Thailand is often right at the top of most holidaymakers’ wish lists, but just like any other country, it’s important to know the legalities around entering Thailand from another country. So, do Australians need a visa to visit Thailand?
At Crown Currency Exchange, we’ve put together this ultimate guide to take the confusion out of this burning question. Below, you’ll find whether you need a visa, what type of visa you might need, and more.
Do Australian Citizens Need a Visa for Thailand?
As Australia and Thailand have a very strong diplomatic relationship, Australian citizens are on the “visa exempt list”, which essentially means you can visit Thailand without having to apply for a visa. However, there is a time limit in place, and you may only stay in Thailand for a maximum of 30 days without a visa.
Those who wish to stay in Thailand for longer than the 30-day no-visa rule allows will need to apply for an extension or another type of visa altogether.
What Type of Visa Do I Need for Thailand?
The type of visa you’ll need to apply for if you need to stay in Thailand longer than 30 days will depend on two things: the length of time you need and the purpose of your visit. Here’s some more information on available visas for an Australian citizen:
Tourist Visa and Special Tourist Visa (STV)
Applying for a tourist visa will allow you to remain in Thailand for up to 60 days, and this can also be extended for an extra 30 days. This is the type of visa you should apply for if you plan to visit for tourist purposes and don’t feel as though 30 days is long enough.
You can also apply for a Special Tourist Visa (STV) if you’re planning to visit for tourist purposes for a period of up to 90 days. This type of visa can also be extended to allow for two additional 90-day extensions, but you’ll need to visit the local immigration office to do this.
Thai Elite Visa
The Thai Elite Visa is best suited to Australians who are planning to visit Thailand regularly throughout the year or want to relocate to Thailand permanently. This type of visa allows you to live in Thailand for up to 20 years without having to worry about extensions.
Those looking to visit Thailand from Australia for any other purpose will need to apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa. There are several types of Non-Immigrant Visas you can apply for, depending on the purpose of your visit, including:
- Non-Immigrant B Visa: This allows you to visit Thailand to conduct business or employment.
- Non-Immigrant O Visa: This allows you to enter Thailand and visit family.
- Non-Immigrant O Retirement Visa: This allows you to retire in Thailand.
Other Types of Visa
In the instance that none of the above visas are applicable to your needs, you’ll need to apply for one of the visas listed below:
- Education Visa: This allows you to study in Thailand. However, you will need to have been admitted into a course of study that is recognised by the Thai Government.
- Marriage Visa: You’ll need to apply for a marriage visa if you are visiting Thailand to marry a Thai citizen. You’ll also need to provide extra documentation for this, including proof that you earn at least 400,000 Thai Baht per year.
How Do I Apply for a Visa to Thailand?
Those visiting Thailand from Australia for tourist reasons and staying fewer than 30 days won’t need to apply for a tourist visa. However, if you fall into any of the categories we’ve listed above, this is what you’ll need to do:
- Book an Appointment With the Thai Embassy: You’ll need to be interviewed at the Thai Embassy as part of your visa application, so book an appointment well ahead of your planned trip.
- Prepare Your Documents: You’ll need to provide certain documents as part of your interview process and visa application. This will include your passport, proof of flight, and proof of accommodation. Make sure you check which documents you need to bring with you when you book your appointment.
- Interview: Once you’re at the Thai Embassy, you’ll be interviewed by Thai Immigration Officials as part of the application process. This sounds scarier than it is, but answer the questions honestly and straightforwardly, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
- Wait: Once the interview is over and you have provided your documents, a decision will be made on whether or not you’re eligible for a visa. This normally takes between 3-5 business days. If granted, you can collect your visa from the Thai Embassy.
What Happens if I Commit an Overstaying Offence in Thailand?
Thailand considers overstaying a very serious offence, and if caught, you could be arrested by tourist police. Once arrested, you’ll be placed on Thailand’s list of people banned from entering the country, and you’ll also face court proceedings.
Depending on the severity of the case, you could end up paying a fine or facing long jail sentences. For these reasons, it’s crucial that you apply for a visa if you need to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days or if you’re visiting for reasons other than tourist purposes.
To sum up, Australians do not need to apply for a tourist visa if staying in Thailand for fewer than 30 days. Those who need to stay longer or are visiting for any other reason will need to apply for one of the visas we have detailed above. Do not be tempted to risk overstaying either, as Thailand has some of the strongest laws in place when it comes to immigration. So, get your visa sorted ahead of your trip, and you’ll soon be looking forward to visiting this beautiful country.
It’s also a good idea to get your spending money sorted before your trip, as this will avoid extortionate international transaction fees or high commission rates at the airport. Visit one of Crown Currency Exchange’s locations and talk to one of our knowledgeable team about buying Thai Baht (BHT).