I have found this website that claims that to get visa upon landing in Bangkok I will need passport and return ticket.

My passport is European (Lithuanian) so this one is covered, however I am planning on flying one way (as I will be staying for some time in each of SE countries) and already have bought the tickets.

How strongly is the requirement to have return tickets being enforced? How big of a risk am I running of not being able to enter the Thailand?

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    @pnuts 4 one way tickets (we are family of 4) to Bankok.... and 0 tickets anywhere else.... Oct 24 '16 at 15:41
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    Also bring with you extreme loads of patience. A few last times I landed in BKK, the crowd in the VoA lane seemed intimidating :( Thankfully, I only had to obtain VoA once (in ye goode olde days of Don Mueang), but the queue took more than 2 hours.
    – ach
    Oct 24 '16 at 17:21

People from most countries don't want a VOA, they just want a visa waiver, which will allow them into the country for 30 days. Citizens of Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and, like the OP, Lithuania will have to go the more cumbersome VOA process.

The actual Thai immigration authorities are very lax on the onward-ticket rule for visa-waiver. In fact, they are completely lax. In 16 years of traveling to Southeast Asia, I have never heard of a citizen of a Western country being asked at the Thai border to produce proof of onward travel.

Your problem is not the Thai authorities, it's the airline. If a passenger gets somewhere and that country won't admit him, it's the airline's problem to get him home. Plus, if this happens often enough, the airline can be fined, or even ejected from the country!

The fact that the Thai immigration people are very lax won't help you if the check-in clerk doesn't know that. The clerk does not want to get her employer, and derivatively herself, in hot water.

Most countries, so many tourists go to Thailand that the clerks are completely aware of the lax Thai policy. Most countries, but not all: I have heard several complaints from New Zealand and one each from Japan and the Netherlands.

So, if you're at all worried, here's what you do:

  1. get to the airport with plenty of extra time
  2. if you do get turned away, go to the business center and make a "reservation" through a service like FlyOnward
  3. Print out the confirmation
  4. Return to counter

The whole thing will cost you about $15 and 30 minutes, but it's extremely unlikely to happen.

Edit: Pnuts points out that the OP is Litvak, and so not eligible for a waiver. Yes, he would need a VOA. I have no idea how strict they are, so the FlyOnward option becomes all the more attractive.

OP, after you do this (presumably with a real or virtual onward ticket), please report back.

Further Edit: the VOA is goddamn 2000 baht, that's $57 or €52.50. That's a lot of money. You might look into the cost of the real visa from the consulate in Vilnius.

Still Further Edit: Checked in for a NokAir flight in HCMC yesterday bound for DMK and the counter agent wanted the boarding number for my onward flight. NokAir is Thai-owned so they definitely know how un-enforced the rule is -- and in fact, the immigration agent when I landed did not inquire -- but it may be company policy.

  • Litvak - is Jewish ;) Oct 25 '16 at 9:08
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    @MatasVaitkevicius -- I didn't realize there was such a thing as a Lithuanian goy. :-P Regardless of religious affiliation, you will need a visa. Oct 25 '16 at 21:24
  • Hi Malvolio, I test ordered a ticket from Flyonward and they delivered me an actual flight to Manila. So it should work for single person... They don't offer multiple tickets in one go though - which is a shame, as it might look slightly suspicious when 5yr old will be flying on his own to Philipines, lol.... Dec 8 '16 at 9:55
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    @MatasVaitkevicius -- huh, I wonder why they don't do multiples. Please, keep us posted. (Did you see my edit? They just checked my onward ticket at SGN.) Dec 8 '16 at 20:09
  • @Malvolio - I hate to burst your "In 16 years of traveling.." statement, but I have stood in line in both Bangkok airports behind folks (westerners speaking decent English) who have been ask to show proof of onward travel, as well as proof of financial support (ie 10,000 baht cash), so Thai immigration does ask from time to time. Therefore travelers do need to obey the rules.
    – user13044
    Dec 9 '16 at 7:30

The first hurdle will be the airline you are flying to Thailand with. They are required to make sure that you have the documents required to enter the Kingdom. One of the required documents for a VOA is an air ticket departing within 15 days. So in practice, the check in agent should not allow you to check in or board without it.

If by chance they are extremely lax, then Immigration will want to see your air ticket before they issue you the VOA. They may also want to see proof of financial means which is determined as 10,000 baht (or equivalent) in cash (25,000 for a family). Major credit cards may be acceptable, depends on the officer checking your application.

The risk you encounter by not having a return or onward ticket: loss of non-refundable airfares, hotel bookings, etc if the airline refuses to board you; being sent home on the next plane if Immigration stops you (plus loss of non-refundable bookings as above).

  • Hi Tom, thanks for the answer, so if I would buy refundable tickets that fly out to some nearby destination (like Phnom Penh) 14 days after I land in Thailand I should be good, right?... Oct 24 '16 at 15:56
  • Non-refundable tickets are more economical and since you have to leave Thailand before your VOA expires, there doesn't seem to be much advantage of buying more expensive refundable tickets.
    – user13044
    Oct 24 '16 at 16:07
  • @MatasVaitkevicius Remember that you must also bring a Photograph for each person
    – Crazydre
    Oct 24 '16 at 16:23
  • But I am planning on getting 60 day visa and extend it for another 30, refundable ticket would be simply to meet the requirement, I would get a refund once I would pass the customs... Oct 24 '16 at 17:52
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    You can not get a 60 day Tourist Visa upon arrival, that has to be obtained from a Thai Embassy or Consulate before traveling to Thailand. The Visa on Arrival for Lithuanians is only valid for 15 days and can only be extended by another 7 days.
    – user13044
    Oct 24 '16 at 18:21

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