Thailand has long been considered one of the crown jewels of Southeast Asia for backpackers, budget travelers, and adventurers. If you have plans to visit Thailand in the near future, you will need to be aware of the Thailand entrance requirements before planning your travel. If you do not meet the passport, VISA, or immunization requirements, you could be denied entry into the country. I would not leave this planning to the last minute as you may be left without enough time to rectify any issues.
To assist you in making sure you meet the necessary entrance requirements for Thailand, I have provided an outline of all the entrance requirements in this article. Furthermore, I also created a handy checklist that I linked to below that you can use to track the requirements as you meet them.
Thailand Passport Requirements
One of the most important of the Thailand entrance requirements that you will need to consider when planning your trip is the country’s passport requirements. In order to be allowed into Thailand, not only will your passport need to be valid, but it will need to be valid for at least 6 months after your date of arrival. So, if your passport is set to expire within 6-months of your arrival date, you will need to renew your passport before you travel to Thailand.
|Passport Validity||Blank Pages Required|
|At least 6-months beyond arrival date.||One visa page required for entry stamp.|
Thailand VISA Requirements
Depending on your nationality, you may be required to obtain a VISA in order to enter Thailand. If you are a citizen of a VISA-exempt country, you are allowed to enter Thailand without a VISA for a period of 14-90 days (depending on the country). If you would like to stay in the country longer, you will need to apply for a tourist VISA.
If you aren’t a citizen of a VISA-exempt country, you will need to obtain a VISA in order to enter Thailand. For citizens of certain countries, you can obtain a VISA upon arrival in Thailand. I have included the eligible countries and requirements for obtaining a VISA upon arrival below.
For those who do not qualify for a VISA exemption or VISA upon arrival, you will need to apply for an E-VISA before traveling to Thailand. To make it easier for you to navigate this process, I have included some instructions for you to review below.
If you have a valid passport from one of the following countries, then you qualify for a VISA exemption when visiting Thailand. This means that you will not need to apply for a VISA before visiting or upon arrival. As long as you have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining before expiration, you will be allowed entry without a VISA.
- Argentina (90 days)
- Brazil (30 and 90 days)
- Cambodia (14 days only)
- Chile (90 days)
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Korea (30 and 90 days)
- Myanmar (14 days only)
- New Zealand
- Peru (30 and 90 days)
- San Marino
- Slovak Republic
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
VISA ON ARRIVAL COUNTRIES
For those who don’t hold a passport from a country that qualifies for a VISA exemption, you will need to obtain a VISA to enter Thailand. If you are a citizen of one of the following countries, you are allowed to apply for a VISA upon arrival in Thailand.
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
If you plan on applying for a VISA on arrival in Thailand, there is certain documentation that you will need to be sure to have with you. Before you travel, make sure you are able to provide the following information when you arrive and apply for your VISA:
- A valid passport for at least 6 months.
- A return ticket.
- Passport-size photograph (taken within the last 6 months).
- Proof of accommodation in Thailand.
- Filled out a VISA application.
- Recent bank statements (proof of funds of at least 10,000 THB for single travelers, or 20,000 THB per family).
- 2000 Bhat in cash to pay for the visa on arrival.
APPLYING FOR AN EVISA TO THAILAND
If you do not qualify for a VISA exemption and do not have a passport from a country that qualifies you to apply for a VISA upon arrival, you will need to apply for an E-VISA before traveling to Thailand. For instructions on how to complete the E-VISA application process, please consult the instruction guide on the official Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
LEAVING THAILAND AND RE-ENTERING
If you are planning on leaving Thailand during your trip and then returning, there are a few options available to you. If you are planning to stay in Thailand for a considerable amount of time and use it as a hub to explore the region, you may want to consider a multi-entry visa. Unlike a single-entry visa, the multi-entry visa isn’t used up when you leave the country.
For travelers who won’t be staying in Thailand for very long, a multi-entry visa may not be worth the money. If you are planning a short trip, but need to leave Thailand and re-enter, you can obtain a re-entry permit before you leave. This will allow you to get back into Thailand.
Thailand Immunization Requirements
Important Note: I am not a medical doctor and do not have any medical experience. The information provided in this section is a summary of information that I got from the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States for travel to Thailand. I am providing you this information to help bring awareness of the necessary vaccinations to you, but consultation with my guide should not replace a discussion about your travels with your doctor or a travel medical clinic.
One of the most important, and yet most often overlooked, aspects of travel is the necessary vaccinations that are required or recommended to keep you safe and healthy when you travel. Before you depart for Thailand, you are going to want to make sure that you have all of the proper vaccinations.
Some of these vaccinations, like the Yellow Fever vaccination, are included in the Thailand entrance requirements if you are traveling to Thailand from certain high-risk locations. Other vaccinations, such as a flu shot and the Rabies vaccine, are recommended, but not required. For your convenience, I have summarized the CDC’s recommendations on vaccines and healthcare for travelers visiting Thailand for you to review below.
Recommended Travel Vaccinations for Thailand
There are a number of vaccinations that the CDC recommends that you get before traveling to Thailand, which I have outlined for you below. If you are traveling to Thailand from a destination where Yellow Fever is common, even if it is only a long layover, then you will be required to show proof of vaccination before you will be allowed into the country. The other vaccinations on this list are not in the Thailand entrance requirements, but they are strongly recommended.
|Vaccine||How Disease Spreads||Details|
|Hepatitis A||Food & Water||Recommended for most travelers|
|Hepatitis B||Blood & Body Fluids||Accelerated schedule available|
|Yellow Fever||Thru the bite of infected mosquitoes.||If you are going to be traveling from a country where Yellow Fever is endemic, even if it is only for a layover twelve hours or more, you will need to receive a Yellow Fever vaccination and have certification of that vaccination before you will be allowed into Thailand.|
|Rabies||The saliva of infected animals. Bites or licks on open wounds are the most common vector.||Requires three shots over 21-28 days|
|Typhoid||From food and water you handle or ingest.||Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.|
|COVID-19||From being around or coming into contact with someone who is sick.||Depending on Vaccine brand, will require one or two shots over multiple weeks. Everyone 16 years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travel.|
|Measles||Various vectors.||Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Contracted from mosquito bites.||CDC recommends vaccination for travelers who are moving to the area, spending more than a month in the area, or traveling to areas with Japanese encephalitis. Consider vaccination if you will be doing activities that increase risk of infection, such as visiting rural areas, hiking or camping, or staying in places without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets.|
|Malaria||Contracted from mosquito bites.||CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Thailand take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.|
Routine Vaccinations for Thailand
In addition, the vaccinations that are recommended for travel to Thailand specifically, there are other routine vaccinations that you should make sure that you are current on before traveling anywhere in this world. For an overview of the routine vaccinations recommended by the CDC, please review the chart that I have included below.
|Disease Name||How Disease Spreads||Advice|
|Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR)||Various Vectors||Given to anyone unvaccinated and/or born after 1957. One time adult booster recommended|
|TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis)||Thru open wounds & airborne transmission||Only one adult booster of pertussis required|
|Chickenpox||Direct contact with infected individuals & airborne transmission||Given to those unvaccinated that did not have chickenpox|
|Shingles||Direct contact with infected individuals||Vaccine can still be given if you have had shingles.|
|Pneumonia||Airborne transmission||Two vaccines given separately. All 65+ or immunocompromised should receive both|
|Influenza||airborne transmission||Vaccine components change annually|
|Meningitis||Direct contact with infected individuals & airborne transmission||Given to anyone unvaccinated or at an increased risk, especially students|
|Polio||Thru contaminated food and water||Considered a routine vaccination for most travel itineraries. Single adult booster recommended|
Non-Vaccine Preventable Diseases
In addition to the recommended vaccinations, there are other health precautions that you should take when traveling to Thailand to avoid getting sick. While these health precautions aren’t on the list of Thailand entrance requirements, they are important measures that you can take to make sure you don’t get ill while traveling.
aVOID CONTAMINATED WATER
When traveling, one of the easiest ways to get sick is to come into contact with contaminated water. There are a number of illnesses that are found in Thailand that can be spread by either drinking or swimming in contaminated water. Before you depart for your trip, you will want to be aware of the illnesses below. To avoid getting sick, make sure you stick to drinking bottled water and avoid swimming in stagnant pools.
|Disease Name||How Disease Spreads||Advice|
|Leptospirosis||Touching fluids of infected animal or drinking or swimming in contaminated water.||Avoid contaminated water and soil|
AVOID BUG BITES
Another easy way to get sick while traveling is to be bitten by bugs that carry illnesses. The most common insect that spreads diseases to humans is the mosquito, but ticks and flies can also spread serious illnesses through their bites. To make sure you don’t fall ill from an insect bite while in Thailand, I would recommend bringing insect repellent and mosquito netting with you when you visit and avoid getting bitten by bugs as much as possible.
|Disease Name||How Disease Spreads||Advice|
|Chikungunya||Mosquito bite||Avoid Bug Bites|
|Dengue||Mosquito bite||Avoid Bug Bites|
|Leishmaniasis||Sand fly bite.||Avoid Bug Bites|
|Zika||Mosquito bite or pregnant woman spreading to her unborn baby.||Avoid Bug Bites|
be aware of airborne AND droplet illnesses
Out of all the ways that illnesses can be spread, the diseases that are airborne are the hardest to protect yourself against. After all, you don’t have to physically touch or be touched by an infected person or animal and there isn’t a repellant that you can spray on to avoid catching these illnesses.
This is why it is always important to be observant of those with whom you interact while traveling and make sure you don’t expose yourself to potentially harmful airborne illnesses. According to the CDC, the particular airborne illnesses that you should be aware of while traveling to Thailand are as follows:
|Disease Name||How Disease Spreads||Advice|
|Avian/Bird Flu||Being around, touching, or working with infected poultry, in such places as live-animal markets.||Avoid domestic and wild poultry.|
|Hantavirus||Coming into contact with bodily fluids or droppings of infected rodents, being biten by an infected rodent, or less commonly from coming into contact with someone else who is infected||Avoid rodents and people who look sick|
|Tuberculosis (TB)||Breathing in the air from an infected individual (via cough, speaking, etc..)||Avoid people who look sick|
Thailand COVID-19 Entrance Requirements
As of October 1, 2022, all of the COVID-19 travel restrictions for entry into Thailand were lifted. While it is still recommended that you get the COVID-19 vaccination prior to travel, neither the vaccination nor pre-travel testing is required to visit the country.
|Have a Back-up Plan for your Travel Plan|
Thailand Customs Restrictions
When traveling to Thailand, it is important to understand what types of items you are free to bring into the country and which items you will be charged or prohibited from bringing in. According to the VISAHQ.com, website, the following items are considered free-import items, but with limits (as described below).
- 200 cigarettes or 250g cigars 250g of tobacco (must be 20 years of age).
- 1 liter of alcohol.
- Non-commercial amount of gifts and other items for personal use of up to 10,000 local currency (Baht).
Before you will be allowed into Thailand, you will also need to clear customs to be sure you aren’t carrying any prohibited items with you. For instance, travelers are strictly prohibited from bringing the following items into Thailand:
- Narcotics and other controlled substances.
- Counterfeit items.
- Goods with the Thai flag on them.
- Fake Royal or other Official seals.
- Copyright infringing items.
- Local currency.
In addition to these prohibited items, the government of Thailand has placed limits on the quantity of other items that can be brought into the country. If you plan to travel with any of the following items when visiting Thailand, you will want to plan accordingly so that you do not violate the Thailand entrance requirements:
- Live animals (health certificate required along with complete and valid inoculations for pets)
- Plants, foodstuff, and seeds.
- Weaponry and ammunition.
- Foreign currency – any amounts will need to be declared.
Thailand Currency Restrictions
The final aspect of the Thailand entrance requirements that you will want to make sure you comply with when traveling to Thailand is the amount of currency you plan on bringing to the country. When visiting Thailand, like all countries, you can’t just bring any amount of currency that you want into the country or leave with any amount of currency when visiting. According to the US State Department website, the government of Thailand has the following currency limits and regulations in place:
- No currency restrictions for entry into Thailand. However, Thailand baht banknotes in an amount exceeding THB 450,000 or foreign currency banknotes in an amount exceeding USD 15,000 or its equivalent require a Customs declaration.
- No currency restrictions when leaving Thailand. However, Thailand baht banknotes in an amount exceeding THB 450,000 or foreign currency banknotes in an amount exceeding USD 15,000 or its equivalent require a Customs declaration.