This article has been written with direct inputs from my friend Sweety Jatyan, an Indian citizen, who travelled to Thailand with her husband and got visa on arrival successfully.
No matter how touristy Thailand is, if you are thinking of places to go for your honeymoon, there is no way you can ignore it. And especially if you are from a country that’s a few hours away. And that’s precisely why when I got married, I decided upon going to Thailand for my marriage.
And for me and my husband, both Indian citizens, it was amazing that we could opt for a Thailand visa on arrival. On our flight, the anxious me was already playing up what-if scenarios. What if they deny my visa on arrival? What if they deport me? What if they ask for some documents that I don’t have?
However, getting the visa on arrival in Thailand was easy and quick, and I would recommend it to anyone.
What’s your visa status?
1.If you are a citizen from 18 countries such as India, China, Mexico, Romania etc., then you are at the right place. You can check if your country is one of the countries eligible for VoA on the website of Thailand’s foreign ministry. It’s for 15 days only.
2. If you are visa exempt for Thailand, then that’s awesome. This means you receive an entry stamp when you enter Thailand. You don’t need a visa on arrival. Examples- USA, UK, Australia, Vietnam etc.
3. And if you are a citizen of a country who have to apply for a tourist visa in a Thai consulate prior to their journey, then I am sorry. The visa on arrival is not for you. Examples- Colombia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh.
Alright, let me tell you about how I got the Thai visa on arrival as Indian citizen and how you can get it. The process remains same for the citizens of any country that’s eligible for Visa on arrival for Thailand.
But before we delve into the process of Thai visa on arrival application process, let me tell you some of the amazing things in Thailand.
Things to Do in Thailand
There are so many things to see and do in Thailand. Apart from the popular spots like the Phi Phi islands, Krabi, Khao Yai National Park, Chiang Mai, there are also many other spots that are as gorgeous and relatively unknown. There are many hidden gems in Thailand, that are worth visiting.
And then Thailand has so many beautiful islands like Ko Tao, Ko Lipe, Ko Phi Phi, Koh Samui etc., all of which come with pristine beaches and so much to explore. Here is an article on things to do in Koh Samui. And if you would like to hop some islands, here is a one-week itinerary for Thailand island hopping.
And if you are traveling on a budget, here is a guide about backpacking in Phuket on budget.
Now, let’s see how exactly you get a Thai on arrival visa.
1. Thailand Visa on Arrival Documents
Here are the requirements for a tourist visa on arrival for Thailand. They are pretty straightforward. So don’t mess up. Here is the document checklist for Thai visa on arrival that you need to show.
Thailand visa on arrival photo size
Color photograph (4×6 cm) – It’s different from your normal passport pics. Very important that you take 2 pics at least.
A passport with 6 months validity.
Roundtrip flight tickets
Confirmed return ticket within 15 days from the day of your arrival.
As my trip was planned, I had bought round-trip flight tickets from Delhi to Bangkok and from Bangkok to Delhi 10 days after the day of arrival. I had booked hotels in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and had the printouts with me. To demonstrate that I was not broke, I had the statements from my bank account in India, a couple of credit cards and 500 USDs in cash on me.
Proof of accommodation in Thailand
I had researched and booked the hotels in Thailand on booking.com.
Proof of Financial Solvency
At least 10,000 Baht per person or 20,000 Baht per family. Best to have in THBs.
Thailand arrival card
Thailand arrival card that you get on the flight to Thailand- Filled up and signed.
2. Fill in Thailand Visa on Arrival Form
Getting the visa stamped is actually pretty straight forward.
If you follow the signage at the airport, it will lead you to the counter for Visa on Arrival. The blue gate clearly marks Visa on Arrival and the countries that are applicable. The TM 88 or visa on arrival forms are kept on counters next to the visa on arrival queue. You need to fill it out such with personal information such as name, address, flight number etc.
The Visa Project quick tip:
1. You can also download the TM 88 application form on the immigration website of Thailand and carry it with you.
2. You can fill the TM 88 or visa on arrival on Immigration Bureau Thailand online as well, and carry the printout with you which would contain your details.
It might save you some time but it wouldn’t make a big difference. You still have to queue up.
3. Get the Stamp for Thailand Visa on Arrival
In my case, they did not really ask for proof of funds but they did ask a few others in the queue. And they did check all the documents I had on me. So, I guess it’s not just for formality.
The whole thing took an hour for me as the queue was too long. The visa on arrival is not a sticker visa. It’s simply a stamp mentioning the date you arrived and the date until you need to leave Thailand.
Thailand Visa on Arrival Processing Time
If you are in the regular visa on arrival queue, it might take 1 hour or more, depending on what time your flight gets there and if the queue is toot long.
There is an Express counter for VoA where you can pay 200 Baht and get your visa faster.You can fast Track Visa on Arrival there. It takes 10-15 minutes normally. If you need to change cash for paying your Thailand Visa on Arrival fees, change only the amount needed for paying the fee at currency exchange booths in the hall before Visa on Arrival counters.
3. Do a Little Dance
Now that you got the visa, it’s time to show your moves and bring a little sunshine to the gloomy immigration counters.
I am kidding. Seriously, don’t do it.
Visa duration: 15 days, including the day of arrival and the day of departure.
Visa fees: 2000 THBs. It’s the same for every country that needs a visa on arrival.
Visa validity: From the day it’s issued.
No. of entries: Single
Where Can I Get a Photo for Thai Visa on Arrival?
It’s possible to have your photo taken at a photo booth at the airport in Bangkok. However they can charge up to 700 TB. And it’s possible that all airports don’t have such photo booths. So it’s better to bring photos with the specifications mentioned.
Yellow Fever Vaccination to Enter Thailand?
If you are from a country whose citizens need a certificate of vaccination against Yellow fever, based on the list on the foreign ministry of Thailand, then you need to have one. It includes most of the countries from South America and Africa.
Here is the list of countries that need Yellow Fever vaccination.
Do I Need an Onward Ticket for Thai Visa on Arrival?
You have to have a confirmed return ticket to show that they are flying out of Thailand within 15 days of entry. Apparently, open tickets don’t work. The immigration officials often don’t accept train tickets or bus tickets as proof in case you are planning to travel to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar etc. overland.
You can get an onward ticket for free, for your Thailand visa on arrival.
Is The Tourist Visa on Arrival for Thailand Free?
Right now it is for some countries like India and China. However it’s subject to change without notice. So better to carry 2000 THBs with you in cash. It must be paid in cash and Thai currency only.
Can I Extend my Tourist Visa on Arrival for Thailand?
It’s possible to extend visa on arrival by 7 days only in case you are ill and unable to travel. You can do it only once. If you want to travel for more than 15 days, it’s much better to get a tourist visa at a consulate of Thailand in your country.
Can I Get a Thailand Visa from a Thai Embassy?
Totally. Check if there is an embassy of Thailand in your country and ask for the requirements. If you opt for this option, you can get it a Thailand SETV for 60 days or a multiple entry tourist visa.
For example, you can get a Thailand visa in India through VFS.
The Visa Project quick tip :
1. If possible, carry a glue stick to stick the photo on the application form so you don’t have to look around for one. Sometimes, it’s not handy.
2. As per proof of fund, you need to show it in cash. It’s best to have it in THBs. But they do accept USDs, Euros and other currencies.
Have you tried obtaining a tourist visa on arrival for Thailand?
If you have tried obtaining a tourist visa on arrival for Thailand, let us know in the comments. The visa process is constantly changing and it will help me updating the article if there is any change. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have.