Thailand, the jewel of Asia, has long captivated travelers from across the globe. With its tropical weather and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder that millions of people flock to this beautiful country year after year. As travel restrictions ease and borders open up once again, it’s time to embark on a new adventure and explore the wonders of Thailand.
Exploring Thailand as a Tourist
Visiting Thailand as a tourist is a breeze. Many nationalities can enter the Land of Smiles without a visa under the Visa on Arrival rule or Visa Exemption scheme, allowing them to stay for up to 30 or 45 days. As a tourist, you can immerse yourself in the country’s rich offerings, but remember that working or conducting business is not permitted on a tourist visa. If you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you can apply for a Tourist Visa at a Thai Embassy or Consulate in your country.
Understanding the Thailand Tourist Visa
A Thailand Tourist Visa is a stamp or document placed in your passport. It is required for tourism purposes and is issued by a Thai embassy or consulate. When you arrive at the airport in Thailand, the visa is stamped on your passport. It’s important to note that the tourist visa should not be confused with the Visa Exemption stamp issued at the airport.
Requirements for a Tourist Visa to Thailand
To apply for a tourist visa, you will need certain documents and must pay a fee. However, keep in mind that these requirements may change, so it’s always best to contact your local embassy for the most up-to-date information. The basic documents include a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of 6 months, a filled-out visa application form, a recent photograph, proof of round-trip air ticket or e-ticket, proof of financial means, and proof of hotel or private accommodation booking. Consular officers may request additional documents if necessary.
The visa fee is subject to change, so make sure to consult the nearest Thai Embassy or consulate to determine the current fee. In some countries, online applications are available during the pandemic, while others require in-person applications. Be sure to check with your Embassy to confirm the procedure.
Length of Stay and Visa Extensions
Thailand offers a 60-day Tourist Visa that can be extended for an additional 30 days. Additionally, there is the 90-day Special Tourist Visa (STV), which allows two 90-day visa extensions at the local immigration office. This means a visitor can stay in Thailand for up to 9 months on the STV. Please note that there are certain requirements for the STV, and it will be available until September 2022. If you need assistance with the paperwork and processes, there are companies that can help streamline your approval.
Covid and Vaccination Requirements
As of now, travelers must be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative RT-PCR or Pro-ATK test (if unvaccinated) before entering Thailand. The test result must be no older than 72 hours before departure from your home country. Although proof of this paperwork is not required before leaving your home country, random checks may be conducted by airline staff and immigration officers upon arrival. Traveling with children? If they are unvaccinated, they will need to provide proof of Covid tests.
Travel Insurance for Peace of Mind
With travel restrictions easing, Thailand no longer requires travelers to provide proof of a valid Covid insurance policy. However, it’s crucial to note that foreign visitors are not eligible for free medical care while in Thailand. If you require medical attention during your visit, you will need to cover the expenses yourself. Travel insurance is highly recommended for anyone traveling abroad as it not only covers Covid-related incidents but also medical emergencies, personal injury, missed or delayed flights, damage to belongings, and lost luggage. To ensure you have the best coverage possible while visiting Thailand, choose travel insurance designed specifically for your needs.
AXA Thailand: Your Trusted Travel Insurance Partner
AXA Sawasdee Thailand is a reputable insurance company in Thailand that caters to travelers from around the world. Their policies are straightforward, approved within minutes, and trusted by Thai authorities and medical institutions. For the best travel insurance experience during your stay in Thailand, look no further than AXA Thailand.
Checklist for Tourists Visiting Thailand
Once you have received your Thailand tourist visa from the Thai Embassy or consulate, make sure to prepare the following documents before your trip:
- Valid visa in your passport
- Vaccination certificate or RT-PCR/Pro-ATK test result
- Printed travel insurance certificate
- Copy of confirmed hotel booking
- Copy of confirmed flight reservation
Validity of the Tourist Visa and Permit to Stay
The validity of a tourist visa can range from 3 to 6 months, depending on the number of entries you make across a land border or airport. Upon arrival in Thailand, you will be stamped with a 60-day permission to stay for a normal Tourist Visa, or 90 days if you’re arriving with the Special Tourist Visa. It’s important to differentiate between the visa and the permit to stay. The visa’s validity stated on your visa sticker refers to the time you have to use the visa or enter Thailand. The permit to stay, on the other hand, is the number of days you are legally allowed to stay in Thailand. The permit to stay is the stamp you receive when you arrive at the airport or border.
Tourist Visa Extension in Thailand
If you want to spend more time in Thailand, you can apply for an extension to stay at a local Immigration Office. For both the 60-day Tourist Visa and the STV, extensions of 30 days and 90 days, respectively, are available. The fee for both extensions is 1900 baht. However, it’s important to note that the approval of an extension of stay is at the discretion of the immigration officer handling your application.
With all this information at your fingertips, you’re ready to embark on an incredible journey. Thailand, the Land of Smiles, eagerly awaits your arrival, ready to offer you unforgettable experiences and cherished memories. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the wonders of Thailand!