Free Thailand Visa for India, China tourists & 18 other countries

Thailand is one of the countries which is a favourite travel destination for Indians, given the proximity to India. Now, a long time ago, it used to be cheap to get into Thailand, and visa was literally cheap as well. Visa on arrival costed 1000 Baht back in the day, equaling about INR 2000. Last year, in August, the country decided to double the price of the Visa on Arrival to 2000 Baht, a price I paid on my trip to Thailand last October.  At the same time, they killed the priority processing queue which used to cost 200 Thai Baht extra.

This new price was payable for visitors of 18 countries who could avail the VoA facility: Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Taiwan. Anyhow, it seems the move did not sit very well with the tourists, who may have passed along this country for another one at the moment.

The Free Visa offered through August 2017

So, Thailand has gone back to offering free visas now. Through August 31, 2017, one can get a free Thailand Tourist Visa if you are from one of the following countries: Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Essentially, the same countries who were being charged more earlier.

This Free Visa needs to be processed ahead of your visit to Thailand and can’t be on arrival. Having said that, if you want to get a visa on arrival, there is a drop of charges by 50% (back to 1000 Baht) during this period.

Here is a copy of the order:

services-20170302-103552-021434

Getting the Free Visa

To get the Free Visa issued, you need to be applying via a service provider to your nearest Thai Embassy. You need the following documents to get the Visa:

  • Confirmed return air ticket with trip itinerary
  • Original passport
  • Visa application form, duly filled and signed
  • 3 recent passport-size photographs
  • Cover letter
  • Proof of employment
  • Bank statements for the last 3 months reflecting a minimum balance of Rs 45,000, that has been attested by a bank official, or a photocopy of international credit card
  • Hotel confirmation letter mentioning the applicant’s name, number, full address and stay duration

You could get your Visa processed via one of the many online services such as Musafir, Yatra, Makemytrip etc or contact your local travel agent as well. The visa comes back processed within a week usually.

Bottomline

The visa comes back pretty quick, and so if you can be away from your passport for a week, you should make use of this free visa scheme, as it would save you at least 1 hour once you arrive in Thailand at the airport.

Have you used the new free-visa promotion for Thailand? How was your experience?

Comments

  1. So if somebody is traveling on September and gets his visa issued before 31st Aug, will the visa still be free?

  2. Its not actually free visa. I just checked on Thai embassy website and link provided there. normal tourist visa is free but need to be applied through CKGS (cox and kings group company). and they charge 2000 rs. as service charges, so effectively you pay 2000 in Indian currency instead of paying in THB at Thailand entry point. If you can manage visa at mumbai/india, only plus point is you can avoid long Qs for VoA at bangkok airport.
    bottomline is its not free.

    • @chaitanya, not true. You can go to any TA. For example, Thomas Cook will charge you INR 300 for this, not INR 2000. So you save a lot of money there.

  3. I paid 1000 bahts twice in January and June during my trip and not 2000 ever as mentioned by you above – Also the fast track service costed 200 bahts additionally and not 2000 – Guess can you double check they might have reverted to above charges long back?

    • @Ravin, a few months after experimenting with the 2000 they went back to the 1000 it seems. I am fixing the mistake on the 200 baht though. I guess the priority queue is still abolished.

  4. News from March being shared in June. Go back to sharing amazon affiliate links dude, atleast you’re on top of that!

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