Thailand visa policy and other main Thailand entry requirements in details. Discover everything you should now about Thailand visa exemption, Thai visa on arrival, Thailand tourist visa types, re-entry permit, overstay rules and Thailand immigration control procedure to ensure a smooth entry to Thailand.
Thailand Entry Requirements
During Thailand Immigration control procedure for foreign passport holders all travelers are checked if they meet Thailand Entry Requirements.
The most important requirement is to have a passport that is valid for a decent time after arrival. In most cases, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of your arrival. Only tourists who are planning to use Visa on Arrival must possess passport with at least 1 month validity as Visa on Arrival lets you enter Thailand just for 15 days.
Submitting a filled-in Thailand Arrival Card to the immigration was mandatory for a long time. However, recently this Thailand entry requirement was scrapped for travelers arriving by air as you now only need to present your passport and boarding pass to the immigration officer. However, this immigration card is still required for travelers arriving by land or by sea.
Depending on the country of your passport, the length and purpose of your visit, you might be able to enter the country with Thailand visa exemption or might need to have an appropriate Thailand visa acquired in advance. Your eligibility will be checked during the immigration procedure.
Thailand Immigration control procedure at the airport in Thailand is briefly described here: Thailand Immigration Control Procedure for Foreigners.
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Thailand Visa Policy
Thailand visa policy is quite complicated as there are many different Thailand visa types and even their variations that let you to enter the country depending on your status and purpose of your visit.
The most usual types of Thailand visa that are mainly used to enter Thailand for tourism are the following:
Thailand Visa Exemption
If you hold a passport issued by one of the eligible countries and your passport is valid for at least six months, you are eligible for Thailand visa exemption that lets you enter the country visa-free. While standard duration of Thailand visa exemption is 30 days, depending on bilateral agreement allowed length of stay varies for some countries.
To make sure if your passport country lets you enter Thailand visa-free, check the list of Thailand visa exemption countries.
Nationals entitled to a visa exemption (non ASEAN nations) are eligible to enter Thailand without visa a limited number of times. According to the notification from Thai Embassy in Berlin, a visa exemption total stay of 90 days within 6 months (from the first day of entry) may not be exceeded. If a longer stay is planned, a visa must be applied for in advance.
Thailand Visa on Arrival
If you hold a passport issued by one of Visa on Arrival eligible countries and are planning to stay in Thailand only for a couple weeks, you can apply for Thailand Visa on Arrival that lets you stay in the country for 15 days. This visa can be applied for at the arrival point in Thailand and received same-day at all international airports and most border crossings.
When applying for Visa on Arrival, you need to have a passport, air ticket, photo, hotel booking voucher and enough cash in local currency to pay the visa fee (normally it's 2,000 THB). Detailed information about this type of Thai tourist visa, the list of required documents and application procedure can be found here: Thai Visa on Arrival.
Single Entry Tourist Visa Thailand
Single Entry Tourist Visa is valid for entering Thailand once within 3 months from the date of issuance. The period of stay is 60 days maximum (starting from the day you enter Thailand). Single Entry Tourist Visa can be applied for not only at Thai embassy or consulate in your country but also in the countries neighboring Thailand and costs around 40 USD / 35 EUR. It usually takes two business days to apply for and receive your visa but the process might be much longer as it varies depending on the embassy/consulate.
When applying for Thailand Single Entry Tourist Visa you need to have a passport valid for at least six months from planned arrival, photo, air ticket for flying to Thailand and out, hotel booking in Thailand, a proof that you have enough funds for your trip and visa fee. Detailed information about this type of Thai tourist visa, the list of required documents and application procedure can be found here: Single Entry Tourist Visa Thailand.
Multiple Entry Tourist Visa Thailand
Multiple Entry Tourist Visa is valid for entering Thailand within 6 months from the date of issuance. The period of stay is 60 days maximum per stay. You may enter Thailand again as long as the visa is still valid. Multiple Entry Tourist Visa can only be applied for at Thai consulates and embassies within the country of your residence and costs around 200 USD / 175 EUR.
When applying for a Multiple Entry Tourist Visa you need to have a passport valid for at least six or twelve months, photos, air ticket for flying to/out of Thailand at least for the first time, hotel booking in Thailand for the first visit, proof of sufficient bank balance, proof of employment and visa fee. Additional documents might also be required. Detailed information about this type of Thai tourist visa, the list of required documents and application procedure can be found here: Multiple Entry Visa Thailand.
Other Types of Thailand Visa
Transit Visa valid for 90 days can be issued for the following purpose:
- Pilots, captains steering vehicles to Thailand’s ports or stations, and crews (C)
- Athletes participating in sport events (S)
- Transit (stopover longer than 12 hours) (TS)
Non-Immigrant B Visa valid for 90 days can be issued for the following purpose:
- Employed as an academic staff/teacher in Thailand
- Internship (Non-Curricular internship)
- Sport-related activities (Trainers/Coach/Instructor/etc.)
- Travelling to Thailand for a business purpose e.g., Meeting, Exhibition (can also be 1 year multiple-entry)
- Frequent business visit 3 years (valid for 3 years)
Non-Immigrant ED Visa valid for 90 days can be issued for the following purpose:
- Attending workshop training or seminar organized by International Organizations
- For monks, nuns, priests studying dharma in Thailand
- Internship (Curricular internship)
- To study in a basic education level (primary, elementary, and secondary school)
- To study in a higher education level (university and college)
- To study in a short course (Thai or English language)
Non-Immigrant F Visa valid for 90 days can be issued for the following purpose:
- Family or dependent of diplomatic officers/ officials based in Thailand
- Peace Corps
- To attend a meeting with a Thai agency or to participate in an event organized by the Thai government
- To work with the government, diplomatic mission or an international organization in Thailand
Non-Immigrant M Visa valid for 90 days (single entry) or 1 year (multiple entry) can be issued for the following purpose:
- Film crew (having the purpose of producing a film, motion picture, or advertisement)
- Media/Press based in Thailand
Non-Immigrant O Visa valid for 90 days can be issued for the following purpose:
- Diplomat’s housekeeper
- Medical treatment (longer than 60 days)
- Retirement (pensioner aged 50 or above with a state pension who wishes to stay in Thailand for no longer than 90 days)
- Thai nationals who have abandoned their Thai citizenship
- To be a contestant or a witness for the judicial process
- To stay with non-Thai family residing in Thailand (more than 60 days)
- To stay with Thai family residing in Thailand (more than 60 days)
- Voluntary work with NGO/Charity/Association (without salary)
Non-Immigrant O-A Visa valid for 1 year (multiple entry) can be issued to applicants aged 50 years and over who wish to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 1 year without the intention of working.
Non-Immigrant O-X Visa valid for 5 years (multiple entry) can be issued to applicants aged 50 years and over who wish to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 10 years without the intention of working. Applicants must be nationals and passport holders of eligible countries, namely; Japan, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.
Non-Immigrant R Visa valid for 90 days can be issued to perform missionary work or other religious activities with approval from a relevant Governmental Department
Non-Immigrant RS Visa valid for 90 days can be issued for the purpose Research and Science
LTR Visa valid for 10 years can be issued for the following purpose:
- Professionals or experts in targeted industries working for business entities or higher education institutions or research centers or specialized training (H)
- Remote workers working for well-established overseas companies (T)
- Retirees aged 50 years and older who have an annual pension or stable income (P)
- Spouse and children under 20 years old of LTR visa holders (Maximum 4 dependents in total or one LTR holder) “LTR(O)”
- Wealthy individuals holding at least USD 1 million in assets (W)
SMART Visa valid for 1-4 Years is a new type of visa designed to attract highly skilled manpower and investors to help accelerate the development of the country’s targeted industries. SMART Visa is offered to foreign experts, executives, entrepreneurs and investors who wish to enter into the Kingdom of Thailand to work or to invest in the “13 S-Curve industries” or the country’s targeted industries.
Elite Visa - visa for Non-Thai nationals who hold a Thailand Elite /Thailand Privilege Card
Thailand Visa Photo Size
What photo size is required when applying for Thai visa? Required Thailand visa photo size depends on the type of Thai visa you are planning to apply for as visa application forms are different.
If you will be applying for Single Entry Tourist Visa or Multiple Entry Tourist Visa at one of Thai embassies or consulates worldwide, the required Thailand visa photo size will be 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm as it's the size that will fit to the Thailand Visa Application Form.
Tourists applying for Visa on Arrival at the airport or border crossing need to provide larger photos as required Thailand visa photo size is 4.0 cm x 6.0 cm when applying for Visa on Arrival. As you can see on Thailand Visa on Arrival Form, the space for attaching the photo there is larger.
More information about choosing the right Thailand visa photo size can be found here: Thailand Visa Photo Size.
Thailand Visa Application
You can apply for different types of Thailand visa at Thai embassies or consulates worldwide. However, most of Thai embassies now accept Thai visa applications only from the legal residents of the specific country (or the country in the jurisdiction of that Thai embassy).
However, if you are traveling around Southeast Asia, you still can apply for some types of Thailand visa at Thai embassies and consulates in Thailand neighboring countries. such as Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar.
The process of Thai visa application varies as some of Thai embassies use Thailand E-Visa official website, others have their own online systems, some accept applications via Visa processing agents, while the rest still accept applications in person. As it was mentioned before, you should always check for the detailed list of required documents with the specific Thai embassy or consulate before making your Thai visa application there.
Thailand E-Visa Application
Thailand E-Visa Application service giving an opportunity to apply for Thai visa online is available. E-Visa service makes application for Thailand visa at Thai embassies and consulates much easier. However, Thailand E-Visa application system is still used just by some Thai embassies worldwide.
Thailand E-Visa application service is currently available for visa application in China, United Kingdom, United States and a number of countries in Europe. Check with your local Thai embassy if they require you to apply for Thailand visa via Thailand E-Visa official website. Application for most types of Thailand visa are accepted on this platform.
Re-Entry Permit Thailand
If you have an extension of stay but would like to travel outside Thailand for a short period then you will need to apply for a Re-Entry permit. You can apply for a Re-Entry permit at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok or at any Immigration office located in the provinces.
When applying for a Re-Entry permit you will need to submit passport with immigration (departure) card, the completed re-entry permit form, one passport photo, photocopies of passport pages (main page and latest entry stamp) and fee of 1,000 THB.
Thailand Visa Extension
If you wish to stay longer than your period of stay, your free visa-exempt stay or tourist visa can be extended once at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok or at any Immigration office located in the provinces.
When applying for Thailand visa extension you will need to submit passport with immigration (departure) card, the completed visa extension form, one passport photo, photocopies of passport pages (photo page, current visa, immigration card) and fee of 1,900 THB.
Detailed information about Thai tourist visa extension can be found here: How to Extend Your Stay in Thailand.
Overstay Rules Thailand
If you overstay your visa, you will have to pay 500 THB per day at the border/airport.
Short periods of overstay is not a big problem when you get to a border crossing or airport and have the cash to pay the fine. But if you get caught by the police anywhere else, overstaying may result in punishment and deportation. Overstaying for more than a few months can result in a long-term travel ban to Thailand.
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Check our Frequently Asked Questions about Thailand Entry Requirements and ask your own question if it's not answered there yet.