Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has recently launched a new electronic application that allows citizens of 19 countries to apply for visa on arrival online prior to their trip to the kingdom’s main gateway, Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The VOA Application Online Service is introduced with the objective of facilitating tourists arriving in Thailand at Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is seeing an ever-increasing number of passenger arrivals. The programme is also set to reduce the time in the visa approval process, enhance working efficiency, and ultimately promote the positive image of Thailand as a welcoming destination.
Citizens of China, India, Taiwan, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Bhutan, Lithuania, Ukraine, Malta, Romania, Mauritius, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Cyprus, Andorra, Kazakhstan, and San Marino can complete the online application form via www.immigration.go.th. Once the application has been completed, the applicant will get a transaction reference number. The applicant must print out and bring it along when travelling to Thailand to get the VOA stamped in their passport. The VOA Application Online Service is currently available in English and Chinese.
Qualifications required for the visa on arrival:
- Must be the citizens of the nationalities in accordance with the Ministry of Interior’s announcement.
- Passport must be genuine and over 30 days validity.
- Purpose of touring not more than 15 days.
- Must have a confirmed return ticket within 15 days.
- Must notify the address in Thailand that can be verified.
- Not be prohibited under Section 12 of the Immigration Act B.E.2522 (A.D.1979).
- Visa fee in Thai currency only (cash)/non-refundable.
- Having the appropriate means of living (10,000 Baht/person, 20,000 Baht/family).
According to the Immigration Bureau, the VOA Application Online Service will help speed up the visa application process, especially as Suvarnabhumi Airport is seeing a continuous growth in visitor arrivals.
In 2013, there were 1,141,461 tourists or an average of 3,000 tourists applying for a visa on arrival per day. The number increased to 1,349,616 or an average of 4,000 tourists per day in 2014. In January, 2015, the tourist numbers rose sharply to 222,758 or an average of 7,500 persons per day.