What visas do I need?

Travel Forums Asia What visas do I need?

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1. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member 134 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi all

I'm going to SE Asia in mid November. The countries I'm visiting are: India, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam (and maybe Malaysia for a day or two).
What visas will I need? I know I need a visa for Inda, which costs £30 - I'm going to the Indian consulate this week to sort out.
What about Thailand? I know you get a 30day tourist visa, but I'm planning on being there for about 2 months - can I just extend it when Im there?
As for Laos, Cambodia... can I get visas on the day for these?
I've heard Vietnam is a bit of a b1tch to get a visa for - should I get this up front or take my risk on the border?

And finally... will I need a visa for a few days in Malaysia?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3580 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

You have sorted out India. Let's take a look at the other countries.

Thailand will give you 30 days for free when you arrive. But, you cannot extend it for more than a week and it costs 1,900 baht, not practical. Why don't you time your trip to hit Malaysia right before your 30 days are up? Malaysia issues a free 'visa on arrival' as did Thailand. After Malaysia, go back into Thailand for another 30 days.

Laos and Cambodia will sell you a 'visa on arrival' when you fly in or cross a land border. Cambodia charges $20 for 30 days and Laos charges $30 for 15 days on arrival. If you will need more than 15 days in Laos, you can get your Lao visa in Thailand or Cambodia
beforehand and get 30 days for your $30.

VietNam requires a bit more planning. If you are going to arrive overland, then you need to obtain your VN visa before arriving at the border. Phnom Penh, BKK and Vientiane all have VN embassies, or you can let a travel agent or guesthouse do it for you for a small additional fee. PP is very fast & easy. Takes 1 day, costs $28-30. Remember, the VN visa starts on the date you put down, NOT when you hit the border. Makes sense to buy it in PP or Laos, then you know when you will arrive in VN. There is 'visa on arrival' if you fly into VN. You pay the $25 visa fee plus an additional $30 to the travel agent that arranges it for you. Expensive, but an option that may make sense for some.

Hope this helps. Send me a PM if you have additional questions.

3. Posted by loubylou (Respected Member 664 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Beckiboo,

Thailand are changing their 30 day visa-free rules on 1st October and will be enforcing that people have a flight out of the country within the visa-free 30 days. I have had news from the consul here in the UK and have posted the information here. Number 5 in the second post is the most relevant.

It's causing a lot of confusion this visa situation!


4. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member 134 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

So I have to actually fly out of Thailand? I can't just visit Malaysia for a week and then go back into Thailand?

Mike - I work in London, which has consuls for all the countries I pkan to visit. Would it be better for me to sort the Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia visas from here before I go? I've heard the Vietnam one can cause problems at the border so I don't want to be held up unneccessarily

5. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hello beckiboo
U are travelling on a UK passport, isnt that so?
I will look up the visa info, for u now.

6. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

There are 3 ways to extend your visa.
1. Just cross any border, to any country, outside Thailand. Then come back into Thailand and u will get another 30 day visa free of charge.
2. U can extend your visa at the Thai immigration office in Thailand for 7 to 10 days for 500B.
3. For around 30 US dollars u can buy a 60 day tourist visa in Thai embassies around the world. It will take around a week, to get it.

I will look up the info, for the other countries, later

7. Posted by loubylou (Respected Member 664 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

hi Mel and Beckiboo,

They only announced the changes for the visas a couple of days ago. But as the Thai government is tightening up visa rules, one of these rules is that in order to qualify for a visa-free 30 days on arrival, you have to have a plane ticket out of Thailand within the 30 days. Although this is a technical requirement now, it is never enforced. The consul has told me that Immigration from 1st October will be asking for onward tickets. I asked the same thing about going overland to Laos and they said it would not be acceptable under the new rules and we would have to get a visa.

The Thai government this morning has also announced that the consuls in Mayasia will stop issuing multiple entry visas, so the only tourist visa available in Malaysia is a 60 days visa, so unless you stay in the country for 60 days, you will be wasting a big portion of it, you can't re-enter on this visa. Once you leave the country the visa expires.

If you do fly out of Thailand after 30 days, return with another 30 day stamp, that means you can only visit Thailand on a 30 day stamp once more in the six month period. Unless there is a gap of 90 days between each visit to Thailand, it is counted as consecutive 30 day stamps and therefore against Thai policy. This is the case even if you don't stay the full 30 days too!

Sorry if it's muddling, but the Thai's haven't exactly been clear about this new change. It's a big change and will have widesweeping effects for a lot of people visitng Thailand.

Maybe you should contact the consul and get more information. They have been pretty helpful with me and informative. Everything I have received back from them I have posted here. We are even considering going somewhere other than Thailand (we have been before) as the government is making tourists jump through so many hoops!


8. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

It's pretty easy to get visas for Laos & Cambodia when you enter those countries, you can get them in advance, but you're likely to pay more.

Just check in advance that the border crossings you will be using do actually issue visas on arrival, I think that some of the less used land borders may have restrictions.

Bangkok is a good place to get your Vietnam visa, you can either go to the Vietnamese embassy or use a travel agent, they will charge you a small fee for sorting out your visa, it usually takes 3 days, or less if you're willing to pay more. If you get your Vietnamese visa in London, you'll end up paying a lot more.

9. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for that info Donna.
Isnt all this paperwork silly? What is it all for, anyway?!!!!!!!!!!
Well, i will post the info i have here, for the other countries, and then anyone who is interested, can phone the consulates to make sure it is still valid.

10. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

i will type out what the book says, because it is detailed.

On the spot 15 day tourist visas ($30US with 2 passport photos) are available at Vientianes Wattay International Airport, Luang Prabang International Airport, Pakse International Airport, the Thai Lao Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai, the Thai border at Huay Xai, Savannakhet, Pakse,and the Boten border with China in luang Nam Tha.

However, the Lao government can be very fickle about its visa regulations and prices. It has cancelled all automatic visas without warning in the past so check the current situation before trying to enter the country. Lao consulates and travel agents in Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and Thailand all issue visas and will be able to advise on the latest border crossing situation.

Once in Laos it is easy to obtain a visa extension costing US$1 per day(from the immigration office in Vientiane), up to a maximum of 30 days. Elsewhere guesthouses and travel agents in provincial centres offer visa extension services for around US$2 to US$3 per day. Your passport will be sent to Vientiane, so it can take up to five days, depending on how far from the capital u are. If u overstay your visa, u must pay a fine at the immigration checkpoint upon departure. The fine is US$10 for each day over the visa's expiry date.