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Thailand Visas

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In 2006 the Thai Government decided to change the rules regarding what are commonly known as visas on arrival or Visa Exempt which is probably the more accurate term for the free stamp that permits you to remain in Thailand for X number of days.

Prior to the change in late 2006, nationals from 42 countries could enter Thailand without a visa for a 15 or 30 day period. These visas, or permission to stay, are free of charge and can very simply be renewed by doing what is known as a visa run, or a border hop. This entails simply leaving the country, in some cases for as little as a few minutes, and then returning to get a new stamp.

Then on 1 October 2006, the government changed the rules to allow nationals from 39 countries to remain in Thailand for no more than 90 days in a six month period. This would mean that these travellers could no longer border hop indefinitely and instead would have to try to calculate exactly how much time had been spent in the country. All very troublesome and messy, for the traveller as well as immigration!

But in November 2008, the rules pretty much reverted to what they were prior to the 2006 amenment with one very important difference. Whereas before a traveller could get (depending on nationality) a 30 day stamp free of charge regardless of mode of entry, this is no longer the case.

Now, only travellers arriving by air are entitled to the 30 day stamp. If your travels take you to a neighbouring country like Vietnam or Malaysia and you travel back into Thailand by land then you will only get 15 days but if you fly then you would get 30 days.

 Confused?! Don't be it is very simple, but with all our visa suggestions we strongly advise you to check with your local embassy or consulate as changes can happen at any time.

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