Having read endless posts r.e. 30 day exemption visas, I still need to ask a question!!
I am spending 6 weeks in South East Asia in February-March 2010, flying into Bangkok, and then traveling to various different countries via. land, before flying out of Singapore.
I wanted to know how strict the rule on showing outward tickets from Thailand? I will not be in Thailand for more than 30 days, and I understand I will be granted another 15 day visa when traveling via land from neighbouring countries, but I am worried that because I don't have any proof that I am leaving that I won't be given entry.
Has anyone been to Thailand recently and flown with Thai Airways? Were you asked to show proof of departure within 30 days?
I'm hearing lots of mixed things, and I don't know what to do. Any advice will be much appreciated.
#1 hollyandalex has been a member since 2/1/2010. Posts: 2
I've gone in and out of Thailand 5 times total over the last 5 years, twice by land and 3 times by air (once with Thai Airways 3 years ago), and I have never been asked to show proof of onward travel by the airline, immigration or anyone else. Only one of those times did I have a visa in hand. You should be fine, but if you're really worried about it you can get a ticket from Air Asia to somewhere (probably KL is the cheapest) for around US$30. Have fun!
Thank you. That's good to know, we might book a flight just in case then.
If anyone has had a different/bad experience then please let me know!
#3 hollyandalex has been a member since 2/1/2010. Posts: 2
Im in SE Asia for 30 days from 18th of Jan, not got visa sorted or flights, was looking to do a border crossing out of thailand within the first 30 days. Like you i have been told i may have problems when i land if i havn't got proof im leaving within 30 days, have you found any cheap flights? if so with who and where was the cheapest to?
#4 jeffuk has been a member since 5/10/2009. Posts: 19
woops i mean im there for 60 days from the 18th Jan :o)
#5 jeffuk has been a member since 5/10/2009. Posts: 19
hey. i have a similar problem
i booked flights wih some friends leaving the 10th of jan, returning on the 9th of feb, which in total is 31 days. as i have read today i only recieve a 30 free visa permit. how likely is it that they will pick up on me being there one day too many? does anyone know what kind of fine i would get? or is it best for me to try and get a travel visa?
#6 sjlumb has been a member since 8/1/2010. Posts: 3
Hollyandalex and Jeffuk - You are unlikely to encounter any problems getting in without proof that you are going to leave within 30 days. I think, technically, immigration rules allow for on an onward flight confirmation to be required into order to get the 30-day visa exemption (15 if you arrive by land, as you know), but in reality it is very rare for them to ask for this.
I've entered and exited Thailand six times since last April 2008, five times by air and once by land, have been granted the correct entry period every time and have not once been asked for proof of onward travel. When travelling by air, this has been with a combination of carriers - three times with Thai Airways, once with Eva Air and once with Vietnam Airlines.
It will make no difference whether you fly with Thai Airways or another airline, because everyone goes through the same immigration channels once in Bangkok. However, I've just seen on the Travelfish info pages that one exception to this is British Airways, who it seems want to see either a tourist visa or proof of onward travel before they'll let you board - when this happens it's because, if Thai immigration refuse you entry, the onus is on the airline to get you back to your own country, obviously at considerable cost to them. That said, I've not known anyone require proof of onward travel to get into Thailand, and I think you'll be fine.
Sjlumb - The visa overstay fine is 500 Baht per day, which you can pay when you fly out. You will usually be fine for just a day or two, but if you can avoid doing it then I would. You can face some pretty harsh treatment, including imprisonment, if you're found by a police officer to have overstayed - whether that's because you've been stopped having broken the law, or if you've just been stopped for a passport inspection (rare in my experience). Going to the airport and paying your overstay fine is technically considered to be surrendering yourself to the law – whereas being caught by a police officer is considered as being found breaking the law. If it was me then I wouldn't risk it, but the choice is yours - in the UK, a 60-day single entry tourist visa in advance costs £28.00. Good luck!
thanks heaps chriswatton. how long do the tourist visa's take to geta hold of? can you get them on the day?
#8 sjlumb has been a member since 8/1/2010. Posts: 3
thanks heaps chriswatton. how long do the tourist visa's take to geta hold of? can you get them on the day? can you get a hold of them while in thailand?
#9 sjlumb has been a member since 8/1/2010. Posts: 3
Just before Christmas I flew to Had Yai, Thailand, from Singapore with Tiger Airways. When I was checking in for the flight the TigerAirways staff in Singapore asked to see proof of my departure from Thailand. However, on arrival in Had Yai the Thai Immigration did not ask to see the onward ticket.
No worries sjlumb. Where are you from? The only time I've got a Thai tourist visa it was turned around by post here in the UK in 2-3 days.
Again, in the UK, the current fee is £28.00 - but note that until 4th March there is an exemption (presumably aimed at stimulating Thailand's suffering tourist industry) which means you won't need to pay this fee if you apply at a Thai embassy or consulate anywhere worldwide.
What isn't clear is whether the 4th March is the cut-off date for getting the visa or for actually using it (tourist visas need to be first used within 3 months of issue).
The alternative is to get a 14-day extension to your visa-free stay once you are in Thailand, but this will cost you more, at 1,900 Baht (£about £38).
I’ve read many of the posts on this site but still can’t get round the visa situation – please help.
I’m arriving in Bangkok by air on the 16th April 2010 and understand I will get a 30 day visa exemption – I will be leaving for Cambodia the next day so understand that it will be cancelled when I leave.
I will be re-entering through Laos on the 12th May and understand I will get a 15 day tourist visa on the border. I’m going on an organised tour with planned activities so don’t think I will have time to spend getting visas in Laos. However I would like to stay for a month extra to visit the Thai islands etc then take a flight out to Malaysia on the 9th June. My question is can I get an extension on this visa in Bangkok to stay an extra 30 days?
I believe I can get a tourist visa before I leave the UK but I’m going to be leaving the UK to go travelling to India and China from the 6th March so I think it will expire by the time I want to travel to Thailand. Can you get tourist visas for 6 months?
Any suggestion on extending visas in Thailand or pre-buying visas from the UK?
#12 pujarawal1 has been a member since 11/1/2010. Posts: 1
I'd get the visa in either Cambodia or Laos as you can't extend a 15-day stay as long as you need to. If your schedult doesn't allow for you to get the visa in Cambodia or Laos, get it in the UK, but check with the embassy consulate that you deal with that the visa has a six month validity (for use) on it -- that was you'll be able to use it when you need to.
I've just added a roundup on the Thai visa rules here.
More questions, ask away
#13 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,735
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I'm sorry to ask this question as possibly it's obvious but I just want to make sure I get the things right!! Here it goes: I m going to SE Asia for 2 months at the end of March. I will be entry in Thailand in three different ocassions (always by air) during these two months, and will stay in each ocassion less than 14 days. Do I need to apply for Visa before I go??? (passport from UK)
Thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!! and sorry...................
#14 sweetandcream has been a member since 7/2/2010. Posts: 2
If you have a plane ticket booked for longer than 30 days, have a tourist visa. I was just denied boarding a short connecting flight from Gainesville, FL to Atlanta, GA because Delta requires you have a visa in advance for stays longer than 30 days. Always check ahead with your airlines because they don't always follow your country's or the Thai standard.
#16 Deanglow has been a member since 5/2/2010. Posts: 3
Travelfish, please stop telling people that will be alright if they don't get a visa in advance and have a ticket for >30 days. I am out an amazing trip and $200 from following like ten different sources advice on this. This is from the Thai Consulate in Los Angeles. Take their advice
I plan to visit other countries around Thailand and I plan to be in Thailand for less than 30 days. However, my airline ticket shows more than 30 days in Thailand. Do I need to apply for a visa?
Yes. If your airline ticket shows more than 30 days in Thailand, you must apply for the visa before entering Thailand even if you plan to obtain an airline or rail ticket to a third country upon arrival in Thailand. If your airline ticket shows more than 30 days in Thailand and you leave without a visa to Thailand, there is a very good chance that the airline could refuse to allow you to board until you obtain a Thai visa.
#17 Deanglow has been a member since 5/2/2010. Posts: 3
As I see it, the general advice given to people is that it is highly unlikely that Thai immigration will ask for proof of exit within thirty days, but that airlines may ask for this proof before they allow boarding in your country of departure (purely because, if Thai immigration do for some reason refuse entry, the airline is financially responsible for getting you back to your country of departure/home country, if they haven't checked your eligibility for entry to Thailand before allowing boarding).
All that said, airlines not allowing boarding seems to be rare in itself - I have entered an exited Thailand by air five times in the last 20 or so months, and not once been asked for any proof of how or when I planned to leave the country - either by the airline or indeed by Thai immigration. Admittedly, only on one occasion would I have not had this proof, but still the point stands.