I'm struggling to understand the visa rules and how I should go about obtaining them for my trip. Basically, when I first arrive I'll be spending a week in Thailand before I leave for Cambodia and Vietnam for 3 weeks then back to Thailand for my friend to fly home and my other friend arriving a week later. I'll be in Thailand for another week then leaving again for Vietnam. I'll then be travelling alone and would probably like to see Thailand in a bit more depth and will definately be back there in January. Basically I will be travelling in and out of Thailand at least 3 times over a 6-8 month period. Are the 30 day visas valid 30 days from the date of issue or are you allowed to spend 30 days in total in Thailand? I've totally confused myself...and probably anyone reading this but any advice would be appreciated.
#1 Jaymo89 has been a member since 28/7/2014. Posts: 4
What you're actually looking at is a visa exemption, not a visa (which you have to apply for before you arrive). A visa exemption is received on arrival and gives you 30 days (if entering by air), and either 15 or 30 days if entering by land (depending on your home country). The visa exemption is for one visit, so regardless of whether you only stay one week or the whole 30 days, that visa exemption ends when you leave the country. However you'll get another, brand new one the next time you come into the country.
On your plan above, you'll be getting 3 visa exemptions. Thai immigration has started cracking down more on serial visa runners (people who leave then immediately come back), but as you will be leaving the country for a while between each (and it sounds from your itinerary that there may be months between visit 2 and 3, I don't imagine you'll have any issues. Thai immigration will probably just wave you in each time.
Wait... we have to apply for visa (exemption) before we arrive? I thought they were granted upon arrival at the airport.
I'm looking to spend about 3 weeks in Thailand at the start of my 16 week trip, and about 3 weeks at the end. How should I go about this?
#3 Maran has been a member since 11/3/2014. Posts: 15
Oh OK. Can you advise me on what I should do? (See my first post). I arrive in 2 weeks time. Thanks.
#5 Maran has been a member since 11/3/2014. Posts: 15
Hi Maran, you will only be entering thailand twice so you won't need a visa.
Thanks Antonia, that post clarified things a bit for me.
Ideally what I'd like to do due to people coming to visit me on my travels is be in and out of thailand, including my initial flight to bangkok, 3 times in the space of 2 months. (The end of September to the end of November) Then back again in January. Would this be advisable to purchase a visa?
#6 Jaymo89 has been a member since 28/7/2014. Posts: 4
Hi again, Jenny.
To be honest, I haven't tried going in and out multiple times in the space of a few months. I'd assume that would be allowed assuming you are out of the country for a bit each time, and aren't staying for the full 30 days on your visa exemption each time (and so don't look to immigration like someone trying to live in Thailand without getting a proper visa). But I don't know for certain, so hopefully someone else on here has experience coming in and out frequently and can let you know.
Yes I'm only entering twice but the second time I'm coming overland so only get 15 days, but I'm looking to stay longer than that...
#8 Maran has been a member since 11/3/2014. Posts: 15
Well, assuming you're not from one of the countries that gets 30 day exemption via land as well as air, you've got a few obvious options:
1) Get a Thai visa after you leave the first time (so apply from whichever is the most convenient place to apply that you'll be travelling through), or
2) Get a double entry Thai visa from your home country before you go, or
3) Organise to come into Thailand the second time by air, using a cheap local carrier.
No one else can tell you which plan is going to be the easiest for you, because no one else knows your exact itinerary, home country, etc etc. Do your own research.