Thailand is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a popular tourist destination. It currently has its own visa policy, but the arrival of the ASEAN visa is set to change this.
This new visa will allow entry to not only Thailand, but the other ASEAN countries as well.
Learn how the new ASEAN visa will affect traveling to Thailand and how entry requirements will change.
Thailand Visa Policy
Thailand’s current visa policy varies country by country.
Travelers of certain nationalities can enter the country visa-free for a limited period, while a number of others can apply to receive a visa on arrival.
For example, visitors from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, South Korea, and Peru can stay for 90 days without a visa, while travelers from 57 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, and countries in the EU can stay for 30 days visa-free.
Citizens of the following countries can apply for a visa on arrival:
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
Nationals of countries that do not have agreements with Thailand for these options must apply for a Thai visa at an embassy.
Is Thailand Under ASEAN?
Thailand is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and will be part of the new ASEAN visa program.
When the ASEAN Visa launches, travelers from eligible countries will be able to apply for this instead of a visa just for Thailand.
The ASEAN Visa for Thailand
The ASEAN Visa is a planned visa that will allow travelers to visit all 10 of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries:
- The Philippines
Thailand and the other ASEAN countries are popular destinations. However, these 10 sovereign states currently have independent visa policies, meaning that travelers must apply for multiple visas to visit more than one Southeast Asian country.
With a shared visa policy to visit the whole bloc, individuals traveling to Thailand will also be able to go to one or more of its neighboring countries with one simple visa application process.
This move is expected to boost tourism to Thailand and the other ASEAN nations. It provides a particular advantage for long-distance visitors since these travelers often wish to visit more than one country after traveling so far.
How to Apply for the ASEAN Visa for Thailand
People who intend to visit Thailand will be able to apply online by completing a simple ASEAN visa application form, as long as they are nationals of eligible countries.
The application process is quick and simple. Applicants will have to submit basic personal information and travel details and answer questions regarding health and security.
Applicants should ensure that all details are accurate. Application forms that are not completed correctly could result in delays or in the visa being rejected.
Approval of the ASEAN visa will be sent by email. Once this is received, it should be printed so that the traveler can present it to border control officials upon arrival in Thailand or any other ASEAN member state they are visiting.
Requirements for the ASEAN Visa to Enter Thailand
For an application to be processed successfully, applicants must fulfill the requirements for the ASEAN visa for Thailand.
Basic requirements include:
- Having a valid passport in good condition, with at least 6 months’ validity
- An acceptable payment method (e.g. credit or debit card)
The ASEAN visa will only be available to nationals of certain countries. The full list of eligible nationalities has not yet been made public. This information will become available closer to the time when the ASEAN visa is launched.
Arriving in Thailand
International travelers can arrive in Thailand by land or by air. There are various international airports in the country, such as Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport and Phuket International Airport.
There are also 20 land border crossings from neighboring states:
- Malaysia (7 crossing points)
- Burma (4 crossing points)
- Laos (6 crossing points)
- Cambodia (6 crossing points)
When visitors arrive at Thailand immigration and customs, whether at an airport or at a land border, they must present:
- A valid passport (which will be valid for at least 6 months)
- Proof of travel arrangements to leave the country
- A valid visa
At the moment, the latter would be a Thailand visa, but in the near future, an ASEAN visa will be acceptable.