Thailand has had its borders closed to western foreigners for some time, but with international travel slowly returning, we look at how one group of foreigners can return to Thailand. The instructions are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change. It should be stressed that some embassies also require different things, but the following gives you a good indication of what you, as a work permit holder, will need to do to return.

  1. Visa Application (if required). If your visa and/or work permit has expired during your time out of Thailand, you will need to reapply before continuing to the next stage. The application is the same as usual and requires the same documents. If your work permit has expired, you need an invitation to work AND a reason why you need to return.
  2. Stage 1 of the Certificate of Entry. The documents need to be submitted online to the government website. You will need to submit:
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your visa
  • A copy of your work permit
  • A letter of invitation from your employer
  • A completed Declaration FormA copy of your health insurance – it MUST have a minimum of $100,000 coverage and SPECIFICALLY STATE that COVID-19 is covered (it cannot be assumed it covers it)
  1. Stage 2 of the Certificate of Entry. Once your documents have been sent, you will receive a code informing you of the progress. If/when the documents are accepted you then need to:
  • Book an APPROVED ASQ Hotel
  • Book a Flight
  • Submit confirmation of both to the same website as previous
  • IF, everything is confirmed you will then be issued with a Certificate of Entry
  1. Stage 3 – COVID-19 Test and Fit to Fly Certificate. Once you have a Certificate of Entry, you then need to apply for a COVID-19 test done by the RT-PCR method and receive a SEPARATE Fit to Fly certificate. The test must be conducted no more than 72 hours before your departure.
  2. Leaving Departure Airport & Connection Airports. At every airport you pass through, you will need to present ALL your documents as well as a 8 Form. A hard copy of your documents will be thoroughly checked on each occasion so you will need to allow more time than usual. Masks must be worn for the duration of the flight.
  3. Arrival in Thailand. On arrival in Thailand, you will walk to the first area where your documents will be checked, and you will be issued with an ASQ number to attach to your clothing. Your temperature will then be taken, and your documents will be checked again. You will then be called when you can continue to immigration which is the normal process. After collecting your bags, you will be escorted to your driver, who will take you to your ASQ Hotel.

The information above has been written by someone who has recently gone through the entire process, including applying for a new visa (in the UK). From start to finish, it took approximately 14 days. It is far more straightforward than many make out, and you are treated with respect throughout the entire process.