I think it’s safe to say that by this point in time, most of us are tired of reading about the Thailand Pass. But until the authorities see fit to scrap the scheme, it’s the only way you’re getting to Bangkok, Koh Samui, Krabi, or any of your favourite Thailand holiday destinations.
If it’s any consolation, the application process is much simpler than it was at the start of the year. That’s come hand-in-hand with Thailand’s easing of entry restrictions:
- Thai nationals no longer need a Thailand Pass
- Foreigners no longer need to submit AQ/SHA++ hotel bookings or proof of airport transfer
- Thailand Passes are either approved instantly or in 1-2 hours at most, compared to up to 7 days previously
Unfortunately, Thailand has now taken a step backwards by rolling back one of its recent enhancements. From June onwards, Thailand Passes are now only valid for entry up to 72 hours after the original date of arrival.
Thailand Pass entry window tightened
Back on 18 April 2022, the Thailand Pass entry validity window was expanded to +/- 7 days from the original date of entry.
In other words, if my Thailand Pass entry date was 8 May 2022, I would be able to enter Thailand anytime from 1-15 May 2022 without having to apply for a new pass. This gave me a 15-day window in which to enter Thailand.
From 1 June 2022, this has reverted to the previous +3 days window, as per a statement on the Thailand Pass portal.
Applicants can use their approved Thailand Pass QR Code to enter Thailand on different date of arrival if the new date of arrival is within 72 hours (3 days) after the original date of arrival as indicated on the QR Code (no need to re-apply or modify your application)
Note that the window is +3 days, not +/- 3 days. What this means is that if your approval date is 8 June 2022, you can enter Thailand anytime from 8-11 June 2022 without having to apply for a new pass.
This was basically the policy pre-18 April and is only useful to those with flight delays, as opposed to those who want to bring their trip forward, or push it back by more than 3 days.
Why the authorities would choose to do this, I have no idea. With the Thailand Pass so close to being scrapped (1 July is the new D-Day, if you believe the rumours), it makes little sense to tighten the restrictions again.
That said, given the quick turnaround times we’re now seeing for Thailand Passes (most people report getting theirs in <15 mins), it’s not that big a deal. If you decide to bring forward your trip by a few days, you could apply for a new pass right now and get approved in less time than the wait on the Singapore Airlines hotline.
Recap: Thailand Pass
All foreign nationals travelling to Thailand are required to submit a Thailand Pass application.
Applications are free of charge (beware of lookalike websites that charge a fee!), and can be made up to 60 days in advance of travel. Approvals are valid for +3 days from the stated date of entry, and each Thailand Pass is valid for a single entry.
The following documentation is required.
|Approval||Within 2 hours|
Travel to Thailand
Here’s a reminder of what the travel process to Thailand looks like now.
|🇹🇭 Thailand Entry Requirements|
No pre-departure or on-arrival testing is required for fully vaccinated travellers, which means that Singapore residents can enjoy completely test-free travel to and from Thailand.
For those having difficulty keeping up with all the changes, here’s how the process has evolved since the start of this year.
|🇹🇭 Changelog: Travel to Thailand|
|1 Feb 2022|
|1 Mar 2022|
|1 Apr 2022|
|1 May 2022|
|1 Jun 202|
Thailand has rolled back a positive change to the Thailand Pass by restricting entry approvals to a +3 day window, compared to +/-7 days previously. It means that anyone who wants to bring their trip forward (or push it back by more than three days) will need to apply for a brand-new Thailand Pass.
Fortunately, that’s more likely to be an inconvenience than a deal breaker, given that most applications are now approved in a matter of minutes.
Here’s hoping this month’s the last we see of the Thailand Pass.