E-Visa Thailand or E-VoA, a new system for Thai Visa on Arrival online application, was launched in November 2018. E-Visa Thailand is currently available at 4 main international airports of Thailand (BKK, DMK, HKT, CNX). This fast-entry online visa system is expected to cut visa processing time significantly.
There are few things you must know about e-Visa Thailand before jumping on a chance to use this new online system for Thai Visa on Arrival application.
Countries Eligible for E-Visa Thailand
E-Visa Thailand should be available for the citizens of all 21 countries that are eligible for obtaining Thai Visa on Arrival. However, at the time of writing the availability of e-Visa Thailand is limited to:
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
So far not all the countries eligible for getting Thai Visa on Arrival are included in the list. All the countries in European Union (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania) are still not eligible for e-Visa Thailand even if all other ways of acquiring Thai Visa on Arrival is available for the citizens of these European countries.
What does it say? The new e-Visa Thailand system must be experiencing some personal data management problems as it’s managed not by Thai Immigration but private company and the laws related to usage of personal data are really strict in European Union. Let’s hope that they will be able to sort it out sooner or later.
Entry Points where E-Visa Thailand is Available
Thai Visa on Arrival can be acquired if you are arriving to Thailand by air, by sea or by land through border crossings from Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia. Full list of entry points can be found here: Immigration checkpoints with Visa on Arrival facilities.
E-Visa Thailand is currently available only if you are arriving at one of 4 main international airports in Thailand:
- Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)
- Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
- Phuket International Airport (HKT)
- Chiangmai International Airport (CNX)
However, more Thailand entry points can be waiting in the line for the implementation of the e-Visa Thailand online system.
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Advantages of E-Visa Thailand
It is expected that the e-Visa Thailand (e-VoA) system will cut Thai Visa on Arrival processing time to as little as one minute. Separate lanes are promised for the users of e-Visa Thailand at the airports. If these promises will come true, it can really make acquisition of Thai Visa on Arrival faster than it is now. But it comes for a price that is not low at all.
Another advantage of using e-Visa Thailand is the possibility to make an online payment for Thai Visa on Arrival. Currently Thai Visa on Arrival fee must be paid in cash only and it might be not convenient to people who prefer using credit cards. However, you will hardly survive without cash in Thailand so exchanging your cash to local currency shouldn’t be such a big problem.
Disadvantages of E-Visa Thailand
We really support all the initiatives that make traveling easier and the aim of e-Visa Thailand is just like that. However, e-Visa Thailand online service is hardly worth the price.
As you might already know, current Thai Visa on Arrival fee is 2000 THB (~60 USD or ~53 EUR) and Thai Visa on Arrival is already the most expensive visa on arrival in all Southeast Asia. Well, yes, Thailand Visa on Arrival Fee Waiver is in place until 30 April 2020 but it’s temporary. When applying for e-Visa Thailand, this price of visa is not the final and the usage of the online system won’t come cheap.
E-Visa Thailand doesn’t advertise it but there’s an additional service fee for Thai Visa on Arrival online application.
An additional e-Visa Thailand fee is 525 THB, so the total price of Thai Visa on Arrival when applying for e-Visa Thailand will be 2525 THB (~ 76 USD or ~67 EUR).
Is E-Visa Thailand worth it?
Is it worth it? Hardly!
You can use the fast lane at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport for just 200 THB extra and it won’t take much longer than getting e-Visa Thailand. Let’s hope that they won’t close the fast lane for promoting this e-Visa project.
The additional e-Visa Thailand fee doesn’t put you off? Read the “Terms and conditions” of the services carefully!
“Terms and conditions” of e-Visa Thailand website says:
“If the application is rejected, We will close the application process and in such case, we will not return or refund any fees paid by you. If the application is pre-approved, you understand and agree that the Immigration Bureau of Thailand grants you a pre-approval and reserves the right to conduct further due diligence upon arrival at the immigration checkpoint in Thailand. The pre-approval does not guarantee your entry into Thailand”.
What does it mean? Well, if you will make a mistake while filling your personal details in the form or your documents won’t be correct, your e-Visa Thailand application will be rejected and you will lose all the fees paid by you, 2525 THB in total. Of course, you can try as many times as you want, if you are ready to spend more money.
In this case, dealing with the “real” officer at the counter is way much better as if your documents are not fine, the officer will give you a chance to change something and it won’t cost you a thing.
And even if you will be lucky to get a pre-approval, you can't be guaranteed that your entry to Thailand won't be rejected at the border.
Website of E-Visa Thailand
If you’re still willing to use this new e-Visa Thailand online service, you can fill your Thai Visa on Arrival application on the website https://www.evisathailand.com.
Detailed information about how to how to apply for e-Visa Thailand and how to fill in e-Visa application form correctly can be found here: Thailand eVisa Application: How to Apply for Thai eVisa.
Alternatives for E-Visa Thailand
It’s still not mandatory to use e-Visa Thailand services for getting Thai Visa on Arrival and that’s a good thing. You can still fill your Thai Visa on Arrival application form online when arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and use the fast lane there for extra 200 THB. It really adds more value than the current e-Visa Thailand system for Thai Visa on Arrival online application.
More tips on getting Thai Visa on Arrival the old way at the main airport of Thailand can be found here:
- Visa on Arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
- Visa on Arrival at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport (DMK)
- Visa on Arrival at Phuket International Airport (HKT)
- Visa on Arrival at Chiang Mai Airport (CNX)
- Visa on Arrival at Krabi International Airport (KBV)
New Thailand eVisa on Arrival system was launched but it hardly improved the situation. More info: New Thailand eVisa on Arrival (eVOA) by VFS Global.
Where to Stay in Bangkok?
What is the best area to stay in Bangkok? Our recommendations for choosing the best area to stay in Bangkok can be found here: Where to Stay in Bangkok - Guide to Bangkok Best Areas.
Check our Frequently Asked Questions about Thailand Visa on Arrival and ask your own question if it's not answered there yet.