Thailand Visa rules have changed
All change, the single entry and the double entry visas have now been discontinued for Thailand; you now have a choice between the single entry and the Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV). Effective as from the 13th November 2015, The Royal Thai Embassy, London will grant two types of tourist visa to Thailand. Details as below:
Single entry tourist visa, Valid for 3 months, length of stay 60 days per trip
Multiple entries tourist visa, valid for 6 months, length of stay 60 days per trip
Digital Nomads wanting to stay in Thailand
For digital nomads that want to stay in Thailand this could be a real problem as they tend to do regular visa runs, unfortunately the Thai immigration are cutting down on back to back visa runs, and you might find a red stamp in your passport not allowing you entry into Thailand, due to back to back visa runs.
However as a digital nomad this should not be a problem as they are able to travel and spend a few months in different countries. So what about the digital nomads that have decided to stay and live in Thailand and only travel to other countries when needed to. I believe that this can be a real challenge for them, because if they want a Multi Entry tourist Visa, then they would have to go back to their home country to get it.
The single entry Thai tourist visa allows a visit to Thailand for up to 60 days, it is possible to extend this by a further 30 days by going to the immigration office within Thailand.
The METV is the most flexible and the better option, you will need to get this in your home country before travelling to Thailand unless you just want to stay in Thailand for 30 days in which case you are entitled to the 30 day tourist visa exemption, dependant on what country you come from.
If you arrive at a Thailand airport you will be allowed to stay for 30 days, for citizens of G7 countries, such as (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,) as well as Malaysia for 30 days while all other nationalities only entitled to 15 days.
When applying for your METV Make sure that you apply in good time before you travel to Thailand, but don’t apply to early otherwise you will waste some of your visa, as your visa is active when it is approved and not when you first enter Thailand.
Each visa is valid for up to 60 days and then you’re able to extend for another 30 days without having to leave the country. After 60 days you have the option to go to neighbouring countries such as Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Bali or Borneo.
New Rules for Visa on Arrival
Border runs have been cut short due to the very recent change in rules regarding overland entry by Thai immigration. Foreigners entering Thailand via border posts at Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Malaysia without securing a prior visa will now be granted only 15 days of stay in the country as opposed to the previous Visa on Arrival, which was valid for 30 days.
Tourists can now visit Thailand as often as they want, provided that they obtain 30 day Visa on Arrival at airports and 15 day Visa on Arrival if they are travelling via land borders. If you entered Thailand and received a 30 day stamp in your passport (this is called a 30 day visa exemption) – you can also extend a 60 day tourist visa by 30 days to a total of 90 days for the same fee – you can extend this stamp a further 30 days at any Thailand immigration centre for a fee
However, immigration officials still recommend getting visas prior to arrival in Thailand, as they remind visitors that back-to-back short visas are not the proper way to extend the stay in the country on a long-term basis.
Applying for the METV is unfortunately a bit more complicated as you will have to apply in your own home country and not in Thailand or in other South East Asian Countries (SEAC).
What this means for westerners is that they would have to leave Thailand and travel back home to obtain the METV. This would mean that if you’re from the UK like me then I would have to travel back to England to apply for the METV, and if you’re from America you would also have to travel back to America. So although the METV sound like a great idea, it clearly is not as easy as it seems, other restrictions apply also.
Other complications are that you have tom have a certain amount in your bank account every month for 6 months. Did you know that there has been a dramatic jump in the minimum amount that you need to have in your bank account for the METV. The sum is equivalent to 200,000 THB, in your bank account every month for 6 months, or equivalent in your home countries currency.