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26 October 2014
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FAQs

Do I need a Visa to enter Thailand?

Do I need a visa to visit Thailand' is one of the most commonly asked questions. And it's easy to understand why. Thailand’s visa rules can seem a little confusing and are constantly changing, but hopefully this will shed some light on the situation.

There are two fundamental visa options for a visitor to Thailand from most countries -:

1. Arrive by air without a visa and get a free 30 day “Visa Waiver” entry stamp on arrival, which can later be extended by up to 10 days at an immigration post in Thailand. (Arrival by land without a visa only provides 15 days entry.) Visa Waivers are only available to citizens of select nations.)

2. Apply to a Thai consulate or embassy for a visa before you travel. Details on types of visas and how to apply for them are given below.

Important change: Visa Runs

It used to be that you could arrive in Thailand with no proof of onward travel, be granted a free 30-day entry stamp, and extend your stay indefinitely by popping over the border and back every month to renew your entry stamp. This is no longer the case. Not only are you now limited to three visa waivers per any six month period, you must then obtain a legitimate visa or be physically absent from the country for an additional six months. You are still able to do up to two visa runs, extending your stay up to a maximum of 90 days, but the next time you leave the country you will not be permitted to return for a further 90 days.

Important warning

Do not overstay your visa in Thailand, even by a few hours. If you want to stay longer, get the visa extended or do a visa run before your visa expires.

Some travelers may tell you that overstaying your visa by a few days isn’t a problem and that you’ll just have to pay a fine of 500 baht a day. While it is true that you will just be fined if you turn up at the airport or border with an expired visa, if you are discovered with an out-of-date visa in any other circumstances you will be arrested and detained at the Immigration Detention Centre - an exceptionally grim place which Amnesty International has been campaigning to have closed for a long time.

For more information, please visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand

How to apply for Visa?

What documents do I need to enter Thailand?

What goods are prohibited or restricted to bring into Thailand?