The combination of low cost of living, great food, cheap beer, super friendly Thai people, western amenities, and expat community make Thailand an extremely attractive place for people looking to come to Thailand for a holiday or run their existing online businesses and start a new life in Thailand.
If you’re looking to come to Thailand for a short term trip, or if you’re a digital nomad and looking to make Thailand your home base, you’ll need to consider visa options for your stay.
After 2 trips to Thailand and hearing from other expats experiences I have discovered that there are numerous options for visas depending on how long you want to stay.
The 30 day Visa on arrival
The simplest Visa of all, just fly in from your own country and you will get a 30 day Visa on arrival absolutely free. The best option for those wanting to stay for a short holiday.
60-Day Single Entry Tourist Visa
If you want to spend 1-2 months in Thailand before traveling on to another destination, a single entry tourist visa is a perfect option. You can apply at any Thai embassy or consulate around the world, not just one in your home country. The exact cost will vary depending on the currency used for payment but it should not exceed $50 USD.
6-Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa
This is a relatively new visa option for western based travelers and it affords the most flexibility of all three options. This visa must be applied for in your home country, which means you won’t be able to acquire one if you are already on the road. Once you have one of these visas in your passport, you will be able to come and go from Thailand as much as you please over a 6 month period and you are granted 60 days per individual entry.
30-Day Visa Extension
1900 THB ($50-60 USD)
Any of the three visa options listed above can be extended for 30 days once you are already on the ground in Thailand! This does include the 30-day visa exemption. The steps are simple.
1. Go to the immigration office nearest you
2. Bring your passport with current visa and two passport photos
3. Fill out the necessary forms at the immigration office
4. Pay 1900 THB
And now the best of all…
The Education Visa
If you’re looking to stay in Thailand on a long term basis the Education Visa could be the best option. It’s rather simple, it can be applied for from your own country, or once you get to Thailand you can go to one of the many language schools around Thailand which will organize the Visa for you.
So here’s the deal – you will be studying the Thai language which is a good idea if you want to stay long term. I found a language school in Patong where the classes run for 2 hours a day, 2 times per week. The best part is the Visa is valid for 1 year and there are no border runs required. I have heard many accounts of border runs being quite stressful because there are never any 100% guarantees that you will be allowed back into the country, and to be honest it sounds like getting your balls jammed in a car door would be a less painful option. And the best thing of all, the ED Visa can be renewed every year for up to 10 years. The cost is approximately 25,000 baht per year (depending on the school). Here’s some more info from a school in Patong (there are an absolute shit ton of schools in Thailand which can organize the EDU Visa for you) – http://www.thegeniuslanguageschool.net
Here’s a great video from Jonny about what’s involved in applying for the Education Visa….
Thanks to Nick Danforth for Visa info – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPfPKYrIN1HxkhvNQdbZxcA