Visa policy of Thailand

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Thailand Visa issued to a national of Iran.
Thailand Entry Stamp.
Thailand Exit Stamp.

Visitors to Thailand must obtain a visa from one of the Thai diplomatic missions unless they come from a visa-exempt country or a country whose citizens are eligible to obtain visas on arrival.[1][2]

Thailand currently offers visa-free travel to nationals of 57 countries and territories.[1] The Thai government maintains bilateral agreements on visa waivers with some of these countries. Nationals of 21 countries can obtain a visa on arrival.

Since May 2014, there was a brief crackdown on visa runs, meaning that if foreigners wish to re-enter Thailand after their visa-free or visa on arrival period has expired they have to obtain a visa in advance, or remain outside Thailand at least for one night.[3] In August 2014, Thailand Prime Minister ordered the Immigration Police to be more flexible as the strict application of the law was affecting schools and the tourist industry.[4] On October 31, 2018 it was announced that within 30 days (by the end of November 2018), overstay visas will no longer be allowed, and there will be no remaining overstayers in the kingdom by that date.[5] On 20 November 2018 the cabinet of Thailand approved several new visa free and visa on arrival countries. New visa free countries are (30 days): Latvia, Lithuania, Andorra, San Marino, Ukraine, Maldives, Mauritius. New visa on arrival countries are (15 days): Mexico, Vanuatu, Nauru, Georgia. Cabinet approval means a done deal but it still needs to be proclaimed. The implementation date is not set yet but expected to be in the coming months.[when?][6]

Thailand visa policy map[edit]

Visa policy map of Thailand

Visa exemption for normal passports[edit]

90 days (5 nations)[edit]

The governments of the following countries have concluded bilateral visa waiver agreements with Thailand. Holders of normal passports from these countries are allowed to travel to Thailand without a visa for 90 days.[2]

30 days waiver (6 nations)[edit]

Holders of normal passports issued by these countries which have bilateral agreements on visa waivers with Thailand are allowed to stay up to 30 days.[2]

* — also eligible for visa on arrival.[7]
1 - for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport only.

30 days exemption (51 nations)[edit]

Holders of normal passports of the following countries are granted visa-free travel to Thailand for a period of up to 30 days. The exemption is granted at most twice in a calendar year when entering overland or via a sea border but there is no limitation when entering by air.[8][2][9]

* — also eligible for visa on arrival.[10]
1 — Brunei, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean nationals do not have a limitation on the number of visa exempt entries.[8]
2 — for British citizens and British Nationals (Overseas) only.

Most of the visa-exempt nationalities listed above may apply to extend their stay for another 30 days since 29 August 2014.[11]

14 days (2 nations)[edit]

Under bilateral agreements, holders of normal passports of the following 2 countries can stay without a visa for a maximum of 14 days:[2]

Visa exemption for diplomatic or service category passports[edit]

  Thailand
  Diplomatic and service category passports
  Diplomatic passports

Holders of diplomatic or service category passports issued by the following countries and territories are allowed to visit Thailand without a visa for visits up to 90 days (unless otherwise noted):[2]

D — diplomatic passports only.

Visa-free agreements for holders of diplomatic, service and official passports were signed with  Georgia on 26 September 2018,[12]  Kosovo (diplomatic passports only) in September 2018,[13]  Mozambique on 3 December 2018[14] but they are yet to enter into force.

Visa on arrival for normal passports[edit]

Thai visa on arrival stamp on a Russian passport
External image
Map of entry points with Visa on Arrival facility

Nationals from the following countries may apply for a visa on arrival which allows them to stay for up to 15 days at major entry points whether by air or by land. Visa on arrival may not be extended.[2]

In November 2018 Government spokesman Puttipong Punnakanta announced that starting December 1, 2018, visitors from these 21 countries will have their visa-on-arrival fee waived for 60 days, in an effort to bolster tourism numbers.[15] This was later extended until 30 April 2019.[16][17]

There are 48 Immigration checkpoints providing visa on arrival, including:[20]

International Airport

Land and harbor checkpoint

eVisa on arrival[edit]

From 21 November 2018 Thailand started issuing tourist visas valid for 15 days in a simplified procedure to visitors from the countries whose citizens are eligible for visa on arrival.[21]

Electronic visa application also became available from February 2019 in some of the consulates of Thailand abroad.[22][23][24][25]

Transit[edit]

Passengers transiting through Suvarnabhumi Airport for less than 12 hours do not require a visa, unless they are travelling on Angkor Air, Beijing Capital Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Eastar Jet, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Indigo, Intira Airlines, Jeju Air, Jet Asia Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways, Jetstar Pacific, Jin Air, Juneyao Airlines, Lao Central Airlines, Tigerair Mandala, Norwegian Air, Orient Thai Airlines, Regent Airways, Shandong Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, South East Asian Airlines, SpiceJet, Spring Airlines, T'way Airlines, Thai Smile, Tigerair or VietJet Air.[1]

Those transiting through Don Mueang International Airport for less than 12 hours do not require a visa only when travelling on Thai AirAsia or Thai AirAsia X.[1]

Citizens of Pakistan are required to obtain a visa when transiting through Thailand at all times.[26]

APEC Business Travel Card[edit]

Holders of passports issued by the following countries who possess an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) containing "THA" on the back of the card can enter visa-free for business trips for up to 90 days.[1]

ABTCs are issued to nationals of:[27]

Mandatory yellow fever vaccination[edit]

Mandatory yellow fever vaccination for Thailand

Nationals of the following countries or nationals arriving from the following countries require an International Certificate of Vaccination in order to enter Thailand, unless they produce evidence that they do not reside in the following areas. Failure to fulfill this requirement could result in refusal of entry into Thailand.[28]

Visa types[edit]

General visa types[edit]

  • Courtesy: Upon official request, the Royal Thai Embassy may grant courtesy visas/laissez-passer to diplomats/UN officials/others who wish to enter the Kingdom on official duty and/or other purposes
  • Permanent resident: To qualify for this visa, you must have stayed in Thailand for 3 consecutive with the one-year visa extensions. If married to a Thai for 5 years, one must be earning 30,000 baht/month. If single, your monthly income must be 80,000 baht minimum.
  • Tourist: If an individual wishes to remain in Thailand for more than 30 days, he/she may wish to obtain a tourist visa at a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate prior to arriving in Thailand. The tourist visa must be used within validity date, that varies with the number of entries purchased, and allows an initial stay of 60 days. After arrival in Thailand, a tourist visa or a visa exempt entry may be extended once for an additional 30 days according to immigration Bureau order 327/2557. There is a 1,900 baht fee for each extension.
  • Transit: This type of visa is issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for the following purposes: to travel in transit through the Kingdom in order to proceed to the country of destination or to re-enter his/her own country (category "TS"); the person in charge of or crew of a conveyance coming to a port, station, or area in the Kingdom (category "C")

Non-Immigrant visa types[edit]

  • Type B: to conduct business; work; attend business conferences; teach school; attend scuba diving, muay Thai, and massage courses
  • Type D: diplomatic visa
  • Type ED: to study; to come on a work study tour or observation tour; to participate in projects or seminars; to attend a conference or training course; to study as a foreign Buddhist monk
  • Type EX: to undertake skilled work or to work as an expert or specialist
  • Type F: to perform official duties, e.g., military exercises or governmental assignments
  • Type IB: to invest or perform other activities relating to investment, subject to the provision of the established laws on investment promotion
  • Type IM: to invest with the concurrence of the Thai ministries and governmental departments concerned
  • Type M: to work as a film-producer, journalist, or reporter with permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Type O: to visit family; to perform duties for a state enterprise or social welfare organizations (NGOs); to receive medical treatment; to be a sports coach as required by the Thai government; to be a contestant; to be a witness in a judicial process
  • Type O-A: retirement visa
  • Type R: to perform missionary work or other religious activities with the concurrence of the Thai ministries or government departments concerned
  • Type RS: to conduct scientific research or training or teaching in a research institute
  • Type S:to participate in an officially recognised sports event.

Statistics[edit]

Most visitors arriving to Thailand on short term basis were from the following countries of nationality:

  • Reference: statistics for the period 1998–2016,[29] 2017[30]–2018.[31]
Rank Country or territory Jan-Feb
2019[32]
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
*  ASEAN 1,525,303 10,284,050 9,119,941 8,658,051 7,886,136 6,641,772 7,282,266 6,281,153 5,594,577 4,534,235 3,968,579 3,971,429 3,520,051 3,389,342
1  China 2,122,746 10,535,955 9,805,753 8,757,466 7,934,791 4,636,298 4,637,335 2,786,860 1,721,247 1,122,219 777,508 826,660 907,117 949,117
2  Malaysia* 597,309 4,097,604 3,354,800 3,533,826 3,423,397 2,613,418 3,041,097 2,554,397 2,500,280 2,058,956 1,757,813 1,855,332 1,540,080 1,591,328
3  Russia 421,045 1,472,949 1,346,219 1,089,992 884,085 1,606,430 1,746,565 1,316,564 1,054,187 644,678 336,965 324,120 277,503 187,658
4  South Korea 392,520 1,796,596 1,709,070 1,464,218 1,372,995 1,122,566 1,295,342 1,263,619 1,156,283 885,445 758,227 889,210 1,183,652 1,092,783
5  Japan 316,335 1,656,100 1,544,328 1,439,629 1,381,690 1,267,886 1,586,425 1,373,716 1,277,893 993,674 1,004,453 1,153,868 1,277,638 1,311,987
6  India 287,032 1,596,772 1,411,942 1,193,822 1,069,149 932,603 1,050,889 1,013,308 914,971 760,371 614,566 536,964 536,356 459,795
7  Laos* 280,852 1,750,658 1,612,647 1,409,456 1,233,138 1,053,983 976,639 975,999 891,950 715,345 655,034 621,564 513,701 276,207
8  United States 211,232 1,123,248 1,056,124 974,632 867,520 763,520 823,486 768,638 681,748 611,792 627,074 669,097 681,972 694,258
9  France 202,679 749,643 739,853 738,763 681,097 635,073 611,582 576,106 515,572 461,670 427,067 398,407 373,090 321,278
10  United Kingdom 188,095 987,456 994,468 1,003,386 946,919 907,877 905,024 873,053 844,972 810,727 841,425 826,523 859,010 850,685
11  Germany 196,159 889,777 849,283 835,506 760,604 715,240 737,658 682,419 619,133 606,874 573,473 542,726 544,495 516,659
12  Cambodia* 140,633 882,015 854,431 686,682 487,487 550,339 481,595 423,642 265,903 146,274 96,586 85,790 99,945 117,100
13  Singapore* 144,824 1,067,309 1,028,077 966,909 937,311 844,133 955,468 831,215 682,364 603,538 563,575 570,047 604,603 687,160
14  Hong Kong 140,041 1,015,688 820,894 749,694 669,165 483,131 588,335 473,666 411,834 316,476 318,762 337,827 367,862 376,636
15  Taiwan 135,061 687,701 572,964 522,231 552,624 394,149 502,176 394,475 394,225 369,220 362,783 393,176 427,474 475,117
16  Vietnam* 131,838 1,027,430 934,497 830,394 751,091 559,415 725,057 618,670 496,768 380,368 363,029 338,303 237,672 227,134
17  Australia 121,365 801,637 817,091 791,631 805,946 831,854 900,460 930,241 829,855 698,046 646,705 694,473 658,148 549,547
18  Indonesia* 104,895 644,043 574,764 535,625 469,226 497,592 594,251 447,820 370,795 286,072 227,205 247,930 237,592 219,783
19  Sweden 101,533 311,959 323,669 332,866 321,663 324,865 341,398 364,681 373,856 355,214 350,819 392,274 378,387 306,085
20  Italy 65,688 280,161 264,429 265,532 246,066 219,875 207,192 200,703 185,869 168,203 170,105 159,513 171,328 150,420
21  Philippines* 64,542 432,578 380,886 339,486 310,975 304,813 321,571 289,566 268,375 246,430 217,705 221,506 205,266 198,443
22  Canada 62,722 276,543 258,392 244,268 227,306 211,059 229,897 219,354 194,356 168,393 169,482 180,900 183,440 183,094
23  Myanmar* 58,288 368,170 365,590 341,641 259,678 206,794 172,383 129,385 110,671 90,179 79,279 71,902 72,205 62,769
24  Netherlands 42,673 236,300 222,077 235,708 221,657 211,524 218,765 208,122 198,891 196,994 205,412 193,541 194,434 180,830
25   Switzerland 44,655 207,596 209,434 208,967 206,454 201,271 199,923 191,147 170,044 155,761 148,269 143,065 146,511 140,741

* ASEAN nation


Re-Entry Permit[edit]

If you have an extension of stay or simple permit to stay (of a tourist or non immigrant visa), but would like to travel outside Thailand for a short period then you will need to apply for a Re-Entry permit.[33].

Work Permit[edit]

To legally work in Thailand, a foreigner must apply for a work permit. Work permit is a legal document that states a foreigner’s position, current occupation, or job description and the Thai company he is working with. It also serves as a license to perform a job or an occupation allowed for foreigners inside Thailand. A foreigner is eligible to apply for a work permit as long as he has a non-immigrant visa or a resident visa, has an available employer who will provide documents for work permit, and the occupation he will perform is not prohibited to foreigners.[34]

One Stop Service Centre for Visas and Work Permits[edit]

The One Stop Service Centre for Visas and Work Permits was established on 1 July 1997 by authority of the Regulations of the Office of Prime Minister promulgated on 30 June 1997. The objective of this centre is to simplify visa extension and permit issuance procedures to create a good investment environment. It aims to facilitate applications of visa extension and work permits (e.g., stay permission, re-entry permit, work permit). The Centre is located on Chamchuree Square Building, Floor 18, Phatumwan, Bangkok.[35]

Foreigners who are eligible to apply for visa extension and work permits at the One Stop Service Centre[edit]

  • Foreigner who is an executive or expert with privileges accorded to them by the following laws:
    1. Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 (1977);
    2. Petroleum Act B.E. 2514 (1971);
    3. Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act B.E. 2522 (1979);
  • Foreigner who is an investor.
    1. If investing not less than 2 million Baht, he or she will be granted a 1-year permit.
    2. If investing not less than 10 million Baht, he or she will be granted a 2-year permit.
  • Foreigner who is an executive or expert.
  • Foreigner’s associated company should be registered with capital or possess asset of not less than 30 million Baht.
  • Foreigner who is a member of the foreign press must present a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a copy of an ID Press Card issued by the Department of Public Relations.
  • Foreigner who is a researcher or developer on science and technology.
  • Foreigner who is employed in a branch office of an overseas bank, foreign banking office of an overseas bank, provincial foreign banking office of an overseas bank or a representative office of the foreign bank in which all offices are certified by the Bank of Thailand.
  • Foreigner who works on the necessary and urgent basis for a period of no longer than 15 days.
  • Foreigner who is an official of the representative office for foreign juristic persons concerning the International Trading Business and Regional Office of Transnational Corporation in accordance to the Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (1999).
  • Foreigner who is an expert on information technology.
  • Foreigner who works at regional operating headquarters.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Country information (visa section)". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA) through Olympic Air. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Summary of Countries and Territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on Arrival to Thailand, Department of Consular Affairs, 20 Dec 2018
  3. ^ Phuket: Strict new immigration regulations mean crackdown on visa runs
  4. ^ Phuket: Coup leader calls for Immigration to relax ‘out-in’ visa clampdown
  5. ^ No more overstayers, no more corruption at Immigration – Hakparn
  6. ^ "ครม.เห็นชอบ ยกเว้นตรวจวีซ่านักท่องเที่ยวต่างชาติเข้าไทย เพิ่มเติม". LINE TODAY. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b Royal Thai Consulate General, Hong Kong. "Revision of the Visa Exemption Scheme Regulation" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  9. ^ Thailand Visa Exemption Available for 7 New Countries
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Thailand to Offer Extra 30 Days to Visa Exempt Travellers
  12. ^ http://mfa.gov.ge/News/tailandis-samefosa-da-saqartvelos-shoris-kheli-moe.aspx?CatID=5
  13. ^ https://mobile.twitter.com/pacollibehgjet/status/1045055655579668480
  14. ^ https://mobile.twitter.com/MFAThai/status/1069589937496895488
  15. ^ "Visa-fee waiver for 21 countries as tourism numbers spark panic". Phuket: The Thaiger. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  16. ^ Thai cabinet agrees to extend visa-on-arrival fee exemption to April 30
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ [4]
  19. ^ [5]
  20. ^ Royal Thai Embassy, Singapore. "VISA ON ARRIVAL". Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  21. ^ [6]
  22. ^ [7]
  23. ^ [8]
  24. ^ [9]
  25. ^ [10]
  26. ^ Thailand makes transit visa mandatory for Pakistani passengers
  27. ^ "ABTC Summary". Archived from the original on 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  28. ^ Thailand Visa Information : List of countries which require International Health Certificate for Yellow Fever Vaccination.
  29. ^ "สถิตินักท่องเที่ยว Visitor Statistics, 1998–2016". Department of Tourism Thailand (in Thai). Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  30. ^ Cite error: The named reference MOTS was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  31. ^ Cite error: The named reference MOTS18 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  32. ^ Cite error: The named reference MOTS19 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  33. ^ "Re-Entry Permits | ThaiEmbassy.com". ThaiEmbassy.com. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  34. ^ "All About Work Permits | Thaiembassy.com". www.thaiembassy.com. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  35. ^ "Thailand Visa Information : Non-Immigrant Visa "B" (for Business and Work) - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand". www.mfa.go.th. Retrieved 2018-09-08.

External links[edit]