If you need to travel through the territory of Thailand to make your way to a third country, you may have to apply for a Thailand Transit Visa. However, in addition to foreigners transiting in Thailand, the Thai Transit Visa is also issued to sportspeople and crew members who are traveling for reasons related to their occupation.
This article will detail the Thailand Transit Visa, including its types, the application process, requirements, and other frequently asked questions.
What Are the Types of Thailand Transit Visas?
The categories of visas included under Thailand Transit Visas are:
- Category “TS”, which is issued to foreigners transiting through the territory of Thailand on their way to a third destination.
- Category “S, which is issued to foreign sportspeople, entering Thailand to participate in a sporting event.
- Category “C”, which is issued to crew members of a conveyance that’s coming to a port, station or area in Thailand.
Who Needs a Transit Visa for Thailand?
You need to apply for a Thailand Transit Visa if:
- You have to transit through the territory of Thailand on your way to a third destination; or
- You are a sportsperson and are traveling to participate in a sporting event; or
- You are part of a conveyance that’s coming to a port, station or area in Thailand; AND
- You are not from one of the countries whose nationals are exempt from holding a Thailand visa for short-term stays.
Do I Need a Thailand Airport Transit Visa?
If you are transiting in a Thailand airport, you do not need an airport transit visa if:
- Your connecting flight is in less than 12 hours
- Your flight is booked on the same ticket
- You do not leave the international airport transit area
- You have the necessary documents for your final destination
However, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Timatic, this rule does not include Pakistan nationals or foreigners traveling through the following airlines: Angkor Air, Beijing Capital Airlines, Business Air, Cebu Pacific, Eaststar Jet, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Indigo, Jeju Air, Jet Asia Airways, Jetstar, Jetstar Pacific, Jin Air, JuneYao Airlines, Lao Central Airlines, Mandara Airlines, Norwegian Air, Okay Airways, Orient Thai Airlines, Regent Air, Scoot, Shandong Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Siberia Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, South East Asian Airlines, Spice Jet, Thai Smile Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Trans Aero, Turkmenistan Airlines, T’way Airlines, Ural Airlines and VietJet Air.
What Documents Do I Need for a Thailand Transit Visa?
The documents you must submit to support your Thai Transit Visa application include:
- A valid passport or travel document, with at least another six months’ validity and two blank visa pages
- A completed and signed Thailand Transit Visa application form, which you can download from the website of the Tha Embassy/Consulate where you are applying or get it when you get there if applying in person.
- Two passport-size pictures, with the following specifications:
- Dimensions: 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm
- White background
- Taken within the last six months
- You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
- Your entire face must be fully visible
- Headgear is not allowed, except for religious purposes and when it does not cover the face
- Glasses are allowed only if they do not cover your eyes and do not have heavy frames
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of your stay. You need 10,000 Thai Baht if traveling alone and 20,000 Thai Baht if you are traveling as a family.
- Hotel booking
- If transiting through Thailand on your way to a third country:
- Proof of onward travel, such as a paid and confirmed travel ticket
- Visa for the third country, is a visa is required
- If traveling to participate in a sports event:
- A Letter of Invitation stating your participation
- A Letter of Confirmation from the organization in your home country
- If traveling as a crew member of a conveyance:
- A Letter of Confirmation from your employer, stating the purpose of entering Thailand
- Proof of travel routes or permission to park, if applicable
Note: You may be asked to submit additional documents based on your purpose of travel, as per the request of the Embassy or Consulate.
How Can I Get a Thailand Transit Visa?
You have to apply for a Thailand Transit Visa at a diplomatic mission office of Thailand in your country or in a country near you. The exact application process may differ from one country to the next, but can be summed up as follows:
- Contact the Embassy or Consulate (or visit their website) to see if you need to make an appointment, learn their opening hours, and any specific requirements about the submission process and the method of visa fee payment.
- Collect the required documents for a Thai Transit Visa (see below)
- Submit the Thai Transit Visa application. Depending on where you apply, you can submit the application:
- In-person on the date of your appointment; or
- By mail, in which case you have to enclose a pre-paid and self-addressed envelope so the Embassy/Consulate can return your passport and documents
- Wait for your visa to be processed
- Retrieve your passport and documents:
- If you applied in person, you have to pick up the passport yourself
- If you applied by mail, the documents will be mailed back to you
If your Thai Transit Visa application is approved, you have to enter the country within the time that is indicated on the visa.
How Long Does It Take to Process a Thailand Transit Visa Application?
The processing time for a Thailand Transit Visa depends on the Thai Embassy or Consulate in which you apply. It can take anywhere between 2 – 10 working days, but it may be even longer. So, it is advisable to apply for a Thai visa at least a couple of weeks before you intend to travel.
What Is the Duration of a Thailand Transit Visa?
A Thailand Transit Visa can be issued for the following durations:
- As a single-entry visa with a duration of up to 30 days
- As a multiple-entry visa valid for sixty days and with a maximum allowed stay of up to 30 days per entry (two, three, or four entries)
How Much Is the Thailand Transit Visa Fee?
The fee for a Thai Transit Visa is 800 Thai Baht per entry, which is about USD 26. The method for paying the visa fee changes depending on which representative office you’re applying in. You may be asked to pay in cash or through a bank transfer.
The exact fee may also change based on the local currency.
Can I Extend a Thai Transit Visa?
You can apply to extend a Thai Transit Visa (or change its category to another type of visa) at the Thailand Office of Immigration Bureau in Bangkok before your visa expires.
However, if you are transiting through Thailand after obtaining a Thailand Visa On Arrival, you cannot apply for an extension. Thailand VOAs are valid for a maximum of 15 days and not extendable.
Can I Get a Thailand Transit Visa on Arrival?
Yes, you can enter Thailand with a Visa On Arrival but only if you are from one of the following countries:
- People’s Republic of China
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia