It’s not just Thailand’s beautiful beaches, lip-smacking food, raging parties, deeply ingrained or gorgeous landscape that has Indians thronging to the island paradise. Whether you’re planning a long drawn beach holiday just to soak up some sun, a short touch-and-go trip with friends, or a work trip, we’ve put together an easy visa guide for you to enjoy Thailand hassle-free, both before and during your holiday.

Overview

Just a three-hour plane ride away from India, Thailand is an easy destination to get to, more so because it offers Visa on Arrival for those visiting the country for 15 days or less.

However, if you prefer to travel faster and hassle-free, you can also apply for Visa before Arrival at the Thai embassies in any metro city within the country.

Quick Facts

  • Passport validity: Must be valid at time of entry and for at least 6 months from date of departure.
  • Tourist visa: Required and can be single or multiple entry.
  • Visa validity: Tourist visas are valid for a 60-day period, with a 30-day extension, only if required.
  • Currency restrictions for entry and exit: None.
  • Check points: There are 32 immigration points in Thailand to get a Visa on Arrival, including most large cities like Bangkok and Phuket.

Types of Thailand Visas

Tourist Visa

The Thailand tourist visa is applicable for tourism and medical purposes for a 60-day period. It can also be extended for another 30 days if required and can be for single or multiple entry.

Business Visa

This one is pretty straightforward — the business visa is for those who would like to legally work in Thailand. It gives you the freedom to get a work permit and open a bank account, but you have to get your visa stamped at immigration at the border of a nearby city like Penang and Kuala Lumpur every 90 days. This is referred to as a visa run.

Non-Immigrant Visa/Single Entry Visa

This single-entry visa is similar to a tourist visa, except that you can also get a work permit and open a bank account. It is valid for 90 days, but can also be extended with a visa run.

One Year Non-Immigrant Visa/Multiple Entry Visa

With this visa, you can easily enter Thailand multiple times in a year, but each stay cannot extend beyond 90 days. If it must, you will have to get a stamp on a visa run.

When Should You Apply?

Visa on Arrival does not require any advance application, but you will need to set aside some time to put your documents together. At the airport, the waiting time can stretch to about an hour, or even more, depending on passenger traffic.

For Visa before Arrival, it’s best to apply one month in advance, since you may not always receive an application date of your choice. Once your application is submitted, the passport arrives between 3-5 working days.

Documents Required

Visa On Arrival (Applicable Only For Tourism Purposes)

  • Original passport valid for at least 6 months from date of departure from Thailand.
  • Proof of accommodation in Thailand.
  • Confirmed return air tickets with stay in Thailand being not more than 15 days.
  • Financial proof, like bank statement, forex receipt or credit card statement, in cash or card with a minimum of 10,000 THB per person.
  • One passport photo in 4.5 x 6.5 cm.
  • Visa fee of 2,000 THB is payable, in Baht and cash only.

At the airport, you will receive an application form to fill out. Also, keep your boarding card handy.

Visa Before Arrival (For All Purposes Including Tourism)

  • Original passport with a validity of at least 6 months from date of departure from Thailand.
  • The fully filled-out and signed visa application form available here – http://www.vfs-thailand.co.in/. Select your city and download the application form.
  • Two photographs in dimensions 3.5 x 4.5 cm.
  • A copy of the confirmed return ticket.
  • Financial proof showing your ability to finance the trip. This could include any one of the following: a) Credit card copy along with credit card statement of last 3 months.
    b) Forex receipt in the name of the applicant with a balance of at least 20,000 THB.
    c) Bank Statement of the last 3 months with seal & sign from bank.
  • Proof of booked hotel accommodation. This may also be required during immigration, so make sure you carry a hard copy.
  • Photocopy of first and last page of passport.
  • Visa fee of 2000 THB per traveller.

Important Centres

The Thailand visa in India is handled by VFS Global Services across major metros in the country. The major centres are:

1. Royal Thai Consulate General, Mumbai (For Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Goa)
Email: infothai.westin@vfshelpline.com

2. Royal Thai Consulate General, Chennai (For Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Cochin)
Email: infothai.southin@vfshelpline.com

3. Royal Thai Consulate General, New Delhi (For New Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and Jaipur)
Email: infothai.northin@vfshelpline.com

4. Royal Thai Embassy, Kolkata
Email: infothai.eastin@vfshelpline.com

Their countrywide helpline number is up and running from Monday to Friday, between 8am and 5pm. Call 91-22- 6786-6003 for queries.

Checklist

  • If you’re travelling to Thailand for more than 15 days, you will need to apply for Visa before Arrival. Travels less than 15 days are eligible for Visa on Arrival.
  • Getting a Visa on Arrival is easy, but will need to carry a few documents along. If you prefer to travel with ease, and a confirmed visa on hand, apply for Visa before Arrival.
  • Carry at least 10,000 THB in cash for proof at the immigration centre.
  • Keep your boarding pass safely, and carry a printout of your hotel accommodation to present at immigration.
  • The visa fee is only payable in cash, in the local currency. Make sure you convert the amount before leaving India.

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