The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global travel, prompting countries to implement stringent entry requirements to control the virus’s spread. Thailand, too, introduced quarantine measures and the Thailand Pass. However, after two challenging years, international travel is slowly returning to normal, and Thailand has lifted its final restrictions as of July 1st, 2022.
No More Quarantine, No More Thailand Pass
From July 1st, the following changes have been implemented for all international travelers:
- Foreigners no longer need to show proof of Covid Insurance.
- All mandatory hotel quarantine requirements have been removed.
- The Thailand Pass is no longer required for foreign travelers.
- Vaccinated travelers do not need to provide proof of vaccination to Thai authorities before arriving.
- Unvaccinated travelers (including children traveling with unvaccinated parents) will need to complete an RT-PCR or Professional Antigen Test (Pro-ATK) 72 hours before departing for Thailand. Proof does not need to be uploaded before traveling.
- Airlines and Thai Immigration will conduct random checks to ensure compliance with Covid prevention requirements (vaccination or Covid test).
With these changes, international travelers can now enter Thailand with greater ease and flexibility.
Passport Validity and Visas
Before planning your trip to Thailand, it is crucial to check the validity of your passport. International travel requires that your passport is valid for at least six months from your travel date. If your passport has less than six months remaining, you will not be allowed to enter Thailand.
Depending on your nationality, purpose of travel, and intended duration of stay, various visas are available for visitors to Thailand.
Under the Visa Exemption Program, certain nationalities can enter Thailand without a visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate. Most nationalities under this program can stay for up to 30 days, although some have shorter time frames. It is best to refer to the country exemption list to confirm the allowed duration of stay without a visa.
Tourists entering under the visa exemption program can extend their stay for an additional 30 days at a local Thai Immigration Office for a fee of approximately 2000 baht.
Tourist Visa and Special Tourist Visa (STV)
Foreigners can also apply for a Tourist Visa or the Special Tourist Visa (STV) from a Thai embassy or consulate. The regular Tourist Visa allows for a 60-day stay, which can be extended for an additional 30 days. The STV, on the other hand, allows for a longer stay of up to 9 months with multiple extensions.
To ensure a smooth visa application process, it is recommended to contact your local Thai Embassy for the specific requirements and necessary documents.
Foreigners requiring a long-term stay in Thailand can apply for various non-immigrant visas, such as the Non-immigrant B Visa for business or employment, Non-immigrant O Visa for visiting Thai spouses and family, Non-immigrant ED Visa for students, and Non-immigrant O Retirement Visa for those wishing to retire in Thailand. The specific requirements for each type of non-immigrant visa can be obtained from a local Thai Embassy or Consulate.
Thai Elite Visa
If you’re considering long-term stays or even permanent relocation to Thailand, the Thai Elite Visa may be an excellent option for easy access to the country. The Thai Elite Visa allows foreign citizens to live in Thailand for 5, 10, or 20 years while bypassing certain eligibility criteria required for other long-term visas.
To explore the benefits and details of the Thai Elite Visa program, you can find more information on the Ekilove website.
Proof of Vaccine or Testing
Entry requirements to Thailand still depend on the visitor’s vaccination status.
Vaccinated travelers do not need to provide proof of vaccination to Thai authorities before arriving. However, it is essential to carry a copy of your vaccination certificate, either in print or on a digital device, as you may be asked to present it if requested. Thailand recognizes fully vaccinated individuals who have received two shots (one shot for Janssen) as meeting the vaccination requirement.
Unvaccinated travelers must complete an RT-PCR or Professional Antigen Test (Pro-ATK) within 72 hours before boarding their flight to Thailand. The test result must be obtained from a medical professional, as home ATK (RAT) self-tests are not acceptable.
For children traveling with vaccinated parents, there is no testing requirement. However, if children are traveling with unvaccinated parents, they must also undergo the same test within 72 hours of departure from their home country.
While vaccination and testing requirements are no longer mandatory before arriving in Thailand, random checks by Thai authorities may still be conducted. Therefore, it is advisable to carry proof of vaccination or test results throughout your journey.
While proof of “Covid Insurance” is no longer required for entry to Thailand, it is highly recommended. Travel insurance provides coverage for medical emergencies, personal injuries, accidents, flight delays, damage to belongings, and lost luggage. Foreign visitors are not eligible for free medical care in Thailand, so having comprehensive travel insurance is crucial to cover any unexpected expenses.
To ensure peace of mind during your trip, it is advisable to purchase travel insurance tailored for Thailand. AXA Thailand offers insurance policies trusted by Thai authorities and medical institutions, designed specifically for travelers in Thailand. Their policies are affordable, comprehensive, and can be approved within minutes. You can find more information and purchase your travel insurance here.
Hotel and Proof of Address Updates
Previously, visitors were required to provide proof of a hotel booking through an Arrival Card (TM6) before entering Thailand. However, this requirement has been temporarily removed. While it is no longer mandatory to book a SHA+ hotel or undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival, it is still recommended to make hotel arrangements in advance. You can browse hotels in Thailand on Agoda.com for convenient pre-booking and a smoother arrival experience.
The Thailand Pass system is still in place, but it is no longer a requirement for entry into Thailand. The system now serves as a platform for visitors to notify Thai authorities and medical facilities if they are diagnosed with Covid during their stay. If you need to access the Thailand Pass system while in Thailand, you can visit https://tp.consular.go.th/ and register by filling in your personal details on the Thailand Pass registration page.
International travelers do not need to provide proof of flights before leaving their home country. While it is technically required to have a return flight booked, you may not always be asked to present evidence of a return flight. However, if you are entering Thailand with a pre-approved visa or Visa on Arrival, you may be asked to provide details of your exit flight. To avoid any inconvenience, it is preferable to book an exit flight that can be changed later. Domestic flights within Thailand are no longer restricted, and travelers are not required to present proof of vaccination or Covid test results. However, it is still recommended to have your vaccination certificate or test results on hand in case they are requested.
List of Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
As of December 1st, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in Thailand has approved the following vaccines:
- Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty
- Janssen or Janssen/Ad26.COV2.S
- AstraZeneca or Covishield
- Sinopharm or COVILO
- CoronaVac or SinoVac
- Sputnik V
- Sputnik Lite
How to Obtain Travel Insurance
While COVID-19 insurance is not mandatory for entry into Thailand, it is still advisable to have comprehensive travel insurance throughout your stay. Good travel insurance covers not only medical expenses related to Covid but also accidents, personal damage, loss of possessions, and missed or delayed flights.
The easiest way to purchase travel insurance is online through a reputable insurance provider. They will provide you with a certificate of cover that you can present to the authorities or medical professionals if needed. The insurance company may also require you to present the certificate before boarding your flight.
For hassle-free and reliable travel insurance options designed for Thailand, you can purchase AXA COVID-19 travel insurance, which offers quick approval and many benefits to its customers. Visit here to buy your policy.
Thailand is gradually opening its borders to international travelers, lifting many of the previous entry requirements. While the situation is returning to normal, it is essential to stay informed about the latest guidelines and follow the necessary procedures. By adhering to the updated information and ensuring you have the required documentation, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip to the beautiful Land of Smiles.
For more information and updates on entry requirements and travel to Thailand, visit Ekilove.