According to Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs this weekend, Certificates of Entry (COE) for admittance into Thailand are not being delayed, if the applicant submits the correct paperwork with their application.
The announcement was made after some would-be international tourists began to complain on social media their planned trips during the Phuket Sandbox are having to be delayed or canceled due to Certificate of Entry (COE) not being approved on time for their flight.
Thailand’s COE is just one in a long line of requirements/paperwork tourists who wish to travel to Phuket during the Sandbox must meet or obtain before they are allowed to board a flight.
Should they not be granted a COE, the Thai government has informed airlines they must not be allowed to travel.
A total of 6,020 COE applications have currently been received.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says 3,034 applications have already been approved, while 379 were rejected due to incorrect paperwork or because applicants were not eligible for entry into Thailand.
Who needs a COE for travel to Thailand?
It does not matter if a traveler is arriving in Thailand and staying on Phuket, or traveling to another destination in the country, anyone expecting to be admitted to the South East Asian country must be in possession of a valid COE before they travel.
Currently, any traveler can apply for a COE using the online application form.
The requirement stands whether the traveler has a negative Covid-19 test and is planning on traveling to Bangkok to enter 14-day quarantine, or is vaccinated against Covid and plans to stay in Phuket during the island’s quarantine-free Sandbox.
Who can apply for a COE?
Not everyone is currently eligible for entry into Thailand. These are the categories of people that are allowed to enter Thailand from July 1st onwards, as long as they can also submit the correct paperwork with their COE application:
- Diplomats, officials of international organizations, and their family members
- Non-Thai nationals who are spouses (holding a Thai Marriage visa), parents or children of Thai nationals
- Non-Thai nationals who have a Certificate of Permanent Residence
- Non-Thai nationals with valid work permit or letter of confirmation to work (WP3) from the relevant Thai government agency, and their spouse and children
- Non-Thai nationals who are students of formal educational establishments in Thailand as approved by Thai authorities, and their parents
- Non-Thai nationals in need of medical treatment in Thailand, except for treatment of COVID-19, including their accompanying persons
- Holders of Non-Immigrant visa Category OA/OX
- Holders of APEC Business card or Thai Elite Visa
- Holders of Special Tourist Visa (STV) Or Tourist Visa (TR) selected countries only
- Holders of Non-Immigrant visa for Business purpose, ownership of condominium or investment
- Holders of Non-Immigrant O retirement visa
- Passport holders of Countries under Visa Exemption Program
What are the requirements to be able to obtain a COE for Thailand?
When you submit your application for a COE, you must submit the following paperwork with your application:
- Copy of passport
- Copy of a tourist visa, non-immigrant visa, or extension of stay with a re-entry permit (if necessary)
- Copy of a COVID-19 insurance policy covering treatment and medical expenses related to COVID-19. It must have minimum coverage of $100,000 USD.
- Copy of confirmed flight booking
- Copy of confirmed Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel booking or SHA+ Hotels in Phuket
If your circumstances place you in one of the categories of people allowed to enter Thailand from July 1st onwards, and you have all the paperwork required to apply for a COE, your COE should be processed and approved within three days.
You can apply for Thailand’s COE up to 15 days before your planned departure.
Upon arrival at the airport, the airline will scan your COE to ensure it is legitimate. Once the COE is scanned and accepted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you will be allowed to board.
If you are still confused, watch this short and very useful video explaining Thailand’s COE application process in detail.