Thailand Visas for a Gap Year in Thailand
Visa laws in Thailand change almost as often as the government!
If you’re planning to spend more than 30 days in Thailand, it’s best to sort out a proper visa prior to traveling to Thailand – this will save you a lot of hassle and money.
To do this you’ll need to contact you nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate. If you explain how long you’ll be staying in Thailand and the purpose of your stay [i.e. gap year internship project] they’ll be able to advise you on the best visa to suit your purpose. You’ll have to pay a little, but it’s definitely worth it.
Sometimes the consulates require some supporting paperwork – if they do ask for any additional supporting information, just drop us an email and we’ll send the required documents to you.
Normally the whole process can be done by post, or by visiting the embassy or consulate. But our advice is, don’t leave it till the last minute!
If you were to travel to Thailand without arranging a visa in advance, you’d be issued a 30 day visa on arrival [assuming you fly into Bangkok]. If you travel overland into Thailand from one of the neighboring states, most likely you’d only get a 14 day visa.
'Visa Runs' in Thailand
Visas can be extended by leaving Thailand and re-entering to get a new visa. Over here, that’s known as a visa run. From Koh Tao, the closest border is Burma – the round trip takes about 18 hours and will cost a little over 2000 baht. It’s not the most fun of journeys – multiple boat and minibus rides, non-stop for about 18 hours. You’re much better off arranging a proper visa in your country of origin.
Another consideration is that there’s a restriction on how many visa runs you can make – usually three is the maximum allowed before you need to apply for a proper visa. So you can save yourself the hassle by going straight for a proper visa in the first place.
If you have any questions on sorting out a visa, drop us an email – we’re happy to help.