Travel & Visa News

This page contains the latest news for travellers

The newest articles are at the top of the page. Sometimes the information in the newer articles supersedes information further down the page, especially in the ever changing covid situation. Immigration requirements change on a regular basis. For the latest update contact us directly.

UK Passport Warning

Holidaymakers, tourists and anyone planning to visit Thailand are urged to check their passports before they set off as documents which appear in date may not be valid on arrival.

Up to 70 countries, including Thailand, require you to have six months left on your passport when you travel, meaning that even if it has not yet technically expired, you may be banned from travelling. Other countries have similar rules requiring anything from 45 days to three months remaining.

This rule is especially important if you still have a red passport, which are no longer being issued after the UK left the EU meaning many red passports are due to expire earlier than the document states. Some red passports were given an extra 6 months on top of the normal 10 years but this is not being honoured since the EU exit.

picture of passport and Thai money

New tax on all foreign arrivals

A trip to Thailand is about to get a little more expensive. Starting June 1, 2023 the country will impose a tourism tax on international visitors, the Thai government confirmed on Tuesday.

Those who arrive by air will be taxed 300 baht (roughly US$9, which will be added into airfare) and those by land or water transportation will be charged 150 baht (US$4). The year-round tax will only apply to those staying overnight in the country, children under 2 or those traveling on diplomatic passports or work permits will be exempt.

The tax, which was proposed by the National Tourism Policy Committee and has been under consideration since before the pandemic, has been criticized by the local tourism industry, according to the Bangkok Post.

Government officials say it will help offset medical costs tourists accrue at public hospitals, which totalled between US$8 and 11 million from 2017 and 2019, the tourism and sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told reporters on Tuesday. Despite this, tourists should not view it as free travel insurance. It will also support domestic tourism development. This year alone, the tax could generate more than US$115 million.

Beyond the upcoming tourism tax, there are no restrictions for leisure travellers to enter Thailand, other than having a passport with at least six months of validity from your arrival. Many nations citizens’ don’t need a visa for stays fewer than 30 days, (45 until March 31) but Thai immigration officials or airline staff may require proof of an onward or return ticket. All coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.

picture of logo

New covid restrictions?

6th January 2023

You may have read in the last 24 hours on certain websites, that a negative PCR test is now required once again to enter Thailand together with a covid vaccination certificate. Please note this is FALSE information. We have had this confirmed by email from the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Bangkok who state:-

"Thailand continues to welcome all international tourists under the fully-reopen-to-tourism policy that was introduced on 1 October, 2022.  International travellers arriving in Thailand are not required to show proof of vaccination. In addition, foreign tourists are not required to show ATK or RT-PCR test results".

It seems some sources jumped the gun and assumed the new restrictions on Chinese and Indian travellers returning home applied to all! Always check here first for the latest Thai Visa News.

Photo of celebrating people

End to Covid Restrictions for Travellers

Thailand’s Centre of COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has announced the ending of the nationwide COVID-19 Emergency Decree as of 30 September, 2022, as the kingdom reclassifies COVID-19 from ‘a dangerous communicable disease’ to ‘a communicable disease under surveillance’ from 1 October, 2022.

From that date, international travellers to Thailand will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or ATK test results.

The ending of the COVID-19 Emergency Decree, which has been in place for 19 times since 25 March, 2020, will result to the CCSA be automatically dissolved, and all the regulations, announcements, and orders issued by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet under the decree be revoked.
Since the pandemic, Thailand has gradually reopened to international tourism starting in July 2021 with the Phuket Sandbox, Samui Plus, and 7+7 Extension programmes. This was followed by a four-phase reopening timeline from October 2021 to January 2022.

The kingdom began fully reopening from 1 July, 2022, with the removal of the Thailand Pass registration scheme, and foreign nationals only be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative ATK test result within 72 hours of travel, this will be lifted from 1 October, 2022, onwards.

In addition, the cabinet approved extending the period of stay to 45 days (from 30 days) for tourists from countries/territories entitled for visa exemption, and to 30 days (from 15 days) for those eligible for a Visa on Arrival (VOA). This will be in effect from 1 October, 2022, until 31 March, 2023.

photo showing Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Validation System
photo showing Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Validation System
photo showing Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Validation System
photo showing Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Validation System

New Passenger Validation System  unveiled in Bangkok

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport has announced the activation of a new Passenger Validation System (PVS) from 1 September, 2022, as part of its overall security upgrade and service improvement.

The PVS system is an important enhancement that is being made for the safety of all passengers and staff and to better improve traffic flow through Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is the primary international gateway to Thailand and aims to position itself as one of the world’s premier airports.

From then, the PVS will be in operation at:
• The entrance to the domestic departure checkpoints behind the check-in counters at Rows C-D (a total of eight units in place);
• The entrance to the international departure passenger checkpoints at Zone 2, behind check-in counters at Rows J-K (two units), and behind check-in counters at Rows L-M (two units);
• The entrance up to the international departure passenger checkpoints at Zone 3, behind the check-in counters at Rows S-T (three units).

The PVS verifies passenger travel information to optimise the screening capability and increase safety standards. It works by having passengers place their paper or E-boarding passes onto the machine scanner which will read and check their travel information. This enables the screening of passengers with precise accuracy and prevents unauthorised persons from entering airside and restricted areas. It can also prevent boarding passes that have already gone through the system from being reused.

To facilitate passengers in using the PVS, airport staff will be on hand to provide advice and assistance where necessary.

All photos courtesy of the Airports of Thailand.

TM6 entry paper suspension flyer

TM6 Entry Card suspended for air travellers

To ease congestion at airports the Thai Government has suspended the requirement to fill out and present the TM6 entry form, but only for those entering by air-The system remains in place for those entering by land or sea.

Deputy Government Spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul stated that to relieve passenger congestion at international airports, the government would suspend the requirement for international travellers to fill out TM 6 immigration forms. She also confirmed that immigration officers will still collect data on arrivals using biometric systems at airports, and that additional travel data may also be obtained from airlines.

Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha added that this will streamline the procedure for international tourists, who are already required to fill out numerous documents upon arrival.

The change took effect on the 2nd July 2022 for an unspecified period.

Please note: If you are planning a long-term stay in Thailand, you are advised to still fill out the TM6 arrival form as you will need it to apply for visa extensions.

picture of Passport and Thai Bank Notes

Goodbye Thailand Pass!

1st July 2022 is ‘D-day’ for tourists. 

The burdensome need to apply for the Thailand Pass is no more  following the recent approval by Thailand’s Centre of COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to remove the Thailand Pass registration scheme for foreign visitors, altogether from that day. The requirement was initially removed for Thai nationals from 1 June, 2022.

From 1 July, 2022, foreign nationals are only required to show proof of either a certificate of vaccination or a negative RT-PCR or professional ATK test result within 72 hours of travel. These can be in a print or digital format. Random checks will be made on arrivals at Thailand’s international airports or land border checkpoints (in 22 provinces). Unvaccinated/not fully vaccinated travellers who are random checked and who are unable to show proof of a pre-arrival negative test will be required to undergo a professional ATK test at the point of entry.

Meanwhile, the CCSA also approved the designation of Bangkok and 76 provinces as the Surveillance or green zone, thus allowing resumption of new normal businesses and activities nationwide, and while maintaining the safety and health measures under the universal prevention, the Royal Thai Government is preparing to announce a new set of guidelines as the nation is stepping into post-pandemic.

Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions

and Thailand Pass updated again!

New Thailand Pass registration and entry rules for international arrivals, take effect on 1st June 2022.

Foreign nationals are still required to apply for a Thailand Pass but will only need to provide passport details, vaccination, and an US$10,000 health insurance policy. A Thailand Pass QR code for the applicants is then issued. Meanwhile, Thais will no longer be required to apply for a Thailand Pass.

Upon arriving in Thailand, vaccinated travellers must undergo entry screening, and once entry has been permitted they are free to go anywhere in the kingdom.

Unvaccinated/not fully vaccinated travellers who are able to upload proof of a negative RT-PCR or professional ATK test within 72 hours of travel via the Thailand Pass system will also be allowed entry and are free to go anywhere in the kingdom.

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) also approved further easing of nationwide COVID-19 controls with three colour-coded zones: The Pilot Tourist Areas or blue zones, the Surveillance or green zone, and the Areas under Stringent Surveillance or yellow zone. Night-time entertainment venues; such as, pubs, bars and karaoke lounges in the green and blue zones will be allowed to resume operation, including the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises up till 24.00 Hrs. 

picture of 2 US passports and airline tickets

No More Test & Go

New rules come into force on 01/05/2022

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved the lifting of the RT-PCR testing requirement for international arrivals beginning 1 May, 2022, and introduced two new entry schemes specifically customised for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

New entry rules for vaccinated travellers:
International travellers who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to show proof of a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR test nor undergo an arrival test.
They are still required to register for a Thailand Pass with a Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination and an insurance policy with coverage no less than US$10,000 (reduced from US$20,000).

Once arriving in Thailand, they will be allowed entry and are free to go anywhere in the kingdom.

New entry rules for unvaccinated travellers:
International travellers who are unvaccinated or are not fully vaccinated will also no longer be required to show proof of a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR test nor undergo an arrival test.
They are required to register for a Thailand Pass with a 5-day hotel booking and an insurance policy with coverage no less than US$10,000 (reduced from US$20,000).

Once arriving in Thailand, they must proceed to undergo the quarantine for 5 days and undergo an RT-PCR test on Day 5.
An exception is made for unvaccinated travellers who are able to upload proof of a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of travel via the Thailand Pass system, they – like those fully vaccinated – will be allowed entry and are free to go anywhere in the kingdom

Photo showing negative PCR test result

RT-PCR test no longer required to enter Thailand

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved the lifting of the pre-travel testing requirement for international arrivals beginning 1st April, 2022, as the kingdom prepares a four-phase plan to downgrade the COVID-19 pandemic to an endemic disease. 

Other rules have been extended too from 1st April, 2022:

Eligible travellers
International arrivals under any of the current three entry schemes – TEST & GO, Sandbox, and Alternative Quarantine (AQ) – will be allowed to enter Thailand without the need to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of travel.

Points of entry
The number of approved airports increased from 7 to 8 – Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Chiang Mai, U-Tapao, and Hat Yai (new).

Land border checkpoints increased from 3 to 4 – Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Songkhla, and Satun (new)

Water points of entry increased from ports and piers in 2 to 3 provinces – Phuket, Chon Buri, and Surat Thani (new).

Testing requirement
Two tests remain in place for the TEST & GO and Sandbox travellers: RT-PCR test upon arrival (Day 0) and an antigen self-test on Day 5.

Sandbox staying period
Reduced to 5 days from currently 7 days. After completing five days within the Sandbox destinations, travellers will be allowed to travel domestically within Thailand.

AQ requirement
Quarantine reduced to 5 days and an RT-PCR test on Day 4-5.

20 baht banknotes showing a portrait of HM King Vajiralongkorn. Image Bank of Thailand.

Bank of Thailand Issues new 20 Baht Polymer Banknote

New 20 Baht polymer banknotes are already in circulation however the paper banknotes will remain legal tender for the time being

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has issued a new 20 Baht Polymer Banknote

​The initiative to change from paper to polymer for 20 Baht banknotes is to improve the quality, making notes cleaner and more durable. As the 20 Baht is the most widely used denomination it is worn out and soiled quicker than other denominations, said the BOT in its statement.

The advantage of polymer over paper is that it does not absorb moisture and dirt. Therefore, polymer banknotes can last significantly longer than paper banknotes.

The durability of polymer banknotes can also reduce the need to print new notes to replace the damaged ones over the long term which of course is better for the environment. 

The 20 Baht polymer banknotes keep the same theme of design and features as the current 20 Baht paper banknotes in circulation.

Advanced anti-counterfeit technologies are used to ensure that the new polymer banknotes are difficult to copy

One additional security feature is the “clear windows”, which can be seen through from both sides. The lower clear window exhibits colour-shifting from translucent yellow to red.

For the visually impaired, the added feature is the small numeric “20” embossed numbers in the upper clear window, which can be easily touched and felt.

Image: Bank of Thailand

Photo of two a UK residence card, a UK passport and a Thai passport

Thai Visa Express- Assistance with your visa from Thailand

Thai Visa Express Thailand is the best option for legal immigration services that are quick, secure, and professional. Thailand Visas are available for tourism, retirement, business, education, and non-immigrant purposes. Visas for the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Switzerland, among others.

Thai Visa Express Thailand is your first choice for speedy, secure, and professional immigration services, with 16 years of expertise assisting countless individuals acquire their Thailand visas. Thai Visa Express offers a service to process 1-Year Non-Immigrant Visa Extensions in Thailand for ex-pats that live overseas. This visa provides the following:
• Multiple-entry travel to Thailand
• Possibility of remaining in Thailand for up to 12 months
• A non-immigrant O-Visa which is renewable on a yearly basis.
• Assistance in assuring you meet the financial requirements.

Other services include:
• Thai visa applications to the United Kingdom
• Assistance with opening a Thai bank account
• Non-immigrant visa applications
• Document Translation Service
• British Overseas Passport Applications
• Thai visa extensions are available.
• Thai marriage service
• further Thai immigration advice? then contact them today.

Test and Go Entry Scheme update (23/2/22)

- New rules come into effect from 1 March, 2022 (travellers can enter Thailand on 7 March, 2022).

It was announced today that Travellers can arrive in Thailand by air, land, and water with the required prepaid accommodation reduced to 1 night and the COVID-19 tests revised to 1 RT-PCR and 1 self-ATK (lateral flow test), which must be reported via an app, rather than the previous day 1 and 5 quarantine requirement.

Points of entry:
By air (direct international flight or transit domestically via dedicated flights.)
By land (at the border checkpoints in Nong Khai, Udon Thani, and Songkhla.)
By water (yachts.)

For arrivals by land: Thai citizens and foreign travellers from neighbouring countries connecting with the reopened border checkpoints (Nong Khai, Udon Thani, and Songkhla).

Arrivals via air or land will still need a Thailand Pass whereas arrivals by water use the old Certificate of Entry system.

Health insurance requirements are lessened too - An insurance policy with coverage no less than US$20,000. Thais and foreign expatriates under Thailand’s national healthcare coverage are exempt from this requirement.

Pre- arrival COVID-19 testing requirements and vaccine proof remain unchanged


Picture of check in desks at Bangkok airport.
Picture of a duty free shop in Bangkok airport

Day five covid test on the way out?

The Thai Government will consider a recommendation from AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes, to reduce the steps required for international entry, by doing away the second compulsory COVID-19 test, currently required on the fifth day after arrival.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul met with Mr Fernandes, to discuss ideas on improving the “Test & Go” scheme, specifically the removal of the second test requirement. The minister confirmed he has asked Department of Disease Control (DDC) to consider the idea.

AirAsia also claims that tourists are interested in coming to Thailand but are discouraged by the complex entry restrictions. Anutin agrees that they cause inconvenience for foreign travellers, but he emphasised the need for the balance between reviving the economy and the safety of travellers and the Kingdoms population

He continued to say that the careful management of hospital beds and medical supplies is necessary and added that the ministry is focusing on home isolation, so there will still be enough beds for severe cases.

The Health ministry is considering other preventive measures, to reduce the number of new infections, such as speeding up vaccinations, particularly booster shots.

Sandbox Programme Extended

From 1 February, 2022, the Thai authorities extended the existing Sandbox programme. 

Thailand has reopened Bang Lamung, Pattaya, Si Racha, Si Chang, and Sattahip (only Na Jomtien and Bang Saray – in Chon Buri), and Ko Chang in Trat as Sandbox destinations, in addition to original Krabi, Phang-Nga, Phuket, and Ko Samui/Ko Pha-ngan/Ko Tao.

Who is eligible? Well, pretty much everyone from every country!

You must enter via the following points of entry:
• By air at Phuket International Airport for Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Phuket.
• By air at Krabi International Airport for Krabi.
• By air at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, then transit on a sealed flight for Ko Samui, or Phuket.
• By air at Suvarnabhumi Airport, then travel by a prearranged vehicle on a sealed route to Bang Lamung, Pattaya, Si Racha, Si Chang, and Sattahip – only Na Jomtien and Bang Saray – in Chon Buri, and Ko Chang in Trat.

Rules apply including the following:

  • You must obtain a Thailand Pass
  • You need to be able to show you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 14 days prior to departure with a vaccine that has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or Thai Authority.
  • You must hold a valid Health insurance policy that covers medical expenses including treatment related to COVID-19 with a minimum of 50,000 USD throughout the period of your stay in Thailand. 
  • You’ll need a confirmed and fully paid booking of stay at SHA Plus Hotels including the     appropriate PCR tests booked and paid for
  • You must have a negative PCR test certificate taken no more than 72 hours prior to take off

Picture of the beach at Phuket, Thailand

Latest Quarantine requirements. What's happening with 'test and go'?

What are the current rules for UK passport holders?

Fully vaccinated people arriving from  the UK, can enter Thailand. Upon arrival you must stay in approved quarantine accommodation for  at least 2 days. (days 1 & 5) Your quarantine package must include PCR tests on these days and (on day 1) transport arranged by the hotel to your quarantine centre.

Non fully vaccinated people must quarantine at a State Quarantine or ASQ facility for longer, depending on if they are part or non vaccinated.

A pre-flight negative PCR, no older than 72 hours at the time of take off, is also required for all travellers.

You will be required to download the Thai Chana COVID-19 tracking app when you arrive.

What sort of Covid Test do I need to enter Thailand?

Once you have successfully got your Visa and Certificate of Entry in your hand you will need to book your a Covid test in order to demonstrate you are not infected. But what do you need?

The Thai Authorities, and indeed your airline prior to boarding, require you to show a negative RT-PCR test which is less than 72 hours old at the time of take off.

These tests are processed by a lab and should not be confused with the lateral flow ones available for home use. You can book the tests at numerous sites across the UK and some hotels do them as part of a package if you stay the night before your flight. (EDIT: see update above)

Confirm your Vaccine Status via the NHS app

The Thai Embassy now requires confirmation of your covid-19 vaccine status as part of the process in applying for your Certificate of Entry.  From May  2021, it has been possible to access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App.

You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or by tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. The British Government recommends that you register with the app before booking international travel.  

You can also call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine and the letter will take about 5 days to reach you as well.  Thai immigration will expect to see a paper copy, so don't rely only on the app


© Copyright 2024. All rights reserved. The information and commentary on this website is provided free of charge for information purposes only. The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person. We try to make sure information is accurate at the date it is published. Immigration requirements change on a regular basis. For the latest update contact us directly. Thai Embassy UK and are trading names of The Penn Visa Company.

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