Free Thailand Visa on Arrival through April 2019

Thailand remains one of the most popular destinations for luxury and budget travellers alike. Many people head to Thailand because of the ease of obtaining a Visa on Arrival, without any considerations. Last year, the Thai government decided to waive off the 2000 Thai Baht fee between November and January 2019, in order to boost tourism revenue.Free Thailand Visa

Between November 15, 2018, and January 13, 2019 tourists from 21 countries were exempt from paying the short term Thai Visa on Arrival (VOA) fee. The good news now is, that the Thai Government has extended the period when you can get a free Visa on Arrival between January 14 to April 30, 2019. The countries that can get the free VOA are:

  • Andora
  • Bulgaria
  • Bhutan
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan

These visas are available at 40 immigration checkpoints including international airports such as the ones in Bangkok and Phuket. You can stay in Thailand for a maximum of 15 Days with this Visa. Do note that the short-term VoA cannot be extended. Here is the official circular. Since you won’t be able to decode it, here is the Google Translation.

Getting a short stay Visa on Arrival in Thailand is a breeze. All you need is a return ticket, a recent 4×6 cm photograph, a proof of income. You fill in the VoA form, hand over the fee at the designated counter and you should get your Visa. I’ve done this before and the whole process for me took about 20 minutes.

Thailand continues to be a tourism powerhouse with over 35 million people visiting the country last year. Indian travellers formed a sizable chunk of this number with over 1.2 million Indians arriving in Thailand during the same period. With no-frills carriers like GoAir and IndiGo ramping up capacity and adding new routes, such as the Mumbai-Phuket one, that number should keep growing.

Bottomline

Thailand’s decision to waive off the Visa fee is a good move for tourists and the local tourism industry alike. If you are travelling to Thailand until April 2019, you can save quite a bit of money.

Will you be travelling to Thailand this summer because of the free Visa on Arrival?

Comments

  1. This is great news, thanks for sharing. Hope we see new routes to Thailand from Indian carriers.
    Do you know if there are any bilaterals with Thailand and how many seats Indian carriers are entitled to?

  2. VOA queues at BKK airport at horrible at times and take minimum of 30 mins and maximum upto 2 hours. However over the years I’ve found the following tricks.

    Trick # 1 – If you are reaching when a lot of flights from China, India, DXB, AUH arrive it’s better to pay 200 THB for fasttrack VOA (counters for which are towards the left of the regular VOA counters).

    Trick # 2 – try to be seated at the front rows, use the loo on the aircraft before you deplane and make a dash towards the VOA counters as soon as you land. Dont waste time filling up the VOA form. Get in the queue and then fill in your form.

  3. This is a mixed bag for me!
    After hearing horror stories of long queues for VOA, I decided to apply from the Mumbai embassy via VFS on 10th Jan! Now waiting to see if VFS refunds the money!

  4. I recently went there. They don’t ask for income proof. Just form with photo, and return ticket copy. It’s better to take the photo otherwise you will pay much more at airport to get clicked for photo

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