It has been almost 2 years since the coronavirus first spread around the world. We have had numerous lockdowns since early 2020. There are many talks about pent up travel demand, change in workplace trend to remote working, digital nomad etc. That’s why, for many people, a one-week vacation may no longer be enough. A longer vacation (lasting for a few weeks) might be a trend that we see right after travel resumes. In this article, we will be exploring Thailand tourist visa options that would allow visitors, remote workers and digital nomads to stay in Thailand for 2-3 months.
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Thailand tourist visa
First of all, we need to start by acknowledging that the visa situation and treatment may vary depending on the type of passport you are holding. For example, Thailand has a visa exemption scheme with over 50+ countries. However, this would only allow visitors to stay in Thailand for no more than 30 days. The exemption is now extended to 45 days until 30 September 2021 due to Coronavirus restriction.
For a longer stay, visitors would need a Thailand tourist visa. This would allow them to stay in Thailand up to 60 days, with 1 possible extension of another 30 days once the visitor is already in Thailand. This will make a total trip duration of 90 days.
Visa process and requirement tend to vary to some extent from one country to another. You can check your local consulate/embassy or the official Thai e-visa portal ahead of your journey. Note that you can only obtain a tourist visa before flying to Thailand, and it is different from both visa exemption and visa on arrival.
60 days tourist visa extension in Thailand
The 60 days tourist visa extension in Thailand will allow visitors with tourist visas to extend their stay by another 30 days. This will make a total duration of stay 90 days.
The process to get a visa extension is quite straightforward. First, the visitors need to locate the nearest immigration office among 80+ offices spread across Thailand. Then, ahead of the visit, they need to check and prepare the required documents. For most, this includes a TM7 form, copy of passport, photo, and application fee (THB 1,900). A normal tourist visa can only be extended once.
90 days special tourist visa
Since the spread of coronavirus, Thailand has also launched a special tourist visa which will give visitors an upfront 90-day visa. This visa type was launched in September 2020 and will only be available until September 2021. This special Thailand tourist visa allows a single entry and 90-day stay, which can be extended twice for up to 90 days each extension.
The special tourist visa comes with higher requirements, such as proof of accommodation throughout the intended stay in Thailand. For example, you will need to provide 90-days worth of hotel booking or a 3-months long lease contract).
Visa on arrival and other things to watch out for
There is a difference between a tourist visa and a visa on arrival. Visas on arrival usually only allow you to stay up to 15 days, and you will need to show a flight out of Thailand within that period. Visitors who wish to stay 31 days+ in should apply for a tourist visa or special tourist visa before flying.
Flight booking is another topic that official websites don’t cover. If you obtained a tourist visa that allows a 60-day stay in Thailand, then it is advisable that you book a return ticket that shows you are leaving within 60 days. Once you have extended your visa, then you can change your ticket accordingly. This is to avoid any issue with your airline or immigration officer.
Are you a digital nomad or remote worker looking for an extended stay? You will most likely not have to worry about tax if you are only staying 90 days under a tourist visa. However, if you are staying longer than 6 months (possible under STV), then you should be mindful of any potential tax implications. We cover this topic more extensively in our other article.
Thailand visas for your extended stay in Thailand
Thailand tourist visa is relatively easy to obtain and it allows you to stay up to 90 days in the country. Extensions are possible, which will allow you to stay even longer in Thailand!
If you are flying from the west, the cost of living in Thailand would be appealing to enjoy an extended stay. There are so many places in Thailand that you might want to explore as well! However, to ensure your trip is smooth, make sure to pick the right type of visa for your stay to avoid any trouble from the immigration office.
Check out our other articles on Thailand!