Thailand, formally known as Siam until 1939, is a territory in the heart of continental Southeast Asia. The tropics totally surround it. You can find everything in Thailand. This nation has temples, old ruins, canals, markets floating on water, sandy beaches, and contemporary cityscapes.
In 2018, it hosted a remarkable number of 38.27 million visitors from all over the globe. The majority of those visitors most likely arrived with a Thai Tourist Visa. Foreigners who want to visit Thailand may need to apply for a Thailand visa.
This article will go through the application procedure for a Thailand visa, Thailand visa types, their requirements, spoken languages, and so much more.
What Languages are Spoken in Thailand?
The majority of Thai languages are categorized as Tai, Mon-Khmer, Austronesian, or Sino-Tibetan. Furthermore, English is widely spoken in Thailand for commerce, business, and a variety of official reasons. Learning English is an obligatory school subject from the elementary grades forward. Still, only those who go beyond those years, particularly those who participate in elite schools, develop substantial proficiency in the language.
What is the Religion in Thailand?
Buddhism is practiced by the great majority of Thai people. Buddhists of the Theravada tradition are also practiced in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and portions of southern China and southern Vietnam. This tradition came to Thailand from Sri Lanka. This tradition places a great deal of importance on the community of monks. The majority of Thailand’s settlements contain a temple monastery, in which monks wear their yellow robes and where community rituals take place.
Who Needs a Visa to Enter Thailand?
Foreign nationals who are not exempt and do not qualify for a Visa On Arrival need to apply for a Thailand visa prior to traveling to the country.
Thailand allows people of numerous nations to enter the country without a visa for varied periods of time (up to 14, 30, or 90 days). Furthermore, certain people may be eligible for a Visa On Arrival with previous electronic authorization.
What Are the Thai Visa Types?
Foreign nationals can get the following sorts of visas from the Thai government:
Thailand Tourist Visa
Foreigners who need a visa to enter Thailand for tourism or leisure purposes are offered a tourist visa. This is a short-stay visa that can be given for a single entry or many entries.
Thailand Transit Visa
A transit visa is provided to foreign visitors who enter Thailand on their journey to a third country.
Thailand SMART Visa
SMART visas are intended for highly qualified foreigners. These types of visas aim to encourage foreigners to work or invest in one of Thailand’s 10 prioritized industries, which include medical, robotics, aviation, agriculture, biotechnology, and so on.
Thailand Non-Immigrant Visa
Foreigners visiting Thailand for purposes apart from tourism or recreational activities are granted non-immigrant visas. The Thai Non-Immigrant visas have various categories based on the reason for travel:
Thailand Work Visa
Thailand offers work visas to foreigners who a Thai company will employ.
Thailand Student Visa
Studying in Thailand requires a student visa. It’s for foreigners who want to pursue higher education in Thailand.
Thailand Business Visa
The purpose of a business visa is to allow foreigners to enter Thailand to conduct business activities, such as negotiations, meetings, etc.
Thailand Marriage Visa
Foreigners who marry Thai citizens may apply for a marriage visa.
Thailand Retirement Visa
A retirement visa, often referred to as a “Ten Year Visa,” is granted to foreign nationals over 50 who decide to spend their retirement in Thailand and have the funds to support themselves without working.
How Can you Apply for Thailand Visas?
Anyone who needs Thailand visa requirements or who is not entitled to a visa on arrival must request a Thai visa at one of Thailand’s diplomatic missions overseas, including an embassy. The following steps are the standard procedure for obtaining a Thai visa:
Contact a Thai diplomatic mission
When you initiate the visa application process for a Thai visa, first, you need to contact the Thai Embassy. Typically, you should apply at an embassy in your country. Suppose there is not a Thai embassy or representation available in your country. In that case, you will have to file for a visa at a Thai embassy in a nearby country.
You must contact them or go to their website and find out how you can book a meeting, their working hours, business days, and the recommended method of paying the visa cost.
Sadly, there is no standardized procedure for submitting Thailand visa applications for all nations since it is based on the unique embassy in each country.
Collect the required documents
The documentation you must provide while applying for a Thailand visa is determined by the reason for your trip. All candidates, however, must have:
All foreigners applying for a Thailand visa, regardless of the travel reason, must present the following documents:
- Your passport. It must hold validity for six months or more. It also must contain at least two blank pages for visas and entrance stamps.
- If you are looking for a one-year visa, ensure your passport has validity for at least another 18 months.
- A Visa application form. It must be filled out and signed. Regarding where and how you apply, you can either download the form from the embassy’s website or acquire it from the embassy officials if you apply in person.
- A return flight ticket. It shows your intention to depart the country once your visa expires.
- Proof of enough financial assets to support the period of your stay.
- Proof of paid visa fees.
- Two recent passport-sized photographs. Pictures must follow some specifications:
- The dimensions must be 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm.
- The background must be white.
- They must not be older than six months.
- Your facial expression must be neutral, staring straight ahead.
- Your face must be fully visible.
- Only religious headgears are permitted if they do not cover the face.
- Glasses are allowed only, provided they do not conceal your eyes and have light frames.
Note: Some Thai embassies might request you to submit a photograph in a different size. If you are altering your visa while being in Thailand, the Immigration Department may have its own Thailand picture size restrictions, which you should inquire about ahead of time.
Fill out and present the Thai visa application
Based on the Thai embassy where you are applying, you can register for your visa application in two different ways:
- In person. Apply this way on the day of your appointment.
- By mail. Send a prepaid envelope with your address, so you can get your passport and visa back from the embassy.
Allow for the application process to complete
As mentioned before, the processing period for a Thai visa is determined by the representative diplomatic offices. Some offices guarantee to process your application within two business days, while others may take more time. But, from the time the embassy receives your entire application, you should anticipate waiting 5 to 10 business days. As a result, ensure you apply far in advance of the day you expect to go.
Receive your Thailand visa
When your Thai visa application is approved, you must return to the embassy to get your passport and documentation back. They would be returned back to you if you applied via mail. If your application is successful, the officials will attach your visa to the passport.
Can I Apply for a Thailand Visa Online?
In 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand indicated that the Thailand eVisa would be implemented. The Chinese were the first foreigners to be qualified for the Thai eVisa in Feb 2019. The Chinese people were followed by the British and the French in April. In the next three years, Thailand plans to make its visa application process available online to citizens of all countries with which it has diplomatic relations.
Those who are qualified to file an online visa application must still go to a Thai embassy to get their passport stamped. However, the Thai administration plans to put the whole procedure online in the coming years.
You can click the link to apply for a Thai eVisa.
Thailand Visas Validity
Thailand visas are issued for the following periods of time:
- Thai Transit Visa
- Single-entry visa: up to three months
- Multiple-entry visa: up to six months
- Thai Tourist Visa
- Single-entry visa: up to three months
- Multiple-entry visa: up to six months
- Thai Non-Immigrant Visa
- Single or multiple entries: up to three months.
- Multiple-entry visas can also be granted for up to one year.
Note: You cannot remain in the country for more than 30 days and 60 days for transit and tourist visas.
Can You Extend a Thailand Visa?
Yes, if you want to renew, extend, or modify the category of your Thailand visa, you may apply at the Thailand Immigration Bureau. It is in Bangkok. However, a Thailand visa on arrival holds validity for 15 days and cannot be extended.
What Much Are Thailand Visa Fees?
The Thai visa fees are different based on a number of criteria, one of which is your nation. But, based on the particular currency, you could anticipate spending between $30 and $50 for Tourist Visas and $150 to $250 for Non-Immigrant Visas.
Furthermore, depending on the preferences of the Thailand embassy through which you apply, you may be obligated to pay your fees in cash at the time of application or by banking transaction.
Thailand Visa for U.S. Citizens
U.S. citizens can apply for Thailand visas based on two scenarios:
People of the U.S. do not require a visa to enter Thailand for a visit of up to 30 days.
To travel to Thailand and visit the country for up to 30 days as a U.S. citizen, you must have a valid passport (6 months or more) that contains at least one passport page. Additionally, for a price of 1,900 baht, you can petition for a 30-day extension via the Thai Immigration Bureau headquarters in Bangkok (about USD 60).
The Royal Thai Embassy in the United States can assist you with obtaining a Thai visa if you plan to stay longer than 30 days. Work permits in Thailand are acquired by your employer on your behalf. You need a Thai Work Visa and a Thai Work Permit to work in Thailand.
Thailand Visa for Indian Nationals
Indian nationals may acquire a Thailand Visa On Arrival for a period of up to 15 days from one of the recognized points of entry. They need to submit:
- A valid passport
- A Thailand Arrival Card
- Two passport-sized photos
- A return ticket
- Accommodation proof
- The visa On Arrival application form
- Evidence of adequate finances
Unfortunately, you can not extend a Thailand Visa on Arrival. Therefore, if you want to remain for more than 15 days, you must apply for a standard Thai visa at a Thai embassy in your country.
How can I Become a Thai Resident?
Becoming a Thai resident requires foreigners who have stayed in Thailand for at least three years on a Non-Immigrant Visa. Under this condition, you will be eligible for a Thai Residence Permit.
- You must be a member of one of the groups below:
- You possess a Thai work permit.
- You are an international investor.
- You have a Thai citizen in your family.
- You are a highly qualified foreign national.
- See the Thai Residence Permits page for further details.
How to Get a Thai Citizenship?
To gain Thailand citizenship, you must meet the requirements below:
- The minimum age to participate is at least 18 years.
- You must have resided in the country for at least five years in a row before you apply for citizenship.
- You must have a permanent address in the country.
- You need to have a clear criminal record.
- You must be able to communicate in Thai without any problems.
Let’s Sum Up…
Thailand, with its exotic places and powerful tourism industry, offers various kinds of visas to foreign nationals. You can apply for different Thai visas based on your travel purpose. Each visa type has its specific requirements, aside from the general required documents.
On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other Thailand visas like Re-entry permits as well as Thailand insurances (like health insurance for expats, and travel medical insurance). The good news is that most Thai visas are extendable. Moreover, you have the ability to apply for a Thailand visa online.