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Thailand Visas

There are a number of different options for entry into Thailand. The option you use will depend on how long and/or how often you want to travel to Thailand.

Non-visa Entry

For the nationals of many countries it is possible to enter Thailand at an international airport without applying for a visa before entering. For this type of entry all you need is a valid passport and proof that you have transportation organised to leave the country (this requirement is generally not enforced). It is possible to extend your stay in Thailand for up to 30 days but if you want to stay for longer than 30 days obtaining a tourist visa is advisable.

The list of countries covered by this scheme: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and N. Ireland, United States of America, Vietnam.

Tourist Visa

You can apply for a tourist visa before you arrive in Thailand. These are issued for stays of up to 60 days. They can be extended for up to an extra 30 days. Like with the non-visa entry extension you are not guaranteed to be given an extension. If you are going to Thailand for longer than 30 days this is the minimum you should consider.

The personal and documents requirements for this visa varies between different embassies/consulates so it is best to contact your nearest office for advice. This is also true for the multiple entry visa that is discussed below.

Longer stays

If you would like to stay for longer you have a number of options. It is possible to get a multiple entry visitor visa. Your visa be a multiple entry visa which is valid for 6 months. Each stay is up to 60 days and at the end of each period you will need to leave Thailand before returning. There is no minimum length of time that you stay out of the country before you can re-enter.

Once your visa and/or number of entries have expired you can use the non-visa entry scheme to stay longer. You can either leave the country by air or land. If you depart and arrive back in Thailand via an international airport you will be given a 30 day stay. However, if you arrive at a land crossing you may only be given 15 days. People from G7 countries (UK, US, Japanese, German, French, Canadian and Italian) may be given 30 day stays at land crossings. Be warned that in recently time the authorities has taken steps the reduce the number of times an individual can repeatedly do this in an attempt to reside in Thailand.

There is another class of visas available for those wanting to spend an extended length of time in the country. These are the Non-Immigrant visas which are either single entry or multiple entry visas. Each stay is up to 90 days before a boarder run is necessary. The multiple entry visas are valid for 12 months. If you have a multiple entry visa and your timing is correct, and you do a boarder run on the last day that the visa is valid, you can stay for 90 days after the expiration of the visa. The availability of these visas has become very difficult for those under the age of 50. For those 50 or over the documentation requirements have become more strict. Reportedly these visas are no longer being issued in countries bordering Thailand.

Over-staying

Many people over-stay their visas for various reasons. Most people seem to have no problem with this as long as they voluntarily leave the country ie go to the airport or border crossing to leave the country. However, if you are caught in Thailand over-staying your visa you are in for an unpleasant experience. You will find yourself in jail until preparations are made for you to be deported at your own expense. Do not over-stay your visa!

If you do over-stay your visa and you leave on your own accord you may be required to pay a fine. There is no fine for an over-stay of one day. For two days the fine is 1000 Baht and every day after is 500 Baht.

Beware that both the day you arrive and the day you leave is one day each. Also if you go through immigration at 11pm but you flight is at 1am the following day it is the day that your flight leaves that is important.

Be warned that from the 20th of March 2016 over-stayers will be treated far more harshly than in the past. If you overstay by more than 90 days and present your self at immigration on departure you may be banned from entering the country for one year. If it is more than 1 year the ban is 3 years, for more than 3 years a 5 year ban may be imposed. For those over-staying by more than 5 years the ban is 10 years. The important thing to remember is that for less than 90 days you will only be fined. However, there is a danger for those overstaying by even one day.

If you are asked to show your passport or arrested for something else and are found to have overstayed by even a day you may be banned from returning to Thaialnd. If your overstay is less than one year the ban is 5 years and if more than one year it is 10 years.

This is summarised in the table below. Don't overstay!!

Thailand overstay ban

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