What? There is a fast and secure way of getting your tourist visa to the Land of Smiles? And you don’t even need to leave your home? Yes. That’s right. The new e-visa service is a great way of getting your travel documents ready before you leave. Read on to find out more.
When I visit Thailand, I don’t normally need a visa. I stay there for around a month, so I can get a permission to stay at the airport. However, in 2023 (I’m writing this post before the end of 2022) I was planning to go for 2 months, so a visa was needed. Luckily for me, the Thai government introduced a new e-visa, which is now available to citizens of quite a few countries. I applied for it and got it within 1 working day. Find out more how you can apply for this visa as well.
You might not need a visa at all. If you’re going for 30 days (please check exactly as in 2022 Thailand changed it temporarily and extended it to 45 days), you can arrive at the airport and get a stamp in your passport. It’s a visa exemption, your permission to stay.
Please check if you’re eligible for the visa extension.
If you’re going as a tourist and get your stamp, you might stay a bit longer in Thailand. I’m not encouraging you to do that, but it might be an easier and cheaper way.
You can overstay your 30-day visa exemption. For each day overstay you pay 500 THB at the airport when you leave.
This option is good for people who don’t travel to Thailand very often. If you do and you want to keep your ‘record clean’, then it’s best to apply for a visa, or shorten your stay. You can also fly somewhere, or cross the border overland, come back and get another stamp, but this is also limited to two times per year. I wouldn’t advise doing this more than once as you might encounter problems at the border.
You might only be able to apply for the visa online.
Go through the process below step by step, check if you’re eligible and if you are, then your only option is the online application.
If you’re going with your friends or family, you can apply all together under one account. This is quite convenient as one person can manage everyone’s visa and have everything under control on one account.
To do that, you can submit one application first and then create another one for someone else.
A very good feature of the system is the ability to save your information and then go back to it when you have everything ready. This is especially useful if you suddenly find out you need to provide a proof of residency, or your payslips and don’t have them at hand.
So, you’re going for longer than 30 days (or 45, if this rule is still valid)? Then, you need a tourist visa. Before you had to go to you nearest Thai embassy and apply for it there. Now, you can do it online. The process is easy and quick.
Check if you can apply first
Visit the website, in the box under FAQ – ‘do I need a tourist visa’ – put your citizenship, the country of your residence and how long you want to stay in Thailand. Press ‘check’.
This will help you to determine which visa, if any, you’ll need.
Create an account
In the top right corner, click ‘create an account’.
Here you will need to put basic details, like your name, surname, email, phone number. Create a safe password and submit.
After you send the form, you will need to wait for a confirmation email. This might take a couple of days.
Once it arrives, you can log in and apply for your tourist e-visa to Thailand.
Submit your documents
Log in to your account and click on ‘apply for a new visa’.
Your first page:
- Put the country of your passport
- Permanent residency
- The last dropdown list on the page is the list of embassies. Choose the one you want to apply with.
- Passport type – normally, if you are not a government official, you will have an ordinary passport
- Purpose of visit – travel/leisure
- Visa type – tourist visa
- Number of entries – this one depends on you. Think how many times during the visit you would like to leave the country. If you don’t want to do that, choose single entry.
Here you need to submit a photo of the photo page of your passport. Make sure it doesn’t have any glare on it.
Take a photo of yourself on a plain background. Here, the rule is the same – no glare. It applies to your skin as well. It might be a good idea to take your glasses off, if you wear them.
Your personal information – You will be asked to provide a few details, like your name and surname, country of birth, date of birth etc.
Your travel document information and your address information. This is quite straight forward and doesn’t really need much explanation.
Employment details – your company information, occupation and annual income.
Your travel information – your flights and your accommodation. Make sure that you have booked a hotel for at least the first night and you can put those details in the bottom box. Don’t worry if you don’t have anything else booked.
Supporting documents – the scan of your biodata page of your passport, a photo of you from the last six months (you can take it against a plain background with your phone).
The next one is declaration. You need to download it, print it, scan it and upload it to the page.
The last one is your travel booking confirmation – these are your flights to and out of Thailand.
Extra things you may need:
- A confirmation of your employment – e.g. your contract
- A confirmation of your income – e.g. last three payslips or your bank statement from the last three months
- A confirmation of your residency, especially if you don’t live in the country of origin.
Pay for your visa
At the end you will be asked to pay for your visa.
Make sure that you put correct contact details in and proceed to payment.
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Check the status of your application
It takes a couple of days to process the tourist visa. I got my approval in one working day, but it might take longer.
If you’d like to check the status of the visa, log in to your account, click on ‘check status’ button. You will be able to see where the application is at the moment.
This might seem like a lengthy process, but trust me – it’s not that bad. This Thai e-visa is straight forward and saves you a lot of time. No more queuing at embassies! Try it out and let me know how it went.