Important Travel Document Information – Please Read – Visa Exemption Thailand
UK Nationals travelling to Thailand are not required to apply for a visa, however you may need a visa depending on the purpose of travel and period of stay. Following are the visa options available to travel to Thailand.
British nationals holding a full UK passport are exempted from a visa if your planned period of stay is up to 30 days.
This is valid if you reach Thailand by air or land. If you wish to extend your stay after arrival, you can do it once – the extension period being up to 30 days from the expiry date on your original visa.
Again, if you are using the visa exemption facility, then remember that you can enter for a total of three times within six months by air and two times a year for by overland crossing.
Your cumulative stay in six months (for air passengers) cannot be for 90 days from the date of first entry.
Therefore, if you are a frequent traveller and you need to enter-exit Thailand several times, it is better to apply for a multiple entry visa before making your travel plans.
For gaining entry via visa exemption, make sure to present the following documents at the point of entry:
- Proof of sufficient finances to cover your duration of stay in Thailand. This can be done via a traveller’s cheque or cash, equivalent to 20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family.
- Proof of onward travel (which can be either confirmed air, train, bus or boat tickets) that confirms that you are going to leave Thailand within 30 days from the arrival date. If you do not possess a return ticket to show immigration, you need to apply for a tourist visa before you travel. Please refer to our tourist visa section for the details.
Note: you cannot overstay the 30-day period if you enter Thailand under the visa exemption policy. If you do, you will need to pay a fine of 500 baht per day up to a maximum of 20,000 baht. You can also be detained or deported and worse, black-listed from re-entering Thailand.
Now, if you are planning to stay it Thailand for tourism purposes, for a period of more than 30 days per visit, you need to obtain a tourist visa prior to your arrival into the country.
If you are entering the country for purposes other than tourism you have to get a category-specific visa, such as a non-immigrant visa.
If you have a British passport or UK travel documents but you are a national of the countries listed below, you cannot enter Thailand on visa exemption.
You have to lodge an application for a Thai visa in person at the Royal Thai Embassy in London.
The countries are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen
If you own a residence status in the United Kingdom or Ireland, The Royal Thai Embassy in London shall issue you a visa, provided you have a passport from the above-mentioned nations.
Tourist visa can be used by British nationals planning to enter Thai borders only for tourism and medical treatment.
Tourist Visa Entry Types and Validity
A Single Entry Tourist Visa arrives with a validity of 3 months from the date of issue. You should enter Thailand within this validity period.
The maximum allowable stay is up to 60 days from the date of entry. Ensure to check this allowable limit so that you do not overstay your visa.
A Multiple Entry Tourist Visa arrives with a validity of 6 months from the date of issue and offer a stay period not exceeding 60 days per visit within the validity period. Remember to check the immigration stamp on the passport regarding the exact length of stay.
The business visa falls under the non-immigrant type B visa. You can apply for one if you are travelling to Thailand for business purposes, such as attending a conference, meeting, or exhibition.
It is available in single and multiple entry types. The single entry visa comes with a validity of 3 months and the multiple entry visa holds a validity of 1 year. Either visa type allows a maximum stay period of 90 days from the date of arrival.
A transit visa is required when you want to transit via Thailand to another country of destination or to re-enter your own country. This visa type allows entry up to four times and is valid for 90 days, with a maximum allowable stay of 30 days.
Other Types of Non-Immigrant Visa
Apart from the common types of visas above, the Thai Embassy also issues the following visa categories. The documentation requirements can vary for each type.
F: For conducting official duties.
B: For carrying out activities related to business, work, studying a teaching course, employment as an English teacher, film producer or sports coach, internship, short-term journalist or reporter, and non-curricular internship. We have only mentioned the requirements for a specific business visa in the section above this. Note that each of these categories come with their own specifications.
IM: Investing in concurrence of the concerned Thai Ministries and Government Departments.
IB: Investments or investment-related activities according to the established laws on investment promotion.
ED: Study, tours related to work-study or observation, to participation in projects or seminars, attending a conference or training course, and to train as a foreign Buddhist monk. This visa type also allows one to carry out missionary or religious activities if approved by the Thai Ministries or Government Departments. It additionally covers internship which forms a part of a curricular programme.
M: In order to work as a long-term film-producer, journalist or reporter.
D/F: For diplomatic officers who are posted overseas or are on official missions
RS: For conducting scientific research or undergoing training or teaching in a research institute.
EX: To perform skilled work or work as an expert or specialist.
O: For visiting family or friends in Thailand. It also offers provision for taking up a voluntary job, enjoying retirement, undergoing medical treatment, attending judicial process or working as a diplomats housekeeper
O-A: To allow foreigners aged above 50 years who wish to stay in Thailand for a long term without working.
O-X: To allow foreigners aged above 50 years who wish to stay in Thailand for a long term without working — provided they are residents of Japan, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada, and United States of America.
Extension of Stay
If you wish to extend your stay in Thailand beyond the permitted duration, you can apply at Office of Immigration Bureau. You can also apply here if you wish to change your visa type.
The decision solely depends on the immigration officer in charge.
When you plan to exit Thailand, at times, immigration officials may wish to check your proof for onward travel, which may include tickets to another country, your own country, or return tickets.
Please remember to keep these documents handy. At times boarding is declined if these documents are not present.
On the other hand, you may also be asked to present proof of adequate finances. Entry or exit may be denied if you fail to produce these.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
The government of Thailand accepts UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) during entry, airside transit and exit from the country.
If you decide to enter the borders via a UK ETD, you must consult with the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate prior to your travel dates in order to confirm if you need a visa.
A two-way ETD from Thailand is issued only when you can show proof that you own a non-immigrant visa.