A six-month tourist visa allows you to enter Thailand an unlimited amount of times, by land, sea or air within a six-month period. The official name for this type of visa is a Multiple Entry Tourist Visa, or METV for short. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the application process and share everything you need to know, to apply for, and to get the most out of a six-month tourist visa for Thailand.
IMPORTANT: The information in this guide is valid for citizens of countries who partake in the Tourist Visa Exemption Scheme, a full list of these countries can be found here. It includes most European, Noth American, Oceanic and Asia Countries. The information in this guide is not correct for citizens of India, China, Mexico or the United Arab Emirates.
Three Types Of Thailand Tourist Visas Explained
There are currently 3 different types of tourist visas for Thailand. In this guide, I’ll be focusing on the 6 Month Tourist Visa. Before I start, here are the three different tourist visas available for Thailand in 2024.
- Visa Exemption (30-Day Tourist Visa) [Max. 60 DAYS IN THAILAND]
The first 30 days are free. You can extened once which costs 1,900 THB.
If you arrive in Thailand without a visa, you will be automatically given a 30-day visa waiver stamp. You do not need to apply for a visa or provide any documents. You can extend your stay in Thailand for an additional 30 days by applying at a Thai immigration office
- SETV Single Entry Tourist Visa (60-Day Tourist Visa) [Max. 90 DAYS IN THAILAND]
The visa costs 2,000 THB. One extension costs 1,900 THB.
You can apply for a SETV at any Thai Embassy, outside Thailand.
You have 60 days to use the visa from the date it is issued. You can enter Thailand one time with this visa and it will then be marked as used. When you enter Thailand, you will be given a 60-day stay permit. After 60 days, you can extend your stay for an additional 30 days at an immigration office in Thailand.
- METV Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (6-Month Tourist Visa) [Max. 270 DAYS IN THAILAND]
The visa costs 5,000 THB. Two extensions cost 3,800 THB.
You must apply for a 6-month tourist visa (METV) at a Thai embassy or consulate in your home country. Most applications are now done online, so you can avoid having to go to the embassy in person.
Once you have your visa, you can enter Thailand an unlimited number of times for up to 6 months, from the date which the visa is issued to you. When you first enter the country, you will be given a 60-day stay permit. After 60 days, you will need to leave Thailand and then re-enter to get a new 60-day permit. This is called a visa run, and you can repeat it as many times as you want during the 6-month period.
If you enter Thailand with less than 60 days left on your visa, you will still be given a 60-day stay permit. You can also extend your stay for an additional 30 days at an immigration office in Thailand.
Note: There is also a visa on arrival, which should not be confused with a tourist visa, or a tourist visa waiver/exemption. A visa on arrival only allows a 15-day stay, and it’s only available to those who are not eligible for the regular tourist visas I listed. Mainly citizens of India, Russia, China, and a handful of other countries like Mexico or the UAE.
How Much Does a 6-Month Tourist Visa Cost
A six-month tourist visa for Thailand costs 6,700 Thai Baht or the equivalent in the embassy’s local currency. For example, if you apply in the UK, it costs £150, and in the US, it costs $190.
You will need to extend your visa twice while you are in Thailand to get full use of it. Each visa extension costs 1,900 Thai Baht.
You also need to factor in the cost of doing a visa run, (or two). This is when you leave Thailand and then return to extend your stay in Thailand.
Here is a breakdown of the total cost of a six-month tourist visa for Thailand:
- Visa application fee: 7,000 Thai Baht (or equivalent)
- Visa extension fee (2x): 1,900 Thai Baht/extension = 3,800 Thai Baht
- Visa run (2x): $150 (example)
Total: 11,500 Thai Baht (or equivalent) + $300 = ฿22,000 THB
Note: This is just an estimate, and the actual cost may vary depending on your circumstances. The cost of a visa run can vary depending on the country you choose to visit. For example, a visa run by land, to Cambodia or Laos may be cheaper than a visa run to Malaysia or Singapore.
WHEN to Apply For Thailand’s Six-Month Tourist Visa
To apply for a Thailand visa online, you must apply no more than 30 days before your arrival date. The visa approval process usually takes 2-5 working days. Once your visa is approved, it will be valid immediately. The start date and the issuing date are the same, so if you apply too early, you’ll lose days on your visa before you even travel.
You need to have a flight booked before you apply for the visa. If you don’t yet have a reservation, you can use an onward ticket.
WHERE to Apply For Thailand’s Six-Month Tourist Visa
Since the coronavirus pandemic, most consulates have switched to using an e-visa, which means you do not need to attend an embassy in person or submit your passport, anymore.
When your application is approved, you will receive an email with your e-visa in PDF format. You must print out your e-visa and present it to the immigration officer each time you enter Thailand, or go for an extension.
The 6-month tourist visa (METV) can only be applied for in your home country. You cannot apply for it if you are already in Thailand, or if you are not a citizen of the country where you are applying. If you are already in Thailand, you can travel to an embassy in Penang, Vieteniene or Kuala Lumpur and apply for Single-Entry Visa.
Making an Online Application While Abroad
While some people have managed to apply for an E-Visa while already in Thailand. The official ruling is that you must be in the same country as the embassy where you are applying for a Thai visa.
This is verified by two means: you must upload proof of your current address in that country, and you must also upload a flight ticket from your home country to Thailand.
If there is suspicion that you are applying for a visa while you are abroad or while you are already in Thailand, the embassy can request that you attend an interview in person. The immigration officer can also check your travel history and see that you were in Thailand when the visa is approved.
HOW To Apply For Thailand’s Six-Month Tourist Visa
Visa applications can be made online here: https://www.thaievisa.go.th/
Here is a useful website with video guides on how to use the platform: https://www.thaievisa.go.th/video-user-manuals
1️⃣ Go to the E-VISA Website
The visa application process can deem daunting and confusing, to begin with. But I can assure you that it’s straightforward, (once you understand the system).
Credit where it’s due, Thailand has actually created a semi-decent online portal where you can make a visa application. Here is the link: https://www.thaievisa.go.th/. Be sure to bookmark this link because there are a lot of fraudulent and imitation sites which show when you search on Google.
2️⃣ Make an account and select the correct visa.
There are four pages of information to fill out when applying for this visa. Follow these steps, and provide all the requested information for pages 1 to 3. These questions are all self-explanatory.
- Make an account here: https://www.thaievisa.go.th/
- Click the ‘Apply for New Visa’ button.
On the first page of the application, you will need to set these answers to the drop-down questions.
- Travel Document Holder: Chose the country of which you are a citizen.
- Permanent Residency / Current Location: Chose the country of which you are a citizen.
- Submit to: Chose the country of which you are a citizen.
- Passport Type: Select *Ordinary Passport*
- Purpose of Visit: Select Tourism / Leisure Activities
- Visa Type: Select Tourism(TR)
- Number of Entries *Important*: Select MULTIPLE
- Page 2: Upload a photograph of your passport and a headshot. Fill out all of your personal details, including your name, date of birth, passport number, and contact information.
- Page 3: Enter the details of your hotel for the first night in Thailand. Enter your flight details, including the airline, flight number, and arrival date.
3️⃣ Upload Your Documents For the 6-Month Tourist Visa
The fourth page of the visa application is where things start to get confusing. There are 11 documents you must upload to apply for a six-month visa, a lot of them don’t make sense. So here is what you need to upload for each one.
- 1. Biodata page of Passport or Travel Document:
Upload a photo of your passport.
- 2. Photograph taken within the last six months.
Upload a passport photo (headshot)
- 3. Declaration:
There is a link on the application page to download the declaration form, download it, print it out, sign it, and take a photo to upload it again.
- 4. Residence permit in a country in which visa application is submitted (In case that applicant is not a national of the country in which visa application is submitted.)
Provide proof of your residency. For this step, you can upload the same picture of your passport.
- 5 . Financial evidence, e.g. bank statements, proof of earnings, sponsorship letter (current balance not less than 200,000 THB for the past 6 months)
You can upload a recent bank statement, you need to have a minimum balance of £1 for the application to be approved.
- 6 . Proof of accommodation in Thailand, e.g. Accommodation bookings, invitation letters from family/friends in Thailand (of the first visit)
Upload the confirmation email for the hotel you stay in, for your first night in Thailand. You can book any hotel on Agoda, or Hostelworld for this step. If you are staying with friends, it is easier to book a hotel for one night, even if you don’t end up staying there.
- 7 . Travel booking confirmation (of the first visit)
Upload your flight ticket or confirmation email. Use an onward ticket, if you don’t have a flight yet.
- 8. A confirmation letter from employer, School, Self-assessment, Pension statement
For this question, it’s proof of resources they want to see. You can upload the same copy of your bank statement or a recent payslip from an employer.
- 9 . Applicant is required to upload his/her passport pages which contain all travel records for the past 12 months (1 year) since the last international trip.
Take a photo of any pages in your passport which have been stamped within the past one year period. You can only upload one document, so you will need to combine multiple images into one file. If you haven’t travelled in a year, type this in a document, sign it, and upload that instead.
- 10 . Applicant must apply for e-Visa via specific Embassy/Consulate conforming with his/her consular jurisdiction and residency. Applicant is required to upload document that can verify his/her current residency.
You need to provide proof of address, to show you are in the same country as the embassy. This can be in the form of a utility bill, a wage slip, or another official letter which lists your address in the last 3 months.
- 11 . Please upload your picture holding the photo and information page of the passport.
You must take a ‘selfie’ while holding your passport open and next to your face.
How Long Does the Application Take
Thailand’s Multiple Entry Tourist Visas (METVs) are usually approved quickly. The exact time can vary depending on your nationality and the embassy or consulate where you apply, but it shouldn’t take more than 5 working days. In most cases, METVs are approved within 2-3 days.
You should apply for an METV at least 1-2 weeks before your travel date to Thailand. This will give you enough time to get your visa approved and avoid any last-minute hassles.
Entering Thailand with a METV
There are a few things which it is recommended to bring with you when you enter Thailand. Although onward travel proof and proof of funds are not often checked, you do need to print to e-visa.
Return Flight Ticket (Onward Ticket)
This is a pretty confusing topic, and I have written a full guide about the onward travel requirement for Thailand. The official rule is that you need to have and show a flight ticket to prove when you will leave Thailand. Often this is not checked or enforced, but it’s a good idea to buy a temporary flight ticket to ensure there are no troubles on arrival.
Proof of Funds
Again, this is a rule which is rarely enforced. But technically you are supposed to be carrying a minimum of 20,000 Thai Baht, or equivalent, in cash. A bank statement does not fill the requirment. But again, it is uncommon that this would be requested.
Printed out E-Visa
When you arrive in Thailand you’ll need to have the E-Visa printed out. If you don’t have a printed copy you cannot use the email on your phone and you will only be given 30 days stamp, instead of 60.
Staying in Thailand For Nine Months as a Tourist
The multi-entry visa is valid for six months, but that doesn’t mean that you can stay in Thailand continuously for those six months. This visa entitles you to stay for 60 days at a time, once those 60 days are up, you can extend your stay for 30 days at an Immigration Office in Thailand. After staying for 90 days, you then need to leave Thailand, on what’s known as a Visa Run.
To stay for the maximum length of time using one Multi Entrance Tourist Visa, you need to make two ‘visa runs’ (a return trip outside of Thailand) and two visa extensions inside Thailand.
Now here is the important part: Make sure to schedule a visa run that gets you back to Thailand on the last days of your visa, before it expires. If you do so, you will have already stayed for six months, but, you will be given a new 60-day entry stamp, that outlasts the expiration date on the visa. The stamp can then be extended for another 30 days, so you’ll get 90 days on top of the six months, for a total of nine months
How To Do It
Here is how to get the most use from one visa. For this example, the visa is approved on March 1st and will expire on September 1st. With this guide, we can use the visa to stay in Thailand from March 2nd, until November 27th. A total of 270 days.
- March 1st: Visa approved, and sent by email.
- March 2nd: Arrive in Thailand. Get a 60-day stamp.
- April 30th: [1st Extention] Extend for another 30 days.
- July 6th: [1st Visa Run] Leave Thailand and return to get a new 60-day stamp.
- August 28th: [2nd Visa Run] Leave Thailand, again and return to get a new 60-day stamp.
- September 1st: Your visa expires (while you are in Thailand), the stamp is still valid.
- October 27th [2nd Extention] Extend for another 30 days.
- November 27th: Leave Thailand. You’ve visa has expired, and you cannot extend it anymore. You’ll need to apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa if you want to stay even longer.
Using a six-month Thai Tourist Visa can be an affordable way to get to grips with the country. The visa can be used for a medium-length stay of 9 months, without having to commit to a long-term stay option, such as business, marriage or education. I hope you find the information in this guide useful. If you have questions or any knowledge from your own experiences to share- please leave a comment.
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