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Thai Immigration Q& A for yachtsmen

By doina — last modified Oct 10, 2006 10:47 AM

Published: 2006-10-10 10:47:21
Countries: Thailand

Following the implementation of new rules for the Visa on Arrival, effective 1st October 2006 the following statement of explanation has been prepared to meet the need of Yachts coming to Phuket. The information was provided by the Immigration Office in Phuket Thailand.

Yacht arrives in Phuket

Current point of entry is Ao Chalong (Chalong Bay). At the foot of the long jetty there is a one stop check in facility with immigration, harbour department and customs. All yachts must check in at Ao Chalong and have at least one skipper or master who may or may not be the owner of the yacht.

Yacht arrives in Phuket with no visa

The skipper/owner will be granted a 30 days stay which we call a yacht visa. This can be extended for up to 90 days with valid reason. The two classes of reasons are medical or mechanical. In either case the request for extension must be accompanied by a letter from the doctor or repair company and a letter from the marina where the yacht is berthed or on the hardstand. A yacht visa extension costs Tb 1,900.

Yacht arrives in Phuket with crew with no visa

The crew will be granted the same 30 days, yacht visa, as the skipper and can extend for the same reasons as stipulated in no.2 above. Alternatively the skipper can declare all others on the yacht are passengers and they can receive a visa on arrival, VOA, valid for 30 days. This VOA can be extended twice for a total stay of 90 days. It is extended by exiting Thailand and then re-entering Thailand on a VOA.

Skipper/owner or crew with a 30 day yacht visa that wishes to sign off the yacht

A bond of 20,000 baht is required for each skipper or crew, to allow him/her to sign off the yacht and exit Thailand. The bond is refunded when he/she returns to Thailand.

Skipper/owner or crew in Thailand with VOA (visa on arrival)

For skipper/owner or crew currently in Thailand with a VOA they may continue to go to the border, cross and come back with a new VOA for 30 days. After 1 October this can be done for a total stay of 90 days and then no VOA will be issued for a further 90 days.

Yacht arrives in Phuket and skipper/owner or crew have a visa issued by an embassy or consulate of Thailand

The skipper is still given the 30 day, extendable – under certain circumstance – yacht visa and the crew may present themselves as passengers and use the visa they obtained outside of Thailand. The skipper/owner can then sign off, put up the 20,000 baht bond and then exit Thailand and come back in on the visa obtained earlier from outside of Thailand.

There are a number of different visas issued by various Thai embassies or consulates. Yachts are advised to check with their nearest Thai embassy or consulate for details on what visas are on offer.