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Advantages and disadvantages of the Special Tourist Visa (STV) visa. How to get Thai STV

Thailand is a country where you want to stay longer or even settle down. At the same time, Thailand is not the easiest country in terms of visa issues.

Thailand has introduced a new visa called the Special Tourist Visa (STV) following the challenges to the tourism industry caused by COVID-19.

STV is issued for 90 days. At the same time, the visa can be extended two more times, each time for 90 days, in total, you can stay on the STV up to 270 days in Thailand.

It seems that the Special Tourist Visa is exactly what you need for those who want to stay in Thailand for many months. But, for example, I, who at the time of writing has been living in Thailand for a total of six years, chose a student visa instead of an STV. That is, with STV, not everything is as simple and rosy as it might seem at first glance.

In this article, I will analyze the pros and pitfalls of STV. I'm not trying to convince you to use or not to use the STV visa (I don't care). I'm just trying to give objective information. If you disagree with something or have something to add, then write it in the comments!

Disadvantages of Thai Special Tourist Visa (STV)

1. Temporary, currently extended until September 30, 2022. May be extended further, but may be canceled at any time. I don't like this instability and uncertainty.

2. The need to spend 14 days in quarantine. Apparently, this item is no longer relevant. For details, see the note “New rules for entering Thailand from June 1, 2022. Cancellation of quarantine and testing”.

3. Evidence of payment for a hotel or other accommodation (condominium, house) after eviction from quarantine. Given that quarantine is no longer required, it is not entirely clear how relevant this item is. Perhaps now you need proof of payment for housing from the first day. It is also possible that this is just a formality and in fact it is not required to confirm the payment of rent for a house or apartment.

4. Medical insurance, which must cover at least 90 days for the amount of USD 100,000 for COVID-19 and THB 400,000 for other medical and accident-related expenses.

5. STV visa cannot be changed or converted to other types of visa.

6. You can only apply for STV in the country where you are a citizen or have permanent residence

7. STV visa cannot be issued while one is in Thailand already.

8. According to some reports, a departure ticket from Thailand is required. Although, like the item with confirmation of rental housing, this can be turned a blind eye.

Benefits of Thai Special Tourist Visa (STV)

1. STV is the cheapest and most affordable way to stay in Thailand for almost a year.

2. Unlike a study visa, you are not required to attend school or study anything.

3. You can apply for an STV visa in your country before arriving in Thailand and be sure that you can stay in the country for a long time. This allows you to plan your life and travel in Thailand not months in advance.

So

I chose a student visa for myself, because when planning my trip to Thailand, I counted on two-month renewing stamps, which either have already been canceled, or not yet, or have been replaced with monthly stamps. That is, these stamps, although very convenient, but at the same time unreliable.

Currently, a student visa can be obtained without leaving Thailand for a period of 1 year. This option seemed to me more convenient and reliable, despite the additional costs (school fees, fees for changing visa on arrival to a student visa and visa renewal every 3 months).

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