Please visit http://www.thaiembassy.com/ for more updates regarding the Visa Application Process.
In this page you will read the detailed procedure, the documents that you need to carry and the eligibility and other requirements that you need to fulfil in order to get a Visa on Arrival in Thailand, including a step-by-step guide for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi& Don Mueang Airports and Phuket International Airport. The list of countries eligible for Visa on Arrival in Thailand and the list of Border Check Points in Thailand where Visa on Arrival is available is also given. From this page, you can download the Thailand Visa on Arrival Application Form and get the necessary information for transit passengers, i.e., arriving by international flight at an airport in Thailand and proceeding to a domestic flight. In addition, I have given some very useful information on money exchange and links for best options on travel to Pattaya from Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang Airports.
Eligibility for Thailand Visa on Arrival
Tourists coming from 28 countries are allowed the facility of Visa on Arrival at 33 Check Points in Thailand including Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports. Visa on Arrival is a temporary tourist Visa and entitles the holder to stay in Thailand for a period of 15 days. Visitors who enter Thailand with Visa on Arrival generally cannot file an application for extension of Visa except in special circumstances like illness that prevents them from leaving Thailand, etc. The following documents need to be carried by the tourists with them:
- Passport with a minimum remaining validity of six months
- Return / onward journey air ticket for travel within the next 15 days
- One passport size (4 x 6 cm) photo
- Boarding card of the flight of arrival
- Duly filled-in Visa on Arrival application (Thailand Visa on Arrival
- Visa on Arrival fee of 1,000 Thai Baht to be paid in Thai currency only
- Hotel address / other stay address in Thailand
- Hotel booking voucher (they have recently started asking for it)
- Thai or other currency or ATM/debit card with bank balance equivalent to 10,000 Thai Baht per person or 20,000 Thai Baht per family
Visa on Arrival Process at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Arrival / Departure card is provided to the passengers during the flight itself and should be filled in carefully. Visa on Arrival application form is made available at the counter seen in the above picture. The staff at the counter will ask for your passport size photo that will be stapled on the blank form before the form is given to you. Completely filled in application form and other documents need to be carried into the above Visa on Arrival gate.
Inside, the application form and other documents and 1000 Thai Baht fee are first subjected to a preliminary examination by immigration officials. There is usually a queue at this juncture which can mean a wait of 10 minutes to more than one hour depending on how many flights have simultaneously arrived. They also have a fast track counter (towards left side after entering the Visa on Arrival gate as seen in the above picture) where an additional fee of 200 Thai Baht is charged. This fast track counter is meant for tourists who have to catch domestic connecting flights from the airport. Probably anyone can use the fast track counter but I never tried it. Preliminary examination takes 1-2 minutes and usually no questions are asked if the documents are in order. A token number is given to the tourists for appearance at relevant Visa / Immigration counter. Wait time at this point is about 10 minutes. Token number and counter number are displayed on a LED screen and also announced over a PA system. One should proceed to the relevant counter and stand at the place marked on the floor for picture taking by the counter staff. Two immigration officials are present at the counter where Visa and Immigration happen simultaneously. The first official examines the documents, accepts the fee and makes a receipt. The second official staples your departure card to the passport and stamps Visa on the passport. Its a breeze except that you have already lost one full page of the passport because its a huge stamp. OK, Welcome to Thailand. Your baggage is waiting at the designated belt. Before leaving the airport, Thai Customs officials will screen bags on a random basis at the Green Channel so be careful about what you carry along.
Online Application for Thailand Visa on Arrival
There is a new process available for filling the Thailand Visa on Arrival form online before travel so that a tourist is not required to fill a physical visa on arrival form. The update was published on the Thai Immigration Bureau Website on October 10, 2015. The landing page on the website is titled “Online Application for Visa on Arrival”. This is just a replacement for the physical application form and is not an online visa. After filling the online form the website issues a Transaction Reference Number (TRN) and gives an option to print the form that the tourist can carry along but the print-out is optional. The visa itself will be granted upon arrival in Thailand for which there are said to be two separate “Online VOA Counters” at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. If a print-out is not carried by the tourist who has filled the online form, I guess the immigration staff will locate the application on their computer system from the passport number. It is advisable, however, to carry the TRN.
Any tourist eligible for visa on arrival can make the online application. All eligibility and fee payment requirements are the same for both offline and online channels. The visa fee is to be paid in cash on arrival only.
The online fields marked with a red [*] sign are mandatory and others, like the “name and address of the person of reference in Thailand” are optional. Simply put, it is a data entry website at this point of time which may evolve into a full-fledged online visa some time in the future. Initially the online application process is available for tourists arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport only.
Personally I have yet to use this facility but I saw two-three problems in this new online process:
First, the online application website gave me a security error as if the website is under hacker attack or something was wrong with its security certificate. After I chose to ignore the security warnings, the website seemed to work fine.
Second, there is a confusing sentence on the website about one of the eligibility conditions. It says: “The Visa on Arrival must be used only on the date of issue”. I think this is just poor English and perhaps what they mean to say is that the date of arrival in Thailand is required to be entered in the online form and the tourist must arrive on that particular day.
Third, the website says: “Must notify the address In Thailand that can be verified”. The physical application form merely asks for “Address in Thailand”. It looks like they want genuine addresses here and no phony addresses. I seriously don’t think they are going to verify the address declared by the applicant. A hotel address is perfectly fine.
Website for Online Application: Click Here