As we’ve decided to stay longer in Hanoi, we decided to be super productive and go to the Thailand embassy to get a tourist visa.
Before going to the Embassy we did a quick internet search to see what the requirements were. As with all visas its vital that your passport does not have an expiry date no less than 6 months. Apart from this we also read the following was required:
- Evidence of air travel from Thailand onwards, such as flight tickets or reservation details
- Financial evidence, a bank statement or print screen showing the equivalent amount of 20,000 baht (per person)
- Local guarantor in Thailand, name of person or hotel where you’ll stay at
Initially we were concerned about some of the requirements. We are applying for a visa 2 months in advance and travelling on just one way tickets, so at this stage we couldn’t provide no proof of onward travel and have definitely not booked a hotel so far in advance. Considering this we still decided to go to the embassy on a whim, we may not get the visas but at least we’ll be clued up!
Visa application hours are 0900-1200 Monday-Friday (same opening times as the Vietnam Embassy in New Delhi). There’s no need to print an application form off before you go as there are plenty of forms at the embassy but a shortage of pens (so do bring your own).
We filled in as much as we could then queued up. There was only 1 member of staff available, but he was very helpful and spoke good English. We knew he would ask about our travel plans after Thailand so we explained our intentions to travel overland into/& out of Thailand, also mentioning that we have no guarantor address as we decided to apply for a visa early in advance.
The staff did not question our plans and continued on with the application. We paid the fee then returned the day after to get our passports*. Wow, how easy was that? By far one of the quickest friendliest services getting a visa!
Regarding payment – the embassy will only accept dollars so make sure you exchange money in advance. It costs 40 US dollars for a 60 day tourist visa. A receipt will be given after payment which you’ll need bring the next day at 16:00 (or Monday if you applied on Friday) for collection. Remember to check details are correct on the visa at the office before you leave.
*Knowing that we could be rejected, we were surprised that we didn’t need to give any further documents to support our visa – I guess we were fortunate. Our intentions are honest as we intend to travel overland as much as possible. I can only presume that staff trusted us to proceed with the application. I have no idea if this happens often as I have read on other blogs that without supporting documents the process can be difficult.
If you aren’t sure what the visa requirements are beforehand try contacting the Embassy before you go, or if you have enough time then go to the embassy and speak to a member of staff. That’s what we did and we were fortunate to get our visa processed on the day, just remember to take your passport, photos and a pen if you get lucky!