Visa processing to Thailand becomes stricter

If you plan to travel to Bangkok make sure to have a host of documents ready as the visa application rules to Thailand, which where lightly enforced before have become much stricter since last year.

The Royal Thai Honorary Consulate in the capital now insists on the mandatory fulfillment of the conditions for the application of visas to Thailand. Unlike before, the processing now requires the applicants to produce documents for every condition stated in the rules for the different types of visas when in the past a plane ticket usually did the trick.

Few notable and strict execution of the rules in the processing of the visa to Thailand has been on the mandatory need for the applicants to have adequate financial support and bank statement of  at least Nu 40,000 per person for the Tourist Visa, Transit Visa, and Non-immigrant Visa. For a tourist visa one also needs proof of a hotel booking.

And in case if the applicant is sponsored by the by his or her company, the company’s bank statement and Bank solvency letter needs to be submitted where the Royal Thai Consulate in addition reserves the right to request for the applicant’s personal bank statement too.

Even if an applicant is invited by a company or an international agency the letter of invitation along with another letter from the agency to the visa office requesting for a visa needs to be produced. This is along with the flight tickets which were mandatory from before.

While the consular officials at the office remain obstinately tight lipped on the matter, it has been learned from the Honorary Consul of the Royal Thai Consulate, Ugen Tsechup Dorji that although the changes do not hinder the visa processing in any major ways, it is being done after the government of the Kingdom of Thailand issued a circular on the need to scrutinize the visa processing for security reasons relating to the transnational migration issues.

The documents that are now mandatory to apply for the visa includes, a valid passport or travel documents recognized by Thailand with validity of not less than 6 months, a completed visa application form, one recent photo of the applicant, a round-trip plane ticket paid in full, evidence of adequate financial support (bank balance statement of Nu 40,000 per person), evidence of accommodation in Thailand, letter from the hospital in Thailand, and relevant documents depending on the purpose of the applicant’s visit.

An official connected with the consulate on the condition of anonymity said that two instances also led to more strict checks. The first case was in 2016 with the drugs case of a large number of Bhutanese being caught smuggling drugs with one even dying and his body being dumped in a river in Bangkok along with drugs still in his stomach.

The other instance seems to be a more recent one where a massive manhunt had to be launched to track down a school chef who got lost after he travelled on an agriculture study tour. He was found in early February 2017.

In 2013 a Bhutanese woman had been detained in Bangkok for trying to smuggle drugs.

In the international context Thailand had also started becoming much stricter on illegal immigration into Thailand.

The Royal Thai Consulate was officially established in 2003 with the objective of enhancing commercial, economic, cultural, tourism and scientific relations between Thailand and Bhutan and the office also assist’s in providing information on visa and immigration rules.

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