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Visas and border crossings forum

First Time in SE Asia - need clarification about visas!

Posted by jennigun on 26/12/2012 at 11:08

Hi! My boyfriend and I will be in SE Asia from mid-may to mid july - right now we are thinking Thailand to Malaysia to Indonesia - but we are open to suggestions, if you think we are missing something important! We are 20 somethings who love to scuba, hike, and we have been all over Europe living out of our backpacks and are ready to continue the adventure.

I am totally new to the concept of visas - we will be flying from California to Thailand first. Do we need to obtain visas for the countries we want to travel in ahead of time? If so, when do we need to get started on the process to guarantee they will be there in time? When crossing into other countries, can we get the visas at the border crossing, or will this slow the process immensely (if it is even possible)? Do we need to show proof of leaving the country to avoid trouble, or is this not really an issue?

Sorry for the loaded questions and the generalizations, I realize the countries all have different processes but any sort of general framework for understanding the visa process would be fantastic. Thank you!!

#1 jennigun has been a member since 25/12/2012. Posts: 27

Posted by daawgon on 26/12/2012 at 12:14

You just need to do some research on Travelfish - under each country there is complete visa information. I personally prefer to use the Visa on Arrival process, but it differs slightly for every county. In any case, no one could help you without complete info from you - what passport do you hold?

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,111


Posted by somtam2000 on 27/12/2012 at 01:07 admin

Assuming you are both US citizens, upon flying into Thailand you'll be eligible for a 30-day visa free stay in Thailand. So you don't need to do anything - just show up. If you plan to spend longer than 30 days, you need to get a tourist visa - contact the closest Thsi consulate to where you live to sort that out - you cannot get the visa on arrival.

For Malsysia US citizens get granted a 90 day visit pass on arrival, so no need for a visa.

For Indonesia, a 30-day visa on arrival can be purchased at the airport in Indonesia for US$25.

Hope that helps.

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,568
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Posted by somtam2000 on 27/12/2012 at 01:09 admin

I missed the onwards ticket bit - as long as you have a ticket back to the US I wouldn't be too worried about that.

Cheers.

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,568
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Posted by jennigun on 27/12/2012 at 21:26

Great, thanks so much for the overview!

#5 jennigun has been a member since 25/12/2012. Posts: 27


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