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Thai Visa Exemption Stamps and Certificates of Entry (COE)

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Certificates of Entry to Thailand and what we are talking about here is this specific topic in the context of the recently resuscitated Visa Exemption scheme.

What is this? Well for those who have traveled to Thailand frequently prior to the COVID response, those folks will know that there was a time in Thailand, you got on a plane, you came to Thailand and you came through Immigration, if you had certain passports specifically that is my knowledge is 56 countries, and you basically just were given a 30-day stamp at entry. You were just granted an exemption; an exemption from a Visa but you were provided with lawful status for 30-day period. 

Now this is being brought back online. It is being extended by an extra 2 weeks to a total of 45 days and I believe this is to account for the quarantine period. The thing to note and it has been noted specifically on the Thai Embassy website in Washington DC, this is for the Thai Embassy in Washington, quoting directly: "Please note that with the Visa Exemption scheme, Travelers still need to obtain the Certificate of Entry (COE) in order to enter Thailand." So again, Certificates of Entry are required for everyone. Thai Nationals to the best of my knowledge even right now have to obtain a Certificate of Entry in order to travel into Thailand. Visa Exemption stamp holders or those who are just seeking to get a Visa Exemption stamp they are no different; it is going to apply to you as well. 

So the thing to take away from this video is notwithstanding the fact that Visa Exemptions are now a viable option, you still need to go through the Certificate of Entry process. This process can be somewhat cumbersome for those who are not used to dealing with it. It can be a lot more time consuming than dealing with even standard visa processing and in my opinion if you are going to go through that process, it is probably a good idea to seriously think about even just getting a standard Tourist Visa. It is an extra, I think $40, but it is going to provide you with extra status so minimum status on a Tourist Visa is 60 days with the option to extend by another 30; that gives you a total of 90 days here in country as opposed to the standard 45 days with an Exemption. In both cases, you need to go ahead and deal with a Certificate of Entry. 

So, for those watching this video, it is probably a good idea to seriously if you are wanting to just use the Exemption, I can see circumstances where that might be appropriate, but it is just a little bit extra money it is really no extra time or extra expensive resources other than the money to get a Visa that gives you double the amount of time in lawful status here in the Kingdom of Thailand.