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Visas and border crossings

Visas and border crossings forum

Thailand Visa Dilemma

Posted by swebb92101 on 3/3/2012 at 22:40

I have been researching Thai visa's for hours now and still haven't quite figured it out. I am a US citizen traveling the world. Approximately 3-4 months from now I will be visiting SEA. I would like to fly from Singapore to Bangkok. From there I will head north and eventually enter Laos, then Vietnam, then Cambodia and reenter Thailand via land at Poipet to spend time in Ko Chang. I would like the option to stay in Thailand more the 15 days once I reenter. That leads me to a multi-entry tourist visa I believe. I don't think I can get one now because it will likely expire before I get to Thailand. So I'm thinking I can get one in Singapore right before arriving in Thailand although I'm not sure if that's 100% or how long it will take. Also, do I need a outbound air ticket with a tourist visa for both entries or just the second entry, say out of Bangkok? If the tourist visa doesn't work then I assume I can just get a 30 day VOA and then another 15 day land VOA as a backup plan. Can anyone help me figure this out? Thank you so much in advance.

#1 swebb92101 has been a member since 3/3/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by DLuek on 4/3/2012 at 09:42 TF writer


Yes, Thai visas can be confusing. :)

If you'd mentioned more specific time frames I could better answer this.

Probably better not to get the double entry... If you're not planning on staying in Thailand more than 30 days the first time then just fly in from Singapore and take the 30 days visa free.

Leave before the 30 days are up, and then pick up a single entry Thai tourist visa in Phnomh Penh. That will be good for 60 days starting from the date of issue so it will work fine for your second trip into Thailand. Tourist visas are reportedly going to be free starting in May so that's a plus, but I don't think double entries are going to be free so if you need to stay longer than 30 days the first time you might as well pick up a single entry in Singapore and worry about the second entry later.

That's what I would do anyway. And the fewer embassies you have to visit the better - it's not exactly a fun process.

#2 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,344

Posted by swebb92101 on 4/3/2012 at 10:08

Thanks for the reply DLuek! I should be there in June/July. I like your idea. I lever thought of just getting a single entry tourist visa in Phonm Penh and that would be great if it's free by then. I have to get a outbound flight for the first visit and I plan on leaving by land. Therefore, I buy a flight out (less than 30 days), then change it to when I want to leave the second time? This outbound flight thing is such a joke. I have the same issue in New Zealand. It basically just costs me money or eliminates flexibility. Does anyone have experience forging tickets? I don't want to get in trouble, but I have no intentions of staying permanently and becoming a kiddy porn king for crying out loud.

#3 swebb92101 has been a member since 3/3/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by Captain_Bob on 5/3/2012 at 03:12

The Thai embassy in Singapore issues tourist visas, but they can be quite fussy about requirements. Easier to just fly in and get the standard 30-day visa exemption, then get a proper tourist visa at the Thai consulate in Vientiane which is very user-friendly. It's valid for 90 days and gets you a 60-day entry when you come back to Thailand.

And by the way, staying permenantly in Thailand does not make you a kiddy porn king.

#4 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,955

Posted by swebb92101 on 5/3/2012 at 11:04

Thank you so much Captain Bob. I like your recommendation and will likely take the good advice. Sorry you took my comment incorrectly as that was in no way what I meant. My apologies for the misunderstanding.

#5 swebb92101 has been a member since 3/3/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by altmtl on 5/3/2012 at 22:52

You can also get your Thai visa in Penang, Malaysia lets you enter free for 90 days, in Cambodia you'll have to pay $20US for a visa on arrival.You can also do a visa run from Ranong if you're in that area - It only cost $10USD + the boat, but it will only give you 15 days - I did that and I also got a single entry visa in Vientiane, which cost 1000 baht. I have never been asked for proof of onward travel.

In Vientiane, they will ask for 2 photos & you will need photocopies of your passport and Laos visa. You can only go from 8-12 in the morning (arrive early to get your number - it can be a long wait) - Then you must come back the next day to pick it up at 1pm. Again, arrive early - there's a long line up. I suggest anyone applying for a visa do it between Monday & Thursday.

One girl I met showed up on Thursday afternoon, and was not able to get her visa until Monday.

#6 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,003

Posted by swebb92101 on 5/3/2012 at 22:54

Thanks Altmtl! Are you a US citizen? Sometimes different rules apply. Also, I'm surprised to here you say they didn't ask for onward tickets because it says they do in so many places. I'm curious as to what the penalty would be if they did ask and you didn't have it.

#7 swebb92101 has been a member since 3/3/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by eastwest on 6/3/2012 at 00:49

I shouldn't worry too much about the onward ticket. If you have a round-the-world ticket it isn't a problem at all. Even if it's a ticket from S america to US or so it would be sufficient proof.
If you get asked questions you can just explain the situation. You're not the first to do such a trip

#8 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by altmtl on 6/3/2012 at 04:08

I'm Canadian - you're obviously not a hockey fan - :) If you have a return ticket it shouldn't be a problem.

#9 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,003

Posted by swebb92101 on 6/3/2012 at 09:38

Thanks eastwest! I don't have an around the world ticket, but I will have a itinerary that I can show them and it sounds like they may take that as proof. I might also have at least one major ticker from Africa to South American purchase which would also work. Sure is difficult trying to be flexible with dates! Thanks again.

And no, I'm not Canadian altmtl, but you do have a lovely country.

#10 swebb92101 has been a member since 3/3/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by abalaois on 23/3/2012 at 03:47

Hi swebb.

Surely you'll be required to obtain your re-entry visa. Having said that, your itinerary would be your proof so that you cannot be charged of any misrepresentation.

If anything else is still unclear to you, just click my signature link and so we'd be glad to assist you further with your concerns, any way we could :)


#11 abalaois has been a member since 23/3/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by coldturkey247 on 20/4/2012 at 16:03

Hi swebb and everyone else!

Sorry to hijack thread but I also have a similar Thailand visa query...

I'm flying from the UK to Bangkok on 4th Nov this year to begin a 12 week journey across SE Asia. I'm planning on heading into Northern Thailand from Bangkok, crossing over into Laos, south to Cambodia and then up through Vietnam to Hanoi . I've booked a flight at the end of Dec from Hanoi to Bangkok to continue south to the Islands, Malaysia and onwards.

Question is, will I need a double entry visa as I'm flying into Bangkok twice? Each time I will be staying in Thailand for less than 30 days, probably less than about 15 days in fact. I will definitely buy a single visa at the very least - as some airline companies don't allow you to board the plane without either a return ticket or a visa. But is it essential to buy a double entry?

#12 coldturkey247 has been a member since 16/9/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by busylizzy on 20/4/2012 at 17:12

No, you won't need a double-entry visa. If you're flying, you'll get the 30 days automatically. It's free, so no need to buy a visa.

But yes, the airlines may request proof of a return ticket if flying in to Bkk from outside the SEA region. That's up to the individual airlines - best to contact you r airline to find out their specific policy. I have heard that carrying a printed itinerary (even if it's one you make up) will suffice. I've always carried one just in case, but have yet to need it so don't know for sure whether that will work.

#13 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by calypso218 on 22/7/2012 at 11:31

I hold a US passport and have never been asked for proof of onward travel with respect to getting a tourist visa, single and double entry, in the US, Penang and Hong Kong Thai consulates.

However, an airline once attempted to deny me boarding on a one-way ticket to Thailand (can't remember which one but it was a major airline). I did not have a tourist visa on that particular trip. I managed to talk my way out of it by telling them I was a photojournalist planning to leave Thailand overland. Which actually, was the truth! Luckily they bought it and let me board.

Every time afterwards, I never had problems boarding on a one-way ticket on a major airline as long as I had a Thai tourist visa.

Budget airlines within Asia on the other hand (Air Asia for example), never ask about onward travel, as they tend to sell their tickets as one-way tickets.

I have created "airline tickets" in the past using an actual one as a template (quite easy to do via a PDF maker). But as it turned out I never needed to use them, so now I don't even bother. Smile and be nice to your immigration official!

#14 calypso218 has been a member since 1/2/2007. Posts: 14

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