Once you get to Thailand you know you will have a gay old time. But, you can't start joining in the fun until you get permission to enter the country. Submitting a visa application is not difficult but you must make sure you do it right. It would be awful to have a trip planned and then have to cancel simply because you did not have the right paperwork.
Countries, including the United States, require most visitors to have visas in order to make sure that they will not become a burden on the local economy. In other words, the government does not want to have to pay money to take care of you should you not have enough money to live. They also want to make sure that you are not a criminal and that you don't pose any danger to the country you are visiting.
If you are flying from the United States or the UK and a Few Other places, and are only staying in Thailand for a short period of time less than 30 days in most cases you won't need to apply for a visa in advance.
Most people, however, stay in Thailand for at least that long if not longer. It takes so long to fly to the country that once you are there you will want to stay awhile!
Short Or Long Term Stays
When you apply for a Thai visa, you will be allowed to stay for at least 60 days and be able to take multiple 60 day trips. If you apply for a long term visa you will be allowed to stay for at least 90 days. Both visas can be extended once you are in Thailand.
Most Expats who live in Thailand and are not on Retirement Visas, will get a dual entry 60 day Visa. This allows them to stay for 60 days and go to the Immigration Office in Thailand and get a 30 day extension. After the 90 days, they have to leave the country but only to cross a boarder and get the stamp and then return. Many will take a cheap bus trip to Cambodia or Laos in order to get the stamp. But, from Bangkok, you are a short flight away from some amazing places in Asia. Airfare is relatively inexpensive and a quick jaunt to a foreign country for the weekend is a nice way to get a change of place and see different cultures.
You can apply for your visa either in person or by mail through the nearest Thailand embassy.
In order to have your visa approved you will have to submit several different documents if you forget any one document your visa application will be rejected so pay attention stud!
First off, you need to send them a valid copy of your passport. This is done to make sure you are who you say you are.
Next you need to fill out a copy of the Thailand Visa Application form. You can download and print a form here: http://www.thaiembdc.org/forms/app_form.html
With the form you must send two passport photos measuring two inches by two inches square. The photos have to be taken on a light background. Because these photos are your main form of identification you can not be wearing a hat or sunglasses in the photos or you will be rejected!
You Have To Pay If You Want To Play!
Depending on which visa you are seeking you will have to send money to cover the cost of your application. If you are getting your visa from the embassy you will have to pay for your application in cash. If you are submitting your application by mail you will have to pay with a money order. Checks and credit cards are not accepted. A tourist (short term) visa application costs $25. A long term (non immigrant visa) application costs $50.
If you are sending the application by mail you have to include a self addressed stamped envelope for them to send you your passport and visa back in. The post office can let you know how much the postage should be. In addition to the regular post you are asked to include an additional 37 cent stamp. This covers any mail they may need to send to confirm your application information.
When you apply for a long stay visa you must tell the embassy what you will be doing in Thailand so that they can give full consideration to your application.
If you are over 50 and wish to retire in Thailand there are specific regulations that you will have to follow. In general the most important qualification is that you do not have a criminal record in either your home country or Thailand.
Basically, the requirement is that you have 800,000 baht or about $20,000 US in a Thai bank and have proof of income.
There is a great article on www.GayButton.com that details his experience in getting his Retirement Visa.
The complete list of requirements are found here: http://www.thaiembdc.org/consular/visa/retirementvisa.html
You will not get your visa application processed right away. If you apply in person at the embassy it will still take a minimum of 48 hours to process your application. If you apply by mail it will take at least a week so apply early!
Know When You Are Going To Go!
Once you have your visa you must begin using it within 90 days or you will have to apply again. That means you should purchase your tickets before you apply for your visa, so you don't risk having to pay the application fees twice.
Just Do It!
Now stop wasting time reading this! We want to meet you on the beach! Go out and get your Thailand visa, stud!
cc: 2005 - 2015 GayThailand.com
Gay Thailand is the Information Center for Gay Thailand, Gay Pattaya, Gay Bangkok, Gay Chiang Mai, Gay Phuket and Sunee Plaza.
*Note: Remember that this article was written at a certain place and time. Things in Thailand change often and the only way to see up to date information is to check out our City Guide Section for each city. Keeping up with the City Guide section and monitoring the Message Boards will keep you to date with the latest information about Gay Thailand | Gay Pattaya | Gay Bangkok | Gay Chiang Mai | Gay Phuket | Sunee Plaza | Gay Hua Hin