Thailand E-Visa on Arrival (Update)

We are currently in Phuket and got here on an “E-Visa on Arrival” using our Indian Passports. The process for getting this e-visa was as follows:

  1. No more than 30 days before travel, visit this link and fill in the application form:
  2. Do online payment for regular service
  3. Visa is received via Email after 2-3 working days

I took printouts of this visa and arrived in Phuket.

At the Phuket Airport, I couldn’t go directly to the immigration counter. I had to first go to a separate E-Visa On Arrival counter (adjacent to the normal Visa on Arrival counter). I handed in the passports, arrival card and visa printout.

They took about 15 minutes to process the visa and stamp our passports. 2 or 3 flights had arrived at the same time (from India and China) – so the load on the E-Visa counter was high.

After getting the passport stamp, we had to go through immigration and follow the normal process.

Overall, it was a bit faster than getting a full visa on arrival, but still took some processing time upon arrival.

Countries where Indians do not need a visa

Apparently there are places we Indians can travel to without visas. There are surprisingly more than 50 of these, if we are to believe Wikipedia (click here for list of countries).

Most interesting one is Turkey. I think this is a recent change in their law. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs website states that Indian passport holders with a UK/Schengen or US visa can get a 1-month visa upon arrival. I wanted to visit Turkey back in April 2010, and then I was advised by the embassy, the travel agent and the Turkey MFA website that I do need to apply for a visa, despite having a UK resident visa.

Here are some interesting excerpts from the Wikipedia list ….

  • Egypt (Sinai resorts area)
  • Seychelles
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Ecuador
  • Jamaica
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Bhutan
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Ireland — special case — only if you have a valid UK tourist/business (short term) visa.
  • Fiji
  • Vanuatu

All the above are fascinating tourist destinations. If they are not on your bucket-list already, put them on there. They definitely are on mine!

Land of Smiles … (Thailand Visa Experience)

Target Country: Thailand
Passport: Indian Passport
Visa Purpose: Tourist Visa
Processing Consulate/Embassy: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Documents submitted:

  1. Onwards tickets (electronic itinerary was acceptable).
  2. Address in Thailand.
  3. Baht 1000 fee (cash was OK).
  4. Filled application form (available at Bangkok Airport)
  5. 1 passport-sized photos
  6. Valid passport

Too easy! You just turn up at Bangkok Airport (or most other ports of entry in Thailand) and you apply for the visa at a dedicated desk before the immigrations area. There was no queues.

Time frame: 15 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on how many flights arrive at the same time.

NEW!!! Update as of July 2016: Our flight arrived in Suvarnabhumi airport at the same time as a number of flights from India, China and other Visa-on-Arrival countries. As a result the visa queue was at least 1.5 hours long. Luckily we had filled in the online visa form before traveling – this helped us jump the queue. The visa processing still took 20 minutes. The online visa form is available here. Don’t worry about the security warning about an invalid certificate. This is the genuine form.