If you are an Australian citizen and planning to travel to Thailand, this is the right place to know about the important things needed before traveling.
Required Documents for Travel to Thailand
Please have the following documents ready.
- Passport with at least six month validity
- Visa or visa exemption qualification
- Buy Thailand Travel Insurance
- Boarding pass to be presented at Passport Control
- Hotel booking confirmation if asked by Immigration Officer
- Note: Vaccination record no longer required
Incorrect documents will delay the entry screening by rules from the Thai immigration bureau and its Thai immigration officials.
Thailand has always been a popular holiday destination for Australians. It is easy to get to, offers experiences not found in Australia, and does not break the wallet. Australians can fly to Thailand and enjoy a 2-3 week holiday for less than a week’s vacation will cost at home.
For the past two years, Thailand has seemed a distant dream. Between the strict entry requirements of Thailand and even stricter border controls of Australia, it was near impossible to get away.
Things have improved since the start of 2022, and Aussies will be happy to know that from July 1, 2022, major changes will almost bring travel to Thailand back to pre-Covid conditions.
These are the major changes that will affect travelers:
- Foreigners do not need to show proof of Covid Insurance.
- All mandatory hotel quarantine has been removed.
- Thailand Pass is no longer required for foreign travelers entering Thailand.
- Vaccinated travelers do not need to provide proof of vaccination before arriving.
- Unvaccinated travelers (including children traveling with unvaccinated parents) will need to complete an RT-PCR or Professional Antigen Test (Pro-ATK) test 72 hours before departing for Thailand. Proof does not need to be uploaded before traveling.
- Airlines and Thai Immigration will do random checks to confirm travelers meet Covid prevention requirements (vaccination certificate or Covid test).
- Wearing masks is no longer compulsory.
- The TM6 arrival card has been temporarily removed when entering Thailand.
That said, people still need to be responsible, and the following info will show you how to visit Thailand and enjoy a safe, worry-free holiday in the Land of Smiles.
Australia – a Visa Exempt country
Australian holiday goers are lucky when entering Thailand because Australia is included in Thailand’s Visa Exemption list.
Australians can enter Thailand as a tourist for up to 30 days without needing to apply for a visa. Upon landing, Aussies can organize a 30-day period of stay at the airport. You will often hear this referred to as a “Visa Exemption stamp”.
For many Australians, a month is not long enough. After two years of isolation, people want to get away. If people are traveling for a purpose other than holidays, or wish to stay longer, there are many options.
Long Term Visas for Australians
Tourist Visa and Special Tourist Visa (STV)
Foreigners may also apply for a Tourist Visa from the Thai embassy or consulate. There is the normal 60-day tourist visa that can be extended for additional 30 days, and the 90-day Special Tourist Visa (STV), which can be extended for two 90-day visa extensions at the local immigration office. There are certain requirements needed for the STV, but it allows a visitor to stay in Thailand for a potential 9 months. The STV will be available until September 2022.
Thai Elite Visa
If you wish to make Thailand easily accessible for many years to come or are perhaps thinking of relocating permanently, it is worth having a look at the Thai Elite Visa.
The Thai Elite Visa allows Australian citizens to live in Thailand for 5, 10, or even 20 years. Thai Elite members do not need to worry about some of the eligibility criteria that are needed when applying for other long-term visas.
The Thai Elite visa is exclusive and offers a host of benefits to holders. If you want to enjoy “Thai life” for the long term, you can read more about the Thai Elite Visa.
Foreigners may also apply for a wide range of non-immigrant visas:
- Non-immigrant B Visa – for conducting business or employment
- Non-immigrant O visa – for visiting Thai spouse and family
- Non-immigrant ED visa – for students of recognized institutions in Thailand and their Parents or Legal guardian
- Non-immigrant O retirement visa – for those who wish to retire in Thailand
- Non-immigrant OA and OX visa – for those who wish to obtain a Thailand retirement visa for long stay (it differs from type O visa)
The above visas can be organized with a local Thai Embassy or Consulate in Australia. The paperwork can be quite involved, but there are companies that can help.
Siam Legal International is a reputable company in Thailand that has offered visa assistance to Australians for years. They are well versed in Thai immigration policies and processes. If you would like to streamline your long-term stay in Thailand, it is worth contacting them. You can reach Siam Legal at www.siam-legal.com.
Entering Thailand from July 1
As noted above, Thailand Pass is no longer required from July 1. Australians do not need to register, provide documents, or seek approval before traveling to Thailand.
How an Australian enters Thailand will still depend on their vaccination status, so there are a few things to do.
Vaccinated Travellers – Vaccinated travelers from Australia do not need to complete any Covid tests before leaving Australia. They will need to have a copy of their vaccination certificate on hand. Children under 18 who are traveling with vaccinated parents do not need to complete any RT-PCR or Pro-ATK test before departing.
Unvaccinated Travellers – Before coming to Thailand, unvaccinated travelers will need to complete an RT-PCR or Professional Antigen (Pro-ATK) test through a clinic or medical professional. The test result must be issued within 72 hours before departing Australia.
An ATK (RAT) home test is not acceptable. Children under 18 who are traveling with unvaccinated parents also need to complete a test.
Airlines and Immigration will conduct random checks of passengers to confirm Covid requirements are met. It is best to have your Vaccination or Covid test Certificate available to show.
How to get to Thailand
Book a Flight
Many airlines are again flying from Australia to Thailand.
Currently, flights are available through:
- Thai Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
You can land at any international airport in Thailand and transit to other areas right away. There are no longer any “sealed” flights, though domestic flights may ask to see a vaccination certificate or test result before boarding. If you are traveling domestically to many areas, ATK self-tests are available at airports, pharmacies, and convenience stores.
Most international airlines follow the rules of the arrival country. If you are transiting through another country, it is best to check with the airline if you need to complete any tests for that country.
Finding Accommodation in Thailand
After July 1st, visitors are welcome to book any accommodation. There is no need to book SHA+ hotels or quarantine packages. SHA+ quarantine packages have been removed from most booking sites. If you see a “Quarantine Package” listed, you do not need to choose it.
Now that Thailand Pass is removed, visitors do not need to provide any proof of a hotel booking. You can book any accommodation in Thailand, and many hotels are offering competitive prices to welcome holiday makers back.
To find and compare the best hotels available in Thailand, visit Agoda. They allow free booking and cancellation, confirm bookings with hotels, and have their web page is easy to navigate and compare hotels.
Organize some Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is always a hot topic. It has become synonymous with “Covid”. The fact is that from July 1, Thailand does not require foreign visitors to have insurance with Covid cover. Travelers do not need to provide any proof of insurance in order to enter Thailand.
Before Covid, seasoned travelers understood the benefits of comprehensive travel insurance. Covid has not changed this. Though travel restrictions have eased, Covid is still a problem and the last thing Aussies want is to have their holiday cut short, or be forced to quarantine while they recover from Covid.
The most important thing to know about insurance is that foreign travelers are not eligible for any form of free medical care in Thailand. No matter the circumstance, if an Australian needs medical attention, they will need to pay for it. Depending on the severity, this could amount to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.
Insurance is one of those things that is better to have and not need than need and not have. Your travel insurance doesn’t just cover Covid. Comprehensive travel insurance will also cover:
- Medical emergencies
- Personal injury & accidents
- Missed or delayed flights
- Damage to belongings
- Loss of luggage
There are multiple reasons to protect yourself when traveling. Many visitors to Thailand choose AXA Insurance Thailand. It is a trusted company that offers comprehensive insurance to travelers from around the world. Their policies are straightforward with good coverage.
Some advantages to AXA Insurance are:
- Recognized and trusted by Thai authorities and medical facilities.
- Easy to apply online and approved in minutes.
- Competitive pricing and cover.
- Has no 14-day waiting period and covers Covid-related incidents, including asymptomatic cases.
- Provides customers with a convenient 1-Page Certificate of insurance. This certificate contains all relevant information needed by medical professionals or if making a claim.
To see the cover offered and organize your insurance to Thailand in minutes. Visit AXA Thailand.
Arriving in Thailand – Best Practices
So what can you expect when landing in Thailand? Aussies are known for being friendly and laid back. They have always been welcomed by Thai locals. Here are a few things that will help you enjoy your trip and show respect to local Thai people.
From July 1st, masks are no longer compulsory but still recommended when in public places. You see that many Thai people (and visitors) still wear masks when out and about. It is recommended to wear a mask when visiting restaurants or public venues. You will not get in trouble if you don’t wear a mask, but it is a case of “do as the locals do”. It is about respect and consideration.
TM6 Arrival Cards
The Thai government has temporarily removed the need for visitors to complete the blue arrival card known as TM6. Their aim is to ease congestion at airports and remove another form that holiday makers need to complete. This initiative is in a testing phase, but it is hoped that the removal of TM6 will be successful and the change will become permanent.
Paperwork to Prepare
Though Thailand Pass is removed, and travelers do not need to provide a proof before entry, it is best to prepare a few documents before arriving.
- Certificate of Insurance
- Vaccination certificate (vaccinated travelers)
- 72 hour RT-PCR or Pro-ATK test result (unvaccinated)
- Covid-19 recovery certificate (if previously tested positive)
This will speed up your processing time before leaving your country, or if asked to provide vaccination or testing proof in a random check. These documents can be presented in digital form, but airlines, Immigration and Health Officers will appreciate the extra effort if you print them.
Royal Thai Embassy, Canberra
The Royal Thai Embassy in Australia is at 111 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla, A.C.T. 2600, Canberra, Australia. There are also consulates that are in Melbourne and West Perth. For assistance, do not hesitate to contact the Royal Thai Embassy near your location or just email your questions through [email protected] or contact them at +61 2 6206 0100.
For visa applications, visit the Royal Thai Embassy, Canberra website. Do not forget to set an appointment when applying for a visa.