What you need to know for getting a Tourist Visa on Arrival in Thailand
They say travel is the biggest teacher, so there were a few lessons I learned on my recent trip to Thailand. On my last trip I had procured the Visa from the Royal Thai Embassy in India, but this time, I thought of taking a visa on arrival in Thailand. The Kingdom of Thailand is one of those wonderful tourist-friendly countries that allow Visa on arrival for Indians and many other nationalities.
The process is fairly simple but here are some of the observations that I made at the Suvarnabhumi International airport in Bangkok based on my personal airport.
Our Thai Airways flight reached a few minutes ahead of time and the ever smiling air-hostess has given us a form to fill. As you walk to the immigration counter the first counter towards the left side is of Visa on Arrival, but for some reason, most people missed it and continued towards immigration counter for people with Visa. Fortunately, the airport staff was asking them if they have a visa and guiding them to the right counter.
Our desi brethren were fiddling with documents, looking for a pen, photographs, and money, and acting totally like well desis (and I say this with the utmost respect). There were honeymooners who must have decided last-minute to visit Thailand; there were shoppers who had a long list of items to shop while their air ticket was misplaced after boarding the plane to Bangkok. Needless to say, some of them were very keen to jump the queue and ready with excuses like I have a connecting flight to begin totally shameless. But they forgot that the guy in front of them is also true desi and ready with a bigger rebuttal.
Before me move forward how about reading some of my experiences in Thailand to motivate you further to travel to Thailand ?
- My Top Ten Travel Experiences In Thailand
- Ganesha In Thailand
- Buddha Head in Tree Roots in Thailand
- Elephant Parade Thailand
- Anantara Riverside Resort Bangkok – Hotel Review
Before we go ahead further here is a checklist for Thailand tourist Visa on Arrival for Indian citizens, though most of them are common for all nationalities eligible for Visa on arrival in Thailand
- A return fully paid the ticket within the next 15 days as tourist visa on arrival is issued for a maximum of 15 days.
- Currency or equivalent (traveler check etc) of Thai Baht 10000 per person or Thai Baht 20000 per family as per the case.
- A colored passport size photograph clearly showing your face.
- Visa fee which now is 1000 Thai Baht ( approx INR 1873, or 30 USD ). But remember you need to pay Thai Visa fee in Thai Baht only the immigration does not accept dollars or any other currency. So if you are carrying only US dollars you need to get it converted in Thai Baht at one of the many Forex counters at the airport before you reach the Visa counter. Thai immigration does not accept credit or debit cards, so you need to have hard cash in Thai Baht.
- If you are like me who have forgotten their photograph then is ready to shell out another 100 Thai Baht. There is a quick photo counter just before the Visa on Arrival queue at Suvarnabhumi airport ( I am not sure if the other airports in Thailand have a facility of getting a picture clicked for a visa so better carry a picture for a visa with you ). Here you can pay 100 Thai Baht and they will print the photo on your Visa application form after taking details from your boarding pass and passport. So I paid 100 Thai Baht for a photo that I do not even have a copy as you don’t get 4 passport size photos, but only on a photo that is printed on the visa application form. So much for forgetting photograph.
- The immigration officer may ask you for your hotel booking details and a confirmation letter from the hotel you are staying. So be ready with the printout of the same.
- If you are in a hurry you can shell 1200 Thai Baht for Visa on Arrival, and go to the fast track queue, though I did not notice any difference in the speed of the two lines.
So to summarize here is the checklist for Tourist Visa on Arrival in Thailand
- Valid Passport
- Return ticket valid in next 15 days printout
- Hotel booking confirmation printout
- Cash or equivalent of Thai Baht 10000 per person or 20000 Thai Baht per family
- Color photograph
- Filled visa form and a fee of 1000 Thai Baht cash for the normal line or 1200 Thai Baht for the express queue.
Some other tips on travel to Thailand: Even if you are traveling on different airlines some airlines will allow through check-in luggage within Thailand, so you do not have to wait to collect your check-in baggage at the port of arrival and then recheck it. This saved us a lot of time as we were traveling on Thai between India and Bangkok and further Bangkok airways between Suvarnabhumi and Koh Samui International airport. If you are on the same airline you get boarding pass for through journey at the time of boarding on first airport itself, but if you are on two different airlines like we were then you can check in the luggage together but your boarding pass for the second leg of the journey will be issued on domestic airport counter in Thailand. So do remember the same.
Some useful information and link on Thailand Visa on Arrival
The total time to get Visa on Arrival in Thailand should not take more than 30 minutes depending on the queue, provided you have all your documents in place. But my suggestion would be to budget for a minimum of 1 hour considering some unexpected circumstances just to be on the safe side.
I hope this checklist and FAQs related to tourist visa on arrival in Thailand will be beneficial to you. But remember government rules can change so it is always better to check the latest rules etc. before traveling.
You can also check these links below for the latest official information from Thailand Government about Visa on Arrival
- Visit Tourism Authority of Thailand Website to plan your trip to Thailand
- FAQs on Thai Immigration Bureau website
- To save time you can download the Thai Visa on Arrival Form and fill it beforehand.
I am just beginning to warm up to write my blog posts about my recent visit to Thailand on the invitation of TAT New Delhi. Check this earlier post on my Top 10 Experiences in Thailand
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Me and my husband are travelling to Thailand for 5 days. How much money should we carry for those 5 days ideally and how much do you think we would spend per day on travel and food?
Hi Kimberly: Thailand is not a very expensive place unless you are eating at 5 star fine dining type of places. In my opinion for two people just for food, you can budget for max 25 USD per day this will be at decent places. The accommodation you can check beforehand and plan accordingly. Local transport is fairly cheap in Thailand and for long distance, you can take buses/train and Metro within Bangkok. I would suggest you check this post for more recent information > Money needed in Thailand for travel
we are 5 friend travelling together, and we have booked our hotel, sightseeing & transfer through our travel agent. so my query is do we need to show Thai Baht 10000 per person or Thai Baht 20000 per family even we have all the booking prior. please let us know 🙂
Together should be fine, also keep your Credit card/debit card handy as you can show them that you have other means to spend money also in case you are asked. So make sure you have all your booking documents like the hotel, air tickets printouts ready along with the 20 K Bhat and you can also show CC / Debit card if the need be. Though Thai immigration is very friendly and as long as your papers are in order you should not have any problem.
Hi sir we are about 3 adults booked hotel accommodation for Thailand tour but my question is it was booked under my name . is it OK? or we will be in a query ? please respond.
How much thai visa costs in INR ? any updates done recently ?
You should have no problem as you are all traveling together….just make sure you are all together in the Que when you go for the Visa. Click this link To know the
Sir if I have Bank Statmant of 6 month can I get VIO . Instant of cash
In that case better get Visa from India only ….
Visa on arrival form attached in this page is the latest one?
I think so, but better check here http://www.vfs-thailand.co.in/Delhi/faqs.html as they will have latest information
hello, I have one query regarding Hotel booking confirmation as I am travelling with my husband and hotel booking voucher is showing his name only with 2 guests. So is it necessary to show my name also on hotel booking voucher?
Hope you got my email responding to same
My query is regarding hotel confiration, I am traveling from Bangalore to Bangkok and my friend is travelling from manila who has booked the hotel and mentioned my name and passport number in the remarks column. Is it still compulsory to get confirmation for my stat? Pls reply
Hi Vinu: Just take a printout of the hotel confirmation and you can show that in the case of asked by the immigration officer. Also, keep the hotel number/address handy as you may be asked to give these details at the time of immigration.
wait for a month, Indian govt is opening India to Thailand highway via Myanmar in November. Then people can travel by road and in their own vehicle too
Thanks Friend I am waiting for that and would love to do the Road Trip from India to Thailand…
There is some news reg Thailand visa.
“Thailand will soon grant multiple-entry visas to visitors to facilitate the forthcoming ASEAN Community and to boost Thailand’s tourism industry. The multiple-entry tourist visa (METV), costing 5,000 baht (Rs9,100), will grant travelers multiple entries during a 6-month period, for up to 60 days per entry. All foreign nationals are eligible to apply for METV. Thailand’s METV will be available from 13th November 2015.
This is awesome news… and will sure help in boosting travel to Thailand for both business and leisure travel. Thanks for sharing..
Another imp thing is Indian govt will start issuing
e-Passports( AKA biometric passports) to Indian citizens from march or April of 2016
Hey thanks for the post. I had a query regarding the hotel details. Do I have to show a booking for all the days in Thailand? As I have only booked for first 2 days and planning to book for the remaining days after checking the hotel personally.
Hi Cricstar: Your first few days booking should be fine as long as you have a return ticket, if asked you can mention that you will book the remaining days after checking the hotels personally by visiting them… 🙂 I hope this helps
VOA is a breeze in Bangkok, they have every facility to cater to your demand. You can also add one thing here … they have an ATM machine near the counter just in case you do not have USD or any other currency.
So cool, I had USD but I did not carried Thai Bahts, but I exchanged them from the smiling 24 * 7 forex counter right next to immigration que..
Hmm I don’t carry much cash, so ATMs & Credit cards are good for me. 🙂
Yes CC are always handy…..
With all the issues going on in the world today, I can understand the Visa restrictions. It’s amazing.
Yes, every country has rules that the visitors must respect. But Thailand is very visitor friendly and I found the process easy once the visa application documents are in order
Thank you for this very informative post because though I’ve been in and out of Singapore and would probably know what process to go to (almost same with Thailand airport/immigration I guess), I still need to know some details. I will be sharing this to my classmates who are going to Thailand for their tour. Very helpful.
Hi Louisechelle: Good to know that you found the post useful..
Thanks for sharing. This will be a good guide for Indian national.
These information and tips will surely com in handy for future travelers. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks good to know you found it useful
This is very helpful, I might want to visit Thailand soon.
Thanks for sharing this. I love to visit Thailand their food is one of my favourite.
Thailand is one of the destinations where Filipinos do not need a visa but I have yet to visit Thailand. Nice tips for those who need a visa to Thailand. -katrina centeno
Thanks Sikat…well I suggest you should visit Thailand… 🙂
I think Singaporeans don’t have to apply that if it’s less than 15 days. I think.
I’m so glad Singapore passport is so travel-friendly, having to do all these is pretty tedious!
Lucky you…. so go ahead and visit Thailand 🙂
I haven’t been to Thailand in so long that I forgot they had this cool policy! Great advice right there! 🙂
Hi Jason: I can assure you getting a visa for Thailand will be easy and you will enjoy the visit to Thailand. 🙂
I thankful to have the privilege of traveling to Thailand without the need of passport. I did not have to pay for the visa fee. I visited Thailand last year and the immigration officers in Thailand are more friendly than the immigration officers of my own country. lol however, I had my travel smoothly on both ends. 😀
I agree the Thai officers at airport were friendly.
A very helpful tips for those wishing to travel to Thailand. I am so sure if visitors coming from the Philippines need to secure a Thai visa.
You are right, Philippines citizens can come to Thailand for 30 days without visa.
The tips will come in handy especially for first time Indian travelers. Great job in compiling them.
Thanks a lot John..I think the documents required are same if you need a Visa for all. Only some countries are exempted for visa requirement.
This is really helpful if one wants to acquire a visa in Thailand. 🙂
Thanks Sarah, I do hope visitors to Thailand will find the post useful.
Some very useful tips here for us as we are about to take out first trip to Thailand at the end of year. Very helpful hope you jad a wonderful trip and wish you many more xx
Hi Hannah: I glad you found the post useful and wishing you a great trip to Thailand. Do check other posts on my blog about visit to Thailand.. 🙂 .
I’ve been to Thailand airport via airport transfers and I was amazed by those huge structures plus their very big duty free shops. This would be helpful for Indian Citizen. Our country is exempt from Visa since we are part of ASEAN.
Good for you..that you don’t need Visa to travel to Thailand, but for us Indians also the process is very simple so a lot of people visit Thailand from India.
Great blog! I did a lot of travelling in that part of the world, although Thailand was not my favorite of all the countries in SE Asia, I still highly rate it. And it’s so welcoming and accessible for tourists as you’ve outlined. I will be reading more of your posts, love reminiscing and learning newer facts!
Thanks a lot Deva, and welcome to desi Traveler. Hope to see you here more often.
Great and really useful tips! I’ve only been there once but would love to return one day 🙂
Me too, I can visit Thailand many times 🙂 it has so much to offer to visitors.
This is very for your readers and travelers alike.Just now I know of this visa in Thailand.
Great to know that the Thais don’t strictly require a travel visa prior to traveling there! However, I;d have to check if its the same case for Filipinos :<
Actually the Filipions don’t need visa to travel to Thailand as they are part of ASEAN
I have yet to visit Thailand. My family and I were supposed to go there early last year but my Mom decided to defer the trip. These tips will surely be appreciated by travelers ( not just from India ) who need to secure a visa to this beautiful country. Can’t wait to read more about your Thailand trip.
Thanks a lot Russ, I am sure you trip will be planned soon and you will visit Thailand….
I have yet to visit Thailand. My family and I were supposed to go there early last year but my Mom decided to defer the trip. These tips will surely be appreciated by travelers who need to secure a visa to this beautiful country.
All my eperiences with the Thai Visa on Arrival have been a breeze!
yes, if the documents are in place it is a very smooth process.