Whether you’re visiting Thailand for holiday, work, study or personal reasons, you’ll need a visa and there are a number of different types. In this Thai Visa handy guide, we break down which visas are issued for whom and what.
Thailand issues a visa on arrival for many international passports, which generally speaking allows you 30 to 60 days in The Kingdom, which is fine for short holidays or trips passing through.
Most other types of visas must be applied for and issued at a Thai embassy or consulate outside Thailand so that you already have it in your passport by the time you enter the country. It’s worth noting that consular officers reserve the right to refuse to give a visa and do not have to provide a reason nor refund for any fees paid. Also, the fee for each visa may be subject to change and it’s worth checking on your own country’s government website for guidance about travel.
Tourist Visas are for visitors who want to spend more time in Thailand than a visa on arrival will allow and are good for long holidays. Working on a Tourist Visa is not allowed in Thailand.
Validity: Once issued, the visa is valid for three months (single entry) or six months (multiple entries).
Length of stay: Upon arrival, visitors with a Tourist Visa can stay for up to 60 days, with the option to apply to extend for a further 30 days at the Office of Immigration Bureau in Government Center B, Chaengwattana (more info at www.immigration.go.th).
Price: 1,000 baht
How to apply: At the Thai consulate or embassy in your country of origin (or outside Thailand), you’ll need to present:
At present, 64 countries are under the Visa Exemption rule meaning passport holder of these countries can enter Thailand without a tourist visa. They will be granted a maximum of 30 days in Thailand when entering the country via an international airport or a land border check point from bordering countries.
Visa Exemption is available to the following countries:
This type of visa is issued to applicants who are transiting through Thailand en route to their country of destination or participating in sports activities in Thailand. Working in Thailand is not permitted with a Transit Visa.
Validity: 3 months
Length of stay: 30 days with the option to apply to extend for a further 30 days at the Office of Immigration Bureau.
Price: 800 baht
How to apply:
At the Thai consulate or embassy in your country of origin (or outside Thailand), you’ll need to present:
These visas are issued for a variety of purposes, all of which are designated an individual letter code. Depending on the circumstance, applicant and category, the length of stay allowed by and validity period of the visa is varied, but usually covers at least one year, though Non-Immigrant Visa holders may be required to check in with Thai immigration throughout their stay. All Non-Immigrant Visas must be applied for and are issued at Thai embassies or consulates outside Thailand.
F (Official): For visitors performing official duties
B (Business): To carry out business or to be employed in Thailand
IB (Investment with Bureau of Investment): To make investments in businesses
ED (Education): To study in Thailand, take part in a study tour of government agencies, to participate in projects, seminars, conferences or courses by government agencies or international organisations, to participate in certain Buddhist activities (as approved by the government).
M (Mass Media): To work as a journalist or part of a film crew.
R (Religion): To perform missionary work or religious activities, with the approval of appropriate government agencies.
EX (Expert): To work as a specialist in a particular field.
RS (Research): To conduct scientific research, training or teaching in a research institute (with approval from the National Research Council of Thailand).
This visa is also issued for a number of reasons, and must be applied for at a Thai embassy or consulate outside Thailand. Depending on the purpose, the length of stay allowed may vary.
Reasons for applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa “O”:
The “O-A” is for retirees to stay in Thailand for a year, without the intention of working. Applicants over the age of 50 can apply at a Thai embassy or consulate outside Thailand if they meet the requirements:
Learn more about retirement in Thailand
Under a relatively new scheme, the Thai government allows nationals from 14 countries to stay in Thailand for up to 10 years. Applicants can apply for Non-Immigrant Visa “O-X” (Long Stay) at the Thai embassy or consulate in their own country or at the Immigration Bureau in Thailand.
Length of stay: up to 10 years
Price: 10,000 baht
How to apply:
You will need:
In some circumstances, and upon request by the appropriate sources, people with diplomatic passports may be granted visas in order to carry out diplomatic missions or related activities. These kinds of visas usually require particular documentation supplied by the foreign government or international organisation.
Courtesy visas are usually issued to diplomatic personnel, though sometimes also to people with ordinary passports, who need to visit Thailand for personal reasons. Similarly, the application for courtesy visas must be supported with documentation from the foreign government.