A lot of travelers will be granted a 30-day Thailand Tourist Visa Exemption upon arrival or a Thai visa on arrival. Queue up for immigration where you’ll be quickly processed and get a stamp. Grab your baggage, if any, and walk through customs. Sawasdee krap. Hello and welcome to Thailand.
Some places stir a strong urge inside of us to stay and explore. And Thailand happens to be one of those.
So what should you do if you want to stay longer?
Get a 60 Day Thailand Tourist Visa
A 60 day Thailand Tourist Visa or Single Entry Thailand Tourist Visa (SETV) is issued at Thai Consulates outside of Thailand and allows you to stay for 60 days, extendable to 90 days.
Thai Single-Entry Tourist Visa is valid for entering Thailand once within 3 months from the date of application. The period of stay is 60 days maximum.
Every Thai consulate is the same, but also different. A popular English phrase in Thailand used to explain this and a myriad of other discrepancies is “Same Same, But Different”.
I will walk you through the process of applying for and obtaining a SETV in Vientiane, Laos. So if you are planning on making a Thailand visa run to Laos, keep on reading.
I’ve received over a dozen tourist visas for Thailand in the last decade. I’ve been living here full-time for over 2 years. I will guide you through what you need to apply and what to expect. Little has changed over the years except for making an appointment to apply for your visa.
Note: I am no longer on a tourist visa.
If you are looking to stay in Thailand for a year or longer, you will need a different type of visa. One such option is an Education Visa that will allow you to study in Thailand.
But if you want to work in Thailand, you might look into getting a Thai non immigrant visa and a Work Permit for Thailand. There are many types of Thai visas, and you need to apply for the one that suits your purpose of staying in Thailand.
If you qualify for a visa on arrival, here is How to Get a Tourist Visa on Arrival for Thailand.
Step 1: Know the Thailand Tourist Visa Requirments
Here are the documents required for Thailand tourist visa in Laos.
1. Original Passport
A passport valid for no less than 6 months.
You will need photocopies of relevant pages:
- Passport details page
- Lao Visa
- Lao visa stamp.
This is best done ahead of time. If you are unable to there is a photocopier on-premise for a small fee.
3. Thailand Tourist Visa Photo Size
You will also need 2 passport photos with a white background.
Do your photos have the wrong color background? Are they the wrong size? Do you not have any passport photos on you? No worries. A photo service is also provided on site for a fee.
4. Proof of Funds
You will need to show 20,000 baht per person and 40,000 baht per family.
5. Onward Ticket from Thailand
While it is not officially a requirement, many expats have reported that they were asked to submit proof of onward journey from Thailand either at the embassy or at the port of entry.
So it is best to get an onward ticket well ahead of time. One of the cheapest ways to do that is to
Here is a detailed article on how to get proof of onward travel easily.
6. Thailand tourist visa application
You will receive your Thai tourist visa application form for free inside of the consulate.
Step 2: Get an Appointment at Thai Embassy in Laos
You can’t show up and expect to get a visa. As of February 1st, 2019, those who are applying for a tourist or non-immigrant visa type in Vientiane, Laos, must make an online appointment at https://www.thaivisavientiane.com/. It is the official website of the Royal Thai Embassy, Vientiane.
First, you will sign up at the website with your personal details and then you will be able to make an appointment up to 30 days ahead of time. Try to book in advance or as soon as you certain of your travel plans.
There are only so many bookings per visa type per day. During certain periods, the appointments can be booked out 2 weeks or longer.
Read all the fine print, double-check you are making an appointment for the right visa type. In this case, a Tourist Visa. Take a screenshot or print a copy of the confirmation. This is valid for entry into the consulate.Thai visa in Laos is a 2-day process.
The day you apply and the following day when you collect your passport with the visa. If you apply on a Friday, it will be Monday before you can collect your passport.
Friday is the least desirable day for applicants hurrying back to family, friends, and events in Thailand. For this reason, you may be able to book a Friday appointment at the last minute, but it is not guaranteed.
Step 3: Show up at the Thai Embassy in Vientiane
Here is the thing.
Plan to arrive at the Thai Consulate on Rue Bourichane between 8:30-9:00 on the morning of your appointment. Applicants will be called up in blocks of 20 (1-20, 21-40, etc.) In theory, you can show up at 11am and still be served.
Most people are there early/on time because they want to spend the least amount of time waiting to drop off their passport. If you do not show for your scheduled appointment, there is a 30-day suspension rule for your account.
Note: This is a government office. Barefoot, smelling of beer, and shirtless is no way to present yourself. Shorts and a t-shirt are acceptable. A tank top or singlet is not acceptable. People can and do get turned away for dressing inappropriately.
Step 4: Submit 60 Day Thailand Tourist Visa Application
The Thai consular section that issues the visa is close to Lao-Singapore Business College. It’s not the Thai embassy as opposed to the norm.
Address of Consular Section of Thailand in Vientiane
No. 15 Ban Ponesinuan, Bourichane Road, Vientiane.
Official website: www.thaivisavientiane.com.
Tel: (+856) 21 453916
Working hours: 9 am-12 pm for visa applications ( Monday to Friday)
After arriving, get your Thai tourist visa application form for free inside of the consulate. Complete the application to the best of your ability. If you are unsure, leave blank. The staff will let you know what needs to be completed and what can be left blank.
DO: Have your/a hotel address in Laos.
DO: Have a proposed (any) complete address in Thailand.
Here’s an example of a complete Thai address. You could save it now and use it in a pinch. You may also consider staying here in Nong Khai, Thailand (just across the Mekong River bordering Laos).
Mut Mee Garden Guesthouse
1111/4 Koaw Worawaut Road
Nai Muang, Muang, Nong Khai 43000
Hand over your paperwork and passport to the staff. Once they accept it, you are free to go.
Step 5: Collect the Thai 60 Day Visa
Return the following day (provided it’s not a weekend or holiday) between 13:30-15:30. Pay 1,000฿ in cash at the collection counter. Receive your passport with your new Thai Tourist Visa.
Notes: Your visa is valid for entry 90 days from issuance. That means you can enter Thailand that same day or within the next 90 days to activate your visa. These dates are printed on your visa.
The visa duration is 60 days on entry. You may extend it for an additional 30 days for a total of 90.
Here is my article on Thailand tourist visa extension.
This is valid for a single entry only. If you leave Thailand at any time, your visa is canceled, unless you apply for a Thailand re-entry permit. (This is not a common practice on tourist visas and is therefore not outlined in this article.)