Categories > Guides and Tips

The Complete Guide on Thailand Tourist Visas

The Complete Guide on Thailand Tourist Visas

So you’ve decided to travel to Thailand as a tourist– what do you do next? Turn that decision into reality (of course!) which you can only really do if you have the proper documentation to fly in and out of the country such as a valid Thai tourist visa.

How to Apply for a Thailand Tourist Visa

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of StepsSix (6) steps
Time requiredOne (1) whole day
Things you needA valid passport, an accomplished visa application form, travel tickets showing your intention to leave Thailand after the end of your visa, passport-size pictures, proof of sufficient funds, proof of accommodation, letter of invitation, proof of employment, travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage.

To apply for a Thai Tourist Visa requires, you must first check your eligibility, prepare your documents and the payment for the visa and submit your visa application to a Thai embassy.

The next step is to wait for your visa application to be processed and approved.

These steps are simple enough but there are a couple of documents and actions that you need to do for your application to succeed. Well, we’re here to give you information on how to apply for a Thailand tourist visa!

Step 1: Determine your Thailand visa eligibility

The first thing you have to ask yourself before even applying for a Thai tourist visa is do you even need one. Sure, we’ve established that you want to travel to Thailand but you might be a citizen of one of the countries below who do not need to apply for a visa to go to Thailand:

Countries That Can Get a Tourist Visa Upon Arrival in Thailand

  • Bulgaria
  • Bhutan
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu

If you’re a citizen of any of the countries listed above– then congratulations! You don’t really need to apply for a Thai tourist visa as you can simply obtain one upon your entry into the country.

You may also be a citizen of a country with bilateral arrangements with Thailand which means that you don’t need a visa to visit the country as long as you stay within the allowed timeframe (e.g. 30 days, 90 days). To check if your country has such arrangements, click here.

However, if your nationality isn’t on the list of the aforementioned countries, you’re going to have to apply for a tourist visa. When you apply for a visa as a tourist in Thailand you’ll encounter three (3) types of visa- single-entry, multiple-entry, or visa on arrival.

Different Types of Visas in Thailand

  • Single-entry visas are valid for three (3) months and will allow you to travel to Thailand within a set period but you won’t be able to re-enter the country once you leave. 
  • Multiple-entry ones are valid for six (6) months and will allow multiple entries while your visa is valid.
  • “Visa on Arrival” only applies if you’re a citizen of any of the countries mentioned earlier.

Step 2: Prepare your Visa documentary requirements

After you determine whether you’re eligible for a Thailand tourist visa and if you already know what kind of visa you need, you should then prepare the documentary requirements for your visa application.

1. Valid Passport

The first document you need is, of course, your passport. It should be valid for up to six (6) months upon your arrival in Thailand.

2. Accomplished Thailand Visa Application Form

Next, you need to prepare and accomplish a Thailand Visa Application. Don’t forget to sign this to make it official.

3. Return Travel TIcket

You also have to have your return travel ticket ready. Thai Immigration authorities want to make sure that you intend to return to your home country within the effectiveness of the visa you are applying for.

4. Pictures for Your Visa

Then, you need to prepare two (2) 3.5cm (width) x 4.5cm (height) pictures. 

You’ll need to make sure that your face is fully visible, that the photo uses a white background, that you have a neutral facial expression, and that no headgear obstructs your face (except for religious purposes).

Lastly, these 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm photos should have been taken within the last six (6) months. 

5. Proof of Accommodation and Bank Statements

You will also need to have proof of accommodation during your stay in Thailand and proof of sufficient funds showing that you pay for your stay in the country. The latter will require you to prepare your bank statements taken within the last six (6) months.

6. Letter of Invitation and Proof of Relationship

If you’ve been invited by family or friends to visit them in Thailand, you also need to attach their letter of invitation plus proof of your relationship with them.

7. Proof of Travel Insurance

Lastly, you need to have proof of travel insurance. It shouldn’t be just any travel insurance either as it needs to have coverage for COVID-19.

Multiple-entry visas will require you to submit two (2) additional documents. First, is proof of employment (like a letter from your employer), and second, any other supporting documents indicating why you need to be issued a multiple-entry visa.

After you’ve prepared all of these documents, you have to prepare some funds for the visa processing fee. Fees will vary based on the local currency and the country from which the application is received.

We do have some estimated visa costs though–it’s 30 USD to 50 USD for single-entry visas while it’s 150 USD to 250 USD for multiple-entry ones. Also, take note that depending on the Thai embassy, you may have to pay via bank transfer or via cash.

Step 3: Contact a Thai Embassy near you

Once you’ve prepared all the required documents, you can now coordinate with the Thai Embassy in your country nearest you. You need to contact them to check their business hours, how much their Thai visa fees are, and if you need to set an appointment for your visa application.

Step 4: Submit your visa application

After getting all the embassy-related information mentioned above, you can not submit your Thai tourist visa application to the embassy. Based on our experience, you usually have two (2) options to submit your application–either in-person or via mail or post.

Submitting your visa application and documents in person is pretty self-explanatory. However, if you choose to go via post or mail (and if the embassy accepts mail applications), then you have to ensure that you include a self-addressed and pre-paid envelope.

Step 5: Wait for your visa to be processed

The processing time for your Thailand tourist visa will vary depending on the consulate or the embassy where you submitted your application. We recommend that you wait around five (5) to ten (10) business days from the date they received your application and requirements.

We strongly suggest, though, that since there is some variance between processing times among different embassies, you should submit your application a few weeks before your intended date of travel. 

Also, keep in mind that if you submitted your visa application via mail, you also need to set your expectations based on how long your approved visa may be mailed or delivered to you which will certainly add a few days for mail delivery.

Step 6: Prepare for possible visa extension (just in case!)

We wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to stay here in Thailand beyond the approved dates of your visa. The good news is that you can apply for a visa application with the Thailand Immigration Bureau prior to the expiry of your visa.

Visa Extensions

Most extensions are generally granted for up to 30 days. Based on our observation though, it really depends on the decision of the officials of the Immigration Bureau.

If you’re on a “visa on arrival” (good only for up to 15 days), though, you won’t be able to apply for an extension for your visa, unfortunately. Instead, you need to apply for a Thailand tourist visa which you can do through any diplomatic mission office in Thailand.

Required Documents for Extension and Cost

You also need to prepare various documents in order to apply for a visa extension. You’ll need your passport, copies of the information page of your passport, your Thai visa together with the immigration stamps (entry and exit), the visa extension form, and a passport-size picture.

Currently, a Thai visa extension application will cost you around 62 USD or roughly 1,900 THB.

Penalties for Overstaying

You might be wondering why we included extending visas in Thailand. Well, it’s because it’s illegal to overstay without the appropriate visa and because overstaying here carries with it steep fines and penalties which we know you’d best avoid altogether.

Overstaying can get you fined around 500 THB per day of overstay which can reach up to 20,000 THB if you stay in Thailand for more than 40 days beyond your visa effectiveness date.

If authorities find that you’ve overstayed for more than 90 days, you will be immediately deported and banned from travelling to or visiting Thailand. This ban could be effective for up to 10 years–something we know you won’t like!

Related topics