5 Advantages of Thailand Visa in Advance
Do you remember, in an earlier article, I said ‘Visa on Arrival (VOA)’ is one of the main reasons why Thailand is chosen by Indian travellers. The regular Thailand Visa obtained through the Embassy has its own importance and advantages too. If you reside in or have access to any of these major cities where VFS Thailand Visa centres* are located and you have sufficient time, then you should opt for it.
In my latest trip to Thailand, I opted for advance Visa since I had a lot of time before my scheduled journey. As I had found out, obtaining a Thai Visa while in India is easy too. Before telling you how, let me list the out the advantages below :-
Immigration Check Is Easier
Visitors having advance Visa pass the immigration counters very quickly, without much questions asked, compared those with VOA. And you get to bye-pass the long queues too. This quite helpful especially if you are on a short 5 to 7 days trip.
Savings in Time
If you have arrived by an early morning flight, you can quickly get past the immigration and head for your bus to Pattaya or Cab/Metro to Bangkok city before the maddening traffic starts. Also, if you are stuck in the rampage of the VOA queue, that too early in the morning, I do not think it is going to be a nice ‘fresh’ situation. And if you are travelling with small kids or elders, then you would want to reach your hotel ASAP, don’t you?
Buy SIM and Grab A Sandwich
You will have sufficient time available to buy a local sim and get it activated in a minute at the many airport outlets even before the VOA crowds reach there. Believe you me, the ability to make calls and use data as soon as you land in an alien country gives you lots of confidence. Also, you could grab a sandwich or coffee before heading to the next destination.
Avoid Last Minute Glitches
Last moment glitches like forgetting a photo or not carrying some document etc which we often find ourselves in, can be overcome. Firefighting after you land in Thailand can get quite expensive and stressful.
Savings on Visa Fees
The Visa Fees are less i.e. Rs 2500 as against THB 2000(~Rs 4400) for Visa On Arrival. However the proof of finances to be furnished in the form of bank statement/passbook is higher at ~ US $ 700 pp ( ~Rs 50000 per head – minors are not exempted) as against THB 10000pp/20000 per family respectively for Visa On Arrival.
(* VFS Thai Visa Centres are located in Delhi, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Jalandhar,Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Kolkata)
How to obtain Thailand Visa through VFS Global
The Thai Embassy in India has outsourced the Visa documentation services to M/S VFS Global which has centres in Delhi, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Jalandhar,Mumbai, Chennai,Bangalore,Hyderabad, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Kolkata for Thai Visa processing. These centres are affiliated to a Thai Embassy/Consul General located in the four metros as per its geographical location. To make things easy for you, let me list out the steps for obtaining a Thai Visa:-
Selection of Application Centre
Go to VFS Thailand and select the Thai Embassy/ Consulate General located in the metro city nearest to you.
Royal Thai Embassy in Delhi and Consulates General in the four metros have affiliated application centres in the following cities:-
New Delhi – Delhi, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Jaipur and Jalandhar
Mumbai – Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Goa
Chennai – Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi
Kolkata – Kolkata only
After you click the above choice the following page appears. Choose the nearest Application Centre from the drop down menu in the encircled box.
Once you click any city full address, google map and working hours of all centres affiliated to the Embassy/Consulate is visible. You can use the info to plan your visit to the Application Centre of your choice accordingly.
Filling The Online Visa Application
After reading the three step guide thoroughly and downloading the checklist for Tourist Visa, click the online Visa application Tab and fill in all the details in the link (see step 1) given in the first line of the text and save the form. If you are unable to do it without help, then here is a quick guide.
Step – 1
First select the tab ‘Online Visa Application’ (shown below by a big red arrow) and click the link appearing below (shown by the small red arrow)
Now the first page of Thailand Visa Application form with drop down menus appears. Fill in the basic details asked for and click next button.
In the second page you are asked for more details about the Visa category applied for and your personal details. The reference I have given at the top is to be used whenever you call customer care. After entering all details, click ‘next’.
Now the third page appears. If a minor (less than 18 years of age) is travelling with you, you can enter the details and separate form needs to be filled for such minors too. If there are more than one minor, one minor’s name can be added in the father’s form and the other minor in mother’s form. Then fill the flight details and duration of stay. Proposed address would be the address of the first hotel you are going to stay. The local guarantor is basically your close relative in the country of origin. Thai guarantor could be the owner of the first hotel you are going to stay. Once you have booked your hotel, please contact them and get details like owner’s name, address and telephone number. After this you may go back and re- check all details entered and finally click the ‘submit’ button.
After you press the submit button your form will be saved and will be available for download. Download the form and repeat same action for other adult passengers. If you notice any error in the form filled and submitted, you can go ahead and start filling a fresh form.
Application Submission at VFS
Take a print out of the submitted online application and sign the declaration in the bottom right box. DO NOT write anything the box meant ‘For Official Use’. Then call up the Customer Care at 022 -67866003 and check about the nearest Application Centre. (The Visa Application Centres work from Monday to Friday between 0800-1600hrs except holidays) Then go to ‘How to Apply’ section once again and read the instructions on actions to be taken once you reach the application centre on the date and time thus fixed. . For your benefit, I have given a screen shot below.
Supporting Documents to be Submitted
The checklist for supporting documents is available here . Download once copy each for each applicant and fill in the details.
Note : @ Documents mentioned at serial nos 8,9 and 10 are not required for Indian Tourists
Visiting Application Centre & Submission
Be present on the date and time to submit the documents at the chosen centre. Visa fees will be paid in Cash. It is better to report as early as possible. The head of the family is permitted to submit the applications on behalf of the family members. However, it is safe to check with the customer care well in advance. Occasionally, VFS may ask you for additional documents. In that case, you will be given few days time to submit them. There is also a counter in the premises offering Photostat and Passport Size Instant Photograph services on payment. You have the option of collecting the Visa Stamped Passports in person or by courier against at an additional cost which can be availed as per your convenience.
VFS Customer Care
For queries and assistance contact 022-67866003 (between 0800 hrs – 1700 hrs, Monday-Friday except Holidays.) In case of any queries please post them in the comments section. I shall endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible.