Thailand is one of the most frequently visited countries for Indians, especially because it allows us a Visa On Arrival facility that lets us be in the country for 15 days. However, the greatest limitation with this kind of a visa is the extension procedure. On the other hand, getting a Thailand Tourist Visa from your home country not only allows 30 days in the country, to begin with, it also enables you to extend it for another 30 days without much hassle.
My first visit to Thailand in 2015 was on a ‘Category D’ Visa which is mostly used for Volunteering and Educational Purposes. This type of visa allowed me to stay in the country for 90 days (on a volunteer project) and then apply for an extension as many times as I wanted from within Thailand.
Most of us Indians visit Thailand for holidays – solo travel, honeymoon, family vacation, and friends. With our high-paying, extremely-demanding corporate jobs, taking a holiday for more than the duration of a VOA is a far-fetched dream, but those of you who can do it, Thailand is way much more than the infamous streets of Pattaya and exorbitantly-priced beach resorts of Krabi. And, a month of vacationing in the country and exploring all that it has to offer is totally worth your time, efforts, and money.
What is the Thailand Tourist Visa (as opposed to Thailand Visa on Arrival)?
One of the major questions that often arises is the difference between the two Visa types and which one should you go for. Well, in simple words:
- Thailand VOA lets you stay for 15 days and Thailand Tourist Visa allows 30 days.
- VOA may be extended (for 7 days) while in Thailand but is complicated; Tourist Visa can be easily extended for another 30 days.
- VOA doesn’t need you to do anything from your country except for booking your flight; Tourist Visa needs to be applied at the nearest VFS/Visa center in your home country.
How to obtain a Thailand Tourist Visa?
With any kind of visa, there are a lot of paperwork involved. Thailand is no different, however, the number of documents required are really simple and easy to obtain. Thailand requires that you apply online for the visa, however, it is a great idea to first make a list of all the required documents so you can ensure that you have everything you need to successfully apply for the visa.
- Your passport with at least 6 months validity
- 2 recent photographs – check here for specifications.
- Confirmed Return Flights
- Confirmed Hotel Reservation
- Evidence of adequate finance – check here to get more details on this
- Printed and Signed Visa Application form – Fill it here.
Once you have secured all the necessary documents, visit the nearest visa center to get your documents verified. The process is fairly simple –
- You go to your visa office as early as it opens to avoid the crowd
- Bring all the documents – online visa application along with the barcode that is generated after you submit needs to be printed and signed and brought along
- Take a token and wait for your number to be called.
- Go to the assigned visa agent and hand over your documents and your passport for verification.
- Take the slip they hand over to you after submitting your documents and walk over to the payment counter to pay for your visa
- Once paid, bring the receipt back to the same visa agent and wait for them to give you a receipt along with a date and time and reference number so you can check the status of your visa online
- Go back home and keep checking this link crazily and frantically.
- Finally, when the status (and possibly a text message) shows that your “Passport is ready to be collected”, visit the visa center (check for passport collection timings of your visa office if the agent didn’t specify already) at the mentioned time and Voila! you are all set for an extended vacation in Thailand.
Hope this helps you with your visa process. Now, stop reading and start booking your tickets already!