Thailand visa requirements for US citizens
Though Thailand is no stranger to political turmoil and strict behavior to which travelers need to conform, this has not affected thousands of Americans from visiting every year and seeing what the Land of Smiles has to offer. From university graduates teaching English as a second language to honeymooners looking for a more affordable luxurious escape, Thailand brings in the crowds.
What are the visa requirements for US citizens traveling to Thailand?
Good news- there is no charge for Americans to visit Thailand for up to 30 days, and this can be extended another 30 days at a local immigration office for a fee of 1,900 Baht. Because Thailand borders Cambodia and Laos, and is easily accessible to Vietnam and Malaysia by plane, many travelers take advantage of cheap flights to book visa runs to extend their time in Thailand.
However, this isn’t always necessary. By applying for a tourist visa at a Thai embassy or consulate prior to your arrival, you will have to pay a small fee (40 USD), but can legally in the country for up to 90 days without the need for a visa run; after 60 days, you’ll have to go to a local immigration office and pay an additional 1900-Baht fee to extend another 30 days.
Because of this, your US passport should have at least one blank page to accommodate the visa stamps (visas issued in advance take up a full page) and six months’ validity. A recent passport sized photo must be provided on the application at a Thai embassy, but isn’t required on arrival.
Notes about Local Laws in Thailand
Since you’ll inevitably be handling Thai currency if you want to extend your visa, please take note that all images of the King of Thailand, including those on paper money and coins, are sacrosanct and should never be stepped on or treated with disrespect. The same applies to pictures in restaurants, murals, and government buildings. Doing otherwise can result in hefty fines or jail time.
Work and Retirement Visas in Thailand
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 requirements depending on the type of work and length of stay.
In addition, retirement visas are available to US citizens 50 years and older. 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. if you’re married to a Thai national – but generally money is the deciding factor.
Getting a passport for your travels to Thailand
Getting a visa to Thailand may not be too difficult on arrival, but there’s still the matter of checking your US passport up to date before you leave the country. 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 Bangkok the next. Making you feel comfortable and in control as you board an international flight is why TVP started assisting travelers with the visa and passport application process.
What if you overstay your Thailand 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 visa overstayers. Proof of outgoing travel is not always required at ports of entry by air or land, but those who attempt to leave Thailand after their visa has expired face charges of 500 Baht for each day past the expiration date.
Do you have any questions about traveling to Thailand? Leave them in the comments!