I’ve written this guide to help those in the UK and Ireland who have struggled with their online visa application that’s recently been introduced to the London Thai Embassy on 15 June 2019. This guide is only to be used in conjunction with the rules and regulations laid out on the embassy’s own step-by-step guide, and acts as an extra level of assistance in the whole process.
First thing to do is create an E-visa account and log-in. This is relatively straightforward so I won’t be covering that here as there’s already another thread that does this.
Now, assuming that you’ve managed to create an E-visa account without any hassle and have successfully logged-in, I’ll begin to take you through the whole online process and all its requirements, plus any problems I encountered along the way in the form of NOTES. Being fully prepped beforehand will help get you through this frustrating process and hopefully complete it without tearing all your hair out.
Most importantly, you must ensure that you have a scan of your passport biodata page and have it saved as a JPG that doesn’t exceed 200KB. Next, you will need a photo of yourself taken within the last 6 months, plus a recent bank statement showing sufficient funds, along with something confirming proof of legal residence (I scanned my passport biodata page and wrote: “I confirm that I’m a British citizen” below it, then signed it afterwards). In addition, you will also need a flight number and its booking reference (more on that later), plus an accommodation confirmation (more on that later too). You will also need a printer due to the 2 documents that you’ll need to print-off and sign.
NOTE: For those that aren’t tech savvy and don’t know how to resize a JPG, you can do this by visiting a free online service and uploading your original files there. I used www.imgonline.com.ua, which compresses your JPG and allows you to download it for free as a 200KB file straight to your device and ready to use. A good tip is to rename the file so you can distinguish which one is which.
Now that you have all your JPGs resized and available, let’s look at Step 1 which is within the first yellow folder titled Apply For Visa just to the right of your blue profile folder on your home dashboard. First, you’ll need to check for eligibility. This is straightforward for any UK citizens. After you’ve pressed “Continue” you’ll be taken to Step 2, which is your Purpose of Visit and type of passport info.
NOTE: Your “Purpose of Visit” will vary depending on your own circumstances. Mine was for a SETV (60-day TR) so I’ll guide you through that process. As soon as you’ve completed this section, you’ll be taken to Step 3 where you’ll be required to upload your passport biodata page and recent separately-taken photo. Once this is done, it’ll either say PASS directly below or FAIL (it might take a few seconds for both these messages to be displayed). Fortunately, mine were passed without any hitches. This sequence differs from the video tutorial, and I was surprised to see it included here at this early stage ahead of Step 5. (I’m a little hazy on exactly when this came up but I know it was well before Step 5).
In Step 3, fill in the fields that are required. In the phone number space, you’ll need to select UK (+44) and whatever your own phone number is (home or mobile), but remember to omit the first 0 from your entire phone number, otherwise it won’t process properly. The Travel Documents section is your passport details. However, the Travel Information is where it can become a bit tricky if you haven’t booked a flight or are still unsure on what dates you want to travel on. My advice is to give them some approximated dates and a flight number that are close to what and when you’re intending on using. Mine was for 60-days, so my dates reflected this. Next section will be Place of Stay in Thailand with the accommodation options below it. You will need to input some information here. Myself, I booked a hotel for just 2-nights with an option to cancel it on Agoda and printed this off, regardless of whether I was going to stay in a rented condo after those first 2-nights. It was only this hotel information that I gave, and not the latter. After that section is Occupation and Salary. Pretty self-explanatory.
Once this is complete, you will need to print-off the declaration. You must sign this first, then scan it, ready to upload for Step 5. This is called Supporting Documents. As you’ve already uploaded your passport biodata page and recent photo at Step 2, you will NOT be required to do it again here. Instead, you will need to upload your declaration, bank statement, proof of accommodation, confirmation of legal residence, and flight details all in the form of a JPG that doesn’t exceed the 200KB file size. All these areas are required for the 60-day SETV and sadly cannot be bypassed. Having all these documents uploaded will allow you to continue, otherwise you’ll just get “This value is required” and you’ll need to make the necessary upload.
NOTE: The flight confirmation was the only major drawback for me as I didn’t want to pay for both flights without first knowing whether my visa had been approved. What I did was use the Thai Airways website and go through the process of booking a flight, inputting my personal details, but NOT paying for the flights, instead placing them on a 24-hour hold. I then waited for an automated confirmation email to be sent to me from Thai Airways that had this information on it. It was this email that I did a screen capture of and printed that out. I then scanned it and uploaded it to the Supporting Documents stage.
Once you click Done it will ask you whether you wish to start another application. As I was the only one applying, I clicked “No” and was taken to Submit application to embassy/consulate in person. As I was sending mine by post, I clicked on Submit application by post. The choice is entirely your own. Next, if you’re using the postal service, you will be required to provide an address for the return documents, eg: where you’re currently living. Above this there’ll be a list of documents that you’ll also need to send along with your passport. That’s everything that you originally scanned and uploaded in Step 5, including a recent photo. For the flight details, I printed the email “unpaid” confirmation sent from Thai Airways and below it I wrote: “To be paid in full once my visa has been approved”.
Now that your application is complete, you will need to submit it.
NOTE: This again is where the video tutorial differs from my own experience. I found that I wasn’t redirected to E-payment straight away. Instead, I had to go back to my profile page and access “Finish Pending Visa Application” which is the second yellow folder. Once inside, I went straight to the bottom line below “Inquiry” that read: Showing 2 to 2 of 2 entries. It was the last completed one that I had to click on before clicking Submit Visa Application. I’m unsure as to why this occurred—maybe this was due to me having 2 files already sitting in that folder, one incomplete and the other completed? Basically, if you’ve saved another application but then started a new one, you’ll need to bin the unused one first if you want to go straight to E-payment without this occurring. If you accidently did it my way, just make sure you send the correct one marked “complete” alongside status.
It was after this final submission that I was eventually redirected to the E-payment section. Submitting the card details was easy. It was waiting for the payment to go through which took the majority of the time. As soon as you submit payment, you will get a replacement screen that informs you: “Please stay on this page. It may take a few minutes.”
NOTE: In actual fact this was displayed on my computer screen for well over 1-hour with no change or confirmation of payment. Frustrated, I contacted my bank and was told that the money had immediately cleared my own account but the transaction was still pending due to the merchants (Kasikorn Bank PCL) still not claiming the payment in Thailand. Essentially, everything was OK my end, but was being held-up by the slow Thai banking system at their end. Another 30 minutes passed and I headed to this forum to discuss it with some other members that had experienced something similar. Fortunately, @taninthai advised me to just open up another window, login again on my profile page and go to the Checking Status (that’s the third yellow folder). He was indeed correct (thank you, pal)—the money had been paid in full after a couple of hours and the 2 files I needed to download were already waiting for me there, despite the original window still displaying “Please stay on this page.” I only point this glitch out in case others might have a similar problem when they submit their own card payments and wonder why it’s taking forever and not just a few minutes like the onscreen message says.
With all that completed, you can now breathe a huge sigh of relief and congratulate yourself on getting this far. However, there’s still one more thing to be done and that’s print-off the second page of the E-Appointment PDF that has your barcode, photo and personal details which you’ve just downloaded from your Checking Status folder. You’ll need to sign the print-off at the bottom too. You’ll also get 2 other useless printed pages alongside this E-Appointment page that gives you a receipt and your own passport info. It’s the page with the barcode that’s important here. You’ll need to put this in the post, signed, along with all your other required documents, or take it with you if you’re making an appointment in person.
I sent my package by Royal Mail’s special delivery (£6.60) with it arriving the following day at 11.45am. I stuck a pre-addressed envelope inside, but as my sub Post Office didn’t have the necessary facilities available to do pre-paid return, so I had to stick a £10 note in with it.
Using the website’s own E-visa online tracking service for the very first day of my passport’s delivery it simply read: Pending for approve. The following day at 9:27 it read: Print sticker (I’m assuming that this was the actual visa itself). At 15:17 the same day it then read: No data available in table. Don’t be alarmed if you see this message as it means that the embassy has most likely completed your visa and posted it back to you already. For the record, I didn’t get an onscreen message informing that it had been processed, nor did I receive any email confirmation, either. The following day, at 12.20, I received my visa/passport by Royal Mail. Everything was done satisfactorily and within 3 working days. Job done!!
I hope this helps some of you who have struggled with this whole online E-visa business. I must stress again that my own application was just for the 60-day SETV by post, though there’s very little difference between the alternative apply in-person option, apart from the embassy appointment times. If you’re applying for a different type of visa, then you might find that certain details might vary from my own experience, but you’re more than welcome to add your own observations below mine, if you so wish.