Thailand has ‘Visa on Arrival’ facility for Indian citizens. For our backpacking trip to Thailand, we decided to get our Thailand Tourist Visa in advance in Bangalore itself. It turned out to be a smooth and simple process as we completed all formalities of Visa application at VFS Global Center within an hour and collected our passports with Visa within a week. Click here to read all our blogs from our 10-day backpacking trip to North Thailand.
Why did we apply for Thailand Visa in advance
Here are our reasons why we decided to get our Thailand Tourist Visa in advance at Bangalore –
- We read about few experiences where people had to wait for hours in line to get their Visa on arrival. We wanted to start our trip without any worries or being in line, so thought of applying upfront.
- Our flight was scheduled to land in Thailand at 4:30 AM in morning and we were not in the mood of being in Visa line in morning hours.
- Thailand Visa office opens at 8 AM. So we could easily apply and collect our Visa before our office hours.
- There is a fee difference of 1000 Thai Baht per person if you apply for Thailand Tourist Visa upfront. Visa fee at Bangalore office is 1000 Baht while fee for ‘On Arrival Visa’ is 2000 Baht . So you save almost 1000 Baht per person.
Where to apply for Thailand Visa in Bangalore
You can apply for your Thailand Visa in Bangalore at VFS Global Center in Shivajinagar. Both Indian residents and foreign nationals applying for Transit, Tourist and Non-Immigrant Thailand Visas can submit their applications at Thailand Visa Application Centre at VFS Globale Center.
Address: Thailand Visa Application Centre
Global Tech Park No: 11, 1st Floor, O Shaughnessy Rd
Langford Town, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560025
Landmark: Hockey Stadium
Submission Timings & Passport Retrieval Timings: 08:00 to 12:00 – 13:00 to 15:00 (Monday-Friday) – It takes 5 working days for Visa processing. You may either collect your Passport yourself or can get it couriers. Courier charges would be additional.
Helpline No:- 022-67866003, between 08:00 to 17:00, Monday-Friday except Holidays.
What Documents do you need to apply for Thailand Tourist Visa
You can click here to download the complete checklist of the documents required for applying for your Thailand Tourist Visa. Here are our comments –
- Application Form: You can either fill the Visa application form online here or can download a copy, fill in paper and carry with you. For more details, you may refer vfs Thailand website here.
- Colour Photographs: Please adhere to guidelines as specified in Photo Specifications section here. Please go for Matter paper print for your photographs. Even if you are opting for Visa on Arrival, please carry photographs to avoid any last minute hassles.
- Visa Fee: Visa fee of INR 2000 is accepted only either by Demand Draft or Cash. No other mode of payment is accepted. For more details, please refer Visa fee section below.
- Hotel Tickets and Flight Tickets: You need one copy for every person whom you are applying Visa for.
- Bank Statement: This is must and should be attested by bank to show your means for travel. Bank statement with enough account balance for one person in a group is enough. He/she only needs to give a declaration of sponsoring others for the trip.
- Evidence of Occupation: You may skip these documents. These are not mandatory.
For booking your hotel/accommodation in Thailand, booking.com is the best option. You may book your hotel (address to be mentioned in your visa application) without any advance payment and in case of change of plans, you can easily cancel your booking.
Here is our application form picture for your reference. You may also refer a sample application here . Please note that for Local Guarantor, you may provide details of any person in India who knows you and is not travelling with you. For Guarantor, you can write ‘Self’ providing address of the hotel where you would be staying.
What is the application fee for Thailand Tourist Visa
If you opt to apply for Thailand Tourist Visa in advance in India only, fee for Tourist Visa (single entry) is only 1000 Bhats (~2000 Indian Rupees) which is half of the fee of 2000 Thai Bhats what you pay for ‘On Arrival Visa’. So in case you are going in a large group, then it is advisable to save 50% Visa fee by applying for Visa in advance. They charge INR 315 per person service charges. Visa processing takes 5 working days and you may choose to collect your passport yourself. Otherwise, you may also get it couriered at your address by paying INR 215 per person. Though vfs website mentions that Demand Draft is the only applicable mode of payment, you can also pay for Visa fee in Cash. There are additional INR 60 per person charges in case you opt to pay by Cash. No other mode of payment (Credit/Debit Cards) are accepted. You may find updated details about Thailand Visa fees in ‘VISA FEES AND LOGISTIC FEES’ section here. Here is the summary of different charges applicable –
Our Experience of applying for Thailand Visa in Bangalore
We had reached the vfs Global Center at 8 AM itself. Staff was prompt to guide us to the Thailand Visa Application Center at first floor. There is a token counter from where you can get your token and wait for your turn. There were very few people and we were the first for the day to apply for Thailand Visa. Official at the counter checked our documents and guided us to another counter for Visa fee payment. There is also a xerox center and ATM on the first floor itself.
Post paying Visa fee and charges, we again went to the Visa counter and official took all our documents and passport. He gave us an acknowledgement receipt and asked to collect our Passports and Visa after 5 working days. Please note that only one person in the group is required to apply for Visa and collect passport after 5 working days. It is not mandatory for all people to be present at either of the instance. We finished within an hour (including xerox of few documents and cash withdrawal from ATM). In morning, it was not crowded but during day time, it may take some more time depending on the number of people in line. Happily we came out and collected our passport after 5 days without any hassles.
Thailand ‘Visa on Arrival’ Experience
Update post our trip: In the morning, when we landed in Thailand, there was a long queue for ‘Visa on Arrival’. Later, when we connected with another Indian couple in Bangkok, they told us that it took them around 3.5 hours to get their Visa. It was a tiring experience and they actually had to alter their plans as they had lost good number of hours from their schedule.
Visitors holding passport from specific countries can apply for a Visa on Arrival (15 days validity) at the airport for temporary visit – Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Process for applying – Visa on Arrival (as written on Bangkok Airport)
- Request a visa application form from an officer (Form TM 88)
- Complete the form and attach with a photograph sized 4×6 cm which was taken within last 6 months (There is also a booth near Visa on Arrival counter where you could get your photographs at 200 Baht)
- Required Documents –
- A return ticket that has confirmed return date within 15 days
- A completed arrival and departure card (Form TM 6)
- Means of living as required by immigration law: 10,000 baht per person/20,000 baht per family
- Submit visa application and all documents to an officer and receive your queue number.
Thailand Immigration Experience: Arrival & Departure
Update post our trip: Immigration for Thailand was a smooth experience. Immigration form was provided by AirAsia in flight itself and you can fill it up early to save time later. There were 3 queues – first for Thai Nationals, second for the citizens of ASEAN countries and third for remaining international travellers. Second and Third queues were finally going to same counters, so if you observe vacant counters in ASEAN queue, you may also get through this line. There were boards showing the estimated wait time basis your position in queue. It took us around 30 minutes to get our immigration completed.
Please note that they will give a part of immigration form post stamping your passport. Please keep this slip till you return as it will be asked at the immigration counter while your departure. While coming back, all immigration counters were free and it took us just couple of minutes to get our passports stamped and go ahead.
Hope this information helps you. Please feel free to comment in case you need any additional details. You may refer vfs Thailand website for more details.
- Locker Charges: In case, you are carrying laptop, they charge INR 100 per locker for valuables. So you may save some bucks by not carrying your laptop. (Inputs from our friend, Shankit)
- Only Cash being accepted – Now the payment is accepted only in Cash and there are no cash handling fees anymore. So go prepared with Cash. (Inputs from our reader – Vishal Dhiman. Please refer comments)
- Change in Visa fee – From May 15, 2018, Visa fee is supposed to be revised to INR 2500 pr person. Please do confirm us in case anyone of you apply post May 15. (Inputs from our reader – Rihtak, Please refer comments)
- Revised Fee and documents: (Thanks Aditya for your inputs)
- Along with documents mentioned, now 2 photo copies of passport along with signature on both sheets are required
- Only CASH is accepted – No DD, Cards or Net Banking
- Revised Fees has been increased to below Breakdown
- VISA Fee Tourist – 2500/-
- VFS Logistic Fee – 315/-
- Courier Fee – 215/-
- SMS Fee – 80/-
Total – 3110/-. In case SMS and Courier not applied, total fee becomes 2815/-. It is advisable to get change to exact amount and not expect the cashier to provide you same.