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If you’re planning a trip to the enchanting temples in Bangkok, you may have found yourself wondering, “Do I need a visa for Thailand?”

Thailand, a Southeast Asian country known for its ornate temples, sandy, white beaches, charming water markets, and modern cityscapes attracts millions of tourists every year. Many of the people who travel to Thailand need to have a visa to enter. However, nationals of several other countries are actually exempt from visa requirements.

This article will detail the Thailand visa policy: who is exempt, who can get a Visa On Arrival, and what to do if you need a visa.

Do You Need a Visa to Go to Thailand?

You need a visa to go to Thailand, as long as you are not from one of the countries whose nationals are exempt from visa requirements (below).

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If you have an ordinary passport issued by one of the following countries, you can travel to Thailand without a visa for up to 90 days:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • South Korea
  • Peru

[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”Thailand visa exemptions for up to 30 days” icon=””]If you have an ordinary passport issued by one of the following countries, you can travel to Thailand without a visa for up to 30 days:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”Thailand visa exemptions for up to 14 days” icon=””]

If you have an ordinary passport issued by one of the following countries, you can travel to Thailand without a visa for up to 14 days:

  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar

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Thailand Visa Exemptions for up Non-Ordinary Passport Holders

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If you have a diplomatic or service passport issued by one of the following countries you can travel to Thailand for up to 90 days:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh*
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia*
  • France*
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Nepal
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • Spain*
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay

*Applies to holders of Diplomatic passports only.

[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”30 Days Exemption” icon=””]

If you have a diplomatic or service passport issued by one of the following countries you can travel to Thailand for up to 30 days:

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Ecuador
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Oman
  • Pakistan*
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

*Applies to holders of Diplomatic passports only.

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Do I Need a Thailand Transit Visa?

Yes, if you typically need to have a visa for Thailand, then you must also apply for a Thailand Transit Visa if you’re transiting through the territory of Thailand on your way to a third country.

Do I Need a Thailand Airport Transit Visa?

Foreigners transiting in a Thai airport do not need to have a Thailand airport transit visa if:

  • Their connecting flight is in less than 12 hours
  • Their flight is booked on the same ticket
  • They do not leave the international airport transit area
  • Have the necessary documents for the final destination

Note: According to 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.

Who Is Eligible for a Thailand Visa on Arrival?

Nationals of the following countries are eligible to apply for a Thailand Visa On Arrival:

  • Bulgaria
  • Bhutan
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu

How Do I Get a Visa for Thailand If I Need One?

If you are not exempt and you are not eligible for a Visa On Arrival, you have to apply for a Thai visa at a diplomatic mission office of Thailand (Embassy or Consulate) in your country. You have to:

  1. Contact the Thailand Embassy or Consulate in your country or the one nearest to you to make an appointment and learn about any specific visa application requirements.
  2. Collect the required documents for a Thai Visa.
  3. Submit the documents and pay the fee. Depending on which Embassy/Consulate you apply in, you can submit the application:
    1. In-person
    2. Through the post, in which case you have to enclose a pre-paid and self-addressed envelope
  4. Wait for the application to be processed
  5. Collect the passport and visa. If you applied by mail, they will be mailed back to you. If your Thailand Tourist Visa is approved, you have to enter the country within the time stated on your visa.

How to Travel to Thailand If I Don’t Need a Visa?

If you are from one of the countries that are exempt from Thai visas, you can enter with just your passport, which must be valid for at least another six months. You can stay for the duration that the visa-exemption allows (up to 14, 30, or 90 days). If you want to extend your stay beyond the period that’s allowed, you may be able to apply for an extension at the Thai Immigration Bureau office in Bangkok for a fee of 1,900 Thai Baht.

If you overstay without a formal extension, you will be fined. The fees start from 500 Thai Baht per day and may reach up to 20,000 Thai Baht per day if you overstay for more than 40 days.

However, in order to work or live in Thailand long-term, you will have to get the relevant visa from a Thailand Embassy or Consulate.

Can I Get a Thailand Visa Online?

For the moment, only citizens of a few countries can submit their Thai Visa applications online: China, Britain, and France.

That’s because, in December 2018, the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it would launch a new electronic application system for Thai Visas in order to facilitate tourism. In February 2019, Chinese nationals became the first to be eligible for the Thai eVisa with British and French nationals joining them in April.

But in the following three years, citizens of all foreign countries with which Thailand has diplomatic relations are expected to become eligible for Thai eVisas. If you are eligible, you can apply for a Thai Tourist Visa online here, although you will still have to visit the office of a Thailand diplomatic mission to have the visa stamped on your passport.


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