Six frequently-asked Thai immigration questions in May 2022

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The regulations about arriving and staying in Thailand are not always straightforward.

1. What’s the difference between Test and Go and Thailand Pass?
Test and Go were the requirements to have pre arrival and/or post arrival Covid health checks. These were abolished for fully-vaccinated arrivals on May 1 2022. Thailand Pass, which is still in force, is the compulsory on-line pre-arrival registration system which requires uploading of your vaccination proof and evidence of insurance. Go to https://tp.consular.go.th/



2. Do all foreigners need medical insurance to enter?
Under Thailand Pass, they all (except work permit holders) need a minimum cover of US$10,000 to cover hospitalization in case they catch Covid. This requirement also covers foreigners returning with a re-entry permit authorized before they left Thailand. Foreigners applying for some specific visas from Thai embassies abroad need additional insurance cover. These visas needing extra insurance currently are the nine-months Special Tourist Visa (STV) and three visas based on retirement for those aged at least 50: O/X (10 years), O (3 months) and OA (12 months). The details are on Thai embassy websites.


3. Do foreigners need insurance to extend their stay at Thai immigration?
Those with most visas or permission to enter do not require insurance to extend their stay. The exceptions are the STV, the O/X and the O/A: specifics vary at immigration offices. The three months O visa based on retirement, given by embassies, runs out after three months. However, it can be extended at immigration for a further 12 months without any insurance but with specific bank deposit or income stipulations.



4. Are Thai land borders now open as in 2019?
Many land borders, but not all, are now open to foreigners wishing to enter and depart. For example, it is not possible to enter Myanmar this way which requires an airticket and government permission. Moreover, foreigners cannot leave Thailand and return on the same day. This is because they must register online after departure for Thailand Pass with at least 48 hours notice required to receive their all-important QR Code. It isn’t possible to apply for an advance Thailand Pass whilst still in this country. Thus visa runners to Cambodia cannot simply cross the frontier and come back within hours.



5. Will Covid extensions of stay be available after May 24 2022?
That’s a government decision but probably not. These ongoing extensions of stay for 60 days were introduced more than two years ago to assist “stranded” tourists unable to get home because international transport was dislocated by Covid. Neighboring countries have already cancelled their own discretion. For example, the Cambodian immigration authorities already regard anyone without a valid visa to be in an overstay position and subject to fines or worse.



6. Is it true that you can get a 10 year visa for 50,000 baht?
No, it’s based on a misunderstanding. The government did announce that the registration fee for the new 10 year visas had been reduced from 100,000 baht to half that amount,. The details on what assets you need to obtain one of these visas has not yet been published, but will certainly run into several millions of baht. The idea is to encourage wealthy foreigners such as serious investors, highly-paid executives and retirees with well-above average incomes. This is what is meant by “quality” visitors.