Foreign nationals from nearly 50 countries as well as Hong Kong are able to enter Thailand and stay for up to 30 days for tourism purposes without having to obtain a visa, instead receiving what is known as a “permit to stay”. While this scheme has benefited the Thai tourism industry and been a considerable convenience to foreign nationals fortunate enough to be from an eligible country, there has been some concern that the scheme has been used to stay in Thailand for extended periods by doing “border runs” every thirty days in order to obtain a new permit to stay.
These foreign nationals who enter Thailand at a land border checkpoint will now only be able to do so twice per calendar year, with the exceptions of Malaysians and other nationalities as may be set out in ministerial regulation. While foreign nationals will still have the option of arriving by air to obtain multiple 30-day permits to stay, it is generally recommended that they apply for the appropriate non-immigrant visa if they intend to stay in Thailand for the long term.
Information on visas in general can be found on our website here.