Thailand Visa On Arrival FAQ
If you're planning a trip to the Land of Smiles, you might have questions about the Visa On Arrival process. This article will delve into the frequently asked questions (FAQ) surrounding Thailand's VOA, helping you navigate the entry requirements, application process, and much more.
Table of contents
- Thailand visa on arrival vs. 30-day stamp: the difference
- Who can get a Thailand visa on arrival? Eligible countries & requirements
- How to apply for a Thailand visa on arrival?
- Documents required for Thailand VoA application
- Thailand VoA photo requirements
- Get a 4x6 photo for a Thailand visa on arrival online!
- Thailand visa on arrival costs
- Thailand visa on arrival validity and visa run rules
Thailand visa on arrival vs. 30-day stamp: the difference
Both the Visa on Arrival and the 30-day stamp serve the purpose of legal entry into Thailand, but they might not seem as similar as you'd assume.
The Visa on Arrival (VOA) is specifically tailored for short-term stays. It is intended for passport holders from 19 countries with a 15-day stay, without needing to apply for a Tourist Visa from a Thai Embassy in their own country. To obtain a VOA, among other requirements, you'll need a round-trip flight ticket confirming your departure within 15 days. However, keep in mind that there is a fee for this short-term travel ticket.
On the other hand, the 30-day stamp, officially known as Visa Exemption, has a wider range of validity and is available to passport holders from 57 countries. It entitles you to a 30-day stay in Thailand without visa fees or prior applications. Just show your passport, and voila - you have a whole month to explore Thailand.
So, your choice between a VOA and a 30-day stamp depends mainly on your stay duration, passport origin, and whether you mind paying a visa processing fee.
Who can get a Thailand visa on arrival? Eligible countries & requirements
Citizens of the following countries are eligible to get a Thai visa on arrival:
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
Visa On Arrival Requirements
To obtain a Thailand visa on arrival, travelers from eligible countries must meet the following criteria:
- You must be from an approved country (see the list above).
- Tourism must be your prime (and only) reason for visiting.
- Make sure you have a valid passport with at least 30 days of validity left. It's your crucial identity proof, so do check the expiration date.
- You must pre-book an accommodation. A verifiable residence in Thailand, be it a hotel or apartment, is a must-have. Let them know you've got a local base.
- A confirmed return ticket within the 15-day validity period is mandatory. Regrettably, 'open' tickets or planned ground exits to neighboring countries don't validate.
- You're expected to show at least 10,000 THB as financial means for individual travelers, or 20,000 THB for families to ensure you can sustain your stay in Thailand.
- Lastly, be prepared to pay a VoA fee of 2,000 THB upon your arrival – in cash and in Thai currency. Just remember, the amount is subject to change without warning.
You may also be asked to show your flight ticket for departure. Failure to have such a ticket may result in delayed entry into Thailand. Be prepared for these issues, and enjoy your stay in Thailand.
How to apply for a Thailand visa on arrival?
As the name logically implies, you can purchase a Thai VOA immediately upon arrival at the airport. The process for obtaining a VOA at the checkpoint typically involves the following steps:
- Fill out the VOA application form provided at the checkpoint.
- Submit the completed application form, along with the required documents, such as a passport and a passport photo;
- Pay the VOA fee, which is 2,000 Thai Baht;
- Wait for the immigration officials to process your VOA application and receive your passport with the VOA stamp.
However, you can apply for a Thai VOA online before your trip. With the pre-approved eVOA, you can enjoy a quick and hassle-free immigration process for faster clearance upon arrival in Thailand. The electronic VOA application allows you to submit your documents, such as flight tickets and accommodation details, online, making the process more streamlined.
- First, register online on the official website and fill the E-VoA application form. During this process, you need to provide accurate details and upload the necessary documents as requested. If applying on behalf of a minor, you may need to upload additional files, such as a birth certificate.
- Each traveler, including infants and children, must obtain an individual E-VoA. The E-VoA application can be filed for single individuals or families, with a maximum of 10 applicants.
- The information on your E-VoA application must be precisely as it is on your passport. Errors can invalidate your E-VoA, and you won't get a refund. Also, application data can't be changed once the visa is processed.
- The passport you use for application needs to be the same one used for traveling, and it must have a validity of at least 30 days from your date of arrival in Thailand.
- Make an online payment through the options available on the Payment Gateway. Charge cards don't need to be in your name, but they must be enabled with a "3D Secure System" for international transactions.
- Once your payment is successful, you'll get a pre-approved E-VoA code. You can then download, print, and keep a copy of your E-VoA receipt on your phone for reference.
- For expedited service, like getting your E-VoA in less than 24 hours, you can apply for an Express visa service. Note this will cost extra.
- Upon landing, go to the Visa on Arrival area in immigration and proceed to the E-VoA lane. Show your passport to the officer for final approval, and voilà – you have successfully entered Thailand!
Documents required for Thailand VoA application
- Passport cover page
- Biodata page of Passport
- To photographs sized 4 х 6 cm.
- Departure and return flight tickets
- Proof of accommodation in Thailand, e.g. Accommodation bookings, invitation letters from family/friends in Thailand
- Financial Proof
Thailand VoA photo requirements
Here are the essential photo requirements for a Thailand Visa on Arrival:
- The required Thailand visa photo size is 4 cm x 6 cm.
- The photo needs to be in color format.
- Make sure the photo's background is white.
- Your head should occupy around 70-80% of the photo area, with the head and shoulders ideally centered.
- Wearing headgear is allowed, but only for medical or religious reasons.
- Sunglasses, hats, and large or reflective jewelry should be avoided unless the head coverings are for religious reasons.
Here is an example of a Thai e-visa photo:
Ensuring conformity with these requirements can significantly streamline your visa application process.
Get a 4x6 photo for a Thailand visa on arrival online!
Speed up your Thailand Visa on Arrival application by getting your 4x6 photo online with Visaphoto! Say goodbye to traditional photo studios and embrace the digital solution that guarantees acceptance.
Using Visaphoto is as easy as 1-2-3. Simply follow the photo guidelines, snap a selfie against any background with your smartphone or camera, and upload the image to our platform. We will take care of all technical issues, ensuring your photo meets visa requirements.
With Visaphoto, you'll receive an instant professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID, available both for electronic use (online submission) and ready for printing.
First take a photo of yours which will look like this one:
You will have two types of photos:
- The digital one is for applications online;
- The printable template with 4 individual Thai visa pictures.
Thailand visa on arrival costs
The standard price for a Thailand Visa on Arrival (E-VoA) is approximately THB 2000 or USD 52.68, plus a service fee of about THB 500 or USD 14.55. If you opt for quicker processing with the express E-VoA service, the visa fee remains the same, but the service fee rises to THB 2500 or USD 72.74.
Thailand visa on arrival validity and visa run rules
The validity period of a Thailand Visa on Arrival is 15 days. It can be extended for only 7 days at the Thai Immigration office. If a continued stay of an additional 15 days is desired, you may undertake a single border run. Each entry allows you a 15-day stay duration, or alternatively, you can exit by land and re-enter by air to acquire another 15-day stamp.
Put simply, a Thailand Visa on Arrival does not offer extension privileges. If your anticipated stay exceeds 15 days, it is advisable to apply for a standard Thailand Tourist Visa through a Thai diplomatic mission in your own country.
It is important to note that due to concerns about foreign criminals unlawfully overstaying their visas, the Thai Immigration Bureau has declared their intention to enforce stricter rules on visa extensions.