(Updated last April 17, 2023)
People travel to find the exotic. Many westerners find India exotic. So what do Indians find exotic?
As travel restrictions ease across the world and travel conditions return to normal, thousands of Indians are leaving their country to enjoy the tropical weather, sunny beaches, and exquisite cuisine of Thailand.
From January 2023, Thailand has removed many of its travel restrictions and entry requirements for Indian citizens.
These are the major changes that will affect Indian travelers:
- Thailand Travel Insurance is still highly recommended for Indians who are traveling to Thailand and returning to India.
- All mandatory hotel quarantine has been removed.
- Thailand Pass is no longer required for Indian Citizens travelers entering Thailand.
- All travelers do not need to provide proof of vaccination before arriving.
- Wearing masks is no longer compulsory.
- The TM6 arrival card has been temporarily removed when entering Thailand.
- Indian passport holders are eligible to obtain Visa on Arrival with a permit to stay of 30 days.
The Thai Embassy and Consulates in India have resumed their visa services, and it is once again easy for responsible Indian visitors to enjoy a worry-free holiday in Thailand.
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.
Easy Steps for Entering Thailand from India in 2023
Apply for a Thai Visa
Visa on Arrival for Indians
Indian citizens are again allowed to enter Thailand under the Visa on Arrival scheme. There is a restriction in place that Indian citizens can visit Thailand under this program for a maximum stay of 30 days.
If you would like to stay in Thailand longer, you will need to apply for a visa at your local Thai Embassy.
Long Term Visas for Indians
Indian citizens may 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.
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 Thailand Elite Visa.
The Thai Elite Visa allows Indian citizens to live in Thailand for 5, 10, even 20 years. Thai Elite members do not need to worry about some of the eligibility criteria 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 Thailand 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 India. 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 Indians 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.
To apply for a Thai visa, please visit the following websites:
- New Delhi: https://newdelhi.thaiembassy.org/
- Kolkata: https://kolkata.thaiembassy.org/
- Chennai: https://www.thaiconsulategeneralchennai.com/
Vaccination status and entering Thailand
From January 2023, Citizens from India will be able to enter Thailand with any proof of vaccination status. However, for travelers returning to India, you are required to have a COVID test in Thailand before your flight to India.
Book your Flight to Thailand
Most international airlines are flying into Thailand and 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.
Book a Hotel
To find and compare the best hotels available in Thailand, visit Agoda. They allow free booking and cancellation, confirm bookings with hotels and their web page is easy to navigate and compare hotels.
You need to enter an address when traveling to Thailand. The accommodation can be a hotel, home or a friend’s address.
Purchase your Travel Insurance
For travelers from and into India, it is mandatory to purchase a Travel Insurance policy before traveling to Thailand. The insurance must be valid for the duration of your stay in Thailand plus 7 days.
Insurance is one of those things that is better to have and not need than need and not have. 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
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 Indian citizen 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.
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? Here are a few things that will help you enjoy your trip and show respect to local Thai people.
Wearing of masks is 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 proof before entry, it is best to prepare a few documents before arriving.
- Certificate of Travel Insurance
- Visa on Arrival Form
- 1 passport size photo
- 2,000 THB visa on arrival fee
- flight booking and hotel reservation
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.
Following the above advice will ensure you have a smooth trip to Thailand and can enjoy a few weeks of well-deserved vacation in the tropics.