Thailand is one of the countries that gives visa on arrival for Indians. It is one of the major tourist destination for Indians and for business purposes as well. I have been traveling to Thailand for business and pleasure since 2011 and every time I land there, I just hate standing in the long immigration line for an hour to 2 hours sometimes… I have seen the Visa on Arrival fee raised and reduced couple of times since I started traveling there. Nevertheless, it is a nice country to visit with beautiful beaches and nice people. Let me cover the details on the visa on arrival process for Indians to enter Thailand.
Required Documents for Visa On Arrival Application for Tourism at Thailand Airports
- Your Passport with at least 30 days of Validity.
- Confirmed Flight Return Ticket . You should have the return trip 15 days from your date of arrival in Thailand. You can print and carry a copy or you can show it on your phone as well, but I prefer to print it to avoid issues like battery drained, etc.
- One Latest Passport Photo with white background. (4×6 cm)
- Your hotel stay in Thailand confirmation.
- You need to either have cash equivalent of 10,000 Thai Baht ( 320 USD or your home country currency to be able to exchange) or funds in some format debit card that shows you can afford your stay.
- Completed Application Form ( You can collect them in Thailand at Visa on Arrival Counter and fill the same )
- 2000 Thai Baht Fee – To be paid in Thai Baht CASH ONLY. NO Credit Card or other currency accepted.
Process for getting Visa on Arrival in Thailand
Step 1 : Make sure you have all the required documents, Cash to pay for the fee in Thai Baht with you. If you do not have cash, you will be in big trouble. Make sure you convert cash and get it where you are boarding flight. Sometimes, you may have hard time finding currency exchanges within airport, before immigration.
When on Airplane – Arrival Departure Card : You will be given a form to fill out called arrival departure card. You need to fill it with all your details and have it ready for last step in Visa on arrival process. You need to put an X in the relevant form. Fill in your hotel address. This will be stamped by the immigration officer at the last step.
Step 2 : Once you get down in Thailand Airport, look for Visa on Arrival Counters. You will need to pick up application form from there, fill it up with the details and then affix your photo in it as well. You wil need to enter hotel name, your passport details, etc. in the application. Tip: if the line is long and they allow, you can take the application form and fill it in the line as you wait.
If you do not have photo : You can take a photo at the airport in Bangkok. I cannot speak for other airports. But, it will cost you more, so better get the photos.
Step 3: Once you have all of the documents and application, stand in line and wait for your turn. This is the toughest part of waiting. Sometimes, the line can take 1 hour or sometimes 2 hours or more…so, this is the tough part.
Fast Track Lane : You have Fast Track Lane in some locations, where you pay extra 100 Thai Baht and it will be processed slightly faster. I prefer to take this, if they have fast track lane. Not all airports have it and sometimes they stop this one for no reason. You will not get a receipt for this fast track fee….
Step 4 : Once you are the end of the line, a person will direct you to one of the counters, you will need to provide all the documents like fee, passport, application. The officer at the counter will put all of the documents in a folder and give you a token number. It is very important to hold on to this token number.
Step 5 : Now, you will be directed to another section where many others similar to you are waiting for their passports and stamp. Every 5 to 10 minutes, there will be someone coming out with a bunch of the folders and call out the Numbers. You just listed to them and go to them and collect your passport. Your passport should be stamped like below and it should have a date on it. Also, you will need to get the receipt of fee for what you paid, if you have taken fast track lane, you may not have that fast track fee on it…that’s normal.
Step 6 : Now, you take the passport and then stand in a line for the immigration officer to call you for another stamp and verification. When you are called in the line, go and give your passport, your fee receipt and the Arrival/ Departure Card that you filled. They will ask you to stand in front of camera properly for taking the picture and then you will be asked to wait for a second. They will look at all of these, stamp on the passport, tear a part of the arrival departure card and give you the departure card part.
Step 7 : Once you exit, you need to make sure that your passport is properly stamped and you need to hold on to the departure card as you need to hand it over when you exit at the immigration.
Exit Process of Thailand : There is nothing specific here, you will not need to fill out anything. The immigration officer will take the departure card that you filled and you have and let you leave. They will take a picture as well. If you can see above visa page, you can see there is a departure stamp, that’s what they will stamp on your passport.
Thailand’s major airport in Bangkok is probably the busiest of all the airports and depending on the time you arrive, you may end up lot of time in line, so be prepared. Except the wait time, the process is very standard and seamless.
What has been your experience with Visa on Arrival in Thailand ? Any other tips to share ? Anything that I have missed.