On average, there are over 800,000 UK citizens who visit Thailand every year. The kingdom of Thailand has been known, notably, for its unique and lively culture, distinctive cuisine and stunning beaches and mountains. Hence, it is no surprise that Thailand has been consistently the top choice by many as tourist destination in all countries across the southeast Asia. While nationals of other western countries are allowed to take pleasure in doing a yearlong trip to Thailand solely for the purpose of tourism, the regulation as governed by the Thai consulates in the UK maintains a divergent policy.
Since after the implementation of stricter rules in Thai embassies at the beginning of this year, UK citizens are no longer offered with the one-year multiple-entry Thai visa when applying from the UK. Only under certain circumstances (when all qualifications are met) can they apply for a non-immigrant one-year term visa to Thailand which can be for any of the following basis:
- Doing business;
- Accompanying a Thai spouse; or
- Retiring in Thailand.
If the applicant wants to travel to Thailand for the purpose of tourism and for an intended period which cannot be sufficed by the 90-day duration of a typical Thai tourist visa, the popular option to majority is the triple-entry tourist visa.
What is Triple-Entry Tourist Visa?
The triple-entry tourist visa is not quite different from the other tourist visa types, except only that this visa is valid for six months as compared to the single and double-entry visas of which validity is only three months for both. With the Triple-Entry visa, the holder is permitted to stay for up to 60 days per entry. Each entry can be extended for one month and, therefore, the total period of stay by an applicant can be maximized to a total of nine months as shown in the illustration below:
[2 months (period of stay) + 1 month (extension)] x 3 (entries) = 9 months total
The application for the one month extension per entry is done in any of the immigration offices in Thailand on or before the 60th day of stay. The cost of visa extension is priced at 1,900 baht at the moment. In addition, tourist visas can also be converted or changed to a non-immigrant O visa inside Thailand, whether it be for marriage or for retirement purpose.
Overview of the Triple-Entry Tourist Visa application
It is best to apply for the visa at least three weeks prior to the intended travel date to Thailand. UK citizens and even foreigners who are currently in the UK (except those who cannot apply for a Thai visa outside their home countries) can apply for the visa at the UK embassy in London. As observed in recent months, however, consulate generals are more relaxed in issuing tourist visas in other Thai embassies such as the one in Hull and Birmingham.
Below is an overview of the application process:
- Fill out the Tourist visa application form.
Visa form can be obtained from any of the Thai embassies mentioned above.
- Select the option in the form that says triple entries.
- Submit the form with your valid passport and two passport-size photos.
Other documents may be required by the consulate official, so it is best to contact them before lodging the application.
- Pay the application fee.
Currently, the cost per entry for the tourist visa is 25 GBP. The triple-entry visa, therefore, will cost 75 GBP total.