Thailand has been one of the most popular countries to visit for years, and it is not slowing down anytime soon. Flooded with street markets, affordable bars, and endless possibilities, the country attracts all sorts of holiday-goers – family, friends, couples, as well as solo travelers.
Note: The information on this post has been updated as per the latest visa policies of the Thai Government as on June, 2019.
A popular tourist destination in South East Asia, Thailand is a favorite among Indian travelers. However, for a first time traveler to Thailand (or a foreign country for that matter), you may wonder how to get Thailand visa. Simply put, there are two ways of obtaining a Thailand visa (excluding booking via an agent or visa agency):
- Thailand Visa on Arrival
- Thailand Tourist Visa
The basic difference between the two, as you can probably already tell, is that the former is obtained once you are in Thailand and is valid for 15 days and the latter is obtained in your home country, in this case, India, and gives you 30 days in Thailand.
See my post on Thailand Tourist Visa to know about how to apply for Thailand tourist visa online.
Good news – As per the new visa rules for Thailand, the government has decided to waive off the 2000 Baht visa charges for Indian to Thailand (VOA only) for 21 countries and INDIA IS ONE OF THEM!
Now, before we proceed, I must say that I haven’t experienced this first hand since I haven’t availed this offer, but this is what everyone on the internet (who has recently traveled to the country) has been saying. Please feel free to add your inputs if the information isn’t true.
Obtaining a Thai Visa on Arrival is a simple process:
- Book you return tickets for Thailand
- Book your stay (you can use booking.com or any such site that allows change later if you aren’t sure of your itinerary)
- Take a print out of the Thailand tourist visa application form (download it here or you can also get it at the airport)
- Fill the form with accurate and relevant information and attach a photo
- Board your flight
- Fill the arrival card given to you inside the flight and keep it for immigration
- Queue up at the Visa on arrival counter with your duly filled form
- Hand over your form and passport when your turn comes and wait for your token number to be called
Voila! You have your Thailand Visa on Arrival stamped on your passport. All you have to do now is to swiftly move through the immigration counter and you are all set to enjoy the beauty of the Land of Smiles.
Thailand now offers an e-Visa facility for Indian passport holders. This visa is valid for 15 days and can be obtained up to 24 hours before your intended arrival date. The process seems to be very simple and only requires you to fill up an application form with your passport details, personal information, and hotel and flight details.
Keep in mind that this facility is applicable only if you are arriving to the following airports:
- Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)
- Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
- Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
- Phuket International Airport (HKT)
Once you receive your visa approval letter online, take a print out of the same and carry your documents (passport, return flight tickets, and hotel reservation copy) for immigration purposes.