About Thai Visa News
Created in 2011, ThaiVisa News provides immigration information, immigration news, and travel guide and updates for people wishing to visit Thailand. The gateway to detailed information and requirements about Thai Visa application, whether researching travel opportunities, seeking information on travel restrictions, or looking for advice and assistance on how to move into Thailand. The comprehensive information of this website means that all answers to your immigration questions are at your fingertips.
- The latest news for Thailand travel restrictions
- An explanation of the Sandbox programs
- Eligibility requirements for travelers visiting Thailand.
News From the Tourism Authority of ThailandCases of COVID-19 are on the decline as Thailand makes its way out of the pandemic. With vaccination numbers rising quickly, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is informing the world that Thailand is now welcoming travelers from any country in the world. Now, fully vaccinated visitors can enjoy the beauty of Thailand through the Sandbox program.
What is the Thailand Sandbox?You can divide the program into the Phuket and Samui Sandbox: The Phuket Sandbox program allows fully vaccinated travelers to enter Thailand without needing to quarantine for 14 days. As of October 1st, tourists from any country in the world can take advantage of the Sandbox to see Thailand — to travel to other parts of the country, you must first stay seven nights. Similarly, the Samui Plus Sandbox Plan allows travelers to enter Thailand via Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. Tourists stay at an SHA Plus hotel upon arrival for seven days, during which time they can travel the islands as they wish. If by Day 8, their COVID-19 test is negative, they may travel anywhere in the country.
Who Is Eligible?Fully vaccinated travelers from any country (who have stayed in that country for at least 21 days before leaving) can visit Thailand through the Sandbox program. Unvaccinated children (under 18) are also welcome so long as they travel with vaccinated parents. Before traveling, visitors must ensure they have met all of the following requirements:
- Proof of vaccination or a vaccine certificate from a WHO-approved vaccine 14 days before departure (at least).
- Travel Insurance that covers your COVID-19 treatment for up to $100,000 USD.
- Proof of negative PCR test results from within 72 hours of your departure.
- A certificate of entry (COE), which is needed by all travelers to Thailand.
- A 7-night stay booked at a SHA+ hotel.
- Payment for COVID-19 tests for use on Day of arrival and Day 6 or 7 of your stay.
- A booked return flight. All flights must either arrive through Phuket or Koh Samui.
- A Thai visa if needed for your nationality.
Visit Phuket and Koh Samui Today!There has never been a better time for fully vaccinated foreign tourists visiting Thailand. With beautiful beaches and shortened stay-put orders, the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus Plan are the best way to stay in Thailand while protecting the nation’s plans to reopen. Interested in learning more? Subscribe to receive weekly updates on How to Travel to Thailand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can travel to Phuket from abroad?Travelers from any country in the world are now eligible to travel to Thailand under the Sandbox program. Tourists can enter through Phuket or Koh Samui.
How does the Phuket Sandbox work?Upon arrival in Phuket, travelers must stay put in a SHA+ hotel for seven days. After passing a COVID-19 test on their first and last day, they may travel to anywhere else in the country. Check out the current promotions for hotels in Phuket.
What are SHA+ hotels?Through the Sandbox program, travelers do not need to quarantine. However, they must stay at a SHA+ hotel for their first seven days. SHA+ certification means hotel staff must be vaccinated, the hotel must have appropriate travel guidelines and protocols, and overall cleanliness and ease.
What are the COVID-19 insurance requirements?Travelers to Thailand, both Thai and foreigners must obtain COVID-19 insurance prior to their trip to Thailand. The coverage must be a minimum of $100,000 USD.
Is there help available to meet all the paperwork requirements?Travelers can call their local Thai Embassy to ask for assistance with any questions. Also, professional service providers such as a law firm in Thailand can be hired to provide you assistance in preparing the documents.
Updated last March 11, 2022
Phuket is open, Koh Samui is open! Two of the most known paradise islands in Thailand had just opened. Travelers are lining up to book flights and cannot wait to have the time of their lives like before. If you are a traveler and eyeing the paradise islands in Thailand, one must know what the requirements are to enter such islands within the country, right? Especially now that the government of Thailand has implemented stricter safety measures due to COVID-19.
Entering the Paradise Islands in Thailand
What do you need to do before, and what do you need to have with you, to be able to enter the country? Here is the list that will answer that question:
- One must have a passport with at least 6 months validity
- One must be from an approved country by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration
- One must have a Thailand Pass ID
- One must already be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) or World Health Organization (WHO)
- One must have booked and purchased return air travel
- One must have booked and paid accommodation and required RT-PCR tests at SHA Plus (SHA+) hotels, and in the case of Samui+, Samui Extra Plus hotels
- One must have purchased travel insurance with COVID-19 treatment coverage of at least $20,000
- One must have been tested negative for COVID-19 not more than 72 hours before travel
Covid-19 Travel Insurance Required
All of you might not know that not all travel insurance covers the COVID-19 infection. With COVID-19 continuing to spread, not forgetting to mention the variants emerging around the world. Those travelers who are fully vaccinated, and unvaccinated travelers, will and still be needing this 100%.
What is COVID-19 Travel Insurance? Unlike the pre-COVID-19 insurances, it does not only cover injuries or accidents. It is insurance that covers your expenses in case an emergency happens to a traveler that involves a COVID-19 type of emergencies. It is one of the latest requirements that the government implemented for the inbound travelers to have and it supposedly covers $20,000 minimum.
There are several insurance providers that you can find now, you can purchase it easily online with the specific insurance company that is to your liking. To help you with that, you might want to visit AXA Insurance and consider it as your insurance company option.
Coverage of COVID-19 Insurance
Before you purchase your insurance, you must check the coverage of the insurance that you are supposed to purchase. It is supposed to cover costs of isolation, quarantine, testing, treatments, and other worse possible cases that you might experience with COVID-19 during your stay in the country. It is also to cover any losses that hindered your travel during the COVID-19. One example of that would be travel cancellations and lost travel bookings.
Here are the three components that you must remember upon purchasing your insurance, your insurance must cover:
- Medical Coverage. A sensible approach to travelers must have a minimum of $20,000 that covers all treatment costs connected with COVID-19 infection.
- Life Insurance Coverage. In case of the worst possible cases, due to COVID-19 infection, the $20,000 will be paid to the named beneficiary.
- Unexpected Expenses. In case you have travel disruptions or lost trip arrangements, or any flights due to COVID-19 infection. The insurance shall cover it too.
If you have already decided where you should purchase your insurance, do not forget to read the coverages. Check if the insurance will cover the listed coverage above. Also, do not forget to check and read every detail, even the small prints of any policy to avoid the wrong or invalid type of insurance, which is the case of some, or even fraudulent scams.
COVID-19 Insurance: Worry-Free Travel
The Thai government is doing its best to give travelers a relaxing and safe trip during their stay in the country. The only obstacle a traveler will have before entering is the fact that they will have to fill up some applications, may it be an insurance application form, application for booking flights and hotels, and others. Other than that, is for travelers to follow the safety measures for the travelers’ own safety for only a limited number of days.
COVID-19 insurance is a need for travelers. This COVID-19 insurance will cover the expenses in case of COVID-19 related emergencies. This insurance will also keep you away from unwanted problems that you will have like unexpected payments or bills during your trip because of unexpected events. If one did not purchase the needed COVID-19 insurance or has mistakenly purchased the wrong insurance, someone else will pay the expenses. The Thai government will be the one to cover the expenses.
The Thai government is doing its responsibilities, and travelers are encouraged to do their part as visitors. The worry-free travel will only be effective if both sides are doing their part and doing their designated responsibilities.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worldwide travel industry has been decimated, with almost all countries bringing in additional travel restrictions in a desperate bid to halt the spread of infection. With different countries bringing in different measures and paperwork requirements for both people leaving and arriving in the country, the whole situation has been very confusing for people wanting to travel. Also, many countries have changed their travel restrictions several times so it has been difficult, if not impossible to keep up to date with the new measures. Thailand is no different and was effectively closed to tourism for many months, however, Thailand is now open for tourism so you could come right now, that is, if your country allows you to leave, and you can secure all the necessary documents. In this article we will cover information relating to Thailand travel restrictions that are currently in place.
There's no reason why you can't come now if you can secure a certificate of entry from your local Thai embassy, can obtain the required COVID travel insurance, are willing to have a COVID test, and most crucially, are willing to be quarantined in a hotel for 7, 10 or 15 nights on arrival, all at your own expense at an ASQ hotel in Thailand. For many travelers, it's the quarantine that is putting them off, most people don't want to spend up to two weeks of their precious holiday time confined to a hotel room with nothing to do, not to mention the $1000+ that it costs. Therefore the question that most people are asking is not "when can I travel to Thailand", but "when can I travel to Thailand without having to endure quarantine?".
And at the moment, not even the authorities in Thailand appear to know the answer to this question. However, the government has already approved reduced quarantine of 7-10 days for travelers who have been vaccinated, so it does appear that they are thinking about loosening the restrictions in a bid to try and get their tourism industry going again. There is a campaign called “Open Thailand Safely” which has been petitioning the government to relax the restrictions on the 1st of July to give the economy a boost, as many Thais are struggling without the huge amount of money that tourism used to bring to the country.
At the moment, however, the government seems to be taking a cautious approach to reopening the country with other online sources suggesting that the 1st of October would be a more likely date that travelers will be allowed in without quarantine. Realistically, however, nobody knows, as it only takes a small spike in cases and governments around the world panic and lockdown their countries again.
In short, if you have been vaccinated, a 7 day quarantine period is now possible, or even to participate in the new “area quarantine” scheme which has been mentioned several times, yet is not currently in operation. If, like most people, you don’t want to be quarantined at all, then unfortunately it’s looking like you will have a wait of many months yet, especially seeing as a new wave of infection is being seen in many countries.
When Thailand eventually does re-open fully to international tourism, it looks like the government will take a phased approach, and it seems that they are planning to open up Phuket first, initially with reduced quarantine and hopefully progressing towards no quarantine if everything goes well. The "Phuket Sandbox" idea is purported to start on 1st of July and should allow vaccinated travelers to visit the island without having to undergo any kind of quarantine at all, however they will not be allowed to leave Phuket for the first seven days. Also, it’s very likely that this date will be set back if any new waves of infection hit the country.
As a final note, you should plan ahead for your Thai Visa for your trip. Many foreigners are now opting for the hassle free Thailand Elite visa. While others apply for a retirement visa or business visa for Thailand. The most common Thailand visa application is the Tourist Visa. Please remember to plan in advance for your visa and travel documents that are necessary to enter Thailand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updated last November 4, 2021
If you are planning to travel to Thailand, you will be needing an insurance policy that meets the official requirements for the Thailand Pass. The Thai government made it compulsory for all foreign travelers who wish to enter the kingdom to have a travel insurance policy that covers the treatment of COVID-19.
The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) published two Registrar Orders that insurance policies relating to health, travel, accident, and life should cover risks relating to COVID-19 unless the policyholder has become infected with the virus prior to purchasing the policy or during the waiting period.
COVID-19 Insurance for Foreigners
The Office of Insurance Commission in Thailand has endorsed a medical insurance policy for foreigners which has been approved by the Thai government. This policy contains two parts:
- If the traveler is tested positive for COVID-19, then all the medical expenses at the hospital will be paid by the insurance company. The cost of treatment to be covered by the insurance company is almost 50,000 USD or 1.75 million baht.
- If the traveler died due to COVID-19, the insurance company would bear all the expenses of burial and repatriation, with a maximum coverage of approximately 1.75 million baht or 50,000 USD.
The Insurance Policies with coverage of COVID-19
The following insurance policies should cover risks relating to COVID-19:
- health insurance;
- life insurance;
- accidental insurance; and
- travel insurance;
These insurance policies can be purchased online. You need to submit the requirements specified by the insurance company, including the date of coverage. Make sure to purchase your insurance policies from duly approved insurance companies by the Thai government.
The Cost of COVID-19 Insurance in Thailand
The cost of the insurance of COVID-19 will vary for the age difference and the period you remain in Thailand. The price of the COVID-19 insurance ranges from 2,600 baht to 100,000 baht.
The procedure for buying medical insurance for Thailand
For getting a visa and certificate of entry to Thailand, you need to find medical insurance policies that cover COVID-19. It makes it easy for you to get the most appropriate one. There are two ways to find the insurance policy of COVID-19 for Thailand.
- You can contact an insurance broker of the insurance company
- You can check online for instant purchase of insurance policy
A point to remember is that you should check all the coverage policies of the COVID-19 to take the least expensive policy that covers all the requirements. You can purchase this online through your credit cards. Several insurance providers offer COVID-19 insurance policies online. And you can check for a company that is on the top for acceptance of a visa. You can get the certificate instantly and then print it to apply for visa processing.
AXA Insurance offers a unique package of insurance named "Sawasdee Thailand." Thousands of foreigners use AXA for the certificate of COVID-19 insurance in order to successfully obtain a visa and Thailand Pass for Thailand. It includes the following features that cover all the prerequisites of the Thailand insurance commission:
- It includes the treatment of COVID-19 not more than 50,000 USD.
- You can choose the period that you require or for how long you will stay in Thailand. For example: it can be 30, 60, 90, or 1 year.
- It begins with the clearance at the immigration passport control at the airport in Thailand.
- A certificate is provided
Why require COVID-19 insurance?
The cost of treating coronavirus disease is very expensive due to the limited availability of the medicines used for the treatment. Having known that, the Thai government has made the extra step in ensuring their foreign guests' peace of mind during their stay in the Kingdom by requiring them to have the COVID19 insurance. In an unlikely event that the foreign guests get infected by the virus, they won't have to pay out of their pocket the medical expenses at the hospitals in Thailand.
Is the COVID-19 insurance policy Expensive?
The cost of getting COVID-19 insurance is just a pinch compared to the hospital bill of a non-insured COVID-19 patient. It is an additional expense to travelers, however, with the ongoing pandemic, it is too risky not to have one. You can obtain a 30-day policy that starts at about 4,000 THB. But the most significant reason that determines the price is the risk of the virus in the country from where you are applying for a visa. The costs differ from the government to private hospitals, so it can be expensive and it depends on your budget.
Get your COVID-19 travel insurance here:
As envisioned by many people since last year, an announcement has been posted by the Thai Immigration last month regarding the new overstay rules in Thailand. The advisory, as ordered by the Ministry of Interior, will take effect on March 20, 2016. The warning of overstay is viewed by many as a stricter approach to addressing the issue of the foregoing subject as offenders will now be subject to being blacklisted and banned from entering Thailand for 1 to 10 years depending on the period of overstay.
New Overstay Rules
Generally speaking, the adjudication for people who have voluntarily submitted themselves to the authorities regarding their overstay will be less serious as compared to those who will be caught and arrested. Below are the details of classes of entry disqualifications resulting from overstaying in Thailand.
- In the case of foreigners surrendering to the authorities
- Foreigners who overstay for more than 90 days beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 1 year, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
- Foreigners who overstay for more than 1 year beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 3 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
- Foreigners who overstay for more than 3 years beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 5 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
- Foreigners who overstay for more than 5 years beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 10 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
- In the case of foreigners being arrested and prosecuted by the authorities
- Foreigners who are caught overstaying for less than 1 year beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 5 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
- Foreigners who are caught overstaying for more than 1 year beyond the permitted date will be banned from re-entering for 10 years, beginning from date of departure from Thailand.
When travelling to Thailand, it is always important to be mindful of the last day of permitted stay. If you have already overstayed for whatever reason, it is highly advised to sort things out and leave Thailand before the order’s enforced date. One can do this by surrendering to the authorities at any Immigration Checkpoint in Thailand and paying the overstay fine of 500 baht per day but not exceeding 20,000 baht.
If you need Thai visa application assistance, please contact Siam Legal.
Thailand is routinely on the lists for the best places to retire. Thailand is a lush, warm weather country with beautiful beaches and green mountains. Its locals are foreign friendly and has a large expat population. In parts of Thailand, it is not difficult to locate foreign cuisine, foreign books, and entertainment.
The primary reason for Thailand’s appeal is that the cost of living is much lower than in the United States or any other Western country including Australia. Everything from rent, food, medical care, to the internet is 20% to 50% of the costs of most Western Countries. Thailand is also one of the top countries for medical tourism with modern luxurious private hospitals and multiple international airports.
Another benefit of retiring in Thailand is the relatively low financial requirements to obtain a long stay retirement visa in Thailand. It is possible to obtain a retirement visa in Thailand by depositing about $25,000 in a Thai bank or having a pension or retirement income of about $2000 per month. A combination of money in a bank and a pension is also allowed.
What are the requirements to obtain a long term retirement visa in Thailand?
- Applicant must be 50 years of age or above at the time the application is submitted
- Must not be previously prohibited from entering Thailand
- Must not have a criminal record in Thailand or in the country of their nationality or country of current residence.
- Must not have an prohibitive diseases or addictions as outlined by the Thai regulations
- Evidence that the applicant meets the financial requirements of the visa
- Must have a nationality or permanent residence in the country where the application is submitted.
Upon successful submission, the applicant will receive a non-immigrant “O-A” visa that is good for one year. It is important to state that those who are in Thailand under a retirement visa are not allowed to work in Thailand.
Foreigners on a long term retirement visa in Thailand have to report to the local immigration officer every 90 days. The reporting can be done in person or by mail. An online reporting system is currently being developed. The retirement visa has to be extended every year with continued evidence that the retiree has maintained the visa’s financial requirements and has not violated the terms of their stay. After three years on a retirement visa, the retiree can apply for Thai Permanent Residence status and no long is required to extend their visas.
This is a general description of the O-A Thai Retirement Visa. The process of obtaining a visa can be time consuming and confusing for persons who are not fluent in reading and writing Thai. Errors or missing information can result in long delays or the denial of the visa. It is advised that those who are interested in obtaining a Thai retirement visa to speak to a Thai Visa Specialist.
See also Siam Legal's retirement visa page here.
Thai Elite Visa
Thailand Elite visa is a special visa aimed for high networth businessmen, digital nomads, retirees, investors, high income individuals, and families looking to move in to Thailand. The Elite member or card holder has special privileges such as VIP treatment at the airport, exclusive spa and golf courses, special discount at major department stores and shopping malls, elite personal assistance, and many more. To learn more if Thai Elite Visa is the most suitable long term visa for you, just click the link below.