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In Thailand, just like many other countries, you will find a huge set of visa policies that are set in place when it comes to foreigners entering and exiting the country. While visitors from certain countries will find it easy to enter the kingdom without a visa for short term stay, there are people from certain countries that require a visa to enter Thailand. In this post, we will explain what is Visa on Arrival and what you need to know about this form of travel visa.

Understanding Visa on Arrival

If you arrive in Thailand without a visa, and you are from these countries mentioned below, you will need a Visa on Arrival:

  • Andorra
  • Bulgaria
  • Bhutan
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan

This is because citizens from these countries do not get a visa exemption (more on that later on) to enter Thailand. Once you purchase a Visa on Arrival which costs 2000THB, you will be allowed to stay in the kingdom for up to 30 days. Besides the visa which will be placed into your passport, you will also get an entry stamp that indicates your day of arrival in Thailand.

Can a Visa on Arrival be ‘Renewed’?

Renewal in this case actually refers to an extension of stay. If you have entered Thailand with a Visa on Arrival, you do have the opportunity to get your stay extended. To do so, visit an immigration office and apply for a visa extension. Though you are able to extend your stay for another 30 days, do note that the immigration office has the rights to extend your stay for a shorter period, such as 15 days.

Understanding the Visa Exemption

Because Thailand has a visa exemption policy with 55 countries (see below), citizens from these countries do not need a Visa on Arrival to enter Thailand:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

However, this is often mistaken as an automatic Visa on Arrival. This is actually a misconception; a Visa on Arrival only applies to citizens from the 21 countries mentioned earlier while citizens from these 55 countries get a visa waiver to enter Thailand. There are no charges involved, and passport holders from these countries will simply receive an entry stamp (indicating when to leave Thailand) in their passport. For those on a visa exemption entry, it is also possible to get a 30-day extension from a local immigration office.

What If I Want to Stay Longer in Thailand?

As mentioned earlier, whether you are on a Visa on Arrival or a Visa Exemption entry, an extension of stay is possible. However, to make things less complicated, if you have plans to visit Thailand for a longer period of time, it is recommended that you apply for a long term visa in your home country.

First, think about the purpose of your visit. If you are looking to tour Thailand and also study in the country, then you should apply for an education visa. However, if you are just looking to tour the country over a longer period of time, you can apply for a Single Entry Tour Visa which costs around £25 (if you are from the UK) or $40 (if you are from the US). This form of visa allows you to stay in the kingdom for up to 60 days and you can extend it for another 30 days at a local immigration office.

As we all know, visa issues can become complicated and tedious to sort out. If you have any enquiries regarding Thai visas, simply contact Key Visa Thailand for advice. We will be able to advise you according to the latest immigration policies and help you visit and stay in Thailand for a memorable experience.