Thailand Visas come in 4 basic flavors: Tourist, Work, Retiree & Marriage.
For persons with a "Western Country Passport": A Tourist Entry Permit good for 30 days is provided at the airport with no previous paper work required ..
Tourists from Europe, US, Oz, .. NZ .. , to Thailand do not need a visa to stay in Thailand for 30 days .. automatically receive an Entry Permit good for 30 days.
= Tourists get off their plane & walk into Thailand .. smooth as silk .. then you hit the taxi que, have your hotel send a limo to avoid that line.
Longer than 30 day stays require a visa (tourist, non-immigrant, marriage, work) from a Thai Embassy in your home country.
VISA: An official Thai government document issued to a foreigner by the Thai government
A visa is a permit to reside in & travel inside Thailand
A visa is for a specifically designated period time with specific restrictions depending on the type of visa.
The visa, of what ever form, is attached / stapled to the persons passport upon clearing Thai immigration.
This "visa form" is physically removed when leaving Thailand. After paying the 500 Thb exit fee.
The permission to stay with dates is permanently stamped in a foreigners passport
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A 30 day Entry Permit is quickly / instantly provided to all persons with a North American, EU country or Australian passport + a round trip ticket .. if you arrive without a round trip ticket (= ticket out of Thailand within 30 days) the 30 day permit is not offered.
Thai Visa Rules for renewing the 30 day Entry Permit has changed again in November, 2008. details below .. these changes only effect long term, over 30 days, tourists.
If you plan on staying in Thailand for an extended get a proper Thai Visa from the Thai Royal Consulate in your home country. Thai Consulate in US Thai Consulate Australia Thai Consulate London (excellent instructions!)
We ALWAYS recommend you pay a little extra for a multi-entry visa. The multi-entry option costs extra (increased May 1, 2008) but will allow a weekend trip to Hong Kong or Singapore or Bali or home without any re-entry issues
November, 2008 : in the Thailand Entry Permit regulations. The changes below do not effect 'proper visas' .. only effect entry permit or 'visa on arrival'.
These November 2008 changes are know as: Order of Royal Thai Police No. 777/2551. A translation in full (non-official) is available from Issan Lawyers.
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To make a change to your visa, change a tourist visa to an education or work visa, you must leave Thailand & apply at a Thai Embassy.
Be sure you have all the documentation necessary before leaving Thailand to avoid the ever so common "I f..'d up" second visa run.
A visa service, listed in the Bangkok Post or The Nation classifieds, will make sure you have proper documentation for a few 100Thb.
As of late, summer 2008, the Thai Embassy in Singapore has been stringent in visa changes or multi-entry visas. Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur are currently the recommended Thai Embassies for hassle free visa extensions or changes. Guys working in Singapore are flying to Kuala Lumpur to extend their Thai visa.
Back to back tourist visas outside your home country can be problematic. In your home country, it is just as easy to get a 1 year multi entry tourist visa as as a 3 month single entry tourist visa .. or, save a few Thb on the front end & pay through the nose if you decide to stay longer .. or leave & return to Thailand.
The ability to speak even a few Thai words will make your life much easier Even a few basic Thai phrases will greatly increase your status with the Thai people. You will hear "Oh! .. You speak Thai" 20 times per day
Direct links to over 125 Thai hotels & apartments .. Bangkok Hotels with free WiFi Internet.
a 'Thai Legal Service' can make the process easier. Their fees start at 6500 Thb (100 EUs, $120. us) for a retirement or work visa.
Search "Thai visa" for a bunch of articles & web sites related to a " Thai Visa "
Links to Thailand hotels & booking agents .. rooms for $100 per month!
Thailand Newspapers in English
Road maps of Thailand