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Tips When Applying for a Tourist Visa to Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are going to be discussing Thai Tourist Visas. We don’t really discuss Thai Tourist Visas a lot on this channel. Mostly I don‘t assist very much often with Thai tourist visas. There isn’t very much that a law firm or really much of anybody, a visa agent, whatever you want to call it, can really do to add very much value to a Thai Tourist Visas application. The adjudicating officer at a Thai Consulate or Embassy abroad is going to make determinations with respect to a Thai Tourist Visas on their own, and frankly the individual’s given factual circumstances will overwhelmingly determine whether or not a tourist visa should be issued.

What should you take away from this video? Well, Thai Tourist Visas applications, they are out there. There was a time when people were using them to live in Thailand effectively, and for that reason, they have gotten more difficult; especially in the past 2 or 3 years. The Thai Tourist Visas application system has changed somewhat. In the past, Thai tourist visas were generally issued in 60 days with a 30 day convertible option, so you could get 60 days coming in the door and then if you wanted to pay for a 30 day extension in Thailand, you could get it.  That scheme also brought about what was called the “Double-Triple Tourist Visa System” where you had an  initial tourist visa issued and then you could get a double or a triple and some Consulates abroad would actually issue three at once; they would just put three separate tourist visa stamps right in there.  That could be good for as much as 270 days of lawful status in the Kingdom in a given year. A few years ago, Thai Authorities did a massive overhaul of the entire immigration system. One of the things they overhauled was Thai tourist visas. Now by and large, there are only 2 types of visas you are going to see.  One is a Multi entry tourist visa and the other is a Single entry tourist visa. The Multi entry can, if used correctly result in 6 months of lawful presence here in the Kingdom. The Single entry tourist oftentimes is going to result in only the single entry which is 60 days plus the 30-day conversion; so basically 90 total days.

Tips on making ones application: Well, be able to show that you are going to leave. This is a problem for a lot of folks, who in my opinion probably don’t have the proper intentions with respect to Thai tourist visas. They can’t actually produce any particularly compelling evidence that they are going to leave the country. Compelling evidence may include a travel itinerary or booked tickets to leave the country on a given date. Things like hotel reservations may show when ones vacation is going to stop; things of this nature. It was discussed in the past and I think we discussed it on this channel rather at length, they were actually checking individuals entering Thailand on tourist visas. This was especially prevalent down at the Southern border. Folks were entering on tourist visas and they were requesting that they show THB 20,000 in cash.  The reason behind this was they wanted to see that they could support themselves for a presumed couple of months, and Bt20,000 was kind of, somewhat arbitrarily, but it was  kind of deemed the requisite amount to be able to live in Thailand for a couple of months. Well folks were having problems showing that kind of funding and in a lot of cases it was because they were working illegally on tourist visas and for that reason, the Thai Immigration apparatus was sending those people away; they were turning them away.

So be able to first of all, follow all the directions on an Embassy’s website that is the best piece of advice. Show up with passport photos obviously and then also other requisite documentation showing genuine tourist intent. Again best evidence: Booking of a flight that you are going to leave the country. That is a pretty good piece of evidence with respect to tourist intent. This is somewhat similar to Section 214(b) of the US Immigration Nationality Act. It is more of an ad-hoc adjudication, but the thinking or the logic is similar in that the Immigration Officials admitting the individual into the country want to see that that individual truly is a tourist; that they are going to leave and for that reason evidence in support of that is going to be the most helpful with respect to a tourist visa application.