Since General Prayuth Chan-ocha and his Military Junta launched their Coup d'état on May 22nd, 2014, Thailand's Visa ground rules are constantly changing. More over, not every consulate can issue all the different Visas. Some smaller consulates even display notices to the effect that non-immigrant visas are unavailable. Our advice: Before booking your holidays please contact the Embassy in your country to obtain information about Thailand's latest regulation(s) and check the Chonburi Immigration Website or the website of Thailand's Immigration Police.
By law, all tourists and expats nationwide are required to carry their original passports with them at all times. Failure to carry your original passport may result in a 2'000 Baht fine. The reason behind this is that Immigration needs to keep track of overstayers and foreign criminals who may be staying illegally in the country. No other forms of identification are acceptable. This includes any other form of photo ID, such as a Thai/foreign driving license or a photocopy of your passport.
Thailand's interim Government announced on November 22nd, 2016, that foreign residents over 50 will be able to apply for 10-year visas. The new Visa would replace one-year renewable visas and come in two installments of five years each. Applicants must either earn a monthly salary of at least 100'000 Baht or have more than 3 million Baht in their bank account, which cannot be withdrawn within the first year after receiving the visa. Applicants also must also have a health insurance that covers hospital stays and provides at least US$10'000 in annual coverage. Visa holders will still have to check in every 90 days with the Bureau of Immigration. Additional Information: On November 24th, 2016, Khaosod English provided some additional information.
Visa Rules as of October 1. 2006
Foreigners entering Thailand need a valid visa
Visas can be obtained either at the entry (most likely at the airport) or at any Thai consulate.
Visa on Arrival
Visa on Arrival can be extended for 90 days only in any 180 day periode. After the first 30 days have elapsed foreigners are free to take Visa runs to a border for a further 60 days (30 + 30 days).
Tourist Visa (90 days Visa)
These Visas can not be extended. After the 90 days have elapsed foreigners are free to take Visa runs to a border for a further 90 days (30 + 30 + 30 days) in any 180 days. 90 Days Visa are issued at any Thai consulate (most likely destination will be Penang in Cambodia).
New Regulation for Visas mentioned above:
As of February 15, 2010: All passengers arriving in Thailand must have sufficient funds before entry is permitted, the Immigration Department says. Transit Visa holder:
Must hold minimum THB 10,000 per passenger or THB 20,000 per family. Tourist Visa holder:
Must hold minimum THB 20,000 per passenger or THB 40,000 per family. Visa on Arrival:
Must hold minimum THB 10,000 per passenger or THB 20,000 per family. Non Immigrant Visa holder:
Must hold minimum THB 20,000 per passenger or THB 40,000 per family. The above funds may be held in any permitted currency.
As of June 01 2009: Thai Immigration Bureau has issued a new regulation. A foreigner who has entered the kingdom four (4) consecutive times on 15 days tourist exemption stamps, will not be allowed to leave the country and re-enter Thailand. The only option is to exit Thailand and re-enter via an international airport, which will allow a further 30 day stay. The new rules does not affect holders of visas issued abroad. Foreigners are advised to apply for a Tourist visas or Non-Immigrant visas at a Royal Thai Embassy or consulate outside Thailand instead of using the 15 day exemption rule.
As of December 01 2008: There has been a change in immigration policy to restrict people from staying permanently in Thailand without a visa. Previously this was restricted by allowing 30 day entries to those without a visa. This could be repeated until a limit of 90 days of entries in a elapsed period of 6 months. The rules now seem to have changed to only 15 day entries being granted at land borders but at least there is no 90 day maximum. 30 days are still granted at airports.
New Regulation as of October 1. 2007:
The Royal Thai consulate general in Penang, Malaysia, has indicated that officers there will now limit applications from foreigners applying to visit Thailand as tourists to just three 60 day visas.
Other Thai consulates and embassies in the region are unlikely to offer more generous visa extensions than Penang.
New Regulation as of November 12. 2007
Allows foreigners aged 50 (+ over) to extend an non-immigrant Visa for up to 12 month from the date of the last entry into Thailand. It requires either a 800'000 Baht in a Thai Bank or a combination of cash in the bank and proof of pension paid in the home country. Applicants have to use visa application form TM 7 and have to enclose their passport, a 4 x 6 cm photograph, 1,900 baht fee, proof of income (certificate of bank deposit and bank book savings account, or a fixed account for at least the last three months), and proof of an appropriate amount of money from abroad through the bank in a certain period of time, such as a certificate of transfer from abroad or copy of a banking transfer order. NEW: Applicants need to have an ATM card and a credit card. Legal spouses of Thai national require a minimum cash of 400'000 Baht in a Thai Bank. A relationship certificate approval with Thai translation certified by the embassy or consulate must be presented. Local immigration officers will also visit your home to verify that you really do live toghether as husband and wife.
Invest some of your money in a fixed-term deposit account. You can get a significant higher interest rate. Ask your bank for the best terms.
As a holder of a Retirement Visa you can apply for a Residence Certificate. It allows you to get your Thai Driving Licence, to buy a Motorcycle or a Car or to open a Bank Account on your very own name.
All A Go-Go Clubs
Update (March 2016):
New Overstay Regulations
Thailand's new immigration policy will take effect on March 20th of this year. Please click for details!
New 10-year Visa
Thailand's interim Government announced on November 22nd, 2016, that foreign residents over 50 will be able to apply for 10-year visas. The new Visa would replace one-year renewable visas and come in two installments of five years each. Applicants must either earn a monthly salary of at least 100'000 Baht or have more than 3 million Baht in their bank account, which cannot be withdrawn within the first year after receiving the visa. Applicants also must also have a health insurance that covers hospital stays and provides at least US$10'000 in annual coverage. Visa holders will still have to check in every 90 days with the Bureau of Immigration.
Foreigners who enter Thailand without a visa via a land border crossing can now do so only twice per calendar year. Those who seek to enter Thailand without a visa via a land border checkpoint for a third time in a calendar year may be denied entry and asked to apply for a regular visa first. Entries through international airports are not affected by this new regulation. While eligible foreigners who enter Thailand under the “visa exemption” scheme would previously get 30 days exclusively at international airports but only 15 days at border crossings, this rule has now been relaxed and all foreigners will receive 30-day entry stamps also at land border checkpoints. The new rules went into effect on December 31st, 2016.
Up & Down
Thailand's Military Junta cuts the visa-on-arrival fee for tourists from Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan from today 2'000 Baht to 1'000 Baht. The 1'000-Baht fee for visas sought at Thai embassies and consulates would be lifted. The reduction is applicable from December 1st, 2016, to February 28th, 2017, only.
The change was announced less than two months after the visa fee was increased to 2'000 Baht on September 27th, 2016...
Free visas extended
Bangkok Post reports that Thailand's Government extended by six months to August free visas at Thai consulates and embassies and discounts on visas on arrival for visitors from 21 countries.
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