New Thailand eVisa on Arrival (eVOA) service was launched by the Immigration Bureau of Thailand in partnership with VFS Global on 14 February 2019. To our great disappointment, new eVisa service doesn't offer much more added value than the old E-Visa Thailand (E-VoA) does. Contrary, the new Thailand eVisa by VFS Global is even more expensive that the old one!
New Thailand eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service started operating since Valentine’s Day 2019. The new Thai eVisa service is offered in cooperation with VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.
New Thailand eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service is offered to travellers from 18 countries, eligible for obtaining Thai Visa on Arrival, including China and India. It is expected that the new online visa system will cut visa on arrival processing time at the airport to as little as one minute.
Travellers from Visa on Arrival eligible countries can receive their travel authorization from the Immigration Bureau of Thailand prior to their departure. Travel authorization can be issued online within 24 to 72 hours after the submission of Thailand eVisa on Arrival application. Express eVOA can also be issued within 24 hours for a crazy high additional service fee 2500 THB (Visa on Arrival fee is nor included!).
At the time of the arrival at the airport, travellers with prior travel authorization only need to present their passports and approved eVOA code to the officials at the specific counters of Immigration passport control and Visa on Arrival will be issued in just one minute.
Website of New Thailand eVisa on Arrival
Travellers from Visa on Arrival eligible countries can use the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival (eVOA) service on the website of VFS Global here: thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com
Application for Thailand Visa on Arrival on the new eVOA system is available from 30 days to at least 24 hours before arriving in Thailand.
Thai Airways and its subsidiaries are also planning to promote the eVOA service to their passengers by providing them the link to the website of New Thailand eVisa on Arrival on their websites and smartphone applications.
Countries Eligible for Thailand eVisa on Arrival
New Thailand eVisa on Arrival online system is available to the citizens of these countries:
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
There are plans to change the list of countries eligible for Visa on Arrival as some of the countries listed above will be given the right to enter Thailand visa-free and 4 new countries will change them. More information about planned changes can be found here: Thai Visa Policy Changes: New Thai Visa on Arrival & Thai Visa Free Countries Added.
Entry Ports of Thailand eVisa on Arrival
New Thailand eVisa on Arrival service currently is offered at the four main international airports of Thailand:
- Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) in Bangkok
- Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) in Bangkok
- Phuket International Airport (HKT) in Phuket
- Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) in Chiang Mai
The list of the airports where Thailand eVisa on Arrival service is available should be expanded later this year.
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Thailand eVisa on Arrival Application
As the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival application system was launched already, we were one of the first to test it. To our disappointment Thailand Visa on Arrival online application process isn't as fast and easy as it could be expected after all these promises of the Immigration Bureau of Thailand and VFS Global.
Thailand eVisa on Arrival application can be obtained by following these steps:
Visiting website thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com
You need to create an account on the website. It should be easy as only working email and password is needed for registering but it's not! Creating a suitable password can be quite a task!
For creating a password to your Thailand eVisa account you need not only to use upper case, lower case characters and numbers but special characters as well. And the special character must be from a list of 5 characters as password containing any other special character won't work. Even the extra secure password generated by most popular online password generator doesn't work because of this strange requirement. Yes, we understand the importance of strong password and data security but why only these 5 characters???
The exact requirement for your Thailand eVisa on Arrival account password sounds like that:
"Password must be minimum 8 and maximum 20 characters long. It should contain both upper case and lower case characters (a-z, A-Z). It should also contain numbers (0-9) and special characters (@,$,%,&,*)"
Filling Thailand Visa on Arrival online application form with your personal and travel details. We expected that the required information shouldn’t be different from the usual Thailand Visa on Arrival Form but it isn't.
Personal information you need to provide when applying for Thailand eVisa on Arrival:
- Given Name
- Date Of Birth
- Passport number
- Place Of Issue
- Passport Issue Date
- Passport Expiry Date
- Country of Residence
- State Or City
- Permanent Address
- Yearly Income - why VFS Global wants to know about your income is a mystery as normally you don't need to provide such an information on your Visa on Arrival form but would recommend to pretend being rich enough to avoid any misunderstandings
Travel information you need to provide when applying for Thailand eVisa on Arrival:
- Is this your first trip to Thailand?
- Type Of Flight
- Arrival Airport
- Arrival Date
- Arrival Time
- Arrival Airlines
- Arrival Flight Number
- Departure Date
- Departure Time
- Departure Airlines
- Departure Flight Number
- Purpose Of Visit - this is a tricky question, be sure to choose "Holiday" as any other choice will raise questions or will lead to rejection
- Length Of Stay
- Country Where You Boarded
- Next City/Port Of Disembarkation
- Is minor children travelling on the same passport
Uploading of all the necessary documents. When applying for Thailand eVisa on Arrival you will need digital copies of these documents:
- Passport Cover Page (.jpg file)
- Passport Bio Page (.jpg file)
- Photo (.jpg file)
- Arrival Flight Ticket (.pdf file)
- Departure Flight Ticket (.pdf file)
- Accommodation (.pdf file)
A good thing on this system is that they present the examples of documents they are asking for. There are convenient links to examples of passport cover pages, passport bio pages and detailed requirements for photos. However, why photo requirements are in Portuguese when all the application is in English?
The bad part here comes with the format and size of documents requested. Passport cover and bio pages and photo must be JPG and no other picture formats are accepted. The size of one file should be up to 1024 KB so in most cases you will need to reduce the photo size before uploading it. If resizing photo doesn't sound like a complicated task for you, let's go further.
Flight tickets and accommodation confirmation must be PDF and the file must be up to 100 KB. If flight tickets are often compressed enough to fit this requirement, hotel booking confirmations hardly does! We've just checked our 10 last hotel booking confirmations from Booking.com and Agoda and only one of them was small enough to be uploaded!
Of course, compressing PDF is possible but is not as easy as resizing photo file and the outcome size in many cases might still be too large. Check all your files and if they don't fit these crazy requirements, don't even waste your time and skip this eVOA system.
Providing Accommodation Details:
- Accommodation - type of accommodation
- Accommodation Name
- Sub District
- Street address
- Name and address of person(s) of reference in Thailand
It should be the easiest part, you will think. Good luck with breaking Thai system of districts and sub districts as both of these fields are mandatory!
Another tricky part is the name and address of person(s) of reference in Thailand. Normally they ask for these details only if you're staying at your friend/relative or have booked a local tour agency. But on this application form this field is mandatory.
Accepting Disclaimer - read it carefully before accepting as you might be surprised once something will be going wrong as VFS Global is not responsible for anything else except of taking your money and not refunding it in any case.
Full text of disclaimer that you should read before deciding on using this service or not (most important places are underlined).
"Applicant understands that once the E-VOA results are informed, the passenger must not change the date of arrival or the arrival airport. If they do, E-VOA will be considered void and another visa must be obtained again at the visa on arrival counter.
On the day of arrival, the passenger must present the same passport as used in the E-VOA application. Otherwise, E-VOA will be considered void and another visa must be obtained again at the visa on arrival counter.
Applicant should ensure that the passport used for the E-VOA application and presented on arrival is not damaged, else applicant may be denied entry.
Applicant must note that both visa fee and service fee once paid are non-refundable irrespective of the outcome of the visa result/decision or the time taken to process the same. Neither VFS Global nor Immigration Bureau of Thailand shall be liable for any claim whatsoever including but not limited to refund of visa and service fees, in any event/s of any kind including but not limited to especially where an application is not fulfilling the eligibility criteria as prescribed by Immigration Bureau of Thailand. The applicant specifically agrees to the same.
Applicant understands that in case of E-VOA approval, a printout of the approval must be presented to the airline prior to boarding the flight and at immigrations port of entry.
Applicant has checked all local regulations (country of origin) for re-entry e.g.: local country health regulations such as having yellow fever inoculations for reentry to be permitted
Applicant has taken the necessary measures for travel medical insurance or is willing to assume full responsibility for any inconveniences whatsoever.
If the stay is longer than 15 days, passengers need to contact the Immigration Bureau of Thailand to report the extension."
Paying the applicable Visa on Arrival fee which is normally 2000 THB (visa fee waiver until 30 April 2020) and additional eVisa service fee which is 600 THB for normal service and 2500 THB for express service.
Visa on Arrival fees will have to be paid online in advance using Mastercard, Visa and Union Pay credit or debit cards, or WeChat Pay and Alipay services.
HOT NEWS! Thailand Visa on Arrival fee waiver is EXTENDED for 6 more months! It means that Thailand Visa on Arrival will be issued for free until April 2020. For more information check: Thailand Visa on Arrival for Free until April 2020.
Once the payment is completed and the application is processed (within 24 to 72 hours after the payment is completed) the pre-approved eVOA code will be sent.
eVOA authorization code should be printed out as it’s the only document that you need to bring together with your passport (physical copies of documents such as photos, hotel booking confirmations and flight tickets are not needed).
Even if it was promised differently, travellers using the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival service will not need to go to Visa on Arrival section at the airport. There is a dedicated lane to eVisa holders where you need to queue up. Only passport and a print out of the authorization code should be presented here.
Thailand eVisa on Arrival Fee
Thailand Visa on Arrival fee is 2000 THB per person. However, the fee was recently waived until 30 April 2019, extended until 31 October 2019 and again extended until 30 April 2020 for tourists from 18 countries, including China and India.
Thailand eVisa on Arrival service fee is 600 THB for normal service and 2500 THB for express service. The total price of Thailand eVisa on Arrival will be as high as 2600 THB for normal service and 4500 THB for express service!
You can get it cheaper at E-Visa Thailand (E-VoA).
New eVisa System vs. Old eVisa Systems
As you might already know, there are currently 2 more services for Thailand Visa on Arrival online application.
Online Application Form
The first Thailand Visa on Arrival online application system was introduced few years ago by the Immigration Bureau of Thailand itself and it was used just for filling Visa on Arrival application online. The old system offered little value as it just made filling application form easier with no additional features such as online payments, uploading of documents, separate queues or anything else you would expect from modern online system. This service could be used at Suvarnabhumi Airport only.
Currently Thailand Visa on Arrival online system seems to be experiencing constant technical problems making it completely useless. It looks like the Immigration Bureau of Thailand gave up on this system and put zero effort for fixing it. However, they are still not shutting the hardly functioning system down for the confusion of thousands users who are trying to submit application and just can’t make it.
More information about the old Thailand Visa on Arrival online application system can be found here: Thailand Visa on Arrival Online.
Current e-Visa System
Just a couple of months ago, the Immigration Bureau of Thailand already proudly introduced one e-Visa system for Thai Visa on Arrival application online. The announcement was more or less the same like now – it will cut Thai Visa on Arrival processing time to as little as one minute, there will be separate counters, it will be available to 21 countries, etc.
However, the system failed to live up all the expectations as this Thailand e-Visa is still not available to the countries of European Union, system experiences technical problems from time to time, e-Visa service fee is high (not as high as on VFS Global system, though) and processing time usually is much longer than promised.
More information about Thailand e-Visa service launched in November 2018 can be found here: E-Visa Thailand (E-VoA).
As the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival will be launched by VFS Global, a company with a huge experience in providing visa services for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, our expectations were really high. Sadly, only one thing they managed to do better than others.
The only advantage of the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival system we have noticed is that all the Visa on Arrival eligible countries in European Union can use it. It means that the standard of personal data management is high enough as the laws related to usage of personal data are really strict in European Union. Huge fail of the older Thailand e-Visa system is solved.
Thailand eVisa on Arrival service fee was announced and it's even higher than service fee of the first E-Visa system - 600 THB! We were hoping that it can be much lower as the price tag of 525 THB already looked way too high just for a possibility to fill a form, upload documents and make online payment, but this system went even further.
Should you use the new Thailand eVisa on Arrival system? In most cases - NO!
If you're from one of 15 countries that can use the old E-VoA system, just stick with it as the service is cheaper and the system is much more convenient than the new one. Only the citizens of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Romania who can't use the old E-VoA system should consider using this online system.
Once Visa on Arrival fee exemption will be over, any of these Thailand Visa on Arrival online application systems will be at least twice as expensive as getting visa at the embassy/consulate is. If only it's possible, apply for Thai single-entry tourist visa in advance. Not only it will be cheaper but you will have much more flexibility with your travel plans as you will be able to enter Thailand on any day within 3 months and you will be able to stay in the Kingdom for up to 2 months.
Thailand E-Visa Application
Thailand E-Visa Application service giving an opportunity to apply for other types of Thailand visa online was recently launched. E-Visa service will make application for Thailand visa at Thai embassies and consulates much easier.
Thailand E-Visa application service is currently available for Chinese and for visa submission at the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing only. The service will be made available in Thai consulates in other Chinese cities soon. Thai embassies and consulates in other countries and cities around the world are expected to start using Thailand E-Visa application service over a three year period.
More information about application for Thai visa online can be found here: Thailand E-Visa Application: Apply for Thai Visa Online.
Check our Frequently Asked Questions about Thailand Visa on Arrival and ask your own question if it's not answered there yet.