Thailand Visa and Immigration – Covid -19 – UPDATED AUGUST 21

During the global Covid 19 pandemic, the conditions for entry to Thailand and for obtaining a Thailand visa have changed substantially.

As well as reading the information below, we advise you to check your local Thai Embassy for their udpates.

You can jump straight to each section :-

General – What You Need to Visit Thailand – July 1/7/21 till 30/9/21

Vaccinated or non vaccinated visitors need to undertake a 14 day quarantine at a government approved (SHA) hotel.

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

  • Certificate of Entry (CoE) – this is issued at the discretion of the Embassy once all the criteria listed below have been met. Bank on 5 working days for processsing.
  • Valid visa or re-entry permit, except visitors under the 45-day (formerly 30 day) visa exemption scheme – see here for all the visa information.
  • Negative Covid-19 test (RT-PCR method) issued within 72 hours before departure. Some airlines do not accept home kit tests, so please check specific requirements with your airline.
  • Health insurance policy for Thailand (out-patient from 40,000 THB upwards, in-patient 400,000 THB upwards) and covering Covid-19 related medical expenses from 100,000 USD upwards. This must be valid for the whole period of your stay in Thailand.
  • Confirmed ASQ (Alternative State Quarantine) hotel booking for 14 days. Try thse two links for lists of qualifying ASQ hotels:-
  • T-8 form, Signed Declaration Form – see you local Embassy’s website.
  • Declaration Form – as above.
  • Download and install the ThailandPlus app before arrival.
  • NO LONGER REQUIRED Fit to Fly health certificate, issued within 72 hours before departure – this is a doctor’s statement stating you are free from symptoms and fit to fly. It is separate to the required Covid test.

PHUKET Sandbox from July 1st

From 1/7/21, the so called Phuket Sandbox comes into force – Thailand’s first step to welcoming back International tourists. This applies to Phuket ONLY.

First up, you will still need to obtain a CoE, valid visa or visa exemption, negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours before departure, health insurance, T-8 form.

Now, here’s how the sandbox works:-

Sandbox in Brief

  • Provided you are fully vaccinated (outlined immediately below), you will be able to fly to Phuket without the need for quarantine.
    • 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.
    • Coming from low and medium risk countries – check your local Thai Embassy for your country’s standing.
    • Vaccination certificate/proof of vaccination.
    • Download and install the ThailandPlus app before arrival.
  • It’s direct flights to Phuket Airport (HKT) only.
  • You must stay in a SHA designated hotel for 14 days – not a friend’s house, not your condo, not another member of your family. You can move hotels provided the new one has official designation as well.
  • During this 14 days, you can eat out, go to a bar, visit the gym etc, live your holiday life but you must return to the hotel every evening. There are no exceptions to this, it will be monitored by the officials – literally counting you back in nightly.
  • It will be mandatory to follow all local Covid-19 rules and regulations such as mask wearing and social distancing. You may be required to wear a location tracking device.
  • On arrival, you will be given a RT-PCR test (3,500bt), driven to your hotel and then not allowed to leave your room until the test comes back negative.
  • ***If you test positive at any stage – arrival, Day6/7 or Day 12/13, you will be taken to an approved hospital for quarantine/treatment (at your expense). This applies to all family members.***
  • You will need to take two further RT-PCR tests on Day 6/7 and Day 12/13 in Phuket – at your hotel, your cost (3,500bt each time).
  • After the 14 days, you can then leave the province and travel around freely in Thailand. You can use your Day 12/13 test to meet the negative test requirement for leaving the province.

Children and Unvaccinated Adults

  • Unvaccinated children under 6 years old can fly with their parents to Phuket, no negative test results needed.
  • Children between 6 years old and 18 years old who are unvaccinated will need negative Covid-19 test (RT-PCR method) or a Rapid Antigen Test issued within 72 hours before departure.
  • Unvaccinated adults fall into the same category as the rest of the country – mandatory 14 day quarantine at any designated hotels in Phuket for 14 days.

Flights to Phuket

Airlines such as Qatar, Emirates, THAI and Singapore Airlines fly to Phuket on a daily basis.

Samui Plus Sandbox from July 15th

Following on from the Phuket idea, Koh Samui has launched its own programme from 15th July. Very similar in concept, you can find full details here.

Opening Up Nationwide

If the Phuket and Samui models prove a success, then the talk is that this scheme may be extended to other areas from 1/10/21. Subject to approval, those areas will likely include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonburi (Pattaya), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) and Krabi.

Indeed, going one step futher, the Prime Minister has stated that he wants to fully open up the country from the end of October – but that’s a lot of water to flow under the Covid bridge between now and then. We advise you check all T & C’s on flight and hotel bookings before diving in to make holiday plans.

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.

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.

The Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV) is not being issued at present (June 21).

Visa Exemption Stamp – What you Get, What you Need

  • This gives you 45 days in country (including 15 days ASQ). 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.
  • 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. The embassy will instruct you on this at the start of you application

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

Special Tourist Visa (STV) – What you Get, What you Need

This is being stopped on 30/9/21, so you cannot apply for one later than 30/6/21. If you are intending to get one and then extend it once there by 90 days (as you are allowed to do), you must also arrive in country by 3/7/21 or your timings won’t work. Any 90 day extensions must be submitted by 30/9/21.

  • You can stay for stay up to 90 days. As of June 21, you can only extend once for a further 90 days
  • Passport with validity of at least 12 months (and at least 3 blank pages).
  • Travel booking confirmation.
  • Proof of accommodation in Thailand
    • ASQ hotel booking for 14 day quarantine with proof of payment.
    • Confirmed hotel booking/accommodation rental for the remaining period of your stay in Thailand, with proof of payment.
    • Proof of condominium ownership or purchase agreement of condominium with proof of payment.
  • Bank statements with sufficient funds to cover your trip to Thailand – check your embassy for their requirement.

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 45 day Visa Exemption or Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV)or until 30/9/21 only, STV (Special Tourist Visa).

  • 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, 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, 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. Proof of residence shoud not be requiernd

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 15th July 2021

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