Whether you require a visa to travel to Thailand depends on a number of factors including how long you are planning to stay in Thailand and your nationality. But there is good news for travellers from the UK and Ireland. If you hold a UK or Irish passport and are flying to Thailand for a 2-3 week holiday, you do not require a visa to travel.
During the second half of 2021, Thailand is aiming to open to vaccinated tourists without the need for quarantine. You can see full details of the plan and timeline for reopening Thailand on our travel advice page.
The information on this page applies specifically to travellers who hold a UK or Irish passport and are travelling to Thailand for tourism purposes. If you hold a passport from another country or are not travelling as a tourist, different rules may apply and you should check the advice given by your nearest Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate.
Allowed to stay in Thailand for 45 days
(Usually allows a 30 day stay. In December 2020, this was extended by a further 15 days).
Under the visa exemption scheme, you do not need to apply for a visa to travel to Thailand if you meet all the necessary requirements:
- Available to passport holders from certain countries including UK and Ireland
- The purpose of your visit is tourism
- You possess a passport with at least 6 months validity
- Enter Thailand via an international airport* (e.g. Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai etc.)
- You are in possession of a confirmed flight ticket (an e-ticket is acceptable) to show you will be flying out of Thailand within 30 days
- You may be required to show proof of adequate finances for the duration of your stay. This should be cash or travellers cheques equivalent to 20,000 Baht (approximately £450 ) per person or 40,000 Baht (approximately (£900) per family. Although this requirement is rarely requested by immigration officers, it is something to take note of just in case.
*At land border crossings, different rules apply to different nationalities. As a UK or Irish passport holder, you can only enter Thailand via a land border crossing twice in a calendar year under the visa exemption scheme. After that, you will need to apply for a visa before entering Thailand again. This rule does not apply to visitors flying to Thailand.
Visa exemption sometimes gets called ‘visa on arrival’ on travel websites and forums, but this isn’t the same thing as visa exemption. Visa on arrival is a separate category of visa which isn’t applicable to UK or Irish passport holders.
Tourist Visa (TR)
Allowed to stay in Thailand for: 60 days
(Plus a one-time extension of 30 days if required)
At the beginning of December 2020, a new Tourist Visa (TR) was agreed. Tourists from the UK and Ireland who wish to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days can apply for this visa. If you wish to extend the Tourist Visa for a further 30 days, you can apply at any immigration office in Thailand and pay the application fee of 1,900 Baht. You can see the full details required to apply for the visa on the Royal Thai Embassy website, but some of the things you will need to show include:
- Proof of travel booking confirmation
- Proof of accommodation in Thailand e.g. hotel booking
- UK/Irish bank statements showing sufficient funds to cover your trip to Thailand
- Copy of health insurance policy which covers Covid-19 related medical expenses in Thailand
Special Tourist Visa (STV)
Allowed to stay in Thailand for: 90-270 days
In 2020, Thailand agreed to implement a Special Tourist Visa (STV) scheme. This is open to passport holders from the UK and Ireland. The STV allows for a stay of up to 90 days which can be extended twice for 90 days each when in Thailand.
More details from the Royal Thai Embassy, London
The Special Tourist Visa will be withdrawn in the second half of 2021. Applicants must arrive in Thailand before 3 July 2021 if they wish to extend their stay after 90 days. Application to extend your stay in Thailand must be submitted before 30 September 2021.
Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV)
Not currently available at the time of writing (May 2021).
How to apply for a Thai visa
Check the latest entry and visa requirements for Thailand from the Royal Thai Embassy, London. If you are travelling from Ireland, please note the Royal Thai Consulate in Dublin will stop issuing visas from 7 May 2021. Instead, visa applications can be processed online or via the Royal Thai Embassy, London.
Travel between now and 30 September 2021
Travel from 1 October 2021
Thailand is aiming to open up to vaccinated visitors in the second half of 2021. This will be carried out in two stages, starting in July. In the second stage from 1 October 2021, fully vaccinated travellers can visit Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Phuket and Phang Nga without the need to quarantine on arrival. After a minimum of seven days stay at the destination of entry, visitors are free to travel onwards around Thailand. Please refer to our regularly updated travel advice page for more details.
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