Thailand has always been a popular holiday destination. Tourists return year after year to enjoy the rich culture, exquisite food, long warm beaches, and natural getaways in the mountains. Holidaymakers can enjoy short-term getaways of up to 60 days with a Single Entry Tourist Visa. The visa is easy to obtain and this article will provide all the information you need to simplify the process.
There are many ways for foreigners to visit Thailand. If they want to visit for up to 30 days, certain nationalities can enter the country under the bilateral-agreement Visa Exemption scheme. This scheme is open to 64 nationalities from around the world. If someone is not eligible for visa exemption, they may apply for a 15-day Visa on Arrival.
If you are entering Thailand for tourism, leisure, or medical purposes, are not intending to visit other Asian countries, and know that 30 days will not be long enough, then you can apply for a 60-day Single Entry Tourist Visa.
What is a Single Entry Tourist Visa?
A Single Entry Tourist Visa allows foreign nationals one entry into Thailand for tourism, leisure, or medical reasons. It is perfect for those who are looking to relax or maybe complete a scuba diving or Muay Thai training course. People can enter either by air, land, or sea.
The visa has a 3-month validity from the time of approval. This means that people have 3 months to use and enter Thailand from the date their visa is approved. People often confuse validity and the time they can spend in Thailand. Validity is how long you have to use or utilize the visa. When arriving in Thailand, a permit to stay stamp will be placed in your passport for 60 days, so a visitor can arrive on the last day of their valid time frame and still receive the full 60 days permit to stay.
How to apply for a Single Entry Tourist Visa
Many nationalities can now apply for their Thailand Tourist Visa online at https://thaievisa.go.th/home. When applying for a visa online, applicants need to create an account and apply as individuals. Once the account is created, individuals will need the following documents:
- A current passport with no less than 6 months validity and at least 2 blank pages. Applicants must fill in online visa applications with their given name(s) and surname as it appears on their passports.
- Printout of visa application form submitted online, with barcode
- Travel booking confirmation
- Proof of accommodation in Thailand, e.g. hotel booking, invitation letter from family or friend in Thailand
- Financial evidence, e.g. bank statements, proof of earnings, sponsorship letter
- Confirmation of legal residence in the country where you apply for the visa (if applicants are not nationals of these countries) e.g. long stay visa, residence permit, BRP card
E-Visa applicants do not need to submit their passport and original supporting documents in person at a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate. After the e-Visa application has been approved, a confirmation email is sent to applicants. It is best practice to print a copy of the confirmation email to present to airlines and Thai Immigration officials when traveling to Thailand.
There are certain countries not eligible to apply for an E-Visa, as additional documents are needed for approval.
If you are unsure if eligible for an online visa or do not have access to the online application process, you can contact your local Thai Embassy and organize an appointment. Many embassies will not allow walk-ins, and immigration requirements may change without notice, so it is best to contact them beforehand and confirm what documents you need to provide.
Minimum documents needed:
- Passport with 6 months validity and at least 2 empty pages.
- Completed and signed visa application form
- Proof of travel booking
- Proof of Accommodation
- Financial evidence – Bank statement or proof of earnings (equivalent to 10,000 Thai Baht for individuals or 20,000 Thai Baht for families.)
- Letter of acceptance from institutes or companies organizing activities (if traveling for the purpose of scuba diving, martial arts, or culinary learning)
All documents in a foreign language must be translated into English or Thai and certified before they will be approved.
The cost of a single-entry tourist visa can vary from country to country, but an estimated cost is $30 – $50 USD. It is important to note that many embassies will only accept payment in $USD. Confirm cost and currency with your local Embassy or Consulate when making an initial query.
If you are applying online, the E-Visa system will confirm the payment due and process the payment through their secure payment portal.
Assistance with Visa Applications
The process for applying is straightforward and can be done yourself. If you would like to confirm documents are correct or wish to receive approval without going back and forth to embassy appointments, you can enlist the services of a visa assistance agent. These agents are aware of all current immigration requirements and can confirm the correct details before lodging your application. They will liaise with embassies and consulates on your behalf.
Agents charge a fee for their service but will often save you time and money in the long run. They can streamline your application process and speed up your approval. Agents can assist with online applications, though you may be required to pay the visa fee directly through e-Visa’s secure payment portal.
Tourist Visa Restrictions
As noted above, Single Entry Tourist Visas are for tourism, leisure, or medical purposes only. Foreigners cannot earn income, study long-term, or conduct volunteer activities while in Thailand if they have entered with a tourist visa.
If you intend to take part in any of the above activities, there are long-term visa options available. You can contact your local Thai embassy to discuss options, or seek assistance from a Visa Agent to apply for a long-term visa.
Arriving in Thailand
When you arrive in Thailand, you will need to provide the following documents at Passport Control:
- Passport with approved visa attached (if you applied at an Embassy)
- Confirmation letter of visa approval (if you applied online)
- Confirmed exit flight from the country
- Confirmed accommodation (at least for the first night in the country)
- Financial statement or bank statement showing funds available (10,000 or 20,000 Thai Baht equivalent)
A good practice is to print copies of these documents. Entry approval is at the discretion of immigration officers and presenting hard copies of these documents will speed your processing through Passport Control and help ease congestion at the airport.
Extending your Tourist Visa
For some people, 60 days is never enough. If you enjoy your time in Thailand, it is possible to extend your stay. Visitors with a Single Entry Tourist visa can extend their time in the country by 30 days by visiting a local Thai Immigration Office. An extension of stay will cost 1900 Thai Baht and must be paid in cash (Thai Baht) when applying for the extension.
You will need to visit the office before your tourist visa expires. Staying in the country past your exit date will cause an “overstay” and you will be fined 500 baht per day after your official exit date. An overstay is noted in your passport and can affect future visa applications. This extension of stay is only available once within the country.
Thai Immigration offices are not open on weekends.