Applying for a Thai visa in Manila, Philippines
If you’re looking for an exciting alternative for your next Thai visa run, or are already in the Philippines and thinking of travelling to Thailand, then the Royal Thai Embassy in Manila is a good option where you can apply for single, double or triple entry tourist visas into Thailand.
Before we visited the Embassy, located in the upmarket district of Makati in Manila, we did our own research and discovered that many people were reporting negatively on the whole process, of how difficult it was to get the visa and how unhelpful the staff were. So we thought we’d better do some further investigation as we’d already booked our flights (our triple entry Thai visas were coming to an end) and had to ensure that our process went as smoothly and quickly as possible.
We made a quick phone call from Thailand (which was all conducted in good English), and we were advised exactly what to bring and what to expect, and although the list of requirements is quite long, it was relatively easy to get all of the required documents in place: Here’s what they told us to bring – per person.
1. Flight reservation into Thailand. (We had one booking which we photocopied).
2. The name and address of the hotel/condo you will be staying at in Thailand with online booking or email confirmation. (We had one email which we photocopied – per person).
3. A bank statement (for each person) showing a balance of more than $500 (US).
4. Two passport photos (per person).
5. A letter to the Consular Officer detailing why you would like the visa. In this we wrote a short letter detailing how much we love Thailand and where we wanted to visit. (This may only be necessary if applying for a double or triple entry – per person).
6. A fee of 2,900 Pesos (per person). ask dr sears (Approx. £43, €54, $70).
7. Visa application form (downloadable from the website – per person).
8. Your passport. (per person, of course).
The Embassy is located in the business district of Makati, which we found to be one of the nicer areas of Manila to stay in, and we stayed at the affordable and quite pleasant Hotel Durban from where it was a simple 25 minute walk to the Embassy. Office opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am – 12.30 noon which is when visa applications are accepted.
We arrived early, were about 10th in line and once we were seated inside, had to wait around one hour before being seen (we made sure all of our forms and details were already filled in before arriving). We did see people being turned away for not having all of the correct documentation – which is probably why there are negative comments around on the web.
The turn around time is two working days, with no exceptions! as one unlucky applicant found out, and you collect your passport between 3pm and 5pm.
We made our application on a Monday morning, spent the week travelling around Manila and visiting the amazing Mt Pinatubo and Pagsanjan, and collected our passports with shiny new Thai double entry tourist visas the following Friday. Easy.
So if you’re looking for an exciting, alternative destination for your next Thai visa run we’d recommend giving the Philippines a try.
This information was in effect when we visited in October 2012.