UK visas for Thai citizens

How to get a UK entry clearance visa for Thai citizens

If you’re travelling from Thailand to the UK for tourism or visiting family, you’ll need a Visitor Visa. But before your visa is rubber-stamped, you’ll need to go through entry clearance. 

Continue reading to discover more about entry clearance, including what you’ll need to prove in order to be eligible. 

What is entry clearance?

Entry clearance is the procedure used by British missions overseas to vet travellers to the UK. Entry clearance officers (ECOs) will check that applicants qualify under UK immigration rules. 

Diplomatic “missions overseas” are a government’s main office(s) in other countries, usually in capital cities. These are usually high commissions or deputy high commissions in Commonwealth countries, and embassies in other countries.

In Thailand, the VFS UK visa application centre Bangkok handles entry clearance for UK Visa and Immigration.

Visitor Visa eligibility for Thai nationals

Applicants for a UK Visitors Visa living in Thailand must be either a Thai national or a foreigner legally resident in the country. To pass entry clearance, you’ll then need to prove that you:

  • Intend to visit the UK for no more than six months.
  • Intend to leave the UK after the end of your visit.
  • Can afford the cost of the return or onward journey.
  • Have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate yourself in the UK.
  • Have strong ties to Thailand or compelling reasons to return such as a long-term job or financial commitments.

How much is a UK Visitor Visa for Thai citizens?

The fee for the six-month Visitor Visa is currently 136 USD (around £100 or €117). It’s worth noting that the UK Visitor Visa isn’t the same as the Marriage Visitor Visa. These are easily confused because they have the same processing fee and both are valid for six months.

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How long does entry clearance take?

How to get a UK clearance visa for Thai citizens

Once everything is prepared, the visa application is submitted to VFS in Bangkok. Entry clearance normally takes between two to three working days to process. If an interview is required, the processing time will be significantly longer. 

It’s worth submitting your visa application well in advance of any trip you plan to take. 

How long do Visitor Visas last?

You can usually stay in the UK for up to six months. There are circumstances where you might be able to stay for longer with prior approval. 

Visitor Visa restrictions

With a Visitor Visa, certain activities aren’t permitted, such as:

  • Studying in the UK.
  • Charging the public for services provided or goods received.
  • Undertaking business, sport or entertainer activities.
  • Marrying or registering a civil partnership in the UK.
  • Receiving private medical treatment during your visit.

Once you’re in the UK, there’s plenty to do whether you want to indulge in all things British. If you’re after a taste of home, London, Manchester and Birmingham have growing Thai communities

You could even visit the Anglo-Thai Society website. An essential resource for Thai nationals in the UK, the society runs Thai-related events all year round.