How to Get Thailand Tourist Visa?

One of the reasons tourists visits Thailand is the ease of obtaining a visa. The direct non-stop flights, easy visa process, and cheaper vacation – Indian tourists can’t be happier than this. So there is not much of a struggle here unless your documents are unclear and false.  Though Thailand Visa is easy to get for many nationals, the recent phenomenon of Begpacking from a few western travellers is causing trouble to backpackers worldwide.

Is Thai “visa-free” for Indians?

Indian citizens are eligible for E-Visa and Visas on arrival in less than 60 countries. However, other than in certain Southeast Asian countries, we always have to submit a pile of documents and follow a lengthy procedure for most of the nation’s visas. Thailand isn’t “visa-free” for Indians, but we are eligible for Visa on Arrival or E-Visa.

Here is your complete guide to getting Thailand Tourist Visa – Gateway to a tropical paradise.

Things to keep in mind while applying for Thailand Tourist Visa.

Breakaway from Bangkok malls, Pattaya walking street, and Phi Phi Beaches, they need a break from us.

The Thailand Visa portal is one of the easiest to use. Do not fall for the scammers and agents who say only they can get you the visa. Hundreds of agent portals look precisely like Thailand’s official portals. You spend more than the Visa fees if you apply from there.

Can I get a tourist visa for Thailand now?

Their official website says, “Passengers will no longer be required to present COVID-19-related documents to enter Thailand starting from October 1, 2022.”

E-Visa approval saves you time by a few minutes. However, don’t expect your immigration check to happen at horse speed with your E-Visa grant. There are too many people like you and me who want to explore Thailand.

What is Thailand’s main airport?

Bangkok is the highest visited city in the world by tourists. So you should be prepared to wait in lines at Bangkok airport. Getting E-Visa or Visa on arrival is easy. But the waiting lines at major airports like Bangkok and Phuket can make you cry.

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.  

Can I get Thai Tourist Visa while border crossing?

You can get Thailand Visa on arrival at major ports and border crossings. However, do proper research before adventuring since minor ports and non-significant border authorities aren’t equipped to process Visa grant procedures.

Thailand shares maritime borders with India, Indonesia and Vietnam and land borders with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Picture Above – Island in Phuket

The Begpacker’s issue

At a local cafe In Chiang Mai, my mom and I were heartbroken to hear the story of a dog abandoned by its owner because the owner found travelling with the dog uncomfortable after travelling with it for two months. The cafe owner explained other harsh effects of over-tourism in Thailand. For example, Begpackers! 

Does Thailand visa get rejected?

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. But many do nothing but sit on the footpath of a “not so wealthy” nation like Thailand, begging So Thailand police and government have had enough of this and hence have made it strict for long-term travellers to show sufficient funds, and they have been tracked to a great extent until they exit the country.

Documents required for Thailand Tourist Visa

The documents I returned from Bangkok are these beautiful Baltic hand-block prints on paper.

If you don’t mind standing in long lines to get Visa on Arrival, you can do it once you arrive in Thailand. However, if you are applying for the E-Visa that reduces waiting time by a few minutes and your trip is less than 15 days, you have to upload the following documents:

  • Passport cover page 
  • Passport bio page 
  • Departure and Return Airline tickets
  • Confirmed booking of stay – Hotel/guesthouse/ BnB/ Hostel
  • Photograph size 4×6 cm. 

How do I get proof of funds for Thai visa?

Long-term travellers planning to stay in Thailand for more than a month are strictly asked for proof of funds. My fellow passenger on an island-hopping trip from Tunisia had to undergo strict screening, and they thoroughly checked her previous six months.

Travelling in Thailand is super cheap if you stick to trains and tuk-tuks

How much is Thailand tourist visa?

E-VISA FEES – 4000INR or 50 euros/ person for Indians as per 2019. Travel insurance is not mandatory, but I always preferred to have one.

How long does a Thai online visa take?

It took three days to get our visa approved after applying on their portal.

At Bangkok airport, we took 2 hours to Get through the immigration. Though Thailand is one of the most famous destinations for all travellers, the airports aren’t equipped well enough to handle the crowd swiftly. Something doesn’t work in Bangkok and Phuket airports, from the size to spatial arrangement. So expect to leave the airport at least 2 hours after you land in non-tourist season. 

Tourists standng in line to get Thailand Tourist Visa at Bangkok Suvarnabhoomi airport

Thailand receives around 39.8 million tourists. Indians are in the top 5 nationals who visit Thailand most. Still, the Thailand E-Visa office emailed me, mentioning that my mother’s document visibility wasn’t clear enough and requested I send it again via email instead of reapplying for the visa.

Travellers having “privileged” or powerful” passports may think “, so what?”. But trust me! Getting a message from MFA or Visa authority to send the document again is a big thing for Indian passport holders. Most countries reject our Visa requests for various reasons and sometimes no reason at all! So I am delighted and grateful to the Thailand Visa organisation for that!

Was there any issue while clearing the immigration process to get to Thailand?

Our documents, including proof of funds, were perfect; hence, we weren’t questioned beyond 5 seconds at Bangkok airport. But strangely, we were interrogated for 30 minutes at my home town airport Bangalore. The immigration officer at Bangalore must have thought and asked us these questions in a polished subtle way – 

A woman in saree and her daughter in smart casuals travel to Thailand for 15 days. Why?
– They neither have a backpack nor have the voucher from any tour organiser. The accommodation vouchers seem to be some cheap guesthouses, and she has train tickets in Thailand! Why would a mom and daughter go to Thailand by themselves? What is there in Thailand for 15 days.”

Sukhothai – is the most peaceful town in Thailand, in my opinion.

The immigration officer called another officer, who checked and verified our documents twice to ensure we weren’t trying to sneak into Thailand for work with a tourist Visa. Ultimately, he said we should have planned our 15 days trip, including Vietnam and Singapore, with Thailand and let us go. Read our post “Why are you wasting 15 days in Thailand – Most asked question” to know more similar questions fellow people asked me before I went to Thailand with mom.

Waiting for two hours may sound tedious, but once you experience real Thailand heritage and culture beyond Bangkok and Pattaya, you realise that you will wait two more hours to get to the Land of Smile.

How was your experience of getting a Tourist Visa at Thailand airport? Let us know in the comment section below.

Published by Sahana Kulur

Traveller | Blogger | Architecture and history

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