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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.

The stylish and upmarket area of Makati, Manila.
The stylish and upmarket area of Makati, Manila.

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.

The skyline of Manila from the plane.
The skyline of Manila from the plane.

Affordable flights can be found from Bangkok to Manila from Cebu Pacific and visa on arrival in the Philippines is 21 days. Find out more details at the Embassy website.

This information was in effect when we visited in October 2012.

 

Comments

ann
Reply

Hi, i would like to ask when you get a visa one of the req. Is the plaine ticket right? Is it one way or round trip? Hope to hear from ypu very soon

Michael
Reply

While this process may work for individuals who DO NOT live in Thailand, it will not work for those of us who live in Thailand as tourists. As stated by Mike who posted on February 6, 2014, you will need a flight to leave Thailand as well.

I am currently am in Manila and I would rather wait to return to Thailand get a 30 day visa on arrival and go through a visa run service once in Thailand. I hate unexpected surprises like the one that Mike encountered.

I came here to Manila to visit my Filipino friend. Manila is a toilet and I cannot wait to leave from here. Penang, Malaysia or Vientiene, Lao are a much easier process for a 90 day visa for living in Thailand.

Zach
Reply

Thanks for info, i’ll be going next week to apply for tourist visa. Wish me luck!

Jason
Reply

What an awesome write-up. I’m going to do this exactly as you instructed. 🙂

jules
Reply

thank you for this information and hotel recommendation also. but i have one question and i hope you can answer me. is it possible for the people in the embassy to mail my passport to me? sad to say i cant afford to stay that long in manila. i have to go home to my province also.

Mike
Reply

Thanks for posting this guide, it helped us with the same process. We just got our visas yesterday, there was one difference- we needed an onward ticket out of Thailand too. To get the double tourist visa I had to get a flight leaving within 4 months of us first entering Thailand.

Michael
Reply

Thank you for posting your comment Mike. I almost wasted my time going to the Thai consulate here in Makati, but I do not have a ticket leaving Thailand in four months, nor do I plan to obtain one. I would have been denied the 90 day visa and wasted my time. I will get a 30 day visa on arrival once I am back in Thailand and employ the use of a visa run service once I am back in Thailand on day number 28 before the 30 days expires.

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