The world had to adjust to Covid-19. International travel was a great way to get out, socialize, and meet new people. Those who traveled to foreign shores were lucky to connect with others from foreign shores. Social interaction suffered during the pandemic, so people started connecting online. Social networking allows virtual friendships to develop, and people around the world are still connected.
As countries open up and ease their travel restrictions, now is a great time to connect with newfound friends in the real world. And Thailand is a wonderful country to do it.
Thailand reopened its borders and is welcoming visitors back to the country. Travel conditions have returned to normal and with the information below, and a little planning, Swiss travelers can once again visit their favorite tropical paradise.
As of today:
- Foreigners do not need to show proof of Covid Insurance.
- All mandatory hotel quarantine has been removed.
- Thailand Pass is no longer required for Swiss travelers entering Thailand.
- Vaccinated travelers do not need to provide proof of vaccination before arriving.
- Unvaccinated travelers (including children traveling with unvaccinated parents) 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.
Read on and you will see how a Swiss traveler can easily return to Thailand and rendezvous with new and old friends.
Documents for Travel to Thailand
- Visa (if required)
- Travel Insurance
- Flight Itinerary
- Hotel booking
- Vaccination record (if vaccinated)
- COVID-19 test result (if unvaccinated)
Correct documents will speed up the entry screening to Thailand.
Easy Steps To Enter Thailand from Switzerland
Apply for a Thai Visa
Switzerland – a Visa Exempt country
Swiss travelers love Thailand. They can visit Thailand without a visa through the Visa Exemption Program. Swiss citizens can stay in the country for up to 30 days as a tourist and can extend their permit to stay for a further 30 days at any local immigration office. This allows a Swiss traveler to enjoy Thailand for up to 60 days.
If you want to stay in Thailand longer than the Visa Exemption allows, or are traveling for a purpose other than tourism, Siam Legal International offers various Thailand Visa services for travelers from Switzerland. You can check their services at: https://www.siam-legal.com/legal_services/thailand-visa-services.php
Long Term Visas for the Swiss
Tourist Visa and Special Tourist Visa (STV)
Swiss citizens can apply for a Tourist Visa from a Thai embassy or consulate. There is a 60-day tourist visa that can be extended for additional 30 days, and the 90-day Special Tourist Visa (STV), which allows 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 up to 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 Thailand Elite Visa.
The Thai Elite Visa allows a Swiss expat 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 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 a long stay (it differs from type O visa)
To apply for a long-term visa, download the visa application form and complete your details.
When ready, organize an appointment with the visa department at a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulates near you:
- Royal Thai Embassy, Bern located at Kirchstrasse 56, 3097 Liebefeld Bern, Switzerland
- Royal Thai Consulate, General Basel located at Aeschenvorstadt 71, 4051 Basel, 5th floor (c/o Advokatur Ates & Sigirci)
- Royal Thai Consulate, Geneva located at Rue Liotard 4, 1202 Genève
If you have questions, you can contact the Thai Embassy on +41-31-970-3427 or email [email protected]
Though the process is simple, the paperwork for long-term visas can be quite involved. There are companies that specialize in helping Swiss citizens attain a visa.
Siam Legal International is a reputable law firm in Thailand that has offered visa assistance to Swiss visitors 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.
Vaccination status and entering Thailand
A Thailand Pass application is no longer required. Citizens from Switzerland can enter the country one of two ways.
- Vaccinated Travelers – Vaccinated Swiss travelers do not need to complete any Covid tests before leaving Switzerland. They will need to have a copy of their vaccination certificate when traveling. Children under 18 who are traveling with vaccinated parents do not need to complete any RT-PCR or Pro-ATK test before departing.
- Unvaccinated Travelers – 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 Switzerland.
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.
Book your Flight to Thailand
Flight lanes are open again. Carriers are in the air and offer great deals to help promote international travel.
Some common carriers for Switzerland to Thailand are:
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, ATK self-tests are available at airports, pharmacies, and convenience stores.
Most international airlines follow the rules of the arrival country. It is best to check with the airline if you need to complete any tests before boarding.
Book a Hotel
Vaccinated travelers or unvaccinated travelers who complete a 72-hour pre-departure RT-PCR/Pro-ATK test are welcome to book any accommodation. There are no quarantine requirements. SHA+ quarantine packages have been removed from most booking sites.
If you see a “Quarantine Package” listed, you do not need to choose it.
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.
Travelers have always needed to enter an address when traveling to Thailand. The accommodation can be a hotel, home, or a friend’s address. This would normally be entered on the blue arrival card (TM6), but you will see below that things are changing here too.
Organize your Travel Insurance
If you are a foreigner, purchase Travel Insurance. Though it is no longer an entry requirement, responsible travelers know the benefits of having insurance while traveling abroad.
Travel Insurance is something 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
It’s important to know that foreign travelers cannot receive free medical care in Thailand. No matter the circumstance, if a Swiss citizen needs medical attention, they will need to pay for it. Depending on the severity, this could amount to thousands of Swiss Franc in out-of-pocket expenses.
There are multiple reasons to protect yourself when traveling. Visitors to Thailand often choose AXA Insurance Thailand because 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 coverage offered and organize your insurance to Thailand in minutes. Visit AXA Thailand.
Arriving in Thailand – Best Practices
It is easy to get to Thailand now. So what can you expect when landing? Here are a few things that will help you enjoy your trip and show respect to local Thai people.
Masks are no longer compulsory but still recommended when in public places. You see many Thai people (and visitors) still wearing masks when out and about. It is best to wear a mask when visiting restaurants or public venues. You will not get in trouble if you don’t, 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 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.
After the last two years of being locked at home and relying on internet interactions, it is time to get back into the world. Thailand offers experiences that will never be found in Switzerland and with some planning, you can meet some of your new online friends, share a drink, and toast to life returning to normal.