Thailand visa can be obtained relatively easy. Do you need visa for entering Thailand if you are coming for tourism? It depends on the passport you hold and the length of your planned stay.
Types of Thai tourist visa that can be used to enter Thailand for tourism purposes are:
Thailand Immigration control procedure at the airport in Thailand is briefly described here: Thailand Immigration Control Procedure for Foreigners.
It doesn’t matter which type of Thailand Visa you are using for entering Thailand, you will need to submit dully filled Thailand Arrival Card together with your travel document. Learn how to fill it here: Thailand Arrival Card – How to Fill Arrival Card Form.
Free visa-exempt stay
If you hold a passport issued by one of the eligible countries and your passport is valid for at least six months, you are eligible for a free visa-exempt stay in Thailand. Allowed lengths of stay vary by country and the type of entry (by air or by land), so check the list of visa free countries to see exactly what you are eligible for.
Nationals entitled to a visa exemption (non ASEAN nations) are eligible to enter Thailand without visa through land border checkpoints only twice a calendar year. The entering through international airports is not affected by this regulation so if you are planning to enter Thailand more frequently – fly in or get a visa.
Visa on Arrival
If you are planning to stay in Thailand only for couple weeks and you hold a passport issued by one of 18 eligible countries, you can apply for a Visa on Arrival that is valid for 15 days. This visa can be applied for and received same-day at all international airports and most border crossings.
When applying for Visa on Arrival you need to have a passport, air ticket, photo, hotel booking voucher and enough cash in local currency to pay the fee (normally it's 2000 THB). Detailed information about this type of Thai tourist visa, the list of required documents and application procedure can be found here: Thai Visa on Arrival.
Single-Entry Tourist Visa
Single-Entry Tourist Visa is valid for entering Thailand once within 3 months from the date of application. The period of stay is 60 days maximum (starting from the day you enter Thailand). Single-Entry Tourist Visa can be applied for at any Thai embassy or consulate worldwide and costs around 40 USD / 30 EUR. It usually takes two business days to apply for and receive your visa but the length of the process varies depending on the embassy/consulate.
When applying for a Single-Entry Tourist Visa you need to have a passport valid for at least six months, photos, visa fee (cash or transfer), air ticket for flying out, address in Thailand and a proof that you have enough funds for your trip. Detailed information about this type of Thai tourist visa, the list of required documents and application procedure can be found here: Single-Entry Tourist Visa.
Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa
Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa is valid for entering Thailand within 6 months from the date of application. The period of stay is 60 days maximum per stay. You may enter Thailand again as long as the visa is still valid. Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa can only be applied for at Thai consulates and embassies within your home country and costs around 170 USD / 150 EUR.
When applying for a Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa you need to have a passport valid for at least six months, photos, visa fee (cash or transfer), air ticket for flying out and address in Thailand for the first visit, proof of bank balance and proof of employment. Detailed information about this type of Thai tourist visa, the list of required documents and application procedure can be found here: Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa.
Thailand Visa Photo Size
What photo size is required when applying for Thai visa? Required Thailand visa photo size depends on the type of Thai visa you are planning to apply for as visa application forms are different.
If you will be applying for Single-Entry Tourist Visa or Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa at one of Thai embassies or consulates worldwide, the required Thailand visa photo size will be 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm as it's the size that will fit to the Thailand Visa Form.
Tourists applying for Visa on Arrival at the airport or border crossing need to provide larger photos as Thailand visa photo size is 4.0 cm x 6.0 cm when applying for Visa on Arrival. As you can see on Thailand Visa on Arrival Form, the space for attaching the photo there is larger.
If you have an extension of stay but would like to travel outside Thailand for a short period then you will need to apply for a Re-Entry permit. You can apply for a Re-Entry permit at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok or at any Immigration office located in the provinces.
When applying for a Re-Entry permit you will need to submit passport with immigration (departure) card, the completed re-entry permit form, one passport photo, photocopies of passport pages (main page and latest entry stamp) and fee of 1,000 THB.
If you wish to stay longer than your period of stay, your free visa-exempt stay or tourist visa can be extended once at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok or at any Immigration office located in the provinces.
When applying for visa extension you will need to submit passport with immigration (departure) card, the completed visa extension form, one passport photo, photocopies of passport pages (photo page, current visa, immigration card) and fee of 1,900 THB.
Detailed information about Thai tourist visa extension can be found here: How to Extend Your Stay in Thailand.
If you overstay your visa, you will have to pay 500 THB per day at the border/airport.
Short periods of overstay is not a big problem when you get to a border crossing or airport and have the cash to pay the fine. But if you get caught by the police anywhere else, overstaying may result in punishment and deportation. Overstaying for more than a few months can result in a long-term travel ban to Thailand.
Thailand E-Visa Application
Thailand E-Visa Application service giving an opportunity to apply for Thai 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.
From 1 April 2019, visa applicants in the UK and Ireland will have to apply for Thailand visa online as well. 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 Entry Requirements and ask your own question if it's not answered there yet.