Traveling to Thailand is quite an exciting prospect. There are too many things to do and places to see to list here. Suffice it to say then that the country’s extensive catalog of attractions has been helping to bring tourists and adventure seekers in staggering numbers from all over the world for decades.
Those aforementioned staggering numbers (which reached heights of 39 million tourists in 2019) provided an enormous boost to the Thai economy. Before the pandemic shut down the border to international visitors, the tourism sector accounted for over 11 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Such high demand was an incredible strain on the travel officials tasked with processing the millions of visa applications that eager travelers applied for at embassies, consulates, and Thai borders across the planet.
For that reason, and to keep up with a world constantly shifting online, Thai officials decided to overhaul and update their visa distribution system across the board.
One feature of this new system is the Thailand visa on arrival online. While the name may almost sound oxymoronic, the thought behind goes a long way toward helping speed up the process for everyone.
The online visa on arrival for Thailand, also known as the eVOA, requires that interested parties holding passports from eligible countries fill out a simple application before they travel to Thailand.
To learn more about the Thailand eVOA requirements and about whether or not you are allowed to apply, read on.
Am I Eligible for a Thai Online Visa?
Not everyone is allowed to apply for a Thai eVOA. Travelers hoping to skip the long queues for a visa on arrival and apply digitally must meet certain requirements.
The most important of these requirements is that they hold a valid passport from one of 18 countries. Their passport must have been valid for at least 30 days before they intend to enter Thailand.
These countries are Bhutan, Georgia, Cyprus, Malta, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, India, China, Uzbekistan, Romania, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Fiji, Nauru, Kazakhstan, and Vanuatu.
If you do not hold a passport for one of these countries then you must seek out an alternative method of receiving permission to begin your Thai journey.
Thailand eVOA: What Else Do You Need to Know?
Before you can hop on a tuk-tuk and spin around Bangkok, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding the eVOA for Thailand.
The first is that you can only use a Thai visa on arrival at four Thai ports of entry. Anyone who is on an extended Southeast Asia trip must keep this in mind because they will not be allowed to enter Thailand from, say, a shared border with Vietnam.
The visa on arrival is only accepted in the Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), Phuket International Airport (HKT), Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), and Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX).
In addition to providing authorities with personal details and information during the application process, there are a few supporting documents that are specific to your time in Thailand.
The first document is proof of onward travel from Thailand. As the Thai eVOA is valid for up to thirty days, you must show proof of intention to leave Thailand before that time is up.
This can come in several forms. For example, you can show a plane ticket to your home country or a bus ticket to a neighboring ticket if you intend on turning your trip into an extended Southeast Asian adventure.
The second document is proof of funds. Thai authorities want to ensure that tourists have the financial means to pay for their food, accommodation, and travel while they are visiting. That is why each person who enters must prove they have at least 10,000 Thai baht in available funds.
I Am Not Eligible for a Thai eVOA, What Must I Do to Visit?
If you are a passport holder from a country that was not listed above, then you may be wondering what type of visa you need to enter Thailand.
Fortunately, the answer for many travelers is that they are not required to obtain permission to enter Thailand before arriving at their port of entry.
Depending on your passport, you will either be eligible for two-week, one-month, or three-month stays in Thailand.
Regional visitors such as those from Cambodia and Myanmar can enter visa-free for fourteen days. Passport holders from over fifty nations such as those comprising the European Union, UK nationals, and travelers from the United States or Canada can enter for thirty days.
Finally, Argentineans, Peruvians, Brazilians, South Koreans, and Chileans can enter Thailand for 90 days without a visa.
While there is no need for passport holders from these countries to apply for a visa, they are still subject to showing proof of funds for their time in Thailand. Additionally, they must prove that they will be leaving Thailand before their allotted time has expired.