One big reason loads of tourists flock to Thailand is how simple it is to get a tourist visa. Although things have shifted since COVID, with fewer direct flights now, there are still perks like straightforward visa procedures and budget-friendly holidays. Indian tourists find it all quite a delight! Unless your papers aren’t up to scratch or false, it’s not too much hassle.
This guide is just the ticket for getting your Thailand Tourist Visa sorted, complete with the most recent updates!
- COVID Restrictions
- Thailand Tourist is Not Free for all nationalities
- Thai Tourist Visa for Indian Nationals
- E-Visa Procedure
- Thailand Airport Immigration Procedure
- Potential Reasons for Visa Rejection
- Visa on Arrival at Border Crossings and Ports
Thailand COVID restrictions for Tourists
Their official website says, “The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that Thailand continues to welcome all international tourists in 2023. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, said “International travelers arriving in Thailand are not required to show proof of vaccination.”
With all the pandemic news, hoaxes, and conspiracies floating around, it’s important to always check their official website to stay updated in case any new restrictions pop up overnight.
Is Thailand Tourist Visa Free for all Citizens?
No, Thailand doesn’t hand out free tourist visas to everyone. The visa situation varies depending on where you’re from. Some folks get a free pass and don’t need a visa for a bit, while others have to apply before they can rock up to Thailand.
It’s smart to check what’s up with visas for your own country before jetting off. I usually rely on iVisa to sort out my tourist visas when I need ’em. They keep their info up-to-date. Just take a quick look below to see if you need a visa for Thailand. If you do, you can follow through from there and get the ball rolling on your application.
Just pop your nationality into the first column and select Thailand as the destination in the iVisa widget below. It’ll give you the lowdown on whether you need a Thailand Tourist visa.
If you see a pop-up saying, “You don’t need a Visa for Thailand if you have a passport from XYZ,” then you’re good to go without a visa. But if it says, “You need a Visa to travel to Thailand if you have a passport from ABC”, then go ahead filling the application through the same – Easy peasy!
Read ” Complete Thailand Travel Guide for 15 ” days to get started with your Thailand Trip Planning
Is Thailand Tourist “visa-free” for Indians?
When I travelled to Thailand, Indian citizens are eligible for Electronic Visa and Visas on arrival. But as from November 10 of this year until May 10, 2024, Indian tourists will be able to enter Thailand without a visa. And you can stay upto 30 days in Thailand. So if you are an Indian, just book your flights , accommodation and enjoy Thailand! (Quite opposite to how we struggle for our Schengen Visa!)
Heads up! It’s wise to keep an eye on their official website because after May 10, 2024, they might cancel the “Visa free for Indians” deal, or they might just keep it going. It’s a bit up in the air, so staying updated is the way to go!
Thailand Tourist E-Visa Procedure.
If you’re seeking a Thailand tourist e-Visa or need a visa for more than 30 days or multiple entries, this section of the blog will guide you through the process.
The Thailand Visa portal is a breeze to navigate.
Watch out for scammers and agents claiming they’re the only ones who can sort your visa. Loads of agent portals mimic Thailand’s official one, and they’ll charge you way more than the visa fees. If you’re feeling lost or it’s a bit confusing to use the official site, you can opt for iVisa with a bit of extra cost for their service, just to make things simpler- Trust me, instead of breaking your head over getting a Visa, you better off planning your Thailand trip and leave the work to this reliable company.
The Tourist Visa is issue for maximum of 60 days stay. Those wanting an extended stay or considering a visa type change need to apply for permission at the Office of Immigration Bureau in Bangkok.
Wondering why someone would stay for 60 days in Thailand? Our story “Why are you wasting 15 days in Thailand?” will give you a clarity.
If you don’t mind standing in long lines to get Visa on Arrival, you can do it once you arrive in Thailand. But ensure, you have all the below listed documents perfectly arranged.
Documents required for Thailand Tourist Visa
List of Docs needed while applying for Thailand Tourist e-Visa :
- Image of
- Passport cover page
- Passport bio page
- Departure and Return Airline tickets
- Confirmed booking of stay – Hotel/guesthouse/ BnB/ Hostel
- Your Photograph size 4×6 cm.
How do I get proof of funds for Thai visa?
People planning an extended stay of over a month in Thailand should be aware of strict financial requirements. I encountered a fellow passenger on an island-hopping trip from Tunisia who had to undergo rigorous screening. Thai authorities thoroughly examined her six-month bank statement and inquired about her income source
The price for a single-entry tourist visa can differ depending on the country, but typically ranges between $30 to $50 USD. We paid 50 USD/person in 2019. Travel insurance is not mandatory, but I always recommend you to have one. Plus, Thailand health ministry suggests you to carry COVID insurance.
How long does a Thai online visa take?
It takes three to seven days to get your Thailand Tourist Visa online. I got mine within three days.
Thailand Airport Immigration Procedure
Bangkok tops the list as the most visited city globally by tourists. When you’re at either of Bangkok airports, be prepared for long waiting lines. Meanwhile, Phuket and Chiang Mai have fewer crowds, resulting in slightly shorter queues.
At the airport, you’ll find separate lines for e-visa holders and those getting visas on arrival. Usually, the Visa On Arrival lines are longer. Pick your line.
During an off-season visit in June, we endured a lengthy 2-hour wait in the e-visa line at Bangkok airport, even though we already had our e-visa. Despite having our e-visa, the wait was surprisingly long. Immigration officers typically don’t conduct interviews once they’ve checked and verified the legitimacy of the documents such as return ticket, accommodation and visa permits. Hence it is crucial not to present half baked docs.
But during peak season……
Ashrith travelled to Thailand two times during peak tourist season – December and January. He says Suvarna Bhumi airport looked more like a refugee camp than an airport. He exclaims that he has never seen any crowded airport as much as Bangkok airport in December. People literally get tired of waiting and make some makeshift seats/beds with their luggage.
During one of his visits on a day before New years, there was such a crowd that at one point, everyone entering the airport was simply required to show their passport and then allowed to exit without any further checks or procedures! This sounds crazy, but he says it was maniac!
Potential Reasons for Thailand Tourist Visa Rejection
With tourism as main source of income, Thailand is quite liberal on giving Visas. However there are several incidents where citizens of various nationalities including Indians were rejected. When you apply for e-Visa, he rejection could occur due to various reasons such as incomplete documentation, insufficient funds, issues with the application, not meeting eligibility criteria, or concerns regarding the purpose of the visit. Another reason for Thailan visa rejection is beg-packing
The Beg-Packing issue in Thailand
At this café in Chiang Mai, the cafe owner told us a sad story about a dog that got abandoned by its parent. The dog parent found it tough to travel with the dog and couldn’t take care of it anymore after journeying together for two months due to running out of money. The cafe owner also told us about other problems caused by too many tourists in Thailand, like the Beg-packers!
Western Backpackers who run out of funds sit on the streets of Thailand begging for money from locals to continue their dream of “Travelling the World.” He said some give musical instrument performances in public or sell some bead jewellery they made by hand.
However, some people just sit on the sidewalks of a “not-so-wealthy” country like Thailand, begging for money. Consequently, the Thai police and government have grown tired of this behavior and have implemented strict rules for long-term travelers. They now need to prove they have enough money during their arrival immigration process, and their movements are closely monitored until they leave the country.
Getting Thailand Tourist Visa while border crossing
It is indeed possible to get a Thailand Tourist Visa while crossing the border, depending on your nationality and the particular border checkpoint.
Thailand shares its borders with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Entry into Thailand through these land borders is permitted, but only at specified points. Additionally, certain sea routes also allow entry with a visa. For more details about border and sea crossings, read through the thread here to gain a comprehensive understanding.
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