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45 day tourist visa exemption proposal to be presented to Cabinet

Caitlin Ashworth

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After the prime minister told officials to hurry up and relax restrictions for foreigners entering Thailand, the recent proposal to extend the on-arrival visa exemption for tourists from 30 to 45 days is quickly moving forward and will be presented to the Cabinet.

The 15 days added on to the visa exemption is intended to make up for the 2 week quarantine required for those entering the country. Officials hope the scheme will lure in more foreign visitors. At the moment, foreign tourists can only enter Thailand under the pre-issued 60 day tourist visa or the new Special Tourist Visa, which is allows a 90 day stay that can be extended twice, adding up to around 9 months.

Thailand went from late-March to October without a single foreign tourist arrival. Since then, there have been a few flights with people entering on the Special Tourist Visa, but it hasn’t been enough to revive the tourism sector. To speed things up, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha recently ordered the officials to expedite the process of relaxing restrictions for foreigners entering the country, according to Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Tanee Sangrat.

The 45 day visa exemption would apply to 56 countries and territories that are currently under the 30 day visa exemption scheme. The exemption would also be granted to countries that have bilateral agreements with Thailand including Hong Kong, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Russia, Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

Myanmar and Cambodia will not be granted the 45 day visa exemption, even though they have bilateral agreements with Thailand.

The Interior Ministry recently discussed the proposal with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s panel focused on easing restrictions. They agreed to move forward and present the proposal to the Cabinet. Once the Cabinet approves the proposal and it is published in the Royal Gazette, the 45 day visa exemption would be in effect until September 30, 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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