Visa requirements are a major factor to consider before booking one’s cheap flights to Thailand or to any other destination. Read on for information on visa facts like entry without visa, penalties for violating visa, and ways of obtaining visa.
Countless travellers book cheap flights to Thailand from London and many other parts of the world. Be it Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Samui, or Krabi, Chiang Mai, almost every nook and cranny of the country casts an unbreakable spell upon the visitor. An electrifying nightlife, scrumptious unforgettable cuisines, an endless world of shopping, and astounding sightseeing attractions leave visitors with a life time of fond memories. Before spending on airfares to the country, take a quick look at visa related information on Thailand.
Legal Stay without Visa
British passport holders catching flights to Thailand are permitted to enter the country for a 30 day period without procuring a visa in advance. However, travellers without a visa using overland crossings can only enter for 15 days. Anyone without a visa planning to stay for a longer period than these stipulated time frames or intending to take up employment are required to acquire a valid visa or an extension of stay.
Visa Violation Penalty
- Staying in Thailand without a visa for a longer time than the stipulated period amounts to violation of the Thai immigration law. This entails a fine of 500 baht per day for every day of overstay. However, the first day is not taken into account and the fine can stretch up to 20,000 baht.
- Overstaying one’s visa can also result in detention besides fines and deportation. The cost of deportation will be borne by the defaulter. In fact, as per the Thai authorities, overstays crossing more than 42 days will result in detention. Furthermore, defaulters may even be barred from entering Thailand in the future. The penalties as well as the hassle involved can easily nullify or exceed the savings made on one’s cheap flights to Thailand.
Official Visa Procurement Channels
Legally, visas, extension of stays, and entry permits are only available from a Thai embassy or consulate, Immigration offices around country or an Immigration officer at a point of entry into Thailand. A visa acquired from travel agents, visa shops, and other sources can turn out to be illegal. This can result in the initiation of legal proceedings and lead to a spell in prison and a hefty fine. Besides, one may also be denied future permission for entering Thailand.
Visa Application Rules
- Visa applications can be made at the Royal Thai Embassy in London from Monday to Friday. The timings are 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. The processing of a visa request takes two working days. Travellers, whose visa applications are positively accepted, can take their passport and visa after the two day processing period. Visas and passports are given out from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Applicants can also send someone with a receipt for collecting the visa on their behalf.
- Travellers booking flights to Thailand should be aware of the fact that on the date of visa application, one’s passport should have a validity period of at least 6 months.
- A visa application made through post or courier is not accepted by the Embassy. Travellers who need to apply for visa through post should approach the Royal Thai Consulates in the UK and Ireland.
British nationals and citizens of certain other listed countries are required to fill up a visa application form and submit it along with 2 passport sized photographs. These photographs should not be more than six months old. However, travellers who are citizens of certain other listed nations are required to provide three photographs and three filled up application forms. These countries are Lebanon, Libya, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestinian State, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, and Iran. Nigerians and the Chinese have to provide two photographs and two application forms.
Similarly, Britons and certain other nationals buying a ticket to Thailand can use the services of private tourist agencies in the UK for routing their applications to the Embassy. However, this facility is not available for the citizens of Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Palestinian State, Sudan, Algeria, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Citizens of these countries have to visit the Thai Embassy at the place of their permanent residence.
Visa application forms can be downloaded from the website http://www.thaiembassyuk.org.uk
For visa related as well as other information on entry requirements, travellers may contact the office of the Thai Ambassador in London.
HE Mr Kitti Wasinondh 29–30 Queen’s Gate London SW7 5JB
Basement 29-30 Queen’s Gate London SW7 5JB.
Visa fee has to be paid either through postal order or in cash. The fee must be in pound sterling.
Per Entry Tourist Visa fee – £28.00
Per Entry Transit Visa fee – £17.00
Non-Immigrant Single Entry/3 Month Visa fee – £45.00
Non-Immigrant Multiple Entries/1 Year Visa fee – £100.00
Non-Immigrant Multiple Entries/3 Year Visa fee – £200.00
Non-Immigrant O-A Single Entry/3 Month Visa fee – £45.00
Non-Immigrant O-A Multiple Entries/1 Year Visa fee – £100.00
(Source: Websites of Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Thai Embassy in the UK.)
Disclaimer: The information in this article relating to visa/entry requirements is correct at the time of publishing. You must consult the relevant Embassy or Consulate for updated info on visa policies as requirements may change. You should check the up-to-date position in good time before booking/departure.