A Thailand Visa is a stamp or document needed so you can stay in Thailand for a specific period of time
Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its countless temples, ancient ruins, canals, and floating water markets, sandy tropical beaches, and modern cityscapes. It welcomed a record 38.27 million visitors from all around the globe in 2018, with many of them possibly using a Thai Tourist visa.
Foreigners wishing to visit Thailand may find that they have to apply for a Thailand visa beforehand.
This article will go through the steps for applying for a Thailand visa, as well as the different types of visas, requirements, and other frequently asked questions.
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Who Needs A Thailand Visa?
A Thailand visa is required for most foreign nationalities to travel and stay in Thailand for purpose of business, study, investment, tourism, medical treatment, religion, mass media, employment, visiting family, volunteering, and other activities. A foreigner must apply for a visa from a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General to enter Thailand.
57 countries are having bilateral treaties with Thailand, and their citizens are free from visa requirements. Under the Visa Exemption Program and Bilateral Agreements, 5 countries are granted a 90-day permit to stay and 50 countries are granted 30 days and 2 countries are granted 14 days stay in Thailand.
What Are the Types of Thai Visas?
1- Thailand Tourist Visa (category type “TR”):
This visa is issued to visa-required foreigners who visit Thailand for tourism or leisure purposes. This is a short-term visa, which can be issued for single or multiple entries.
- Visa Exemption / Visa Waiver Entry: If you are a citizen of one of the visa-exempt countries, you may enter Thailand without a visa if you go by airplane. Your passport will still be needed upon arrival, and it will be stamped. You will not obtain a visa in your passport in this situation, and you will be limited to a 30-day stay.
Visa Exemption Countries
United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, 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, and Vietnam.
To enter Thailand, you must have a visa from one of the countries mentioned below and arrive by flight. If you want to stay for 15 days, you’ll have to spend 2,000 THB (approximately USD 66). Your passport will be stamped and you will be issued a visa.
If you dislike standing in line to get your visa after you arrive, you may apply for a Thai eVisa. Within 30 days after you arrive in Thailand, you may apply online for an eVisa. However, eVisa is only valid if you arrive by flight in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Bangkok Don Mueang Airport (DMK), Phuket International Airport (HKT), Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), or Krabi International Airport (KBV).
Visa on Arrival Countries
Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
- Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV): SETV allows you to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days. This form of visa must be obtained before arriving in Thailand.It costs about $50, and the application procedure takes 2 days.
- Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV): Within 6 months, you may come and depart through land or air as often as you wish, but only remain for 60 days. This visa costs roughly $175 and takes 2 days to apply for.
2- Thailand Transit Visa (category “TS”):
The Thailand transit visa is for travelers passing through Thailand on their way to another country. It also applies to anyone involved in sporting events or in a conveyance coming to a port, station, or area in Thailand.
3- Thailand Smart Visa (category type “S”)
This visa encourages highly trained foreigners to work or invest in one of Thailand’s ten prioritized areas, such as medical, robotics, aviation, agriculture, biotechnology, and so on.
4- Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa
This visa is provided to foreigners who enter Thailand for purposes other than tourism or leisure. The Non-Immigrant Visa for Thailand is further classified based on the reason for travel:
- Thailand Work Visa (Thai Non-Immigrant B Visa, category type “B”): This visa is for foreigners who plan to work and live in Thailand. B.
- Thailand Education Visa (Thailand Studen Visa; Thai Non-Immigrant ED Visa, category type “ED”): This visa is for international students who desire to study in a Thai educational institution. Allowed to stay up to 90 days for single or 1 year for multiple entries.
- Thailand Volunteer Visa (category type “O”): This is the visa you need to volunteer in Thailand. It costs $80 for each entrance and allows for a 90-day stay. Remember that processing time is three business days.
- Thailand Business Visa (Thai Non-Immigrant B Visa, category type “B”): This visa is for foreigners who are visiting Thailand for business purposes, such as to conduct negotiations or attend a meeting, and so on. Allowed to stay up to 90 days for single or 1 year for multiple entries.
- Thailand Marriage Visa (category type “O”): this visa is for foreigners who are married to a Thai citizen. Allowed to stay up to 90 days for single or 1 year for multiple entries
- Thailand Retirement Visa (category type “B”): this visa, often known as the “Ten Year Visa, category type “O-X” and “Five Year Visa, category type “O-A”, which is for foreigners over 50 years old who desire to retire in Thailand and have the financial resources to live comfortably without working. Allowed to stay up to 90 days for single entry or 1 year for multiple entries.
- Thailand Permanent Resident Visa (category type “PR”): The permanent resident visa is highly sought after since it is the only way to get Thai citizenship. Needing this visa allows you to register a property and buy a condo without having to make a bank transfer from overseas. A permanent residence visa also makes getting a work permit considerably simpler.
- Thailand BOI Visa, which is a Non-Immigrant Visa Category “B” (Business Visa) is issued to applicants who wish to enter Thailand to work or to conduct business.
5- Thailand Elite Visa:
The Thailand Privilege Cardholders get a long-term Thailand Elite Visa. It is a Tourist Visa (Privilege Entry Visa “PE”) that allows residents to stay in Thailand for 5, 10, or 20 years in return for a membership fee
See more What is Thai Non-Immigrant Visa
How to Apply for a Thailand Visa?
Anyone who is not exempt from visa requirements or who is not eligible for a visa on arrival in Thailand must apply for a Thai visa at one of Thailand’s diplomatic missions overseas, such as a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General. The application process for a Thai visa is as follows:
- Contact the Thailand diplomatic mission in your country.
- Collect the required documents.
- Submit the Thai visa application.
- Wait for the application to be processed.
- Grab the passport and visa.
1- Contact the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General in your country:
- The first step in the process of applying for a Thai visa is to contact a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General. In most cases, you should apply to the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General in your country.
- If your country does not have a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General, you may have to apply at a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General in a nearby country or via a visa application agency.
- You must call them or go to their website to find out how to schedule an appointment (if one is necessary), as well as their opening hours, working days, and preferred form of payment for the visa cost.
Unfortunately, there is no standard procedure for submitting Thailand visa applications for all nationals, since it is determined by the embassy or consulate in each country.
You can find a list of Thai diplomatic representations here
2- Collect the required documents for a Thailand Visa
The documents you must apply for a Thailand visa depend on the purpose of your travel. However, all applicants must have:
- A passport with at least two blank visa pages that is valid for at least another six months.
- A return ticket, indicating that you plan to depart the country after your visa expires.
- Completed and signed Thailand Visa Application Form (TM88).
- Two passport-size photos were taken recently.
- Proof of sufficient financial funds to cover the duration of your stay.
- Payment of the Thailand Visa fee
3- Submitting the Thai visa application
Depending on the Royal Thailand Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General where you are applying, you may submit your visa application in one of two ways:
- In-person, on the date of your appointment.
- By mail, in which case you must send a pre-addressed, self-addressed envelope for the embassy to can return your passport with the visa to you.
4- Waiting for Thailand Visa processing time
The processing time for a Thailand visa varies according to the diplomatic representative office you apply to. Some guarantee processing within two business days, while others may take longer.
However, you should expect a processing time of around 5-10 working days for your Thai visa, starting from the time that the embassy/consulate receives your complete application. Therefore, ensure that you apply well in advance of your intended trip date.
5- Receiving your Thailand visa
Once your Thailand visa application has been approved, you must return to the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General to get your passport and other necessary documents.
If you applied through the mail, they will be returned to you via mail. The visa will be attached to your passport if your application is granted.
Can You Apply for a Thailand Visa Online?
Yes, you can.
In late 2018, the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced they would begin implementing the Thailand eVisa the following year. Chinese citizens were the first foreign nationals to be eligible for the Thai eVisa in February 2019, followed by British and French citizens in April.
Within the next three years, nationals of all foreign countries with which Thailand maintains diplomatic ties will be eligible to apply online for a Thailand visa.
At the moment, people who are eligible to submit their Thailand visa applications online still have to go and get their passport stamped at a Royal Thailand Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General, however, the Thailand government plans to make the whole process entirely online in the coming years.
How long is a Thailand Visa valid?
Thailand visas are valid for the following durations:
Thailand Non-Immigrant (O, B, U, O-A, O-X) Visa: Up to three months, for single entry or multiple entries. A multiple-entry visa can also be issued for up to one year. If you are eligible, you can get a one-year stay permit.
Can You Extend a Thai Visa?
What Are the Thailand Visa Fees?
The cost of a Thai visa varies based on several criteria, one of which is the country from which you are applying. However, on an estimate, you should expect to pay between $30 to $50 for a Tourist Visa, and between $150 to $250 for a Non-Immigrant Visa, depending on the local currency.
Additionally, depending on the preferences of the Royal Thailand Embassy or Royal Thailand Consulate-General through which you apply, you may be required to pay in cash or by bank transfer at the time of application.
Thailand Visa for US Citizens
US citizens do not need a visa to enter Thailand if they plan to remain for less than 30 days
If you are a US citizen, to visit Thailand for up to 30 days, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months and has at least one passport page for the entry stamp.
If you want to extend your stay, you can apply for a 30-day extension at the Thailand Immigration Bureau office in Bangkok for a fee of 1,900 baht (about USD 60).
If you want to stay longer than 30 days, you may apply for a Thailand Visa at the Royal Thailand Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General in the United States.
Thailand Visa for Indians
If you are an Indian citizen, you are eligible to get a Thai Visa on Arrival for a maximum of 15 days from one of the approved points of entry. You must have a return ticket, a valid passport, the Visa on Arrival Application form and Thailand Arrival Card, two passport-sized photos, proof of accommodation, and proof of sufficient funds.
However, the Thailand Visa on Arrival can not be extended, If you need to stay longer than 15 days, you must apply for a regular Thailand visa from a Thailand Embassy or Consulate in your country.
Becoming a Thailand Resident
To become a Thai resident, you must have spent at least three years in Thailand on a Non-Immigrant Visa. You will then be eligible for a Thai Residence Permit.
You must belong to one of the following categories:
- You have a Thailand Work Visa.
- You are a foreign investor.
- You have family relations with a Thai national.
- You are a highly-skilled foreigner (Expert/Academic).
Read more here
Getting Thai Citizenship
To become a Thai citizen, you must be able to meet the following requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must have lived in Thailand for at least five consecutive years before applying.
- You must have permanent residence in Thailand.
- You must have a clean criminal background.
- You must be able to speak and understand the Thai language.
Thailand Visa FAQs:
Is Thailand Visa Free Now?
If you are a citizen of one of the visa-exempt countries, you may enter Thailand without a visa if you go by airplane.
The Visa Exemption rule exempts travelers from 64 countries. They are allowed to remain for 30 days if they enter Thailand via an international airport or a land border crossing. If you are not on this list, please take a look at How To Get Tourist Visa.
Is Thailand Visa Free For Indians?
Yes, there is a visa on arrival in Thailand for Indian citizens, however, only if they match the following criteria: the visit is solely for tourism, the passport must be valid for at least 30 days, you may be requested for your airline ticket when you enter Thailand.
Is Thailand Visa Free For the Philippines?
Philippines nationals do not need a tourist visa to visit Thailand for a stay of up to 30 days. If your stay in Thailand is fewer than 30 days, you’re good to leave. If you intend to remain longer than 30 days for whatever reason, please apply for a Thailand Tourist visa with a longer stay period.
How Much Is Visa To Thailand?
|” D / F ” Diplomats / Official Passport holders||Exempt||3 months||–||–|
|” NON – F ” Government Cooperation||USD 80.-||3 months||–||–|
|” TR ” Tourist Visa||USD 40.-||3 months||–||–|
|” TR / MT ” Medical Treatment – Suspended –||USD 40.-||3 months||–||–|
|” METV ” Tourist Visa||–||–||USD 200.-||6 months|
|” TS / C / S ” Transit / Sport / Crew Visa||USD 35.-||3 months||–||–|
|” STV ” Special Tourist Visa||USD 80.-||3 months||–||–|
|” NON – O ” Thai Family / Family of WP holder||USD 80.-||3 months||USD 200.-||1 year|
|” NON – O ” Retirement||USD 80.-||3 months||USD 200.-||1 year|
|” NON – OA ” Long stay retirement ( 1 year )||–||–||USD 200.-||1 year|
|” NON – OX ” Long stay retirement ( 10 years )||–||–||USD 400.-||5 years|
|” NON – O ” Volunteer||USD 80.-||3 months||–||–|
|” NON – B ” Working – with Work Permit holder||USD 80.-||3 months||–||–|
|” NON – B ” Working – with WP3 letter||USD 80.-||3 months||–||–|
|” NON – B ” Business – with invitation letter||USD 80.-||3 months||USD 200.-||1 year|
|” NON – IB ” Business – with BOI’s letter||USD 80.-||3 months||USD 200.-||1 year|
|” SMART VISA ” Board of Investment approval.||–||–||USD 400.- / year||1 – 4 years|
|” NON – ED ” Students||USD 80.-||3 months||USD 200.-||1 year|
|” NON – M ” Media||USD 80.-||3 months||USD 200.-||1 year|
|” NON – R ” Religious||USD 80.-||3 months||–||–|
Can I Get A 6 Month Visa For Thailand?
Yes, you can get a 6 month visa in Thailand with a Thai multiple entry visa. See more details here.
Can Do I Get A 90 Day Thai Visa?
Yes, you can a 90 day Thai visa in Thailand with Thai Single. See How to get a 90 day Thai Visa.
Can I Stay In Thailand for 1 year?
Yes, you can with One Year Multiple Entry Non-immigrant Visa. The One-Year Non-Immigrant Thai visa is provided to foreigners who want to remain in Thailand for the long term.
Can I Live In Thailand Permanently?
Yes, you can with a Permanent Resident (PR) in Thailand, a Permanent Resident (PR) in Thailand has many benefits.
Can I Live In Thailand Without A Visa?
No, you can not. Most persons who relocate to Thailand do so with a Tourist visa (valid for 60 days) or a Non-Immigrant visa, which is initially valid for 90 days but must be renewed via Thai Immigration.
How Many Types Of Visa In Thailand?
The Ministry of Interior Thailand released ministerial legislation outlining 9
(nine) different categories of visas, some are exclusively granted to holders of diplomatic or official passports, while others are issued to anyone who wants to visit the Kingdom temporarily or permanently.
The various visa kinds confer varied privileges on its holders in terms of the duration of stay in the kingdom and visa costs, which vary depending on the type of visa.
Can I Get a Thailand Visa Online?
Yes, you can get a Thailand Visa Online with the eVisa Thailand program. You can see more details at How To Get Thailand eVisa?