A single entry tourist visa grants visitors a 60-days visit to Thailand. However, those who are interested in staying longer may be surprised to learn just how much of their monthly budget should be set aside to cover the long-term cost of a Thai tourist visa.
How much should I budget for a Thai Tourist Visa?
There are two types of Thai tourist visas. One is for general tourism purposes (dubbed ‘TR’) and the other is for medical tourism purposes (‘MT’).
The traditional ‘TR’ tourist visa offers both single and multiple entry visas while the medical tourist visa offers one entry. How much you should budget for depends on how long you plan to stay in Thailand. It also depends on how many times you extend each entry on your visa.
Cost of a Single Entry Thai Tourist Visa
|55 AUD||50 CAD||30 GBP||40 USD|
A single entry Thai tourist visa allows a visit of up to 60 days in Thailand. However, it is possible to extend your 60-day stay by an additional 30 days if you apply for an extension at an immigration office inside of Thailand. There is an office in every province and an extension costs 1,900 THB cash. We’ve written about our experience of extending our tourist visas at the immigration office in Chiang Mai to give you an idea of the waiting process and the application requirements.
Since we were moving to Thailand, we needed more than a single entry tourist visa,. We both applied for triple entry Thai tourist visas at the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, DC. These visas cost us 120 USD each. However, double and triple entry tourist visas have been discontinued.
Cost of a Multiple Entry Thai Tourist Visa
|275 AUD||250 CAD||150 GBP||200 USD|
Things have changed a bit with the introduction of the new Multiple Entry Tourist Visa. It’s nicknamed the METV. You can expect to spend 200 USD on the METV or the equivalent in another currency.
To stay the full nine months, it only requires one extension for 1,900 THB (roughly equal to 53 USD). the total cost is roughly 253 USD with the current exchange rate.
The hidden cost of a Thai Tourist Visa
The obvious cost of a Thai tourist visa for a maximum visit of nine months in Thailand is roughly 253 USD. This consists of:
- Obtaining a multiple entry tourist visa (METV) from a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate-General in your home country
- Extending the final 60-day entry stamp by an extra 30 days at any Immigration Office in Thailand
However, to properly keep up a METV, you must leave Thailand every 60 days (or every 90 days if you get each extension extended by an extra 30 days). The most cost effective way is to take a day trip to one of Thailand’s neighboring countries and then come right back to Thailand. This is the infamous border run.
These costs also do not account for the extra expenses related to accommodation and transportation while making a border or visa run. These are highly dependent on each individual’s location in Thailand and his/her personal preferences in comfort level and spending amount.
Be careful which country you choose to do a border run because some countries need a visa to enter:
- Malaysia offers a visa exempt stamp free of charge to 168 countries
- Cambodia and Laos charge 25 USD and 35 USD, respectively (for Americans) for a single entry tourist visa
- Land crossings to Myanmar (Mae Sai and Ranong borders) charge a 500 THB ‘service fee’ to stamp you out of Thailand and then back in. Air crossings require that visitors get a Burmese Tourist Visa that costs 50 USD.
Multiple border runs are no longer an option
Foreigners of these countries do not need a visa to enter Thailand for short-term visits. Instead, they are eligible to receive a visa exempt stamp upon entry to Thailand. This is good for 30 or 90 days depending on their nationality. Years ago, long-term stayers would go on back-to-back ‘border runs’. They’d re-enter Thailand and have a string of visa-exempt stamps in their passport. This method allowed them to stay in Thailand for long periods of time without getting a real visa.
As of January 2017, Thailand has refused entry to visitors who have more than two visa-exempt stamps in a one-year period.
This new policy does not affect visitors who have a Multiple Entry Tourist or Non Immigrant Visas. They will be allowed to continue to conduct border runs to activate their next visa entry.
|NOTE: The above costs are estimates based on conversion rates, which are subject to change.|