Getting Thai Tourist Visa on Arrival
The process of getting an on arrival tourist visa for Thailand is pretty straightforward. Depending on your luck, you might get a tough visa official or one who is more understanding. In any case, you should have all the necessary documents prepared and should fulfil all their other pre-requisites.
Take couple of colored passport size pictures otherwise you have to get one done there at a ridiculously overpriced rate. Take enough cash with including the local currency Thai Baht which you will require for paying your visa fees.
The Thai On arrival tourist visa fees currently stands 1000 THB (2000 INR). The fact is visa fees keeps varying and it is best to check it online before you go backpacking Thailand.
Check here for the official immigration website of Thai Government.
Tips for Getting Thai VOA
1. Keep 10,000 Baht per person as proof – this can be done as bank statements. Or you can show that you have credit card to cover your expenses.
2. The Thai Visa on arrival is only valid for 15 days. Though you can do a visa run by crossing over the border to Cambodia and come back immediately.
3. Download and fill the immigration form beforehand. This same form will be available at the Thai VOA counter, but it’s faster if you fill it before hand. Download here.
4. I strongly recommend to have enough cash and well as debit/ credit card. You never know when you might run into a rude officer, who no matter what will find fault in your application or just be moody and demand to see you have enough money to support yourself in Thailand. Also, do carry the printouts of your six months bank statements verified by your bank as a proof of funds.
5. Do note that people have been deported, returned from the airport just because they lacked certain part of documentation or they didn’t have enough money with them.
Thailand Visa On Arrival – Suvarnabhumi Airport
My Thailand visa on arrival experience isn’t that great! The Thai On arrival visa works but the visa officials follow the rules too strictly. When I arrived in the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Visa on Arrival counter, I was really put off by the long queue. I had to wait for hours before my turn finally came.
Second, and it was my fault, I was short on cash, the Thai Baht. The visa fee is accepted only in Thai Baht and I was little short of the money. Lucky for me, I somehow found an ATM and requested the officials to let me access it by going on the other side.
By the time my number came I got to understand that I had to have a local address and the booking must be confirmed. The official at the window had already rejected couple of people on that same point.
I somehow managed to book a hotel with the booking app and my HDFC credit card which doesn’t require an OTP. The OTP system is a big pain and I specifically created a saving bank account and a credit card with HDFC to avoid the OTP in such situations. HDFC gives you a choice to select either OTP or password verification during the purchase process. I showed the address and filled in the appropriate form and my Thai on arrival visa was finally approved.
Thailand Visa On Arrival – Don Muang Airport
The second timed i entered Thailand it was Don Muang Airport, this time luckily there was no queue. I walked straight to the official after filling up the visa application form. Again, I had nothing in the address corner. The official insisted that I show him the booking and provide the exact address. You can’t simply put ‘hotel’ in the accommodation field.
The Thai visa official also asked me to show him that I had enough cash to support myself. For this, I show him cash in USD but he wasn’t convinced and asked for credit cards. Only upon seeing that he let me enter Bangkok through the Don Muang Airport.