Thailand is a well established and popular place to vacation and travel, many people are curious or confused about the visa process.There are three major categories: Countries who need no visa to enter, some of these countries can get a visa on arrival, others must get it ahead of time at a Royal Thai Embassy or Consolate General in their home country. Here we are speaking of the standard intent to visit for tourism, a standard entry of stay up to thirty or fifteen days.
Countries that do not need a visa
These countries are classified as Tourist Visa Exemption. One still has to cross immigration and can be asked to show a departure ticket, means of stay and possibly show a means of financial ability to stay for the time intended. The traveler must have a passport that is valid up to six months after the date of departure. Here are the countries that are exempt. This list can always change and it is a good idea to check even just before making the trip. Currently 48 countries fall into this category. They are as follows:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland France Germany Greece Hong Kong Iceland Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea Kuwait Laos Luxembourg Macau Malaysia Monaco Mongolia Netherlands New Zealand Norway Oman Peru Philippines Portugal Qatar Russia Singapore South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States and Vietnam.
Visa on Arrival
Passport holders from the 28 countries listed below have the opportunity to apply for a visa at the immigration checkpoints of arrival for the purposes of tourism. These visas are valid for only 15 days as opposed to the 30 day visas. Longer tourism visas can be obtained at Embassies and Consulate generals in the individuals home country. Anyone getting the visa on arrival must show proof of living expenses of 10,000 baht per person and 20,000 baht per family.
Passports must be valid for at least six months after the visit, the visa on arrival goes into validity immediately and can only be used in the following 15 days. There are 24 official entry points in Thailand where one can get the visa on arrival, these are the most popular border crossings. An individual may be asked to show a return travel ticket with the proper exit dates. The Visa on arrival will have a form to be filled out, that can be gotten in the airport, a recent photo of the individual and a 1,000 baht-processing fee. The following are countries that can obtain visa on arrival:
Bhutan China Cyprus Estonia India Kazakhstan Latvia Lithuania Maldives Mauritius Saudi Arabia Ukraine Uzbekistan Ethiopia Taiwan Bulgaria Andorra Malta San Marino Romania
Visa Prior to Travel
Any countries not listed above would fall into this final category in which tourists to Thailand can only apply for a visa only at the Royal Thai Embassy in the applicant’s country of residence, or at the Royal Thai Embassy which has jurisdiction over his or her country of residence.
To begin this process it is recommended to call the Embassy and be sure to get a list of all required documentation. In general standard things required are:
-A passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of the intended trip from one’s own country of residence.
-The applicant must be outside of the kingdom of Thailand while the whole request process is going on.
-The applicants must appear in person to submit and collect the visa materials. Some situations allow for proxy by a travel agency or mail in but that is a case by case basis depending on the rules set up in individual countries.
-Besides a passport, it can vary on what one is expected to bring so do call ahead. Some applicants have mentioned proof of financial means, and basic travel itineraries (it is best not to buy any un-refundable hotels or transit ahead of time if possible).