Thailand has introduced a brand new tourist visa as of November 13th 2015, the Multiple Entry Tourist Visa or METV.
This is replacing the old Double and Triple Entry Tourist Visas with immediate effect. It will work alongside the existing Visa Exemption, which is the free 30 day stamp issued on landing at Airports or for 30 days/15 days, depending on nationality, when you enter by land borders. The existing Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV), bought from any Embassy or Consulate, 60 days length of stay permitted, continues as normal.
The new Multiple Entry Tourist Visa or METV can only be issued in your country of origin and its requirements are, at first glance, fairly onerous. As a guide, these are the criteria issued by the London Embassy in UK who has set a price of £125.00.
Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV) – Guide Requirements
1) Completed application form with 2 passport/visa photos
2) Current passport with 6 months validity before the visa date application
3) Proof of resident status along with photocopy
4) Original bank statement showing £5,000 (for at least 6 months) or print-out stamped by the bank
5) Letter from UK employer addressed to Thai Embassy or if self employed, self-assessment and company registration document
6) Photocopy of confirmed air ticket to Thailand
7) Photocopy of hotel reservation in Thailand
These criteria are varying from country to country but that’s the gist.
The visa is valid for 6 months from day of issue, with 60 days permitted per trip. After the 60 days, you must leave the country but are obviously allowed back again, as it is multiple entry, re-entry activating another 60 days.
With the Single Entry Visa (60 days) and the Visa Exemption (30 or 15 days), you can visit a local Immigration office and extend your stay by a further 30 days for 1,900bt, without needing to leave the country. It could be that the METV will follow the same policy, so giving you 90 days total in country before needing to exit. As yet, this has not been confirmed.
It is also not yet clear if you will need to exit the country and then stay for a period of time outside before being allowing back in to activate your next 60 days. In the past, with Double and Triple Entry Tourist Visas, this was one of their most popular features, allowing long term vacationers to stamp out of Thailand, walk across to a neighbouring country, get the visa for that country, stamp in and stamp out, walk straight back to Thailand and stamp back in for the next 60 days.
The details of how the new Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV) works in practice will emerge over time and there will no doubt be changes along the way. Watch this space.
It is assumed, for now, that if you purchased a Double or Triple Entry Tourist Visa before November 13th, that these will work as before until their expiry.