Important Update – Thailand Government has waived off Visa on Arrival fees till
Jan 13th 2019 (Thailand Cabinet extended Fee Exemption till Apr’19). Fee of 2,000 baht, or nearly Rs 4,400, is waived between 1st Dec’18 and 13th Jan’19 for travellers from 21 countries, including India. To experience Thailand Visa on Arrival experience, I applied for Visa on Arrival twice during my Vietnam Trip in Dec’18 (I had transit time of 10 hours at Bangkok Airport both during onward and return flights). While it took me almost 2 hours to go through Visa on Arrival Process (due to heavy rush) but Visa on Arrival was completely free. No Fee charged. !! I have written a detailed account about my Thailand Visa on Arrival application process which you may read here – How to get Thailand Visa on Arrival for Indian Tourists (Also 21 Eligible Countries)
Thailand has ‘Visa on Arrival’ facility for Indian citizens (Read more: How to get Thailand Visa on Arrival for Indian Tourists). For our first backpacking trip to Thailand, we had decided to get our Thailand Tourist Visa from Bangalore itself. It turned out to be a smooth and simple process as we completed all formalities of Thailand Visa Application at VFS Global Center Bangalore within an hour and collected our passports with Thailand Visa within a week.
Thailand Visa for Indians – 3 Ways to Get Thai Visa
There are 3 ways that you can apply and get your Thailand Visa. As of now, only first 2 processes are available for getting Thailand Visa for Indians while Thai Government has announced launch of E-Visa in 2019. A quick summary of each process is below (Read more: Thailand Visa for Indians – Visa Types, Fees and How to Apply ) –
- Thailand Visa on Arrival for Indians – This is a 15 day Visa issued to citizens from selected 21 countries once you land in Thailand. You can submit your documents, pay Visa fees and get your Thailand Visa at airport or any of 48 immigration points once you land there. (Read more – How to get Thailand Visa on Arrival for Indian Tourists )
- Thailand Online Visa on Arrival (E-Visa on Arrival) – Recently Thai Government launched an E-Visa on Arrival facility. You can apply for your Visa on Arrival online and get pre-approval. Once you land in Thailand, just head to E-Visa counter and get your Visa on Arrival. (Read more – Thailand E-Visa on Arrival – Should you even apply online for Visa on Arrival? )
- Apply for Thai Visa beforehand in India – We have explained this process in our blog here. In case, you are looking for a longer duration Visa or do not want to stand in queue after landing in Thailand, you can apply for Thailand Visa from India beforehand. Usually fees for this kind of Thailand Visa is also lesser compared to getting your Thailand Visa on Arrival.
- Thailand E-Visa (To be launched) – Thailand Government has announced that they would launch Complete E-Visa in 2019 (rather than E-Visa on Arrival). Plan is to launch it for China, Britain and France citizens in 2019. Once launched, this will be your complete 60 days Visa (Visa on Arrival is valid only for 15 days) and you can directly head to immigration once in Thailand (skipping all Visa on Arrival processes). When launched, Thailand E-Visa applications will be made via https://www.thaievisa.go.th/ but foreigners will also still be able to apply for a visa in person at a Thai embassy or consulate.
In this blog, we have explained process, requirements and fees for applying your Visa from Bangalore, India. For details of all processes, you may refer our blog here – Thailand Visa for Indians – Visa Types, Fees and How to Apply
Why did we apply for Thailand Visa in advance (At Bangalore)
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 for our Thailand Visa in Bangalore.
- 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 in Bangalore (VFS Global Visa Office) opens at 8 AM. So, we could easily apply and collect our Thailand Visa before our office hours.
- There is a fee difference of 1000 Thai Baht per person if you apply for Thailand Tourist Visa upfront in Bangalore (Compared to Visa on Arrival Fees once you land in Thailand). Thailand Visa fee at Bangalore VFS Global office is 1000 Baht while fee for ‘Visa on Arrival’ 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, Bangalore.
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 Thailand Visa processing in Bangalore. 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 at Bangalore
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 Thailand 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.
- Thailand 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. Click here to book your Thailand hotel or search below –
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 Thailand Tourist Visa Fee at VFS Global Bangalore
If you opt to apply for Thailand Tourist Visa in advance in India only, fee for Tourist Visa (single entry) is now 2500 Indian Rupees which is almost half of the fee of INR 4000 (2000 Thai Bhats) what you pay for ‘Visa on Arrival ‘. 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. Payment is accepted only in cash. There are additional INR 80 per person charges in case you opt for SMS. No other mode of payment (DD/Credit/Debit Cards) are accepted. You may find updated details about Thailand Visa fees in ‘VISA FEES AND LOGISTIC FEES’ section here.
Our Experience of applying for Thailand Visa in Bangalore
We had reached the VFS Global Center Bangalore 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 Thai 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 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.
- Locker Charges: In case, you are carrying laptop, VFS Global Bangalore 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.
Hope this information helps you plan your Thailand Trip better. Please feel free to comment in case you need any additional details. We will be happy to assist you. You may refer vfs Thailand website for more details.