No matter how long you are planning to stay in Thailand, you need a VISA.
There are a lot of VISA options with each their own requirement. Each country has it’s own rules to apply for a VISA. The one I talk about in this post is for a 6 month, multiple entry VISA. That means that I’m allowed to be in Thailand for 6 months.
However, there are a few conditions:
- I have to leave Thailand at least every 2 months. Therefor, I have to cross the border and “exit” Thailand every 60 days. There is no rule to how long I have to stay in another country. I can cross the border to for example Laos, and after going through immigration, go back to Thailand immediately. This process is what digital nomads call border runs. I initially planned to make the best of these border runs and visit places like Bali, Vietnam and other surrounding/nearby countries.
- I’m not allowed to work in Thailand during this 6 month period. At least not officially. Since I work remotely with my laptop, that’s in fact illegal. In the past, there have been police raids at coworking spaces in Chiang Mai. So, it’s definitely something to keep in mind. However, I have no other option than doing this as there is no other suitable VISA I could apply for.
In order to apply for a VISA I had to go to the Thai Consulate in Antwerp with some paperwork. Some of the required documents:
- 2 versions of an application form from the Thai Consulate
- 3 passport photo’s
- My passport
- Copy of my ID
- Copy of my flight ticket
- Copy of reservation of my stay for the first few nights
- Proof of income (I still had paychecks from my employee I could show)
- Proof that I have at least € 6.000 on my bank account
When I arrived at the Thai Consulate, I showed them my documents. The lady from the Consulate was very snibby. I don’t I’ve ever met someone who was that unfriendly while I was being as polite as I could.
It’s not stated on the website of the Thai Consulate how much such a VISA would cost. Apparently, it’s €170. Oh, and you have to pay cash. No chance of paying by card. A little suspecious as you also don’t get a receipt or anything. The only thing you get in return is a pathetic little piece of paper.
And one last tip; the website of the Thai Consulate says that additional documents may be asked in some cases. A copy of evidence of good behaviour as one of them. It clearly states that it might be asked. However, I believe, it’s always asked when you apply for your first Thai VISA in Belgium.
When my 6 months will be over, and I plan to stay longer in Thailand, I’ll probably go to Vietnam. There I will apply again for the same 6 months, Multiple Entry VISA. This process is what Digital Nomads refer to as VISA run.