Cabinet agreed to improve Thai visa system

PM Settha Thavisin said Cabinet agreed to improve Thai visa system
PM Settha Thavisin said Cabinet agreed to improve Thai visa system

The cabinet endorsed an improved Thai visa system to allow visa free for 93 countries which can stay in Thailand for 60 days.

Previously the Thai government allowed visa free for 57 countries that can stay in Thailand for 30 days.

The government projected to lose 12.30 billion baht revenue but it is worthwhile from additional foreign visitors.

PM Settha Thavisin
PM Settha Thavisin

Prime Minister Settha Thavisin announced after the cabinet meeting that the cabinet approved measures and guidelines for visa procedure to promote tourism and stimulate the country’s economy. 

“This is a proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MOF) such as granting the right to exempt visas which allow visitors to stay in Thailand not exceeding 60 days. As well as additional measures of a new type of Destination Thailand Visa (DTV).”

He said the cabinet also endorsed improving rights for international students entering to study bachelor’s degree or higher degrees. The government will extend the length of stay in Thailand for another one year after graduation.

In addition, the improvement of the criteria and conditions for temporary long stay visas for elderly who wish to spend their final days in Thailand.

Government spokesman Chai Watcharongke said that the cabinet approved measures and guidelines for visas to promote the tourism industry and stimulate the economy.

Three stages of the measures

There will be 3 stages, a short-term plan consists of 5 measures, beginning from June 2024.

The important issues include granting visa exemption rights to stay in Thailand

for not exceeding 60 days which is a unilateral measure by Thailand.

There are 93 countries such as  Andorra, Australia, Belgium. Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Chez, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France. There are 57 countries that had received the original right of staying 30 days and new eligible 36 countries

The 36 new countries include 13 countries which are eligible for Visa on arrival (VOA). They include Bhutan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Uzbekistan and Taiwan.

As well as countries that had been eligible for visa exemption that could stay in Thailand less than 60 days. They included 6 countries namely China Laos Macau Mongolia Russia Cambodia and Countries that have never received visa exemption rights.

In addition of VOA of 17 countries namely such as Albania, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Ecuador Guatemala Jamaica Jordan Sri Lanka Trinidad Tobago Tonga Uruguay

New visa: Destination Thailand Visa(DTV)

“This measure also includes a new type of Destination Thailand Visa(DTV). DTV is for foreigners who have the skills and ability to work remotely through a digital system

called “remote workers” or “digital Nomad” who wish to stay in Thailand. Those are groups that want to work and travel at the same time while their employers and customers are abroad.” Said Mr Chai.

The government also improved rights for international students studying a bachelor’s degree or higher degree. The government allows them to extend their stay in Thailand after graduation by one year to find work, travel, or do other activities in Thailand. Previously, they were required to leave immediately after graduation. 

For medium-term measures, including 3 measures, will be effective from September to December 2024 ,

including grouping and reducing the code to control inspections according to the category of temporary residents from previously 17 codes to 7 codes, beginning this September.

Adjust the long stay visa criteria

Adjusting the criteria for temporary stays or long-term employees or long stay for the group of senior citizens who wish to continue their retirement in Thailand, beginning this September as well.

The government adjusted the criteria: reduce health insurance payments from 3 million baht to 40,000 baht for outpatients and 400,000 baht for inpatients.

Increasing the target group of countries where foreigners can apply for long-term residence visas in Thailand

from the previous 14 countries namely Japan, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Switzerland, UK, and US.

Thailand has not improved visa measures and guidelines for 22 years.

“Under the visa exemption measure, the government will lose approximately 12.30 billion baht a year. The measures to facilitate international students will cause the government to lose revenue of 152 million baht. However, the measures can be beneficial to the overall economy.” Siad Mr Chai.

Thai Government

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