Indians get Visa on Arrival for Thailand – 15 days at a time. As on the date of this post – it costs 1000 Thai Baht at most ports of entry. At Suvarnabhumi, The immigration guys hold boards for a “express” Visa on Arrival for 1200 ThB – for a 20 min waiting time.
I arrived in Thailand, and wanted to stay longer than a month. Sadly, if you were to apply for an extension, as they have on the websites – “for emergency cases only”, Indians get only a 7 day extension. In contrasts to Aussies, Americans, South Africans and most others who are given 30 day extensions.
So I decided to go to Yangon from Chiang Mai, where the Thai Embassy usually gives 2 months tourist visa, usually on the next day of application. If I were to apply in India, it would have taken at least 5 working days, and I would only get a month’s tourist visa (for a fees of Rs. 2500 + VFS fees).
I researched further online, most blog posts like this one, made it sound easy. I called the embassy – no one answered. But again, if it worked for most others – why would it be different for me?
Flew to Yangon. Yangon’s unique, and interesting. Also, I had good friends living there – And they made the place even better.
The Monday morning 8 am, when I went to apply – there were a few people already standing. However the queues moved fairly quickly.
Here’s what you need – as listed on the Embassy’s website :
- Passport size photos – quantity 2 – Color – 35mm x 45cm
- Filled visa application form – which is available there.
- USD 40 – without creases – as good as new.
- Proof flying out of Thailand.
And it seems to be all that is needed for most nationalities. Except Indian’s of course. When I get to the counter – the lady asked me for 3 copies of my application, Resume, and Foreigner registration in Myanmar – No fees required. I didn’t have them, and as I learnt a few minutes later – I won’t get them if I wanted to. It’s only for Indians employed in Myanmar.
On request, I was able to meet the Consul – after waiting for about 2 more hours. Consul was polite but firm. He made it clear – Indian tourists to Myanmar will not be given Thai visa here – or any other Thai Embassy.
Indians can only get a longer visa – if they apply in India. Doesn’t matter how many times one has been to Thailand, they won’t make exceptions.
Why? Thai’s have a list of countries – which includes India, China and some 30 countries apparently – which get Visa on Arrival, and Visa on Arrival only (Apart from Visas in the respective home countries).
Why don’t they have it on their website? Well the Consul said it’s understood as these nationals are offered Visa on Arrival.
Why don’t they pick calls? I didn’t ask – as he already offered enough of his time.
Go to Yangon if you are not from the countries in this list, I found the Thai Embassy in Yangon quite convenient. And Yangon’s got the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda.
I flew back to Chiang Mai – where Visa on Arrival took less than 5 mins. And I applied for extension the next day in Chiang Mai – which was surprisingly smooth. Sadly, they give only for 7 days extensions for Indians. No emergencies need to be cited.