If you’re heading to Thailand with a British passport, you’re in luck. British passport holders can stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa. So, you can have a lovely month-long holiday without even having to think about boring things like visas!
However, if you are lucky enough to be heading out there for longer, the rules for visa-less travel have just changed. Make sure you’re clued up on these changes before you fly to avoid any worries and get your trip of a lifetime off to a stress-free start.
For years, savvy British travellers have been exploiting the 30 day visa exemption. You could live up your 30 days in Thailand visa free, cross the border to Cambodia, Malaysia or one of the other neighbouring countries for a few days then re-enter Thailand for another visa-less month – and you could do this as many times as you wanted.
Now, tourists can only enter Thailand by land twice per calendar year without having a visa. This government action will cut down the rule bending but also means that if you fancy staying much longer – and who wouldn’t? – you will have to apply for a Thailand visa. This change doesn’t apply to air travel so you jetsetters can still fly back and forth freely.
Before you arrive
Be sure to check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the day you arrive in Thailand to avoid any complications. You will also have to make sure your passport is in good condition with no damage or missing pages – you can be refused entry so take good care of this crucial document.
If anything has happened to your passport and you’re travelling on a UK Emergency Travel Document you can enter, transit between flights, and exit Thailand but you may need a visa so remember to check with the Thai Embassy or Consulate before you travel.
When you land, you may be asked to show proof of onward travel. This could be anything that shows you’re leaving the country within the 30-day boundary. Some airlines might even stop you boarding if you fail to provide this evidence so it’s definitely worth printing off travel plans to show you’re leaving the country within the given limit.
Travellers on tourist visas can’t get a job in Thailand so if you’re planning on making a bit of extra cash over there you will have to apply for a work permit. These permits can be hard to get but worthwhile because lack of one can lead to arrest and deportation – better to be safe than sorry!
How do I get a Thailand visa?
The Thai Embassy or Consulate will be able to provide you with everything you need to apply for a visa from application forms to specialist information. Be careful not to purchase visas through any unofficial website or shop as they may be illegal.
Once you experience the little piece of paradise that is Thailand, we can definitely understand why you might never want to leave. But overstaying your visa can lead to fines of up to £450 a day and you will also be banned from ever re-entering the country so if you want to come back, we recommend you follow the rules and look forward to your next Thai adventure.