa service price of 600 THB for standard service and 2500 THB for expedited service.
Visa on Arrival costs must be paid in advance online using Mastercard, Visa, and Union Pays credit or debit cards, as well as WeChat Pay and Alipay services.
Updated: Currently, Thailand Visa on Arrival for Free
The pre-approved eVOA code will be issued after the payment is finished and the application is processed (within 24 to 72 hours of the payment is completed).
The eVOA authorization number should be printed since it is the sole document you will need to carry with you along with your passport (physical copies of documents such as photos, hotel booking confirmations, and flight tickets are not needed).
Travelers utilizing the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival service will not need to go to the Visa on Arrival area at the airport, even if it was promised otherwise. There is a separate lane for eVisa holders where you must wait. Only a passport and a printout of the authorization number are required here.
Old eVisa Systems vs. New eVisa Systems
As you may be aware, there are presently two more services for Thailand Visa on Arrival online applications.
Online Application Form
The Immigration Bureau of Thailand launched the first Thailand Visa on Arrival online application system a few years ago, and it was only utilized for filling out Visa on Arrival applications online. The previous system provided minimal value since it just made filling out application forms simpler and did not include any other features such as online payments, document uploading, distinct queues, or anything else you would expect from a contemporary online system. This service was only available at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Currently, Thailand’s Visa on Arrival online system seems to be plagued by continual technical issues, rendering it entirely inoperable. The Immigration Bureau of Thailand seems to have given up on this system and did not attempt to repair it. However, they are still not shutting down the barely working system, much to the chagrin of thousands of people who are attempting to submit applications but are unable to do so.
Current e-Visa System
The Immigration Bureau of Thailand proudly established one e-Visa system for Thai Visa on Arrival application online only a few months ago. The announcement was the same as it is now: it would reduce Thai Visa on Arrival processing time to as low as one minute, there will be separate counters, it will be accessible to 21 countries, and so forth.
However, the system has failed to meet all expectations since this Thailand e-Visa is still not accessible to European Union nations, the system sometimes has technical issues, and the e-Visa service charge is exorbitant (no free).
What To Expect?
Our hopes were quite high since the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival would be released by VFS Global, a business with extensive expertise in delivering visa services to governments and diplomatic missions all over the globe. Unfortunately, they only did one thing better than others.
The sole benefit of the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival system that we have found is that it is available to all Visa on Arrival qualified countries in the European Union. It signifies that the level of personal data management is high enough since the regulations governing the use of personal data in the European Union are quite stringent. The massive failure of Thailand’s previous e-Visa system has been resolved.
Thailand eVisa on Arrival service charge has been published, and it is 600 THB, which is significantly more than the service fee of the earlier E-Visa system! We were expecting a much cheaper charge since 525 THB seemed much too costly for the ability to fill out a form, submit papers, and make an online payment, but this system went even farther.
Should you utilize Thailand’s new eVisa on Arrival system? In most circumstances, the answer is NO!
If you are from one of the 15 countries that can still use the old E-VoA system, continue with it since the service is less expensive and the system is far more convenient than the new one.
Only Bulgarians, Cypriots, Maltese, and Romanians who are unable to utilize the previous E-VoA system should consider utilizing this online method.
Once the cost exemption for Visa on Arrival expires, any of these Thailand Visa on Arrival online application methods will be at least twice as expensive as seeking a visa at the embassy/consulate. If at all feasible, apply for a Thai single-entry tourist visa ahead of time.
Not only will it be less expensive, but you will have much more freedom with your travel plans since you will be allowed to enter Thailand on any day within three months and remain for up to two months.