Whether or not you need a visa to enter Thailand will depend on your country of origin, the length of stay and the reason for your trip. Many countries have signed Visa Exemption Agreements, that allow their citizens to visit Thailand for up to 30 days with a Visa Exemption. Here is a link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Visa exemption information page.
Some nationalities, however, that is not visa exempt may obtain a visa for 15 days at their point of entry into Thailand. To find out if you need a visa, visit the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affair website.
Types of Visa in Thailand
You can apply for six different types of Visas at Thai Embassies worldwide:
- Transit Visa
- Tourist Visa
- Non-Immigrant Visa
- Diplomatic Visa
- Official Visa
- Courtesy Visa
If you just here for a holiday and or to look around at property then you’ll no doubt be on a 30-day visa exemption; that’s all you need.
Most people travel to Thailand on a 30 day Visa exemption or if necessary a Tourist Visa. People coming to Thailand for the purpose of retirement are advised to get their Retirement Visa before leaving their home country as it is a lot easier and less expensive than going through the process in Thailand.
One important point that visitors often forget when planning an overseas trip is that you must have at least 6 months to run on your passport. If you arrive at the airport in your home country all primed for your trip to Thailand without at least six months to go, before your passport expires, you’ll be going home by taxi.
Once you’re in Thailand, you need to register at the local immigration office and then report once every 90 days. This can be done by one family member taking the passports to the immigration office. If you change address during the 90 day period, you need to report the change of address and not wait until the next scheduled reporting date.
Following the above process is not difficult but it is very important as you will pay a fine or lose your visa if you are late. Like immigration departments in most countries, Thai immigration is not known for their sense of humor. The moral of the story is do what you are required to do and life in Thailand will be easy.
Other than that, it’s fairly straightforward. If you have an unusual scenario, then we can introduce you to an immigration agent or lawyer as it is best to get professional advice.