Thailand is a beautiful country. Her tropical weather and rich culture act as natural magnets for those who dwell in the far-side of the world. A big chunk of Thailand’s revenues is obtained from the tourism industry, making her the tourism hub of the far-east. What if you live in a different country and would want to have a vacation in Thailand? For sure, it won’t be as easy as going for a walk in a park, roam around, and get off the place after. There are guidelines to be followed and documents to be prepared before you board the plane bound for the “land of smiles”.
Visiting Thailand as a Tourist
When you visit Thailand for the purpose of leisure, sight-seeing, and personal enlightenment, you are a tourist. A tourist is not allowed to work or conduct business in Thailand. A tourist needs a tourist visa so you can stay in Thailand for a period of 15 or 30 days while doing her own explorations and excursions in the kingdom.
What is a Tourist Visa?
A tourist visa is a stamp or document needed so you can stay in Thailand for a specific period of time, on the purpose of tourism. It is stamped on your passport upon arrival at the airport in Thailand, or it can be obtained in your home country through the Thai embassy or consulate located there. The tourist visa can also be extended if necessary. There are certain countries that made agreements with the government of Thailand so their citizens can benefit from the visa exemption when entering Thailand as tourists.
Requirements for a Tourist Visa
When applying for a tourist visa, certain documents and fees are needed to obtain one. The documents and the fee are subject to change anytime and without prior notice, so it would be a good idea for an aspiring Thai tourist to inquire for the right information before flying off to Thailand.
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- Passport or travel document with a validity not less than 6 months
- Visa application form (filled out)
- One(1) recent 4x6cm. photograph of the applicant
- Round-trip air ticket or e-ticket (paid in full)
- Proof of financial means (20,000 baht per person/40,000 baht per family)
Don’t forget that consular officers reserve the rights to request for additional documents when they deemed it necessary, so it is advisable that you present yourself when you are in a good shape and state, together with your papers and documents.
- US $ 30.00 per entry or equivalent. The tourist visa fee is subject to change without the prior notice, so it is a good idea to be updated by visiting the nearest Thai Embassy or consulate in your area.
Validity of the Visa/Period of Stay
The validity of a tourist visa ranges from 3 months to 6 months, depending on the number of entries you make across the land border, or from the airport. If you arrived on Thailand through an international airport, you will be stamped a 30 or 60-day permission of stay depending on whether your country made a bilateral agreement on visa exemption with Thailand.
If you enter Thailand via land border, you will be stamped a 15-day permission of stay as a tourist in the immigration post, after which you will have to exit the country again on or before the expiration of your permission of stay. However, the tourist visa can also be extended if you wish or need to stay longer in Thailand. You will have to file an application for an extension of stay at the Office of Immigration Bureau located at Soi Suan Plu, off South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Tel (662) 287-3101-10. Bear in mind that the success for an extension of stay is solely at the discretion of the immigration officer attending on your application.