Thailand’s government has announced it will no longer automatically grant visa-on-arrival (VOA) services for citizens of 19 countries, although they are still able to apply. In addition, Thailand will also block visa exemption for three other countries, in an effort to protect both residents and visitors from the potential spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The countries or territories now required to apply for VOA online are as follows: Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu. The change in visa regulation means that citizens of these countries will need to organize a visa for entry to Thailand before they travel, by completing the online application form via www.immigration.go.th.
In addition to the above restrictions, the Thai government has announced it will also cancel visa exemption for travellers from three countries, namely South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong.
Citizens of any countries not mentioned above will be able to get a visa-on-arrival at any Thai immigration checkpoints, as per the normal procedure. All travellers are advised to check with their local Thai embassy prior to departure, to check they have the most current information.
According to the Thai Embassy website, The VOA allows passport holders of 19 countries to enter Thailand, provided that they meet these requirements:
• The visit is strictly for tourism purposes
• The passport must be valid for at least 30 days
• You must confirm an address for your stay, such as a hotel
• You will need a return ticket to show you are flying out of Thailand within 15 days of entry
• It will also be necessary to prove that you have funds of at least 10,000 THB per person and 20,000 THB per family during your stay in Thailand
• A fee of 2,000 THB is payable upon entry must be paid in cash and Thai currency only
Again, travellers who are not eligible for VOA are advised to obtain visas with the Royal Thai Embassy prior to their visit.