Obtaining a visa for Thailand is relatively easy.

For tourists, there are now 3 types of visas:

  • 30-day free visa on arrival at an international airport. This can be extended for up to 7 days at an Immigration office within Thailand (for a fee depending on the number of days). If you arrive overland by car, bus, train, or by boat, the free visa should be for 30 days, but some smaller border posts still only issue 15-day visas.

  • 60-day tourist visa issued at a Thai embassy/consulate in your home country. The cost is Baht 1,000. This visa can be extended for 30 days at an Immigration office for Baht 1,900.

  • 6-month tourist visa issued at a Thai embassy/consulate in your home country. The cost is Baht 5,000. The traveler may leave and re-enter Thailand multiple times, but may not stay more than 60 days at a time.

Visa rules have changed recently. A traveler may not exit and re-enter Thailand on a free toursit visa. New visas will not be issued at border crossings.

For many travelers it makes sense in terms of time, effort, and cost to apply for a longer-term visa in your home country before you leave. The cost (around $70) is well worth it.


Overstaying your visa is not recommended. You will be charged Baht 500 per day for and overstay, and anything over a couple of days might result in problems for returning to Thailand in the future. (Computers remember information for a long time.)


The Immigration Office is Krabi is a new and comfortable facility near the Khlong Jilat Pier (boats to Phi Phi and Lanta). Travelers report that the staff is efficient and friendly if they are treated politely and with respect. They can get their back up with obnoxious and unreasonable visitors. Note that in Thailand, they are part of the national police department, so they have a lot of firepower.


Applying for a non-immigrant visa that allows for a longer stay, is more complicated, requiring documentation from a sponsoring Thai organization.


Working on a tourist visa is completely prohibited, and a work permit is needed to work under a non-immigrant visa. Retirement visas for people over 50 require a balance of 800,000 Baht in a Thai bank account (or other documents proving sufficient funds in a home country bank).

Thailand Elite offers a twenty-year visa (extended yearly) for Baht 2,000,000 (with an annual Baht 20,000 fee) and a 5-year membership for Baht 500,000. Elite membership comes with a range of special services.