True story: I almost didn’t have my visa in time for my departure flight to Thailand. Thai visas are one of the more complicated to obtain and there are many rules and regulations, which is why I want to tell you all how to get a Thai Tourist Visa. It’s important that you alott yourself enough time before traveling to Thailand to ensure you receive your passport and visa back from the consulate in time for your trip.
This is how to get a Thai Tourist Visa if you’re a United States citizen.
Note: You must have at least 1 blank page left on your passport and at least 6 months validity until passport expiration to apply for a Thai visa.
Step 1: Decide which type of Thai Visa you need.
The U.S. Embassy to Thailand will give you more in-depth information.
If you want to travel Thailand for more than 30 days, you will be required to get a Tourist Visa prior to arriving in Thailand.
Single Entry Visa:
The tourist visa must generally be used within 90 days from the date of issue and allows an initial stay of 60 days. Once in Thailand, you can extend your visa for an additional 30 days, for a 90 day total. To extend your visa, it costs 1900 baht and you can do so at the immigration office in Chiang Mai or Bangkok.
Multiple Entry Visa:
For longterm Digital Nomads, this is the solution to your worries. If you want to stay in Thailand for longer than 90 days, you’ll have to get a Multiple Entry Visa. If you’ve ever heard of the term “border runs,” you’ll get further aquainted with them during your stay in Thailand. You also might need to show bank statements to prove you have a minimum of $7,000 USD in the bank when applying for your Thai tourist visa.
All foreigners interested in working in Thailand must obtain a Thai work permit and a Thai work visa. In order to receive a work permit, a company, foreign government, or other organization in Thailand must file an application on the behalf of the work visa applicant. Once obtained, the work visa is valid for one year. For more information, please consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. websites.
Step 2. Say Cheese!
You’ll need 2 identical headshots of yourself. With all the requirements that go into a passport or visa photos, it’s easiest to meet the needs by going to a drug store like CVS, Duane Reade, or Boots and get your photo taken. You’ll need 2 photos sized 3.5×4.5 cm.
Step 3: Get the right envelope and paperwork
First thing’s first –> Print Visa Application from online.
The Thai Consulate is pretty specific when it comes to how they want to receive your application and passport to review. Pick up a USPS Express Mail envelope with the $22.95 stamp and include: visa application, passport (yes, your actual passport) recent photos, print out of arrival and return flights. If you don’t have onwards plans solidifed when you apply for your visa, it’s a safe bet to book a cheap throwaway flight if you have to or rent a ticket from FlyOnward.
I found a $70 flight to Kuala Lumpur through AirAsia that I purchased for the sole purpose of including in my visa application and show to immigration upon arrival.
Be sure you include in your envelope:
- A copy of your bank statements to show at least the equivalent of appx. $700 per person.
- A return envelope so they can mail your passport back to you
- Arrival and return flight information
- Your passport
- Visa Processing Fee: $40 USD
Payable in money order only, made payable to “Royal Thai Embassy”.
Royal Thai Embassy
2300 Kalorama Rd., N.W.
Please allot for about 2 weeks turnaround time once you mail in your application for it to be reviewed and sent back to you.
Do not overstay your Thai visa!
It is illegal to overstay your visa in Thailand. And I don’t mean illegal like crossing a street when the light is red, I mean illegal illegal. It is not fun to be detained or questioned in a foreign country, especially an Asian or Middle Eastern country where rules aren’t as lenient. The fine for overstaying a visa is 500 Baht per day, up to a maximum of 20,000 Baht.
And most importantly, have fun in Thailand!