The type of entry will determine the period Thai Immigration will allow you to stay in Thailand – Visa Exempt, Visa on Arrival, Tourist Visa, or Non-Immigrant Visa.
Thailand has several ports of entry at both international airports and border crossing points. As with any country, the Kingdom has specific requirements for foreigners entering the country.
What do I need to do to enter Thailand?
The chart below shows the type of entry and permitted stay for entry into Thailand. To obtain a Visa, you need to apply at a Thai Embassy or Consulate. Depending on the type of Visa, certain documents will be required which may differ depending on where you apply. Information regarding the applicable fee and any supporting documents required can be obtained from the Embassy/Consulate where the application will be made.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, to enter you must apply for the appropriate Visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate and in addition, obtain a Certificate of Entry. The specific documents for both will depend on where you apply as each Embassy/Consulate have their own requirements and procedures. Click here for an example from the Thai Embassy in Canada for obtaining a Tourist Visa.
Upon arrival in Thailand, entrants will be required to go into quarantine at a Government designated hotel for 14 days.
What do I do when I arrive?
Upon arrival, you will present your passport and a completed TM.6 Arrival/Departure Card to a Thai Immigration official. Your passport will need to be valid for the intended length of stay. Please note that if obtaining a Visa from a Thai Embassy/Consulate, they will usually require your passport have 6 months remaining validity.
What will the Immigration Officer do?
The Thai Immigration Officer will place a stamp in your passport giving you an “Admitted Until” date. The type of entry, Visa Exempt, Visa on Arrival, Tourist Visa, or Non-Immigrant Visa, will determine the length of permitted stay. The Departure portion of the TM.6 will be placed in your passport - do not lose it as it will be needed when you next exit Thailand.
[Please be sure to check the "Admitted Until Date" before you leave the Immigration counter - if not correct, which does happen, courteously point out the error to the Immigration Officer so it can be corrected - see below for the appropriate period of stay based on the type of entry]
What is the difference between a "Visa" and a "Permission to Stay"?
Please be aware that a "Visa" and a "Permission to Stay" are not the same. A Visa, usually issued by a Thai Embassy or Consulate represents a document that allows entry. Whereas a Permission to Stay is the amount of time you are permitted to stay in Thailand once you have been admitted. Click here to read the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs' explanation of the difference (see items 7 & 8).
What happens if I overstay my permitted time in Thailand?
It is strongly recommended that you do not OVERSTAY the admitted until date. You may hear that it is a simple matter and that you can pay a fine upon leaving Thailand (presently 500 Baht per day to a maximum of 20,000 Baht). However, it is illegal to overstay and if your documents are examined by the police before you arrive at your Thai immigration departure point, you will be arrested, jailed, fined, and deported at your expense.
If you should inadvertently overstay, you may wish to visit an Immigration Office - it is our understanding, they will levy the fine, but also extend the date for a short period to allow you time to leave the country (of course, if the overstay is lengthy (months/years), the Immigration Office may not be so lenient).
What do the entries on my Visa and Permission to Stay stamp mean?
The following chart explains what the entries on a Thai Visa and the Permission to Stay stamp represent :
Extension of Stay
DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, CURRENTLY VISA EXEMPT ENTRY IS NOT PERMITTED
Yes - Once for 30 days
Visa on Arrival
Yes - Once for 30 days
(Most Common Categories "O", "B", & "ED")
Yes - Up to One Year
Yes - for One Year
Yes - once for Five Years
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