As a UK citizen, you can visit Thailand without a visa if you plan to depart within 30 days. However, if you’d like to stay for more than 30 days, then you’ll need a visa to enter Thailand.
Being a Tourist in Thailand
As a tourist visiting Thailand, you can only explore and indulge in sight-seeing for the purpose of personal enlightenment and leisure. You will not be allowed to work or conduct any business whatsoever. If you intend to work in Thailand, then you need to look at other visas.
You’ll have access to two types of tourist visas – Single Entry and Multiple Entries. The multiple entry tourist visa has replaced the double-entry and triple-entry tourist visas that were granted before 13 November 2015.
Let’s look at the Single Entry Tourist Visa first.
The single entry tourist visa is valid for a period of three months. The validity of the visa starts from the date the visa was issued. So you’ll need to plan your trip to Thailand within those three months only. The maximum number of days that you’ll be allowed to stay in Thailand on a single entry is 60 days per entry.
If you’d like to stay for a longer duration, then you do have an option of extending your visa by an extra 30 days when you’re in Thailand. But the total length of your stay on this single entry visa can’t exceed 90 days. If for some reason, your application for your extension of stay is denied, you’ll need to depart from Thailand within seven days.
Required Documents for Single Entry Tourist Visa
You’ll need the following documents when you apply for a single entry tourist visa.
- A current passport that is valid for a minimum of six months from the date of travel. Also, ensure that you have one blank page in your passport.
- Two recent passport size photographs that are coloured, not older than six months and 45mm high x 35 mm wide.
- A completed and signed visa application form. If you’re travelling with children, you’ll need to fill their own visa application form, but the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) need to sign the form on behalf of the children.
Note: The officers at the embassy or the consulate reserve the right to ask for any additional documents as they deem necessary.
Multiple Entry Tourist Visa
In addition to the existing Single Entry Tourist Visa, the Thai Government launched the Multiple Entry Tourist Visa on 28 July 2015. It came into effect from 13 November 2015 replacing the earlier 60 days tourist visa with double and triple entries.
The multiple entry tourist visa is valid for 180 days from the date of issue. There are no restrictions on the number of times that you can enter within those 180 days, but you can stay up to a maximum of only 60 days per visit.
This visa also gives you an option to extend your stay in Thailand by another 30 days when you’re in the country. But remember that the total length of stay can’t exceed 90 days at any point. This visa requires a few more documents than the single entry tourist visa.
You’ll need to submit your documents for the multiple entry tourist visa as below:
- A completed and signed visa application form.
- Your original passport that is valid for a minimum of six months from the date of your travel. Ensure that it contains one blank page.
- A copy of your passport that shows your photo, name, expiration date of passport, date as well as place of birth.
- Two coloured passport photographs that are 45 mm high and 35 mm wide. Ensure that these photos are not older than six months.
- A copy of your confirmed roundtrip air ticket to Thailand and back within 60 days. This is for the first entry.
- At least for the first entry, you’ll need to submit proof of accommodation in Thailand as follows:
- A copy of your hotel reservation that states your name, name and address of the hotel, and duration of stay clearly or
- A copy of your lease or rental agreement or
- A copy of house registration document if you own a house or an apartment in Thailand
- If you intend to stay with a friend, then you’ll need to submit an original invitation letter from them, a signed copy of their passport or Identity Card and a copy of their house registration document.
- You’ll need to submit proof of occupation as below:
- If you’re employed, you’ll need a letter from the employer stating your designation, purpose and duration of the trip and that you’ll be returning to your current job once your leave of absence is done.
- If you’re a student, you’ll need an official letter from your school or university.
- If you’re self-employed, then you’ll need to include a letter from your accountant and evidence of business ownership like your company registration.
- You’ll also need to submit proof of accessible funds as below:
- An original bank statement that shows you’ve maintained a balance of a minimum of £5,000 for at least six months before your date of travel or
- Printout of your bank statement with the official stamp of your bank.
Your single entry or multiple entry tourist visas will be processed in one business day usually. But it’s recommended that you apply at least a seven to 10 days before you travel in case of any unforeseen delays.
The Re-Entry Permit Rule
If you’re on a single entry tourist visa, then you’re eligible to apply for a re-entry permit when you wish to go out of the country for a short trip and return within 60 days of your visa. Keep in mind that no additional days will be added to the visa.
For instance, if you’d like to visit Cambodia for seven days when you have 20 days remaining on the visa, you’ll be granted the re-entry permit. But you’ll have only 13 days left on your original single entry tourist visa.
The re-entry permit desks are available at Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi airports. But if you like, you can also apply for the re-entry permit at the Immigration Office in Bangkok.