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Thailand VISA

Thailand visa for US PassportThailand visa is needed for everyone visiting Thailand from another country.  What Thailand visa do I need if I just want to visit for a few weeks? If you are visiting Thailand from another country, you will need a valid passport from your own country, and a Thailand VISA.

Thailand has an agreement with many countries which allow a traveler from that country to get a “VISA on Arrival” or “VISA Free”.  This means if you are from one of those countries, you do not need to get a visa in advance, you can get a visa at the border or airport when you arrive.  To check to see if your country is on this list, go to this web page —>VISA Free.  This type of a visa is only good for 15 to 30 days, depending on your country.

If you plan to stay longer than that, you must first visit a Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country and apply for a Tourist visa, or a 90 day Non-immigrant visa.  There are many other types of visas available depending on your purpose for traveling to Thailand.

This is NOT legal advice, just my opinion, please see a qualified immigration attorney for legal advice.

You must have a valid passport from your home country which has an expire date more than 6 months from the date you enter Thailand.

Everyone who is not a Thai National must have a visa to enter Thailand.  Some exceptions exist for people from a neighboring country such as Laos, Cambodia, etc.

Do you need a Tourist Visa?Thailand Visa
Depending on your country of origin (where your passport is issued) you can enter Thailand via air, and get a “Visa on Arrival” (VOA) at the airport, then stay for up to 30 days without getting a tourist visa.

To see if you qualify for a VOA, check out this website for more information regarding your country of origin: http://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/visa-on-arrival.php

If you want to stay longer than 30 days, then you need a visa other than a VOA visa.  The easiest Thailand visa to get is a Tourist visa.

A Tourist visa allows you to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days, plus you can get a 30 day extension on that.  Depending on which country you get the Tourist visa, you can get multiple entries up to 3 entries.  With extensions, a 3 entry Tourist visa will allow you to stay in Thailand for up to 9 months.

Most embassies in neighboring countries around Thailand will issue a 2 entry Tourist visa easily.  The Los Angeles Embassy will do a 3 entry Tourist visa, multiple times.  There are many foreigners living in Thailand on just Tourist visas, getting a new one every few months.  However, the embassies are wise to this and some will refuse to issue a new Tourist visa if you have too many in your passport.  “Too many” varies by embassy, so do your research on-line to see what others are saying.

You must leave Thailand at the end of each entry stamp and return back to get a new 60 day stamp.  Then a few days before the 60 day stamp expires, visit a local immigration office and apply for a 30 day extension.  At the end of the 30 day extension, you must leave Thailand and return to get another 60 day stamp, then to another extension.  DO NOT let the 60 day stamp or 30 day extension expire before getting another stamp or extension.

Here is how it works:

  • Visit this website and download the visa application: http://www.mfa.go.th/internet/consular/Visaapplicationform.pdf
  • Take the application form and required documents to a Thai Embassy or Consulate located outside of Thailand and apply for a 2 or 3 entry Tourist visa.
  • It will take one or more days for the Thai office to process the application.  You can pick up your passport the following day or more, and the visa will be attached to a page in your passport.
  • Arrive in Thailand and enjoy your stay for 55 or so days, then before the 60th day, visit an Immigration office in Thailand and apply for a 30 day extension.
  • Then before the end of the 30 day extension, leave Thailand and visit either Laos, Cambodia, or Malaysia (or any other country) and then return to Thailand to get another entry stamp which is good for another 60 days.
  • Then get another 30 day extension before the 60th day
  • Repeat this process one more time if you have a 3 entry visa
  • Before the end of the last extension, leave Thailand and apply for a new Tourist visa and repeat this process again.

Requirements for a Tourist Thailand VISA

This is a copy and paste from http://www.mfa.go.th/web/2482.php?id=2489 and is current as of the date of this post.  You may want to visit the above website to verify if anything has changed.

1. REQUIREMENT

This type of visa is issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for tourism purposes .

2. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

– Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months
– Visa application form completely filled out
– Recent( 4 x 6 cm.) photograph of the applicant
– Evidence of travel from Thailand (air ticket paid in full)
– Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
– Consular officers reserve the rights to request additional documents as deemed necessary

3. VISA FEE

1,000 Baht per entry (Los Angeles Embassy is currently charging $40 per entry)
(Visa fee may be changed without prior notice)

4. VALIDITY OF A VISA

The validity of a visa is 3 months or 6 months.  This means you must arrive in Thailand within 3 or 6 months to activate your visa.  This is NOT the duration you can stay in Thailand.

5. PERIOD OF STAY

Upon arrival, travelers with this type of visa will be permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 60 days.

6. EXTENSION OF STAY

Those who wish to stay longer or may wish to change their type of visa must file an application for permission at the Office of Immigration Bureau located on Government Center B, Chaengwattana Soi 7, Laksi, Bangkok 10210, Tel 0-2141-9889 (or at http://www.immigration.go.th ). The extension of stay as well as the change of certain type of visa is solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer..
7. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Nationals of certain countries are required to apply for a visa only at the Thai Embassy or Consulate-General in their home/residence country or at the designated Thai Embassy. Therefore, travelers are advised to contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate-General to find out where they may apply for a visa to Thailand before departure.

 

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