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The gateway to information and updates about Thai Immigration, whether you are planning to travel to Thailand or looking for advice and assistance.

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.

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When Can I Travel To Thailand?
When Can I Travel To Thailand?

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.

COVID-19 Insurance in Thailand

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Travel Insurance in Thailand

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:

Immigration in Thailand

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.

 
Retire in Thailand

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?
  1. Applicant must be 50 years of age or above at the time the application is submitted
  2. Must not be previously prohibited from entering Thailand
  3. Must not have a criminal record in Thailand or in the country of their nationality or country of current residence.
  4. Must not have an prohibitive diseases or addictions as outlined by the Thai regulations
  5. Evidence that the applicant meets the financial requirements of the visa
  6. 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.

Thailand Visa on Arrival

Early this month, the Immigration Bureau of Thailand has announced an easier and more systematic way of applying for the Visa on Arrival (VOA) prior to entering the Kingdom. Herein, citizens from eligible countries can now start their application ahead of time by completing the VOA form online.

This new online system is an upgrade from the traditional procedure wherein the applicants would have to complete the entire process at the immigration section in international airports when they arrive in Thailand. But now, by simply following the instructions at the Thai immigration website, the application for visa on arrival becomes a lot easier:

  1. First, make sure that you meet all the eligibilities for the VOA application which can be found on the Thai immigration website (www.immigration.go.th). If you are qualified, you can start the process and fill out the online VOA application form. You will receive a “Transaction Reference Number” (TRN) once completed. The application form will then be ready for printing which you will need to bring with you when you travel to Thailand.
  2. Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand, there are two service counters where you can proceed to obtain the VOA stamp. This is much less complicated than the old process because your application has already been registered and therefore your information will just automatically be pulled out from their database. You have to make sure that you bring the printed VOA form, especially when you are travelling as a group.
  3. Finally, once the immigration has confirmed your information and received the visa fee, you will then receive your 15-day entry stamp. Yes, that is right! Only 15 days limited stay is permitted for VOA application.

To ensure a hassle-free travel, make sure that you are aware of the following important reminders:

  1. You must be a citizen of any of the eligible countries permitted by the Ministry of Interior.
  2. Your passport must be valid for at least 30 days upon your entry.
  3. You must have a return ticket which will not exceed the 15-day limit of your stamp. Please note that visa on arrival stamp (VOA) is only valid on the date of issue.
  4. You must declare an address that can be verified.
  5. You must pay the visa fee using Thai currency only. This fee is non-refundable.
  6. You must have sufficient financial capacities.

The Thai Immigration Bureau is expecting that this new system would encourage more tourists to come to the country. Though this new system is now enforced, this does not mean that you can no longer do the VOA application at the airport. But if you want to save time, it is good to take advantage of this new online application.

It is always wise to check your visa options first before travelling. Not only will it eliminate any possible problem along the way, but it will also make things more conducive to your travel expectation. While there are countries of which majority are western travellers who are entitled to get a 30-day stamp upon arrival in Thailand, this new measure by the Thai Immigration Bureau is still a good news for VOA applicants.

 
Non-immigrant B visa

The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially confirmed the availability of the new 6-month multiple-entry tourist visa beginning 13th of November 2015. The multiple-entry visa, according to the ministry, was a new measure to further increase the number of international arrivals in Thailand. With the implementation of this visa, the Thai government banks on seeing improvements on the country’s tourism sector while also aiming at facilitating the forthcoming ASEAN Community.

Multiple-entry vs single-entry tourist visa

The new multiple-entry tourist visa is expected to benefit people who make frequent trips to Thailand. This option will also become available to all nationalities. While it is similar to the regular tourist visa in some aspects, the multi-entry tourist visa still offers new features which make it quite interesting to many international travelers.

  • The validity period of the new multiple-entry visa is six months; thus, saving tourists the hassle of having to lodge several visa applications in case they wish to make a few trips to Thailand in a span of six months.
  • Foreigners who have this visa will be able to travel in and out of Thailand for as often as they want, for up to 60 days per entry. Unlike the regular tourist visa, a re-entry permit will not be required if a foreigner wants to leave and come back before the 60 days duration is over.
  • When the holder of the multiple-entry visa makes a border trip and returns back one day before the expiration of the visa, he will still be permitted to stay in Thailand for another 60 days; hence, giving him up to 2 months extension to the visa.
  • The multiple-entry visa will cost THB 5,000 which is still cheaper than the total cost of applying for two tourist visas with 30-day extension on each.
What tourists cannot do with the multiple-entry tourist visa

As previously mentioned, foreigners with multiple-entry tourist visa can only stay in Thailand for a maximum period of 60 days per entry, after which they must make an exit trip or apply for an extension at a local immigration office. Failure to do so will require them to pay an overstay fine.

Also, in contrary to what many people think, the multiple-entry tourist visa cannot be applied for nor can be renewed from inside Thailand. Foreigners who wish to obtain this type of visa will have to visit the Thai Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence. Although, there are embassies in the neighboring countries of Thailand which accept applications from certain nationalities.

And finally, foreigners who intend to apply for the multiple-entry tourist visa visa must keep in mind that this visa is issued for the purpose of tourism only. Under the current immigration rules, travelers on a tourist visa are not permitted to participate in any type of work during their stay in Thailand. This is regardless if they are engaging themselves in a paid type of work or in an unpaid voluntary activity.

 

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.