Since the death of the King of Thailand last year, many around the world have grown concerned about the impact on tourism, a large source of income for the country. With visitors coming from the United States, Europe, South America, and Africa, Thailand remains a population destination for those looking for a beach getaway, a budget holiday, and a staging point for the rest of Asia.
What does that mean for Americans who don’t take the time to research entry requirements before a big international trip? In Thailand’s case, there’s not too much to be concerned about. US citizens are automatically given 30 days’ free entry at any port by land, sea, or air and don’t need to present anything more than a passport book valid for at least six months. However, there are other cases in which a visa may be required to Thailand.
Do US Citizens Need a Visa for Thailand?
US Citizens can receive a 30-day visa on arrival at no charge when they first land at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Because the country tends to attract many budget travelers, Thailand is often visited more than once on the same trip, with Americans scooping up cheap flights and buses to Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In the past, this method of travel would allow travelers to reenter Thailand up to six times without facing any penalties (though they might be questioned). However, the law now states that any American can only re-enter the country two times by land in a calendar year, giving those on buses a maximum of 90 days in Thailand. There’s also the option of going to a local immigration office and paying 1900 Baht to extend the visa by 30 days.
Tourist Visa to Thailand in Advance of Arrival
Because spending part of their holiday waiting at a Thai immigration office or sleeping on a bus just to do a visa run may not be part of the plan, US citizens also have the option of applying for a tourist visa to Thailand in advance by going to any embassy or consulate and filling out the appropriate paperwork. This grants the holder 60 days’ entry to Thailand, which may also be extended by 30 days for 1900 Baht.
Other cases in which visas to Thailand are required
Living and working in Thailand naturally demands a different set of requirements than for those just coming on vacation. The country offers Non-Immigrant “B” Visas for those interested, with a whole slew of paperwork needed depending on the type of work and length of stay.
In addition, retirement visas are available to US citizens 50 years and older. However, these visas are valid for only one year and do not allow employment of any kind. Applicants usually have to provide proof of income or savings (at least 800,000 Baht). Requirements differ depending on one’s ties to the country – e.g. married to a Thai national – but generally money is the deciding factor.
Consequences of not having a valid Thai visa
As easy as it may be for US citizens to travel to Thailand and get a visa on arrival, don’t make the country’s willingness to accept tourism with one to overlook over stayers. Proof of outgoing travel is not always required at the port of entry (though it is recommended), but those who attempt to leave Thailand after their visa has expired face charges of 500 Baht for each day past the expiration date. That’s it, we hope answer to the question- Do US Citizens Need a Visa for Thailand is answered.
Do you need a passport for your trip to Thailand?
Even though the visa to Thailand may be simple enough once you’ve landed, there’s still the matter of getting your US passport up to date. If you find that your trip is rapidly approaching or you’ve encountered an unexpected emergency and you need to get your hands on your documents sooner, you can stop by Travel Visa Pro for expedited passport service.
Travel Visa Pro offers a wide variety of expedited passport services for both new applicants and those in need of passport renewals. Some of these services provide turnaround times of as little as one business day, allowing you to be on your way to Phuket without worrying about the little things. It’s crucial that you feel comfortable and in control as you take this next step toward an international adventure, and TVP is here for you every step of the way.