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Visa free travel for Thai citizens

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I’m planning to visit some friends in Japan this year and thought about bringing a Thai friend along. As far as I know, Thai citizens can get a 15-day visa on arrival in Japan. But since my friend is 17 years old, another Thai friend of mine said that it would not be possible to travel abroad under the age of 21 (!) without being accompanied by a parent or a guardian.


I contacted the airline (in Thailand), and they confirmed that Thai citizens can stay up to 15 days in Japan and, concering the age, it was okay to travel under the age of 18 as long as you travel with someone above that age (I’m 22, so I should qualify), and the co-traveller didn’t have to be a parent. My Thai friend dismissed this, with familiar Thai cynicism, saying that the airline ”Doesn’t care. They only want to sell tickets.” Could that be correct? I certainly think he’s wrong about having to be 21. But could 18 be correct? And wouldn’t it at least be possible with written parental consent?


My friends in Japan say that it will be okay for a 17 year old to travel to Japan without a parent. But what about Thai Law? Does anyone have a similar experience?

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