Whether or not you need a visa for Thailand will depend on a number of factors. This includes your nationality and your length of stay in Thailand. The information here is aimed at tourists. If you aren’t visiting as a tourist or are planning to stay long-term in Thailand, there are different visas available depending on your circumstances.
There is no one-size fits all policy when it comes to immigration and visa issues in Thailand. Visa regulations are also subject to change. Please check with the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country for the latest information.
From the date you arrive in Thailand, your passport must have at least 6 months’ validity remaining. If your passport is damaged (beyond normal wear and tear) or has pages missing, it could cause problems when checking-in for your flight or at the immigration counter when you arrive in Thailand.
To prevent any potential problems at immigration, dual nationals must leave Thailand on the same passport they used to enter the country.
If you are eligible to enter Thailand under the ‘Visa Exemption’ rule, you do not need to apply in advance for a visa. On arrival in Thailand you will be given a ‘permission to stay’ stamp allowing you to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days*.
*From 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2023, the period of stay is extended from 30 days to 45 days.*
Visa Exemption is available to passport holders from more than 40 countries/territories including:
Australia | Canada | Denmark | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hong Kong | Iceland | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Japan, |Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Poland | Portugal | South Africa | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | United Kingdom | United States | and more
If your country is not one of the countries/territories eligible for Visa Exemption, check to see if you can enter Thailand under the Visa on Arrival scheme (see below).
Also note that some countries (including Malaysia and Singapore) have different bilateral agreements in place with Thailand. If in doubt, check with the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country or on the official Thai E-Visa website here:
Visa On Arrival
Visa on Arrival is only available to passport holders from the countries or territories listed below (as of October 2022):
Bhutan | Bulgaria | China | Cyprus | Ethiopia | Fiji | Georgia | India | Kazakhstan | Malta | Mexico | Nauru | Papua New Guinea | Romania | Saudi Arabia | Taiwan | Uzbekistan | Vanuatu
From 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2023, the period of stay for Visa On Arrival is extended from 15 to 30 days.
If you would like to stay in Thailand for longer, you can apply online for a Tourist Visa which allows for a stay of up to 60 days. This can be extended by 30 days when you are in Thailand allowing you a stay up to 90 days in total before you need to leave Thailand.
Apply at least four weeks in advance of your travel date. Applications should be made online at the Thai E-Visa official website:
Proof of onward travel
If you’re flying to Thailand as a tourist, it is your responsibility to ensure you meet the Thai entry regulations. This includes having in place any required proof of onward travel. Your airline may or may not ask to see this. Different carriers have different policies, but the bottom line is that airlines could be liable for extra costs if a passenger is refused entry to Thailand for not having the correct paperwork.
If you are travelling under the Visa Exemption arrangement, you are meant to have either a return ticket or confirmed onward travel out of Thailand within 30 days (45 days if travelling between October 2022 and March 2023). If you don’t have either of these, you could have problems when you check in for your flight to Thailand.
Under current Thai visa regulations, a foreign national is not permitted to fly on a one-way ticket to Thailand unless they are in possession of a valid visa which can be presented when checking in for the flight. Without this visa, the passenger may be refused boarding or may be requested to purchase an onward flight ticket.
Please also be aware that even if you are in possession of a valid Tourist Visa, some flight operators may still be reluctant to allow you to board if you only have a one-way ticket and no proof of onward travel. In this instance, it has nothing to do with the rules and regulations of the Thai authorities; it is down to the flight operator’s own policy. If you intend to travel on a one-way ticket to Thailand always check with your carrier what their policy is.
Proof of funds
When you enter Thailand, you may be required to provide proof of adequate finances for the duration of your stay (cash or travellers’ cheques equivalent to 20,000 Baht per person or 40,000 Baht per family). Although this is rarely requested by immigration officers, it does still remain as an official requirement. In the unlikely event you are stopped and don’t have the money with you, officers can assess the situation on a case-by-case basis so it’s in your own interests to remain calm and be respectful.
Land border crossings
Tourists can only enter Thailand by land with a Visa Exemption twice in a calendar year.
How to extend your stay
If you wish to extend your stay in Thailand, you can apply at any immigration office in the country. You can find these at locations across Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin, Ko Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Phuket and many more destinations.
- Visa Exemption: can be extended once to give you an extra 30 days.
- Tourist Visa: can be extended once to give you an extra 30 days.
- The extension is added to the expiration date of your original stamp, so you don’t lose any days.
- Immigration offices are closed on weekends and Thai public holidays.
Different immigration offices have their own way of doing things, but the main things you need with you when applying for an extension of stay are:
- 1,900 Baht in cash
- 1 completed application form (get this at the immigration office)
- 1 passport photo
- 1 photocopy of the main page of your passport
- 1 photocopy of the page showing current visa stamp and/or arrival stamp
- 1 photocopy of the TM6 Departure Card (the TM6 cards were temporarily suspended for arrivals by air in June 2022 so you may not have one)
- Name and address of your hotel/accommodation
- Your telephone number or number of where you are staying
If you forget anything, most immigration offices have somewhere nearby where you can pay for photocopies and photos. But getting it all ready in advance makes things easier.
Although not all tourists take heed of the advice, Thai immigration offices request that you dress politely. You don’t have to wear your Sunday best, but don’t dress like you’ve just come back from the beach.
Overstaying your visa
Don’t stay beyond the period of your visa or permission to stay stamp. Fines for doing so are 500 Baht per day up to a maximum of 20,000 Baht.
While it may be tempting to “just pay the fine at the airport” if it’s “only a few days” overstay, it can cause you problems if you want to come back to Thailand and have an overstay stamp in your passport. The best advice is to not overstay your visa.
Under Thai law you can be held in detention, fined and deported at your own expense if you are caught overstaying your visa. You can also be banned from re-entering Thailand for up to 10 years.
Visa regulations in Thailand are subject to change. The information here is for guidance. Check the Thai E-Visa website and the advice issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country for the latest information.