If you travel to and from Thailand several times a year, you may be wondering how many times a year can you enter Thailand without a visa?
After all, with new visa laws in effect in the last couple of years, people are being turned away at Thai land borders and at Thai airports for either previously spending too long in Thailand, or not having the right visa stamped in their passports.
So, how many times a year can you enter Thailand without a visa? Or will your ability to enter the country be based on something else?
What does entering Thailand without a visa actually mean?
First, let’s just explain what entering Thailand without a visa actually means.
It means arriving in the country without a tourist visa, non-immigrant B visa, education visa or any other type of visa already stamped into your passport.
It means being given a 30-day stamp when you arrive at a Thai airport, or cross a Thai border. A stamp that allows you to stay for up to 30 days in Thailand, before you will be required to leave. A stamp that is only given to citizens of specific countries.
How many times a year can you enter Thailand without a visa?
As far as how many times a year can you enter Thailand under the new immigration rules, there isn’t actually a law stating how many times you can enter. Instead, there are two different laws you will need to pay attention to.
- You can only enter the country via a land border twice in a year without a visa. If you have already entered the country twice before a 12-month period has expired, chances are you will be turned away if you try to do it a third time. You can, however, enter the country by flying in as many times as you like.
- You can only stay in Thailand for 182 days per year without the correct visa allowing you to stay longer. In fact, the current law is not based on how many times a year you are allowed to enter the country, but how many days you have stayed when you have done so.
These are the two laws you need to pay attention to.
In other words, you can enter Thailand as many times a year as you like without a visa, as long as you do so via an airport, and you have not stayed 182 days or longer in a 12-month period.
There are several other requirements you must also take into consideration when arriving in Thailand without a visa.
- You must have a ticket out of the country that is valid within that 30-day period.
- You must have 20,000 baht or the equivalent in a foreign currency. In most cases too, bank statements are not accepted.
- Proof of accommodation.
You will probably not be asked for any of these things but, if you are and you do not have them, there is a good chance you will be turned away.
Should you get a visa before traveling to Thailand?
If you are on your first trip to the country in the last 12 months, and plan on staying 30 days or less, then there is no need to apply for a tourist visa or any other type of visa.
Related: Can you extend a 30-day visa exemption in Thailand, if you decide to stay longer?
If you have visited the country in the last year more than once or twice, however, it is better to apply for a tourist visa just to be on the safe side. That way you are less likely to have problems at immigration, and even less likely to be turned away.
For more information on visas for Thailand, check the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.