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Thai Visa 101 – Understanding Thailand’s Most Common Visas: Entry Visa, Tourist Visa, and Non Immigrant Visa

I was sitting at the Thai Immigration Office the other day and witnessed a common occurrence, tourists not understanding the different types of visas in Thailand.

After 5 minutes of watching the tourists completely confused, I stepped in and explained the different types of visas in about a minute.

So here it is, the simple guide to understanding the three most common types of visas in Thailand: Entry Visa, Tourist Visa, and Non-Immigrant Visa.

Visa Type 1- Thailand Entry Visa

Just by entering the country of Thailand, you receive a visa on arrival.  Depending on “how” you enter the country, this visa will either be 14 or 30 days.

*You will receive a 30 day visa if you enter by airplane from another country.

*You will receive a 14 day visa if you enter by land from another country.  This includes: bus, boat, or train.

Both visa options are free of charge.

Visa Type 2- Thailand Tourist Visa

A Tourist Visa is a 90 day visa.  You get 60 days when entering Thailand if you have this visa, then you can extend it 30 days at the local Immigration Office in Thailand.

If you are visiting Thailand and “might” stay longer than 30 days, get this visa in your home country.  This will save you from having to deal with the possibility of an unnecessary visa run.

You can only get a Tourist Visa outside the country of Thailand.  If the country has a Thai Embassy or Thai Consulate, you can get it there.

If you are already in Asia, you can get the Tourist Visa in most of the neighboring countries like: Malaysia, Lao, Singapore, etc…  It will usually take about 2 days to get.

When applying, you will need an application completely filled out, two passport sized photos, and the fee is normally around 1,900 baht.

When the 60 days of this Visa are about to expire, you can extend it for another 30 days.  This will cost you 1,800 baht.  Go to the local Immigration Office in Thailand to do this.

Note: In some countries such as Laos, you can get a Multi Entry Tourist Visa.  This is like having two Tourist Visas in one.  After 60 days, you leave Thailand to do a border run.  Then you get another 60 day stamp upon return to Thailand.  Note, this visa can only be extended once, so it is often considered a five month visa.  The cost is around 2,000 baht.

Visa Type 3- Thailand Non Immigrant Type O Visa

*As of 2012, you can no longer attain a Non Immigrant Type O Visa unless you are married to a Thai woman or get a retirement Visa for Thailand.

The Non Immigrant Type O Visa is valid for one year once it is used.  Every 90 days you have to leave the country or do a border run.  Then when you return to Thailand, you get another 90 day stamp.  You can leave the country as many times as needed within the year that this visa is valid.  Note, if you get the last 90 day stamp right before the year expires, the Non Immigrant Type O Visa can last nearly 15 months.

Overstay Visa Fees

Each day you stay past the expiration of your visa, you will be charged 500 baht for a maximum of 20,000 baht.

A couple years ago I forgot when my visa expired and had to pay 7,000 baht in overstay fees.  In most situations you simply pay, and that is the end of it.  However, I have heard stories where people frequently abuse this by overstaying a year at a time and find they are banned from ever entering Thailand again.  However, these types of situations are rare.

To Recap

1– Enter Thailand by Land and you will receive a 14 day Visa for free

2– Enter Thailand by Air and you will receive a 30 day Visa for free

3– If you are going to be in Thailand for longer than 30 days, get a Tourist Visa before coming to Thailand.

4– You can extend any Visa 7 days while in Thailand for 1,900 baht.

5– Overstay fee in Thailand is 500 baht per day.

Posted on Gods of Thailand February 12, 2011 in


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  • Randy says:

    1st of all thanks for your site. It has been very helpful. I met a Thai lady here in the states visiting her friends here. We have both lost our spouses a few years back and got a surprise (for the both of us ) meeting and seem to have hit it off well. She actually wants me to move there not her here . Which I am all up for. I just want to know if we marry will I have to go through this Visa stuff to stay there. Thanks for your help Randy

  • Alex says:

    I’m from the U.S. I’m planning to obtain a Thai Tourist Visa (60 days + 30 extension). I only purchased a 1-way ticket to BKK. Before the Visa expires I will go to another country in Asia, but I’m not sure where yet….and I was hoping not to need to decide until much closer to that time.

    Will I need to buy a plane ticket exiting Thailand before I can get my visa and/or before I arrive in Thailand?

    The website for the Thai embassy in the U.S. says you need:
    “A copy of round-trip ticket or itinerary”

    The website for the embassy of the country that I’m currently in says you need:
    (iii) A confirmed return air ticket endorsed by the travel agency

    (iv) A confirmed hotel reservation endorsed by the travel agency

    So, I’m confused about what kind of proof I will need to prove that I will leave Thailand before 90 days is over. Please advise. Thanks.

    • For the last 5 years, I’ve ONLY flown into Thailand using a one way ticket. Never once have I been checked for a return ticket.

      However, if you want to be on the safe side. Create a fake ticket on Select “Pay at counter” as method of payment. Printscreen the confirmation page a then edit out anything that says payment hasn’t been made. Print the ticket and have it with you just in case.


  • John Garrett says:

    Hi Seven
    Im from the UK and I have just got a non-Immigration O Visa
    cost £125 just to let you no OK John

  • fateh says:

    i am only going to bangkok for 5 days , do i need a tourist visa or just a entry visa will do ?

  • philip says:

    is passed a bit of time from when you publised this… i just wanted to ask you if the fee for every day more than your visa is still 500 bath,
    because i have a flight just 2 days after the finish of my visa (and because i’m italian i can’t buy a longer visa), so is a lot less expensive just pay 1000 bath than more than 100$…


  • dan says:

    Not sure whether you’ll see this since the post is quite old, but here it goes:

    I suppose a Muay Thai camp should be able to provide me with the necessary paperwork for an education Visa?

    I’ve been thinking about spending about six months based in a Muay Thai camp in Khao Lak, doing about 20 days training in the camp per month, 4-6 days of diving (I’m a big scuba diving addict….) and the rest checking out different places around, partying a couple nights per month.

    I really need to work this out cause every day that passes, I want to do it more and more….

    • Hey Dan,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I have heard of Muay Thai schools that can arrange an education visa for you. Had a friend do it with a camp in Phuket and another friend do it in Chiang Mai.

      I don’t know the details, but contact the schools first and see if this can still be done. (Most the time you do this in your home country and then “school” will send you all the paperwork after payment is made. Then you take the paperwork to your Thai Embassy / Consulate to get your Visa.)

      Hope this helps. And if you do give it a try, let me know how it goes.


  • Richard says:

    Holy shit Sam, you could write a damn book with all your questions. I think you need a friend that’s been there to talk to or Skype. littering these articles with terrible English just pisses people off, goodluck with your trip and don’t worry so much about your vacation! It’s a vacation! Enjoy yourself 😉

  • Rich says:

    One more quick question please..

    My original plan was to be gone from the US for about 6 weeks. Flying into Bangkok and flying out of Bangkok. Somewhere in those 6 weeks I am going to fly R/T to Hong Kong and stay for about a week. Will leaving Thailand like that while I have a 60 day tourist visa be a problem?

    Please excuse the ignorance.. I have only been to Canada and Mexico, and both of those places are easy traveling.

    Thanks again.

  • Rich says:


    In regards to a tourist visa, are you still required to show that you have $1000 in your bank account, or has that gone up?

    I have about $1800 or so in my account right now, and I just want to make sure I am going to be cool if I get a statement with that amount. You know how somethings change overtime.

    thanks man.

  • Sam says:

    ok. thanks for ur advice.
    i just thought it was better if i already know from start if the girl will go with me to the hotel or not or if she have her period that time or not.

    because all the girls who replies me are willing to meet me.
    its only when it comes about asking them if they will stay with me in hotel some will say yes and some will say no.
    and if i ask about the period some girls will say they dont know when, some girls will tell me and some will not tell me.

    maybe i will try it in your way, because almost all the girls under 22 years say no to stay with me in hotel.
    they will say yes to meet as friends. but they will say no to hotel.
    so now most of the girls under 22 or under 23 dont like to meet or only like to meet as friends.
    maybe better i set up some new dates, because those girls already know now that i want them to go with me to hotel so they will be aware even if they accept to meet me in person.

    but time is running, im already going to thailand after 2 weeks.

    but i have already many girls in bangkok who like to meet and who also want to stay with me in hotel and who also told me when their period is.
    but most of them are over 23 years old or between 26 and 31 years old.
    i just turned 31 years old last month, so i dont see a problem meeting girls who is 20 years old.
    so maybe i should try to make new dates.
    i have like 10-20 girls who like to meet me in bangkok.
    i found it easy to chat with girls from bangkok, but i didnt find so many chatmates from chiang mai, pattaya, hua hin, phuket and koh samui.
    maybe there are more girls on the dating site from bangkok than the other places. and maybe also i just keep writing to the girls from bangkok and didnt notice that i write to so many from bangkok and not so many from the other places that im also going to visit.

    im sure if i have internet connection when im in thailand i can even set up a date same day if i tell a girl im in her city and ask her to meet.

    does all hotels have wifi?
    i read some hotels u have to pay for internet in thailand? or thats not the wifi? thats the faster connection?

    so i just have to think if i will take the almost 100 % chance and meet the girls who i already know are willing to stay with me in hotel in bangkok but who is 26-31 years old, there is also few around 23 years old but just normal looking.
    or if i will set up new dates with more young and even better looking, but with the chance that the girl might not go with me to the hotel.

    about inviting them for drinks or playing pool.
    what places to go?
    or there is many places to choose?
    and i think drinks there is not expensive?
    maybe just invite for beer or some cheap drinks?

    and u say i can invite for wine in hotel? but i guess wine is expensive?
    u buy the wine in the hotel?
    or u buy it from outside?
    or is it just something u say so she will go with u to the hotel?

    and what time u will usually meet them?

    i guess if they are 18-20 years old then they dont want to meet too late?

    and the few girls who are around 18-19 years old i write with they are studying, so maybe they dont like to go out too late or want to go home and sleep at their home so they can go to school next day.

    is it better i write with new girls from 18-23 than the one im writing with now?
    start from new.

    because i guess the girls now already know that i want them to go with me to the hotel, so they will be more aware of what will happen after i meet them.

    for wifi and for my use in thailand is it best to bring a small netbook computer? or a smartphone?

    i was thinking about a netbook and then bring my digital camera with me and load the pictures on it when im back in hotel after being out in day time and taking pictures. and then sit in front of netbook and use it for booking hotels online, and also for chatting and set up dates.

    but i think i will drop the netbook and just buy a samsung galaxy s2 phone for taking pictures and videos and same time use it for wifi internet.

    or what u think?

  • Sam says:

    And another thing also.
    i read on a post before of u that u mostly meet girls who are between 18 years old and 23 years old.
    but what i have experienced when i chat with girls from 18-22 or 18-23 then they dont like to stay in hotel and they dont like to have sex, just friends only.
    they might say yes to meet but outside as friends.

    its mostly girls from 22 or 23 years old or older who likes to meet me.

    so what do u do?

    u always act like u just want to meet for a drink or walk outside?
    and then how do u make them go with u to the hotel after that if u meet them outside? or what do u say to make them go with u to hotel or your place?

    what if they say no, they dont want to go with u to the hotel?

    u meet them early day or early evening so if they dont like then u set up a new date with another girl?
    or what do u do?

    and do u do like me sometimes and ask them already before u meet them if they want to stay with u in your hotel or ur place? and did u ever ask them before u meet if they have their period/menstruation?
    or is it better not to ask those things before meeting?

    • Hey Sam,

      When meeting girls online, never ask them to meet you at your hotel first. This will work only about one out of ten times.

      Ask her to dinner, go play some pool, or to chat at Starbucks as friends. When meeting them online, your goal is simple, meet her in person. Then after you meet her, make the transition to your home with watching a movie, having some wine, etc…

      In the day, this may not always work. But if you take her out for drinks at night, this will almost always work. When you leave the club /bar, take her hand, and get in a taxi together. Then tell the taxi to go to your home. Don’t ask her where she wants to go. Simply assume she will be staying with you.

      P.S. Thai girls lie about having their periods 50% of the time. When this happens simply say, “That’s no problem, I don’t want to fuck. I just want to cuddle.” Then once you have her in your bed, almost all the work is done. And if it’s true she has her period, go for a nice blowjob.

  • Sam says:

    and another thing.
    is the girls in bangkok more easy?
    because i have several girls in bangkok willing to stay with me.
    but the other places like chiang mai, pattaya, phuket and koh samui not so many dates yet.

    or maybe its just that i have send more messages and contact to girls in bangkok.
    maybe i have to start writing less to new girls from bangkok and write to girls in the other places so i can make more dates there.

    but what is your experience?
    is the girls from bangkok more open minded and more willing to meet and spend the night with u?

  • Sam says:

    ok lets forget the visa for a while.
    i have another issue/problem i want ur advice on.

    Because when i go to philippines last year then most of the girls i could ask them on the internet or dating site first if they want to stay with me in hotel when i visit philippines and i could also ask when their period is.
    some of them will be upset or not want to meet because of those questions.
    but i could still find many who will answer me yes to stay with me in hotel and many who will tell me when their period/menstruation is.

    but when i ask thai girls the same, i feel more loose interest.
    of course i understand why they do.
    but how else i can be sure the girls who wants to meet that they will go with me to the hotel and have sex with me?

    because i read some of your other posts her that u invite them out for a drink and then bring them back home or to the hotel.

    i think its easy to make some dates to meet with outside or for a drink or something.

    but how can i be sure the girl i make a date/meeting with outside will go with me to the hotel and also have sex with me?

    maybe after the drink or meeting she will say she have to go home and she will not go with me?

    some girls on skype and dating site they said yes to go with me to hotel and said also told me when their period is.
    but then suddenly they will stop replying my messages.
    some because they are busy, but some of them because they didnt like it because they then know im after sex.

    but how else i can be sure that if i set up a date that the girl will spend the night with me if im going to meet her outside?

    because im starting to feel a little irritated about this because i dont want to end up spending the night alone some of the days im in thailand on my first vacation there.
    and i also dont want to end up spending too much money on bar girls and prostitutes.

    its already expensive to go there on vacation with airplane ticket and other expenses.

  • Sam says:

    Another question too.
    what if i stay in Chiang Mai?
    then it will be more near and more cheap to go to Laos or Myanmar (Burma) to renew my visa for Thailand?
    Then i can just take a bus or how?

    And how come when u are in bangkok u go to Laos?
    Is it not more near to go to Cambodia?

    • Yeah, if you stay in Chiang Mai, there are more convenient places to do a visa run. Personally, I’m not a big fan of C.M., so I never stay there long enough that I’ll be doing my visa run from there.

      I like Laos because the women are hot, everything is cheap, and Vang Viang is A LOT of fun if you enjoy the backpacker thing.

  • Sam says:

    Im a little confused about the Multi Entry Tourist Visa,
    u say After 60 days, you leave Thailand to do a border run.
    what is this border run?
    it means i after i leave Laos and go back to thailand then after 60 days i have to go back to Laos again for a day or 2 and then go back to Thailand again to get 60 more days?
    so i have to travel to Laso twice?
    or what is this Multi Entry Tourist Visa about?

    and what if i marry a Thai Woman how does the visa rules looks like?
    and is it something i should be aware off to marry a thai woman?
    are there rules i should be aware off that she might own my money or business if we are married?
    and what if it happens we get divorced?
    will she own my money and business or how is the rules there?

    and what if i make a business in Thailand what is the visa rules?
    is it still a 3 month tourist visa?
    or do i get another visa because i have a business there?

    and do u know how it is to make business in thailand, u know about the rules there if someone not from thailand will make business in thailand?

    • Hey Sam,

      Thanks for your message. Here are a few answers:

      Things have changed a lot with the visa requirements which makes getting some visas more difficult than others.

      – Tourist visa is: 60 days and then you can extend at the local immigration office and get another 30 days.

      – A border run is when you walk across the border and walk back. You will only be doing this if you have a more than one tourist visas in your passport or a longer stay visas like a Non-Imm Type O

      – If you marry a Thai woman, you can get a longer stay visa. I believe it is a year.

      – If you start a company in Thailand, you are eligible for a working visa in Thailand. No border runs will be required.

      Most foreigners living in Thailand do one of two things:
      1- Get a new tourist visa every 3 months

      2- Join a Thai Language school and receive a one year education visa.

  • kev says:

    so i get a 60day visa in the uk, extend for 30 days? then i go to laos for 2 days to get another 60days, go back to thailand and pay to extend another 30days. is there any limit to how many tourist visas they will con sequtively issue? you could live in thailand forever but just have to make a 3day round trip every 2-3 months. no real problem

  • Robert says:

    If you are able to get the type O visa is it true that you have to return to your home country to get another one? I have heard that you cannot do a visa run and get another Type O visa.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      To my knowledge, you can only receive the Type O Visa in your home country.

      However, a few months ago I attempted to renew my Type O Visa and was told that it is no longer available for travel purposes. You either need to be over 50 years old seeking to retire in Thailand or married to a Thai woman.

      You have two other routes:
      1- Sign up for a Thai language school and apply for the language visa. Once you have the paper work, you can get this education visa in any Thai embassy outside of Thailand. Attending the school is not needed.


      2- Get two tourist visas in your home country.

      Hope this helps,

  • Chris says:

    What if you want to stay longer than a year?
    Can you get another Non Immigrant Type O Visa ?

    • Starting in 2011, Thailand has made it much more difficult to receive a Type O Visa unless you are married to a Thai woman.

      If you don’t want to deal with tourist visas, get an education visa. You can receive this visa by joining a Thai language school. The school will cost between 20 – 30 thousand baht and will come with a one year visa where you don’t need to do a visa run every 3 months (like you need to do with a Type O visa).

      Of course if you don’t want to pay for the language school, you can always get multiple tourist visas and do a visa run every three months.

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