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 or territory 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.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the 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 make sure that when you depart Thailand you have a valid passport of the nationality used to enter, otherwise you may have difficulty in leaving.
British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa - this is known as a visa exemption. If you need to stay longer, it’s possible to extend your stay once, from the expiry date of the original visa, for up to 30 days.
If you’re using the 30 day visa exemption you can only enter Thailand through a land border twice per calendar year. To cross more frequently, you’ll need to get a visa in advance of travelling. This doesn’t apply to entry by air into Thailand. You should contact the nearest Thai embassy or consulate for more information.
If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days, intend to work, or use land borders regularly you must get a visa before you travel. If you’ve entered Thailand on a visa, it’s possible to apply for an extension of stay but you must do this before your permission to stay expires.
If you 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 black-listed from re-entering Thailand. The enforcement of penalties for those who overstay their visa is strict and the conditions at the Immigration Detention Centre are harsh. Deportation by the Thai authorities can take a number of days to process. The Thai authorities have stated that they will always enforce detention for overstays of more than 42 days. Since March 2016, you’ll be banned from re-entering Thailand if you overstay your visa. Check with the Thai Immigration Authority for details.
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 have any queries about visas or entry requirements, check with the Royal Thai Embassy.
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 leaving for Thailand. Some airlines have refused to board passengers without evidence of onward travel. Immigration officials may also ask for evidence of adequate finances equivalent to 10,000 baht per person, or 20,000 baht per family (for on-arrival-visa visitors). Other visa types may have different requirements: you should check with the Thai Immigration Authority before travelling.
To work in Thailand you will need a work permit, which is difficult and time-consuming to get. If you enter Thailand on a tourist visa you’re not allowed to work. 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 are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Thailand. If you’re planning to enter Thailand using a UK Emergency Travel Document you should contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate before you travel to seek advice about whether a visa is required.
Travelling with medicines
Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available in the UK are considered controlled substances in Thailand. Restrictions tend to apply to medication containing narcotic and pyschotropic substances. You can find more information on the website of the Royal Thai Embassy and checking the medication guidance for travellers.