Citizens of the following countries get a free visa-exempt stay of up to 45 days upon entering Thailand. The country’s government hopes that this initiative will stimulate tourism in the area.
It was rumored that it would remain in effect until March of 2023. That did not materialize. Regardless, most people who banked on it being extended were disappointed and very vocal on certain online platforms.
During the peak season, the Thailand government has maintained a visa exemption rule for citizens of selected countries. This is in an effort to boost tourism and support the industry’s recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travelers from the following countries can enter Thailand without a visa for 30 days or 45 days if arriving by air: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
However, if you are travelling overland from one of the above mentioned countries, it is recommended to obtain a tourist visa prior to your trip to avoid any issues at the immigration checkpoint. This is especially important if you plan on entering Thailand overland more than twice in a year as this is not permitted under the current regulations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thai government implemented a visa exemption scheme that allowed foreign nationals to stay in Thailand for up to 45 days without a visa. This policy was successful in boosting tourism numbers and helping the industry to recover.
Those who want to visit Thailand on a visa exemption or with a traditional tourist visa will need a valid passport. The passport must have a minimum of six months of validity and at least one blank page. Additionally, visitors will need proof of onward travel or a return ticket.
In addition, those who want to use a Visa Exemption will need to show a valid RT-PCR or Pro-ATK test result. This is to ensure that the visitor has been vaccinated against the virus. Many travelers manage to avoid this requirement by doing a border run, which involves leaving the country and returning a few days before their visa expires. Currently, travelers can do border runs twice per year.
The visa exemption for passport holders from a bunch of countries was reintroduced last October to stimulate tourism and get foreign tourists to stay longer in the hope that they would spend more money. Tourists usually plan their travel budget before traveling, and cutting out the visa fee could make them change their plans and come for a longer stay.
The fee will be collected from travelers who arrive by air, though those on cruise ship or a long-haul flight may not be charged. The fee will be 300 baht per person, or about $8.75 U.S. The fee will not be collected from children under two, people with Thai work permits or diplomatic passport holders.
As always, those who arrive in Thailand with a visa waiver are required to have either a return ticket or proof of onward travel. This is intended to prevent “visa run” travellers from hopping out of Thailand to Cambodia, Laos or elsewhere, then back into the country.
Eligible travelers holding normal passports will be granted visa-free travel to Thailand at most twice a calendar year, whether entering via air or land border checkpoint. For Malaysians, there is no limitation when entering through a land or sea border.
The 60-day single entry tourist e-visa can be extended for an additional 30 days at a local immigration office in Thailand for a fee of 1,900 Baht. The extension must be done before the 60 days expires.
If travelers want to visit multiple places in Thailand, it is advised to purchase a multiple entry tourist visa at Thai embassies or consulates around the world. The process is much easier, cheaper and faster than waiting in line at the immigration office in Thailand. It is advisable to carry proof of Covid vaccination with you at all times as airport staff and immigration officers may ask for it on the spot. It is also a good idea to carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times.