Foreign travel advice

Thailand

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

Travel in your area, including international travel, may be restricted because of domestic regulations. Different rules apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Follow all the rules that apply to you.

Other countries may close borders, restrict movement or bring in new quarantine rules with little warning. Check our advice on things to consider, and be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. Also check if you need to self isolate.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the country you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Restrictions in response to coronavirus

Entry and transit

At present, you can only enter Thailand if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • If you are on a diplomatic or consular mission, belong to an International Organisation, are a government representative performing duties in Thailand, or have permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This includes families.
  • If you hold a work permit or have already been granted permission from the Thai government to work in Thailand or have the Certificate of Residence and a valid re-entry permit. This includes families.
  • If you are the spouse, child or parent of a Thai national.
  • If you are seeking medical treatment in Thailand (except treatment for COVID-19), or are caring for someone seeking medical treatment in Thailand.
  • If you are an international student or the parent/guardian of an international student.

If you fall into one of these categories and want to travel to Thailand, you must apply for permission to travel via the Royal Thai Government’s online platform.

Other categories include:

  • If you have been exempted by the Prime Minister or Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • If you are a pilot-in-command and crew members with a fixed travel schedule.
  • If you are a carrier of necessary cargoes. You must leave the country immediately after your mission is completed.
  • If you hold a Foreigners work permit (WP3) and/or BOI certificate. You should contact your local Royal Thai Embassy or consulate for a permit to travel to Thailand. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) will arrange seats aboard repatriation flights for eligible passengers.

You should keep up to date with the latest information on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Royal Thai Embassy London, Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, and the Ministry of Public Health.

Residents currently outside Thailand

If you have a Thai resident visa and normally live in Thailand but cannot return within the required year, you will be granted an extension to your compulsory return deadline. However, you are required to return to Thailand as soon as the situation improves.

On arrival

Certain categories of foreigners arriving in Thailand will be tested for COVID-19 on entry and again during quarantine – see Entry section above.

Quarantine requirements

All travellers to Thailand, including all British nationals, are required to complete 14 days quarantine at a State Quarantine or Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility.

If you test positive whilst in ASQ:

  • You and anybody travelling with you will automatically be transferred to hospital and held in isolation.
  • You will be required to remain in hospital for 14 days, even if you have a negative test.
  • If you test positive you will be required to provide 2 negative tests, 5 days apart, before being considered for release.
  • If you still test positive after 14 days, the hospital may consider further quarantine either in hospital or self-isolating at home.

Data collection

You may be required to download the Thai Chana COVID-19 tracking app on arrival in Thailand.

Visas

You need a valid visa to stay in Thailand. If you do not have a valid visa you will be subject to overstay penalties. You should speak to your local Immigration Office or visit the Thai Immigration website.

You are legally required to have a valid passport in Thailand. Any visa you hold will become invalid from your passport expiry date. If you need to renew or apply for a new British passport, see Overseas British passport applications.

If you are unable to renew or change your visa and unable to travel to your home country (because the border is closed, for example) and need support you should contact the Embassy.

More information

If you have any queries about visas or entry requirements, check with the Royal Thai Embassy, Thai Immigration Authority and Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Thai authorities may introduce further measures. You can monitor the latest updates from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health website.

Regular entry requirements

Passport validity

Your passport must have at least 6 months’ validity remaining from your date of entry into Thailand. Entry to Thailand is normally refused if you have a passport which is damaged or has pages missing.

If you’re a dual national, you must depart Thailand on the same nationality passport you used to enter. If not, you may experience difficulties as you pass through immigration.

Visas

For current information on entry and visa requirements refer to Restrictions in response to coronavirus.

Under normal circumstances, British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa (a ‘visa exemption’). If you need to stay longer, it’s possible to extend your stay once for up to 30 days. You must apply for the extension before your visa exemption period ends.

You can only enter Thailand through a land border using the 30 day visa exemption twice per calendar year. To cross more frequently, you’ll need to get the appropriate visa in advance of travelling. This doesn’t apply if arriving by air. For more information, contact the nearest Thai embassy or consulate.

If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days, are going to work, or use land borders regularly you must get the appropriate visa before you travel.

The only legal way of getting a new visa, entry permit or extension of stay is from a Thai Embassy or Consulate, an Immigration Officer at a point of entry into Thailand, or one of the Immigration Offices around the country. Visas issued by visa shops, travel agents or by any other means are likely to be illegal and lead to criminal proceedings.

If you stay beyond the period of your visa (‘overstay’), you’ll be fined 500 baht per day up to a maximum of 20,000 baht. You also risk being held in detention, fined, deported at your own expense and banned from re-entering Thailand. The enforcement of penalties for overstaying is strict and conditions in detention centres can be harsh. Deportation by the Thai authorities can be a lengthy process and you will also be banned from re-entering Thailand for up to 10 years.

If you’re living or staying in Thailand on a long-term visa, immigration rules can be complex and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the requirements of your visa. Stay informed and contact your local immigration office for more information.

If you have any queries about visas or entry requirements, check with the Royal Thai Embassy or Thai Immigration Authority.

Proof of onward travel and funds

Immigration officials in Thailand may ask you for proof of onward travel (e.g. a return or onward air ticket). You should make all reservations before travelling to Thailand. Some airlines have refused to board passengers without evidence of onward travel.

Immigration officials may also ask for evidence of adequate finances and have refused entry to people who could not show this. This is not defined in law and can be interpreted in a number of ways.

Employment

To work in Thailand you will need a work permit or business visa. Failure to observe this rule can lead to arrest and deportation.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Thailand. If you’re planning to enter Thailand using a UK ETD, you should contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate before you travel to seek advice about whether a visa is required. If you’re requesting a two-way ETD from Thailand, you must provide proof that you have a non-immigrant visa.