A foreign citizen who wishes to enter the Thailand is required to obtain a tourist visa from a Thailand Embassy or a Thailand Consulate-General if the visit will be longer than 30 days. If the visit is less than 30 days, no tourist visa is required to enter the country. However, valid passports are required to enter the country.
Tourist visa applicants must apply for a visa only at the Thailand Embassy or the Thai Consulate-General in the applicant's home country, or at the Thailand Embassy with jurisdiction over his home country. Travelers are advised to inquire about authorized offices for visa issuance at any Thailand Embassy or Thai Consulate-General before departure. In the United States, Royal Thai Embassies are located in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Applicants must present a valid passport or travel document that is recognized by the Royal Thai Government, a recent 4-x-6 cm visa photo, proof of onward travel, such as airline tickets and proof of adequate financial means to travel. In addition, the visa applicant must be outside of Thailand at the time of application. The applicant will be issued a type of visa in accordance to his purpose of visit--in this case, a tourist visa.
Period of Stay
The period of stay is granted by an immigration officer upon arrival at the port of entry and in accordance with the type of visa. For example, the period of stay for a tourist visa is not exceeding 60 days from the arrival date. The period of stay granted by the immigration officer is displayed on the arrival stamp. Travelers who wish to stay longer than 60 days may apply for an extension of stay at the offices of the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok. Visitors who overstay their visa will, at the time of their departure, be fined 500 baht for each excess day.
Foreigners entering Thailand are not permitted to work, regardless of their types of visa, unless they are granted a work permit. Those who intend to work in Thailand must hold the correct type of visa to be eligible to apply for a work permit. Information on Work Permit applications can be obtained from the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor.
Cost and Processing
As of September 2009, the cost of a tourist visa is 1,000 Baht per entry (around $30 U.S. dollars). Once all the required documents have been submitted, the tourist visa will be issued at the time of application.