Being a traveling family we have had our share of passport stamps, but applying for Thai visas was a new experience. We have done a fair bit of travel, but we have never stayed in one place for very long. So when we were preparing for our 3 month stay in Thailand we had to venture into this uncharted territory. We wanted to write this post to help anyone else out there who finds themselves a bit confused by this process.
First off I will say that. the official Thai Consulate General site for Los Angeles is not very good. For starters their FAQ page just says TEST. So we got much of our information from the Royal Thai Embassy in New York site which, is much better. So here are some of the basics. As always you should check the actual sites for the most current information. Our family is getting a tourist visa so all this information is related to US Passport holders looking for a Thai tourist visa.
- If you’re a United States passport holder you don’t need a visa to enter Thailand. You can enter the Royal Thai Kingdom with your US passport and stay for up to 30 days. So most travelers from the United States to Thailand will not need a visa. If you’re planning to stay longer, though, a visa may be a good idea (though still isn’t exactly necessary).
- Each time you leave the country and return, by air, you get another 30 days. You can just even go out for the day and come back and get another 30 days.
- If you go by land you get 15 days.
- You can only stay in Thailand for 90 total in 6 months without a visa.
- If your return flight is more than 30 days from your original flight you may need a visa even if you are planning on leaving the country.
- Each person has to fill out an application, have their documentation and pay their own fee. Minors are not considered any differently than adults in this sense.
- If you are applying for minors you will need some extra documentation including proof that both parents are taking the trip and your marriage license.
- The LA Thai Consulate is only open for Visa applications Monday-Friday from 9am-11:30am.
- There is no same day service, but if all your papers are in order they usually will have it ready the next day. You can have it mailed back. We got ours back to Santa Barbara in 3 business days.
- Travel Visas were $40 each for 60 days.
- You can fill our the application on your computer in advance to save time.
- You can apply by mail, but you will have to send in your passport and it takes about 2 weeks once they get it.
- When your visa is granted they actually attach it onto a visa page in your passport.
Since we were going for 90 days and live close to LA we decided to apply in person. Clark went down by himself with all the documentation in hand including money orders and a return USPS Express envelope with postage. Once there it was a simple process. They didn’t require all of us to be there. We didn’t have to show our bank statements, marriage license or plane itinerary although we had those items. The whole process took Clark about 15 minutes once at the Consulate.
Hope this helps you in your travel preparations.
Here is more information from the New York Consulate page as of May 2018:
- 1 Thailand Tourist Visa: All you need to now
- 2 How to Apply for Tourist Visa: The Ultimate Guide
Thailand Tourist Visa: All you need to now
There are some informations about Thailand Tourist Visa you must know:
Purpose of Visit
Validity of a visa
Period of stay
Extension of stay
For the US passport holders and other countries, which are in the tourist visa exemption list, they are advised to confirm the return airline tickets within 30 days, both arrival in and departure to Thailand.
If the duration of arrival in and departure to Thailand on your confirmed return airline tickets is more than 30 days even though you plan to stay in Thailand not more than 30 days, you need to apply for a tourist visa.
Please allow yourself at least 10 days before departure date to apply the tourist visa, in person or by mail, at your nearest Thai Embassy, Thai Consulates-General in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York or Honorary Consulates- General of Thailand.
How to Apply for Tourist Visa: The Ultimate Guide
Your actual Passport or Travel Document. (Passport or Travel Document must not expire within 6 months and contain at least ONE completely empty visa page).
One visa application form completely filled out.(You can download it on their site)
Two passport-size photographs (2″x2″) (photocopy or photo taken from Photostat will not be accepted). Photographs must have a light color background with a full- face view of the person without wearing a hat or dark glasses. Photos must be taken within 6 months.
A copy of round-trip ticket or itinerary
A copy of recent bank statement or evidence of adequate finance ($700 per person and $1,500 per family)
For non-US citizen, a copy of permanent resident alien card with employment verification or a copy of valid US visa with employment verification letter
For self-employed, business license or business registration indicating the applicant’s name.
For minor uder 20 years old, a birth certificate, copies of mother and father’s passports and Marriage Certificate if any, letter of consent from mother and father for the minor to travel abroad in case not accommany with the child. in case of sole custody, a copy of court order must be provided
Visa Processing Fee for applying Thai Visa
Submitting application by mail
USPS (US Postal Service) Express Mail: use only flat rate mailing envelope with $19.99 postage stamp (Metered stamps will not be accepted)