Covid-19 Regulations from December 1st 2021 – Thailand Entry, Visa and Immigration

From November 1st 2021, Thailand is opening up to tourism again, with reduced restrictions for double vaccinated visitors.

Listed below are the latest entry requirements as well as an updated summary on available visas and the local Immigration Offices. We also advise you to check your in-country Thai Embassy for their own information.

Due to the developing situation with the Omicron Variant, Test and Go is suspended from 23/12/21 until further notice.

You can still enter Thailand under quarantine or the Phuket Sandbox Scheme. All other sandboxes are also currently suspended.


What You Need to Visit Thailand from November 1st 2021

Depending on your Covid19 vaccination status and your country of residence, there are different criteria for entering Thailand.

Double Vaccinated from Approved 63 Countries – Test and Go Scheme

For the list of approved countries, see here. Note this list is subject to change.

You will need to meet the following requirements before you are allowed to board the plane :-

  • Proof of Vaccination – Full vaccination (2 doses) with vaccine approved by the Thai FDA – currently Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Sinopharm – or one certified by the World Health Organisation (i.e. Pfizer/BioNTech but presently NOT Sputnik).
    • Full vaccination at least 14 days prior to your departure to Thailand and not more than 12 months before.
    • Vaccination certificate/proof of vaccination.
    • Children under 12 do not require prior vaccination but can only enter if accompanied by vaccinated parents or guardians.
  • Have been in one or more of the 63 stipulated countries for at least 21 days before flight – can transit/change flights through an approved country.
  • Health insurance policy for Thailand covering Covid-19 related medical expenses from 50,000 USD upwards. This must be valid for the whole period of your stay in Thailand.
  • Confirmed SHA+ or AQ hotel booking for 1 day. Try these two links for lists of qualifying hotels:-
  • Thailand Pass – the final stage in the application process, this is issued online from Thailand once all the criteria listed above have been met – the link is here. Bank on 5 and 7 working days for its processsing. You will be issued with a QR code.
  • Valid visa or re-entry permit, except visitors under the 30 day visa exemption scheme – see here for all the visa information. Allow a few weeks for processing.
  • Negative Covid-19 test (RT-PCR method) issued within 72 hours before departure. This applies to children also.
  • Download and install the Mor Chana app.

On Arrival in Thailand – Test and Go Scheme

On arrival, all passengers are met by the authorities and taken through health checks and Immigration to the appropriate areas. If not already installed you must install the Mor Chana app on your phone.

You will be required to take RT-PCR test at either the Airport or your booked SHA+ hotel. The hotel will also be in charge of your transfer from the airport.

You cannot then leave the hotel until your negative result arrives. Once the test returns negative, you can then move freely around Thailand.

Even if experiencing no Covid symptoms, you are required to take a further free RT-PCR test between Days 5 and 7 of your trip at a designated medical facility and upload the results to the Mor Chana app.

It will be mandatory to follow all local Covid-19 rules and regulations such as mask wearing and social distancing.

The 63 Approved Countries (Subject to Change) – Test and Go Scheme

Australia
Austria
Bahrain
Belgium
Bhutan
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Chile
China
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kuwait
Laos
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxemberg
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Oman
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
UAE
UK
USA
Vietnam

Entry for Double Vaccinated Tourists from Other Countries – Sandbox Scheme

If you are double vaccinated but arriving from countries outside the above 63, you will need to enter a sandbox scheme, whereby you stay in a designated SHA+ hotel for 7 days – a soft quarantine. After the initial arrival test has come back negative, you are not confined to the hotel but can travel about that zone freely. The good news is the sandbox scheme will operate in an extended 17 provinces (the so called blue zones).

Here is the full list of blue zones:-

Bangkok
Krabi
Phang Nga
Phuket
Buri Ram (only Muang)
Chon Buri (only Bang Lamung, Pattaya, Si Racha, Koh Si Chang)
Sattahip district (only Na Jomtien, Bang Sare)
Chiang Mai (only Doi Tao, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, Muang)
Loei (only Chiang Khan)
Nong Khai (only Muang, Sangkhom, Sri Chiang Mai, Tha Bo)
Phetchaburi (only Cha-am municipality)
Prachuap Khiri Khan (only Hua Hin, Nong Kae)
Ranong (only Koh Phayam)
Rayong (only Koh Samet)
Samut Prakan (only Suvarnabhumi Airport)
Surat Thani (only Koh Samui)
Koh Phangan
Koh Tao
Trat (only Koh Chang)
Udon Thani (only Muang, Ban Dung, Kumphawapi, Na Yoong, Nong Han, Prachak Silapakhom)

Criteria for Entry – Sandbox Scheme

The criteria for entry are exactly as outlined above for the Test and Go Scheme – negative test 72 hours before travel, insurance, paid hotel booking, Thailand Pass, installation of Mor Chana app and so on. Note the proof of paid booking for the sandbox scheme needs to be for 7 days at an approved SHA+ hotel. This will include the cost of an initial RT-PCR test on arrival and an ATK test at an approved centre on Day 6/7.

On Arrival – Sandbox Scheme

  • RT-PCR Test on arrival – confined to room until negative result is returned. Your hotel will transfer you from the airport.
  • Free movement around the area but must return to the designated hotel every night.
  • ATK test on Day 6/7 either at the hotel or at an approved centre (details supplied by hotel).
  • Free to travel around Thailand from Day 8 onwards (provided the Day 6/7 test is negative).

Entry for Double Vaccinated (All Countries) via non Blue Zone Areas

If you are fully vaccinated (from any country including the approved 63) but want to enter the country via an area not included in the 17 sandbox provinces, you will need to enter the Alternative Quarantine (AQ) scheme. With AQ, you must quarantine in your room at a designated hotel for a now reduced period of 7 days only.


Unvaccinated – All Countries

If you are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, you will be required to enter a 10 day AQ hotel room quarantine if arriving by air or 14 days if arriving by land. You of course follow all of the other requirements as outlined above – onward travel, insurance, 72 hours -ve RT-PCR test, visa or visa exemption, Thailand Pass and so on.

Note that you must show proof of the AQ or SHA+ hotel booking for the full duration required – 10 days if coming in by air. This cost will include the RT-PCR test on arrival and the ATK test on Day 8/9.


Infographics from Thai Government

Right click on each individual image to expand


Visas, Exemption from Visa – Thailand Visa

The following visas and visa exemption are currently being offered for entry into Thailand – provided you meet the above criteria. You no longer need to visit your local embassy or consulate but can instead use the E-Visa system – create an account and start your application at the official site here.

Long term O visas , such as Retirement, Spouse and Business, are also in play but you need to contact your Embassy for their individual requirements.


Visa Exemption Stamp – What you Get, What you Need

  • This gives you 30 days in country. The list of of countries accepted is here. It’s possible to extend this by a further 30 days in Thailand at a local Immigration Office, cost 1,900bt. Maximum two exemptions per calendar year.
  • Your passport must have at least 6 months validity.
  • POOT (proof of onward travel) by air.
  • Proof of accommodation in Thailand e.g. hotel booking, invitation letter from family or friend in Thailand.
  • Proof of funds – check embassy sites for details.
  • Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months and at least 2 pages left within the passport for the visa and border control stamps.
  • No fee.

Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV) – What you Get, What you Need

  • You can stay for 60 days and then extend the visa for further 30 days at a local Immigration Office for 1,900bt.
  • You must show POOT (proof of onward travel) by airline ticket.
  • Proof of accommodation in Thailand e.g. hotel booking, invitation letter from family or friend in Thailand
  • Financial evidence e.g. bank statements, proof of earnings, sponsorship letter – your embassy will specify how much on your initial enquiry.
  • Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months and at least 2 pages left within the passport for the visa and border control stamps.
  • Visa is valid for 6 months from date of issue.
  • Guide fee if UK application – £30.00

Multiple Entry Visa (METV) – What you Get, What you Need

***Due to Covid-19, land borders not in the blue zones listed above are currently still subject to strict criteria for entry. Double vaccinated tourists must enter a 7 day hotel room quarantine, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must quarantine for 14 days. Therefore, at present, you may not be able to use this visa to its fullest extent. That said, restrictions may be eased over the next few months depending on the pandemic siuation.***

  • You can stay for 60 days and then need to either leave the country and re-enter, so triggering the next 60 days or you could stay in country and extend the visa for further 30 days at a local Immigration Office for 1,900bt – same as the SETV above. If you extend, you can then leave the country and re-enter again and start another 60 days. This process can be repeated in some or other combination of leave/extend for the validity of the visa (6 months from date of issue). To get the full time possible with this type of visa, you must ensure you leave the country to re-enter in the very last days before that 6 month expiry date.
  • You must show POOT (proof of onward travel) by airline ticket.
  • Proof of accommodation in Thailand e.g. hotel booking, invitation letter from family or friend in Thailand (with utility bill).
  • Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months and at least 2 pages left within the passport for the visa and border control stamps.
  • Financial evidence e.g. bank statements, employment or pension
    • Using UK as a guide, this must show £5,000 in the account for 6 months or £10,000 if a couple
    • Employer’s letter showing employment.
    • If you are self employed, proof of this is required. Again, as a guide, for UK citizens the proof is a SA100 HMRC tax return for for the latest tax year.
    • If retired, proof of pension etc. an any age and receiving a private pension a copy of this pension is required.
  • Guide fee if UK application – £150.00

Visas, Exemption from Visa – In country Extensions – Thailand Visa

You will need to take the following documents and copies if you want a 30 day in-country extension to your 30 day Visa Exemption or Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV) or Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV).

  • Your passport.
  • A passport photo (3.5 cm x 4.5 cm).
  • Copies of the main page of your passport (photo, date of birth page), page showing the current visa or stamp
  • You may need a proof of residence at some Immigration Offices. It could be a rental contract, payment for hotel.
  • A copy of the Departure Card (TM6) – the white one which you filled in at the airport or border, normally stapled in by the Immigration Officer.

You can get the actual application form (TM7) on arrival at the Immigration Office. The cost is 1,900bt, THB cash only.

You can extend up to a week before the expiry date, with the extension dated from the date in your passport. If you expiry date falls on a weekend or holiday, it is very important that you make the extension in the days before. You cannot extend if it has already run out.


Non Immigrant Type ‘O’ – Thailand Visa and Immigration

During the Covid pandemic, you can still apply for this type of visa but do check with your Embassy first.

There are a whole host of other longer stay visas, known as Non Immigrant Type ‘O’. These include O (dependent), O-Ed (education), O-A (retirement) and O-B (business), with details found at www.mfa.go.th/main/en/services/, the official site for visa information and procedures. We also do our own comprehensive round up in our property buying page here.

Once the strict criteria for issue are met, Non Immigrant Type ‘O’ visas have a year validity. Annually, you can then apply for an extension (also 1 year validity) but you will always have to satisfy the same criteria as at the original application before said extension is issued.

You need to report to an Immigration Office every 90 days if you are on this type of Thailand visa. You do physically need to leave Thailand.

If you do wish to leave the country, you must first obtain a Re-Entry Permit before exiting. Leaving without getting the permit is a serious error as the visa is cancelled. You then must start the whole application process over again.

To confuse matters, please note that consulates and embassies in different countries issue their own version of retirement and business visas (with 3 month and 6 month vailidity), which work in a different way. Such visas do require you to leave the country after 60 days (or extend for 30 days and then leave) in order to activate the next 60 days – always check the stamp in your passport closely for exit days.


Documents needed for 90 Day Reporting and Re-Entry Permit

For 90 day reporting, if you cannot do it online here, you will need to take the following documents and copies.

  • Your passport.
  • Copies of the main passport pages (photo, date of birth page) including current visa or stamp
  • Copy of the Departure Card (TM6) – the white one which you filled in at the airport or border, normally stapled in by the Immigration Officer.
  • copy of house rental contract or house book.

You can get the actual application form (TM47) on arrival at the Immigration Office. There is no charge.

For the Re-Entry Permit (if required), take as above. You should not require Proof of residence. You can get the actual application form (TM8) on arrival at the Immigration Office. The cost is 1,000bt for a single entry and 3,800bt for multiple entry, both valid for as long as the visa or the extension stamp.


Overstay – Thailand Visa and Immigration

Immigration now views overstaying your Thailand visa much more seriously than in years gone by. It is best to stick to the rules. The fine is 500bt per day, though the first day is not charged. Children over 7 are eligible for this fine too. You normally pay it at the the airport on departure.

Thai Immigration has targeted long term overstayers for the last couple of years. If found, they are fined and thrown out with Barred from Visiting Thailand stamped into their passports. The length of that ban is taken on a case by case basis, 1 year upwards.


Immigration Offices – Laem Ngop, Koh Chang – Thailand Visa

immigration office laem ngop thailand visa
Laem Ngop Immigration

Laem Ngop is the small fishing town opposite Koh Chang, also home to Laem Ngop Pier (for Koh Mak) and the Naval Museum. It is 3 kms or so from Centerpoint Pier and 8kms from Ao Thammachat Pier (both for Koh Chang). Laem Sok Pier (for Koh Kood) is 40 kms away in the Trat City direction. Trat itself is 17 km away.

To reach Laem Ngop Immigration from Koh Chang, take a ferry from Centerpoint Pier (08.30, 09.30 etc), 80bt per person and then a 10 minute songthaew taxi at 50bt per person. You should ask the driver to wait as there may be no other taxis to bring you back.

If coming from Koh Mak, you arrive at Laem Ngop Pier by speedboat, It is a 10 minute walk to the Immigration, simply take a right turn opposite Thida Tours at the foot of the pier. You could also use a songthaew.

If coming from Koh Kood, you will need a private car, please do contact us for a quotation.

On Koh Chang itself there is also a tiny Immigration Office opposite Flora i Talay Resort on Chai Chet Beach. This can deal with general questions and also 90 day reporting for those on longer visas. Any service that you need to pay for, such as extensions to tourist visas or re-entry permits, are only processed over at Laem Ngop.

Laem Ngop Immigration can be contacted on 039 581-776, open 08.30 to 16.30, closed for lunch from 12.00 to 13.00 – same hours for the Koh Chang office, whose number is 039 597 261.


UPDATED 23rd December 2021

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