Thailand: 60 day tourist visa

Saturday, 19 July 2014
Written by  Charles Rahm
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Last updated July 19, 2014

If you wish to stay longer than 30 days in Thailand you should apply for a 60 day tourist visa
.


You should do this for several reasons

  • You can't just book a return ticket with a return flight later than 29 days after your arrival. The airlines (or – more unlikely - the immigration officers) might notice that and refuse boarding (or immigration).

  • Don't be anxious to book a flight ticket with return or onward flight 59 days later! If you fulfil the formal criteria for a tourist visa you will get the visa (well, there isn't a guarantee of course). Just be polite and exactly follow the instructions.

  • You can get a tourist visa for Thailand in a Thai embassy or consulate in every country except Thailand itself. You don't have to return to your home country to apply for one.

Warning regarding visas in a row

If you have a new 60 day tourist visa in your passport and the last stay in Thailand was in the same year or one year before, the Thai authorities might not let you into the country. The exact criteria are unclear (as of now in July 2014) and depend on the immigration officer and how that person interprets the rules. Best is to arrive in Thailand by airport, as the immigration officers in airport are most professional and less likely to give you a hard time without a good reason.

60d-visum-thailand

 

To get a 60 day tourist visa you currently have to provide the following

(done in the Thai consulate in Zurich, Switzerland):

  • Passport valid longer than half a year after your return flight or onward flight.

  • Return flight ticket or single flight ticket with an onward ticket out of Thailand (printouts of the flight confirmations)

  • Two passport photos not older than six months

  • A filled-out visa form downloadable on most Thai consulate or Thai embassy web-pages.

  • Money for the visa fee (depends on the country you're in)

  • If you do it by mail: Money for returning your passport by mail plus a postpaid return envelope with your address written on it

  • Even if not asked for: Phone number where they can reach you in case of questions

Allow two weeks of time for the whole process. If you need it within 5 working days it's better to show up in person. If you need it even quicker ask for a more expensive express-service.

 

Tips for the 60 day tourist visa

  • The arrival day counts as the first day of your stay. This means, that you can only stay 59 days and not two full months. This is a common misunderstanding!

  • You can extend a 60 day visa a further 30 days in an immigration office in Thailand. But since you usually have to prove your flight back to the airline during check-in I actually don't know why that is of any use? It only works if you have a flexible ticket, where you can adjust the return date.

  • If you plan to travel for a longer time in South East Asia (no return flight booked) and your first country is Thailand book a single flight to Thailand and 59 days later a single flight (not a return flight – see below why) to another country. Otherwise you might have problems getting a visa or during check-in.

  • Some embassies or consulates might additionally ask for a valid address during your stay or for a proof of funds of 20'000 Baht per month. If you are asked for an address give them the address of the first hotel where you will stay. If you stay with Thai friends ask them to write a confirmation letter for you.

  • Not every consulate or embassy might ask for all the documents listed above. But if you can provide all this you are on the safe side.

 

Developments concerning globetrotters in Thailand

  • Thailand has been getting stricter with the visas recently. In Sydney, January 2011, I could still get a 60 day visa by just providing my passport, a filled form and a passport photo. 15 months later in Europe that was different. And from August 2014 they will again become stricter!
    To be fair I'd like to mention, that getting a Schengen (Europe) holiday visa for Thai people is also complicated.

  • It becomes more difficult to use Thailand as a travel hub. When I applied for my 60 day visa I booked a flight from Zurich to Bangkok and 59 days later a return flight Bangkok – Rangoon. The consulate staff told me, they can't grant me the visa, if I return to Thailand later again. So I additionally had to book a single flight from Rangoon to Kuala Lumpur to make it work.
    Use Kuala Lumpur or anywhere in Malaysia as a place to stay inbetween your travel trips to different countries. There are endless flight options to many places from there with Air Asia. As a plus Malaysia grants 90 day stays on arrival to most countries in Europe and also to Australia, Canada and the USA.
    Singapore is also suitable as a South East Asia hub, but more expensive obviously.

No more visa runs from August 2014 allowed !!!

  • A visa run means to just leave Thailand for a few hours or days and to return to get another 30 day stay in Thailand, if you arrive by plane or by land if you are citizen of a G7 country, or a 15 day stay, if you immigrate through a land border.

 

You want to stay in Thailand even longer? A one year education visa might be the right thing for you.

 

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12 comments

  • Comment Link Charles Rahm Monday, 03 November 2014 15:20 posted by Charles Rahm

    Dear Abby,
    You won't have problems to get the visa. But the immigration officer might ask questions.
    Be documented to prove, that you are a genuine tourist. Show a plan, what you want to visit, show some hotel bookings and have 20'000 Baht in cash or similar value of another currency with you to prove, you have sufficient funds.
    Then you should be fine.

  • Comment Link Charles Rahm Monday, 03 November 2014 15:17 posted by Charles Rahm

    Dear John,
    Sorry, that I'm too late for you, but I'll answer anyway. In my opinion you don't need any visa at all. You arrive by plane and will get 30 days with a so called visa on arrival. It's free, just go to the immigration after landing and show your passport. This is offered to citizens of EU countries plus USA, Canada, Australia, Russia and a few more countries.
    If you are a citizen of a G8 country you can enter by land the 2nd time and get anohter 30 days, again without a visa. If you are not from a G8 country, just enter Thailand the 2nd time by flight and you will also get 30 days on arrival.
    On http://www.thaivisa.com you can get more specific advise for free, but it's a forum there, so read the forum first before asking a question, that has been asked dozens of times already. :-)

  • Comment Link Abby Wednesday, 29 October 2014 12:07 posted by Abby

    We've taken a year out to travel and spend time in asia. We completely fell in love with thailand and are planning to come back after a month in Bali. We have had 3 60 day tr visas already for Thailand (motorbike accident and burst ear drum kept us immobile and had us bed bound for a month). After spending 1 month in Bali would we be able to apply for another 60 day tr visa or would it be best to carry on with our travels? Many Thanks

  • Comment Link John Friday, 17 October 2014 14:59 posted by John

    I need some advice. After speaking to the Thai embassy in London they have really confused me!
    I have booked a flight to Thailand for the 2nd of November, returning on the 1st of Feb next year, with the plan of spending 30 days in Thailand, the next 30 in Cambodia and finish up with another 30 days in Thailand. The Thai Embassy has advised that I get a 60 day single stay visa to use for my first 30 days and just get a free 30 day visa for when I come back from Cambodia. Will that work?

  • Comment Link Charles Rahm Saturday, 02 August 2014 12:38 posted by Charles Rahm

    Hello Scott,
    That's not how it works!
    A visa to enter a country can only be obtained outside of that country. That is the same for every country on Earth.

  • Comment Link Scott Wednesday, 30 July 2014 21:57 posted by Scott

    Are you able to get the 60day Thai Visa while you are in Thailand on your initial 30 day stay? And can this be done at the Consulate in Bangkok?

  • Comment Link Charles Rahm Tuesday, 22 July 2014 08:08 posted by Charles Rahm

    Dear Mehtap,
    No more visa runs, keep that in mind please.
    The 30 day visa exemption (technically not a visa) can be extended by seven days at an immigration centre for a fee of 1900 Baht.

  • Comment Link Mehtap Monday, 21 July 2014 10:33 posted by Mehtap

    Thank you for this post. My friend told me that I would be able to get a 60 day tourist visa at the airport so she is obviously wrong? If I get a 30 day tourist visa at the airport will I be able to extend this. One of my other friends used to work in Thailand and did visa runs every 2 months.

  • Comment Link Charles Rahm Sunday, 13 July 2014 15:59 posted by Charles Rahm

    Dear Luke,
    No, that is not possible. At the airport you can only get 30 days on arrival, if you are from a country, that qualifies for this.
    If you want to stay longer in Thailand you need to get a visa at an embassy or consulate of Thailand.

  • Comment Link Luke Friday, 11 July 2014 14:27 posted by Luke

    Is it possible to get a 60 day Thai visa at the airport when you land?
    Thanks, Luke.

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