The Tourist Visa for Thailand

A Tourist visa for Thailand is likely to be your best option for a longer term stay than the usual 30 days. That's assuming that you do not have any business or education intentions, you are not intending to retire here, and you do not have a family in Thailand that you want to visit.

If you do have any of these, there is a selection of more suitable visas to go for i.e. a range of non-immigrant visas.

Be aware that, with the tourist visa, you are not allowed to work or do anything other than the stuff that tourists do. That means that you will already need to have enough money in place to fund your entire trip before you set off for the land of smiles.

The requirements for being granted a Thai tourist visa are the least difficult to meet of all the various visas. You won't need to have an employer vouching for you, you don't need a Thai fiancee or a Thailand wife, you don't need any Thailand resident family members at all.

In fact, so long as you have a passport with at least six months on it left to run, and so long as you fill in the application form correctly, you really shouldn't have any problems getting one of these visas.

How to use the Tourist Visa for Thailand

You can get a tourist visa for Thailand for up to three separate entries into Thailand. If you only need to make one entry, you will be allowed to use your visa for up to three months from the date that it was issued and, in most cases, you will be allowed to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days.

For the visas allowing more than one entry, you can use it for up to six months from the date of issue. You need to be aware though that the visa will expire after six months. If you have not used your three entries by that time it will be useless to you and you will need a new visa.

Each time you enter Thailand on a tourist visa, you will most likely be granted permission to stay for a maximum of 60 days. This is true for most wealthy countries throughout Europe, America and elsewhere but you should make sure of this with the Thai embassy in your own country.

For those countries whose citizens do not qualify for the 60 day limit, they can still enter the kingdom for up to 30 days with a Thai tourist visa.

Overstaying your tourist visa for Thailand

If you overstay your visa permit, you will be fined at a rate of 500 baht per day of overstay. It used to be the case that there was a 20,000 baht upper limit on the overstay charge, but I'm not sure if that is still the case. At one time people would simply enter Thailand on a 30 day visa-on-entry, stay for a year or two and just walk away after paying the 20,000 baht charge. This is really not a good idea these days.

If you think you might end up overstaying I'd advise you to get this checked out by an immigration official. If you do talk to an official, it's a good idea to take along a Thai person that you know and trust. The cultural differences between Thailand and the West can give rise to some awkward situations and misunderstandings - that's where your Thai buddy can intervene to help smooth things along.

If you are staying in Pattaya, you can always make the run to Cambodia. I've done this myself for as little as 1,800 baht. Exiting and re-entering Thailand over-land in this way will give you at least another 15 day visa-on-entry, and possibly a 30 day visa-on-entry depending on your nationality. If you have a multiple entry Tourist visa, you get an additional 60 day permit on each new entry. The entire trip to and from Cambodia can be done in less than 10 hours, so it's not really that big a deal.

Overstaying your Tourist visa for Thailand can also cause problems should you want to return to Thailand again at some point in the future. It is far from certain what, if any, repercussions will be involved, but it's best not to stay beyond your entitlement unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

It is possible that you could be permanently banned from entering Thailand again if you break the rules, and it is also possible to find yourself stuck behind bars in a detention centre. I've never been in one of these myself, but I've heard that they are no fun whatsoever!

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Related Pages:

Visa Application for Thailand; you can get an overview of the various visas by clicking this link.

Return from Tourist Visa for Thailand to Retire Thailand

Return to Pattaya Adventures homepage

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