Over the past two decades, Thailand has quickly become one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
With its ancient temples, gorgeous beaches, friendly locals, and mouthwatering cuisine, it’s no surprise that so many people fall in love with this country.
To meet the ever-increasing influx of visitors, the Thai government has introduced a new electronic visa system for certain nationalities. The system is designed to facilitate the visa-on-arrival process and reduce congestion at airport border controls.
If you are about to fly to Thailand, go to Byevisa’s Thailand web page for all the essential details on the e-visa. In the meantime, you can find an overview of how it works and the eligible nationalities here on this page.
As in any other country, the procedure for entering Thailand will depend on the passport you have. A total of 64 countries around the world can travel without the need for a visa. These countries include most of Europe, the United States, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, and Japan.
For the most part, visa-exempt countries are granted a 30-day stay, but happy nationals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and South Korea can stay for up to 90 days.
List of countries eligible for the Thai eVisa
However, the following 18 nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival granting them a stay of 15 days:
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
These are the countries that can now benefit from the electronic visa system introduced in 2019. The process has been proposed by the Immigration Office of Thailand with VFS Global with the aim of making the arrival process smoother, easier and faster for these nationalities. As a result, the aim was to further stimulate tourism.
Before the introduction of the e-Visa, there were often long lines at airport checkpoints, as the relevant documents had to be verified before visas could be issued. Now you can apply for the visa online before traveling and the authorization will be emailed to you. This means that you can simply present the permit at the border to get an entry stamp in your passport.
Thailand visa online application process and requirements
The whole process can be done online and you can apply up to 2 days before planning your trip (although it’s probably best not to leave it at the last minute). To apply, you will need to provide the following information:
- personal details
- Passport Information
- Accommodation address
- Flight information (including flight number)
Remember 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. You may also be asked to show return travel or travel bookings along with sufficient funds to cover your trip. It’s a good idea to have this information handy in case border officials ask for it.
Some countries, including most countries in Africa and South America, will also need to provide a yellow fever certificate proving they have been vaccinated before being allowed entry. With that in mind, be sure to check if you are in this category. If you have a certificate, it’s a good idea to bring it with you anyway.
Once your visa application is approved, you will receive it in your email box. This is how you can download the e-visa to your phone, to show it on arrival or print a copy if you prefer.
Please note that upon arrival you will also need to provide a passport sized photo with a white background and you will also need to pay 2000 THB (approx $ 63) in cash. Only local currency is accepted, so you will need to make sure you have some with you before you go.
Where to enter with the eVisa for Thailand
Not all ports of entry into Thailand are configured to accept electronic visas yet. Those who currently accept it are:
- Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok)
- Don Mueang International Airport (Bangkok)
- Chiang Mai International Airport
- Phuket International Airport
They are the busiest airports in the country, covering the three main areas of interest to visitors, from north to south.
What to see and do in Thailand
There is a good chance that you will be flying to the capital Bangkok, as most international connections arrive here. It’s worth spending a few days in the bustling capital to visit some of the country’s most famous landmarks (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 to visit the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya, one of the most remarkable landmarks in the country.
If you want to head straight to the islands to enjoy the sandy beaches and warm waters, you can catch the connecting flight to Phuket, Thailand’s main southern hub and its largest island. From here you can visit the surrounding islands, cross the mainland to explore the jungle, or reach the islands on the east coast for world-class diving.
On the other hand, if you are looking for culture, temples and mountain scenery, you can catch the connecting flight to Chiang Mai, the main hub of northern Thailand and an important historic center.
The city has 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 Chang Rai White Temple, 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 travel to Thailand for tourism is that visitors are welcome. All tourists must present a negative PCR test carried out within the last 72 hours upon arrival and must self-quarantine for 14 days at an approved hotel.
Some Thai luxury hotels quickly adapted to the new regulations by offering special quarantine packages, urging foreigners to stay in their hotels during their mandatory quarantine period.
From July 1, vaccinated visitors will be allowed to visit Phuket without the need to self-quarantine. This exemption is likely to apply to other regions in the near future, so have a nice trip!