An all-new Thailand visa for six months is on the way! The announcement comes as great news for long-term travelers and foreigners based in Southeast Asia who visit Thailand often.
The longer tourist visa offering is a move from the Tourism and Sports Ministry to further boost tourism revenue in Thailand in the coming year. The military coup in May 2014 caused a significant drop in foreign tourist arrivals, as much as 20 percent, but numbers are already on the rise in 2015.
During the first half of 2015, tourist arrivals had already increased by more than 30 percent.
Update: The new six-month tourist visa will be available after November 13, 2015. This page will be updated with additional details as they come.
- Never been to Thailand? See how to start planning your first vacation in Thailand!
Details About the Six-Month Visa for Thailand
- The new six-month visa for Thailand will come in two varieties: a single-entry visa and a multiple-entry visa.
- The single-entry visa will cost 1,000 baht (a little less than US $30) while the multiple-entry visa will cost 5,000 baht (a little less than US $150).
- As with all tourist visas, you’ll need to apply in advance before arriving in Thailand. Unlike Burma, Thailand does not currently have an online e-visa system in place. You’ll need to apply at a Thai consulate outside of the country and get a visa placed into your passport before you arrive.
- The new six-month Thai visa is for tourism purposes only; employment is still forbidden.
- Stays will be limited to a maximum of 60 days at a time for the multiple-entry visa. Travelers will need to exit Thailand every 60 days but can return on the same visa.
Completely confused? Learn how to get a travel visa and why you need one.
Which Thailand Visa is Right for You?
Deciding which type of Thailand visa is right for you depends entirely upon the nature of your trip.
For starters, travelers from many nationalities are given a visa-exempt status for 30 days at the airport after arriving by air. If you’ll be in Thailand for less than 30 days, this is the best option because it is hassle free and costs nothing.
If you intend to spend an extended amount of time in Thailand, especially more than three consecutive months, the single-entry visa is the way to go. As with any single-entry visa, as soon as you exit the country -- even if for only a day -- your old visa will no longer be valid and you’ll have to apply for a new visa.
The multiple-entry visa, while a little pricey, is probably the best option for backpackers who plan to enter and exit Thailand many times as they explore Southeast Asia. Because of the cheap flights to and from Bangkok, long-term travelers often use Thailand as a base to explore the region.
Immigration authorities have been increasingly cracking down on travelers who hop over the border too many times within a short amount of time. Being allowed reentry is always at the whim of whoever is stamping passports that day.
A multiple-entry visa eliminates a lot of the dread and uncertainty felt at border during visa runs.
Previous Tourist Visa for Thailand Options
Under the old visa rules, the longest visa option available for travelers was the 60-day Tourist Visa. At the end of 60 days, the Tourist Visa could be extended for an additional 30 days by visiting a Ministry of Immigration office.
See the current visa requirements for each country in Asia.