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Thailand’s Tourist E-visa: Who’s It for and How to Get It?

Thailand

Over the last two decades, Thailand has swiftly become one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.

With ancient temples, stunning beaches, friendly locals and mouth-watering cuisine, it’s not surprising so many people fall in love with this country. 

To cater to the ever-growing influx of visitors, the Thai government introduced a new e-visa system for certain nationalities. The system is designed to facilitate the process of getting a visa on arrival and reduce congestion at airport border controls.

If you are about to fly off to Thailand, head over to Byevisa’s Thailand webpage for all the nitty-gritty details about the e-visa. In the meantime, you can find an overview of how it works and which nationalities are eligible right here on this page.

Just like any other country, what process you need to follow to enter Thailand will depend on what passport you have. A total of 64 countries worldwide can visit without needing to get a visa at all. These countries include most of Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Japan. 

For the most part, visa-exempt countries are granted a stay of 30 days, but the lucky nationals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and South Korea can stay for up to 90 days.

List of Thai eVisa Eligible Countries

On the other hand, the following 18 nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival that grants them a stay of 15 days:

  • Bhutan
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu

These are the countries that can now benefit from the electronic visa system introduced in 2019. The process was put forward by the Immigration Bureau of Thailand along with VFS Global in a bid to make the arrival process smoother, easier and quicker for these nationalities. The goal has been for a further boost in tourism as a result. 

Before the e-Visa was introduced, there were often long queues at airport checkpoints because the relevant documents needed to be checked before the visas could be issued. Now, you can apply for the visa online before you travel and the authorization will be sent to you by email. This means that you can simply present the permit at the border to get an entry stamp in your passport. 

Thailand Online Visa Application Process & Requirements

The whole process can be completed online and you can apply up to 2 days before you plan to travel (although it’s probably best to not leave it to the last minute). To apply, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Personal details
  • Passport details
  • Accommodation address
  • Flight information (including the flight number)

Don’t forget that, regardless of visa requirements, all travelers wishing to enter Thailand must have a passport valid for at least 1 month with at least 1 blank page in it. You may also be asked to show return or onward travel bookings as well as sufficient funds to cover your trip. It’s a good idea to have this information to hand in case border officials request it. 

Some countries, including most African and South American countries, will also need to provide a yellow fever certificate proving they have been vaccinated before they are granted entry. With this in mind, make sure you check if you are in this category. If you have a certificate, it’s a good idea to bring it with you either way. 

Once your visa application is approved, you will receive it in your email inbox. This is so you can download the e-visa onto your phone, to show it on arrival or print a copy of it if you prefer. 

Please note that, on arrival, you should also provide a passport-sized photo with a white background and you will also need to pay THB 2000 (approx. $63) in cash. Only the local currency is accepted, so you will need to make sure you have some on you before you leave.

Where to Gain Entry with the Thailand eVisa

Not all entry ports into Thailand are set up to accept electronic visas just yet. The ones that currently accept it are:

  • Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok)
  • Don Mueang International Airport (Bangkok)
  • Chiang Mai International Airport
  • Phuket International Airport 

These are the busiest airports in the country, covering the three main areas of interest for visitors spanning from north to south.

What to See and Do in Thailand

Bangkok

Chances are you will be flying into the capital Bangkok, as most of the international connections arrive here. It’s well worth spending a few days in the bustling capital to visit some of the country’s most famous monuments (like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun) as well as some of the best night markets in Southeast Asia. 

Bangkok is also the best place from which to visit the ruins of the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya, one of the country’s most noteworthy landmarks.

Phuket

If you want to jump straight to the islands to enjoy sandy beaches and warm waters, you can get the connecting flight to Phuket, Thailand’s main southern hub and its largest island. From here you can visit the surrounding islands, cross over to the mainland to explore the jungle or reach the islands on the east coast for some world-class diving.

Chiang Mai

On the other hand, if you’re looking for culture, temples and mountain scenery, you can get the connecting flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s main northern hub and an important historical center. 

The city boasts 117 Buddhist temples and the old walls still encompass the city center. From here you can visit an elephant rescue center, take a day trip to the unique white temple in Chang Rai or spend a few days in the idyllic hills surrounding Pai.

Latest Thailand Travel Information to Keep in Mind

The latest COVID-19 update on traveling to Thailand for tourism is that visitors are welcome. All tourists must present a negative PCR test upon arrival that was taken in the last 72 hours, and must quarantine for 14 days in an approved hotel.

Some of Thailand’s luxury hotels have quickly adapted to the new regulations by offering special quarantine packages, inviting foreigners to stay at their hotel during their mandatory quarantine period. 

From 1st July visitors who have been vaccinated will be allowed to visit Phuket without the need to quarantine. This exemption is likely to apply to more areas in the near future, so have a wonderful trip!

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