Which Thailand Visa
Requirements Do You Need?

Thailand Visa Requirements are confusing.

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Avoid headless chicken days and know what type of paperwork you need for your visit to Thailand.

Not only can it be frustrating but also expensive if you want to stay in Thailand and you do not have the proper document.

If you wish to stay long term in Thailand you will have to understand the Thailand Visa Requirements.

For example 30 day visa exemptions have changed.

So before you head out to the land of smiles makes sure you're legally allowed to!

"Do Yo Need A Thai Visa And What Are The Requirements?"

thailand visa requirements for thailand

Whether you need one depends on how long you are planning to stay in the Kingdom of Thailand and what nationality you are.

The majority of foreigners entering the Kingdom without one will receive a stamp in their passport which is a permission to stay in the Kingdom of Thailand for 30 days.

Aliens entering the Kingdom of Thailand without one must present a confirmed ticket or travel documents to exit the Kingdom and must not exceed 30 days upon the entrance of the Kingdom.

This is not a visa.  It is a visa exemption and if you plan on staying longer than 30 days you would be well advised to obtain a visa in your home country. You can't get one in Thailand. 

You will have to obtain a visa outside the Kingdom of Thailand in a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate.

The exemption can be extended at an immigration office for 7-15 days for 1900 Baht. Consider going to Immigration office in Pattaya.

When entering the country make sure to check the stamp in your passport and the departure card. It will show the date of entry and the date when you must leave the country. The stamped and dated departure card will be affixed to your passport.

Whether you have one or received and exemption upon entry - you will receive a stamp in your passport.

The stamp shows the date of entry and the date by which you have to leave the kingdom. The length of stay and Thailand visa requirements depend on the type of paperwork you have.

Immigration in Bangkok

thailand visa requirements gets checked at immigration

Passport Stamp

thailand "visa" stamp

Another Passport Stamp

Meet Thailand Visa Requiremetns for stamp

Again it isn't a 'visa on arrival'. It is an exemption and is not available to citizens of every country.

If unsure make sure to check with a Thai embassy or Consulate and/or check the Kingdom of Thailand. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web Site.

The exemption may not be available to citizens of certain countries or may be granted for 15 days only as it is the case for citizens of India and China. Most Western countries qualify for the 30 day visa exemption.

"What Is a Visa?"

It is essentially a document attached to your passport or stamped into your passport. With this document or stamp in your passport the Thai Government grants you permission to stay in the Kingdom for a certain amount of time.

Depending the Thailand visa requirements -it will show a date...'This visa must be utilized before'...You will have to use it before the noted date or it will become invalid.

No Matter What Type of Paperwork You Are Holding :

Every foreign visitor in Thailand is required to report to Immigration or leave the country every ninety days.

Foreign nationals in Thailand failing to leave the country when yours expires pay a penalty/fee of 500 baht each day overstayed and no more than 20,000 Baht. In the worst case scenario the Thai Immigration may blacklist you and you may not re-enter Thailand. Do not overstay your date and make sure you know when you have to leave the Kingdom.  Make sure you follow the Thailand visa requirements.

If you want to live in Thailand long-term you will need one of the following visas:

  • Transit
  • Official
  • Courtesy
  • Diplomatic

The Non-immigrant one includes

 • business

 • marriage 

 • retirement

There are individuals who stay long term on the 30 day visa exemption.

However there have been reported cases where the Thai Immigration denied entry to these individuals if the Immigration officer may suspect that the individual is trying to remain resident in Thailand.

thailand visa requirements

This can also be the case when obtaining a multiple tourist visa in Asia.

There have been reported cases when an immigration officer reduced the numbers of entry or denied the documents altogether if they suspect the applicant is taking advantage of the Thailand visa requirements to live permanently here.

Thai Embassies and Consulates in Asia usually only issue 3-months Non-Immigrant or tourist visas. It is a good idea to apply for a Non-Immigrant one in your Home country.

Know before you go.

Thailand Visa Requirements are something you need to understand if you want to live or stay long term in this country.

In Thailand you will always want to take care of your visa application in person.

Different Types of Visas And Thailand Visa Requirements

Tourist Visa Single Entry Tourist Visa

A simple application which is best done in your Home Country since you can not obtain one in Thailand.

This document is not dependent on age or financial status of the applicant. A single entry tourist visa is valid for 3 months or 90 days from the date of issue and permits the holder to stay for 60 days upon entry.

This type may be extended for 30 days for 1900 Baht at a local Immigration office which makes it 90 days. Another visit will require a new one which can only be obtained outside Thailand.

Multiple Entry Tourist Visa

This type of visa permits the visa holder to stay for 60 days from the date of entry. Each time you enter the country during the validity period and the number of permitted entries you will be permitted to stay for 60 days.

This visa may be extended for 30 days for 1900 Baht at the Immigration office. An unused visa entry allows you to come back to Thailand within the validity period at any border Immigration checkpoint and you get another 60 days stamp.

Visa Runs Foreigners living in Thailand holding a tourist visa would usually make a 'visa run' to Malaysia, Cambodia or Laos for a new entry. There are 'visa run companies' who specialize in these services. A 'visa run' from Pattaya to Laos in a mini bus is around 2500 Baht including visa processing at the border, breakfast and lunch.

If you use the same company regularly they should give you a discount. These services are quiet convenient.

One respectable 'Company' is FIVE STAR VISA RUNS in Pattaya.

A word of cautionL There are individuals offering services to renew the visa for you.

Under no circumstances must you allow anyone to renew yours for you.

It is illegal.

You must renew your visa in person.

This is a serious offense and you and the 'agent' could be arrested and you could be charged with illegal entry into the Kingdom of Thailand. This can result in imprisonment, deportation and persona non gratis status (blacklisting) which means you can not visit Thailand again.

Non Immigrant Visa This type of visa is intended for people planning to stay a long time in Thailand. It is possible to obtain a 3-year Non Immigrant visa.

How ever most owner managers of businesses registered in Thailand and foreign Investors are advised to apply for a 1- year, multiple entry Non immigrant business visa 'type B'. As with all Thai visas it is advised to apply for the visa in your home country.

Non-Immigrant visas are either multiple or single entry visas.

Single-Entry Visa The single entry visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue and permits a stay for a single period of up to 90 days. This type of visa can be extended at the local Immigration office for 30 days for 1900 Baht.

It may also be extended for up to one year for specific reasons and with proper required documentation. A further visit requires a new visa which can only be obtained outside Thailand.

Multiple-Entry Visa A multi-entry non-immigrant visa is valid 12 months from the date of issue and permits the holder to enter the Kingdom of Thailand for 90 days. Each time the visa holder enters Thailand during the validity period of the visa, the holder will obtain permission to stay for a further 90 day period.

It is a multi entry visa and this procedure can be repeated throughout the validity of the visa which is usually 12 months.

Even though this may be a 12 months visa the holder is still legally required to leave the country and re-enter every 90 days or apply for an extension.

The validity period of this visa starts when the visa is affixed to your passport at the Thai Embassy or Consulate and not when you enter Thailand. Each 90 day period can be extended at a local Immigration office for 1900 Baht.

This type of visa is issued to people for reasons of

 • family reunion

 • medical treatment

 • students

 • work

 • teaching

and other reasons.

Ways to extend a non-immigrant visa:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Retirement(for those over 50 years of age)
  • Marriage and proof of support to Thai Citizen

Marriage and Thailand Visa Requirements

Non-Immigrant O; marrying a Thai national

Many people wish to stay in Thailand because they found their Thai Love. If you wish to marry a Thai Citizen you must provide proof that you are legally able to marry. You will need an original of your divorce decree or death certificate, which ever may be the case.

Your country's Embassy in Thailand will verify if you have never been married. The documentation must be notarized and translated by a licensed legal translator. The cost for the Embassy and Translation will be close to 10,000 Baht.

The translated documentation must be authorized and stamped by the Legalization and Naturalization Division, Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Translation services can usually take care of it for you for a fee. With translated documentation, your passport and your future spouse's ID card can you get married at an Amphur which is free of charge.

A Thai wedding is basically made up of two parts: the legal and the ceremonial part. The legal part is performed in an Amphur. Witnesses are not needed as in Western countries. Before you get married I suggest seeking professional legal advice regarding prenuptial agreements and wills. Now that you are legally and happily married to your Thai Love....

Spousal Extension To A Non-Immigrant Visa You will need to have a non-immigrant visa at this point in time as described earlier. The non-immigrant O or B visa may be extended for up to 12 months or 1 year. To apply for a spousal extension to non-immigrant visa you will have to apply with your wife at a main Immigration office.

Your application will be accepted at a local Immigration office. Approval of spouse extension however will come from Legalization and Naturalization Division, Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Application Requirements:

  • Application Form TM.7
  • Two 4x6 Photos
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Processing fee 1900 Baht
  • Proof of 40,000 Baht income per month or proof of 400,000 Baht in a Bank account bearing your name. Letter from Bank confirming the money is in your account.
  • Bank Book with recent entries
  • Work permit or proof of tax payments if working in Thailand
  • Passport and copy of passport with not less validity than 18 months
  • Documents proofing nationality or permanent residency of wife.
  • Birth certificates of children if applicable
  • Wife's ID card

Immigration may also ask for additional proof of marriage. You may be asked to bring a Thai friend who can verify you living together as husband and wife.

Best is not to withdraw money from your bank account and reduce the amount below 400,000 Baht during the application process. If at all possible have more than 400,000 baht deposited.

Other types of Thailand visa requirements are:

Other Non Immigrant Visas

  • Non-Immigrant IM -relating to Thai government
  • Non-Immigrant IB -Board of Investment sponsorship
  • Non-Immigrant EX -skilled expert classification

Retirement Visa-Non Immigrant O-A

Business Visa -Non-Immigrant B
and Work Permit.

Remember the Thailand visa requirements. Every foreign visitor in Thailand is required to report to Immigration or leave the country every ninety days. It is a legal requirement for all foreigners holding a visa and residing in Thailand. A trip outside Thailand's borders and re-entry is sufficient.

Thailand visa requirements have and will chance. You can also get help from the Thai Immigration service with any questions you may have.

Two websites I recommend checking out are:  Thai Visa and again the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The information presented above is to be used as a guideline only. Your circumstances may vary greatly depending on your age, financial status, what nationality you are, where you apply for a visa and what your purpose of visit is.

30 Day Visa Exemptions Have Changed

12/15/2008 Thai Immigration announced that the Thailand visa requirements for this have changed. This new regulation is regarding overland entries.

Foreigners entering Thailand without a visa via overland border checkpoints from

 • Cambodia

 • Laos

 • Malaysia

 • Myanmar

will only be granted 15 days on arrival. The exception to the new visa regulation are Malaysian passport holders who will continue to receive 30 days without obtaining a visa prior to entering the Kingdom of Thailand.

Visa holders to Thailand visiting Thailand via overland border checkpoints will not be affected and will continue receiving 60 or 90 days depending on the visa.

Visitors entering Thailand by Air at an international airport will continue to receive 30 days without obtaining a visa beforehand. Extensions for the 15 and 30 day “visa" will continue to be only 7 days and can be obtained at any local Immigration office.

These changes are an attempt to encourage foreigners visiting Thailand and wishing to spend a long time in Thailand to obtain a visa prior to visiting Thailand. Visas have to be applied for outside Thailand's borders at a Royal Thai Embassy.

Have Fun in Thailand

In any case once you've taken care of your Thailand visa requirements the rest will be fun.  The Kingdom has become more strict with its visa laws.  It's still a great place to visit and be a tourist in. 

Have fun!

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