Update August 2015:
Just a heads up for those planning to enter Thailand via Suvarnabhumi airport. Due to renovations at the airport there is no longer an ATM before immigration. As the visa on arrival fees must be paid only in Thai Baht you will need to carry some USD/EUR/INR/THB in cash. There are exchange counters before immigration where you can change your money into Thai baht. It’s advisable to exchange up to 1000 baht here because the exchanges after immigration or in the city offer much better rates!
So this year we’ve been going in and out of Thailand quite a few times! In this post I will describe how I obtained visas for Thailand twice in New Delhi and used the visa on arrival facility a third time.
Visa application in New Delhi
The Thai visa in New Delhi is to be applied for through VFS. The VFS office for the Thai visa is situated off Janpath Road near Connaught Place. I applied for a double entry visa wherein each stay is limited to 60 days. The documents that I submitted were:
- 2 Passport Size Photos
- 1 Visa Application form
- Confirmed airline tickets to Thailand and back (Indigo from New Delhi)
- Confirmed Hotel Stay via booking.com (can be cancelled later)
- Bank statement of 1 month showing over $500/month living expenses
- Rs. 4000 as you have to pay Rs. 2000 per entry + a little VFS fees (around Rs. 700)
When I reached the visa application center I had to take a token and wait for about 10 minutes. Make sure you go there at the time scheduled for individual applicants. The issue here is that agents apply for Thai visas en-mass on behalf of customers availing package tours so it’s best that you apply during the slot for individuals. The details of timings are available on the VFS Thailand Website (look for submission timings).
Once my turn came up, the lady at the counter looked through my documents. As my air tickets were spaced out over 3 months, she said that the visa only allows me to stay for 60 days at a stretch. So, I explained to her that I planned to visit Laos, Cambodia, etc. in the middle. She asked me to write a cover letter explaining this, that is, the fact that I would travel for a little while in Thailand, then go to Laos, Cambodia, etc. and subsequently return to Thailand. She gave me a pen and a piece of paper. I wrote the letter and signed it and she accepted my application.
After this was done, she said that the visa should be ready in 2 days. Basically, I was there on Monday and she said that I could come and pick up my passport on Wednesday.
Sure enough, on Wednesday afternoon after calling VFS to confirm that my passport was ready, I headed to the office and picked up my passport with my new double entry (60 days per stay) Thai visa!
The 2nd visa application in New Delhi
Since we tend to travel with open plans, I ended up using both my entries (first entry to Thailand from India and second when we returned from Cambodia to spend a month in Chiang Mai) and then we came to Delhi to surprise my mum for Diwali. So now, as we intended to go back to Thailand and stay for more than 15 days (Indians can get 15 day visas at the airports/land borders in Thailand) I had to apply for another visa.
This time since I just needed a single entry visa I went to the VFS office and applied with a similar set of documents minus the cover letter. It was pretty straightforward again, I applied on Monday and had the visa on Wednesday.
Visa on arrival
I had used visa on arrival in Thailand back in 2010 but here’s an update. So, after being in Thailand for another 15-20 days we decided to go on a trip through Vietnam. I will also publish details about my Vietnam visa experience.
So we visited Vietnam and then on our way back had a stopover in Bangkok for 2 days. We flew in from Hanoi to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. For what it’s worth, you can also get visa on arrival at Don Muaeng airport (DMK) as well as Chiang Mai Airport (CNX). Once I arrived in Suvarnabhumi, I had to fill up an arrival card, a visa application form, include details of my return air ticket (just a printout of my indigo e-ticket back to India in 2 days), provide one photograph, and pay 1000 Baht.
The process is pretty easy. Follow the signs for Visa on Arrival. You will see a desk where a few ladies will help you fill out your form. Have your hotel address handy as you have to fill in details of where you are staying. Attach a photo to the form. Then, you go through to a preliminary check. Here, someone will check all your documents and take 1000 Baht from you. Once he does this, he will issue a token to you. You move into an adjoining hall where once your token is called an immigration officer looks at everything once more and stamps your passport with your visa.
That’s all, go pick up your bags and enjoy!
I hope this post helps you get a good idea of how to apply for a Thai visa. Thailand is an amazing country to visit and one of the few that provides a hassle free visa on arrival to Indians. Definitely worth checking out!