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Long-term tourist visa in the works, Thai Cabinet to discuss next week

Caitlin Ashworth

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Long-term tourist visa in the works, Thai Cabinet to discuss next week | The Thaiger
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A special long term visa is set to be discussed next week. If approved, it would allow visitors entering Thailand to stay for up to 9 months. The 90 day visa would be allowed to be renewed twice, adding up to a maximum stay of 270 days.

Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT, governor Yuthasak Supasorn says the Cabinet will discuss the visa next week. He says the visa would cost 2,000 baht, but did not say how much it would cost to renew the visa. Yuthasak says they are trying to find a balance between reviving the tourism sector and keeping the public free from the coronavirus.

“So TAT has to prepare for ‘limited exposure’ to foreign tourists, hoping to attract tourists from markets such as Europe in the fourth quarter of this year. If the results are good, numbers can be expanded.”

There has been some talk about allowing tourists from countries classified as “low risk” to enter Thailand without a 2 week quarantine. But considering the recent local transmission of the coronavirus, that plan has been sacked for now. Last week, a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19 during a routine check at a prison following his arrest on drug charges. Thailand went 100 days without a reported local transmission.

“Efforts have been made to move forward with the limited exposure. However, after the cases of the Egyptian soldier being infected with Covid-19 in Rayong and a DJ in prison also being infected, concerns have been raised about a new coronavirus outbreak.”

Even though there’s a risk of spreading the virus, those in the tourism industry say they need international visitors. If international tourists are still banned by the end of the year, 2.5 million of the 4 million jobs in the tourism industry might be lost, Yuthasak says. Tourism accounts for 20% of Thailand’s gross domestic profit, he says.

In Phuket, international tourists contributed to 90% of Phuket’s reliance on tourists dollars, directly and indirectly. If international tourists aren’t let back in this year, 50,000 jobs could be lost, according to the Phuket Hotels Association. In Pattaya, the city’s famous Walking Street has gone quiet. Many businesses closed. Some businesses that are still open say they will be forced to close if international tourists aren’t let back in.

Yuthasak predicts that all foreign tourists will be allowed to enter Thailand in April or June, once a Covid-19 vaccine is ready for public use.

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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.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fred

    September 10, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Amazing how many things are discussed in Thailand – but remain without action

  2. Avatar

    murika

    September 10, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    So after saying that too many farang live and work in Thailand on a tourist visa that is ment to be use only for short hollydays, they create a long term tourist visa that all the farang teachers/divers/dj will use instead of the proper non b visa. Meanwhile the one who respect the law by applying for to he proper visa will still have the super complicated process to get it… And soon they will complain again that farang live in Thailand on a visa for tourist

    • Avatar

      james

      September 11, 2020 at 7:40 pm

      We will be allowed to apply for a ‘proper’ visa once the new nine-month tourist visa is in place.

      They can make it simple as I only need a simple visa for 6 to 9 months a year, let us just show them an amount in a bank account say for example £20,000 in order for us to pay for our stay and we will be happy.

      • Avatar

        J.C.

        September 14, 2020 at 2:31 am

        I lost brain cells reading this comment.

    • Avatar

      Ynwaps

      September 12, 2020 at 9:22 pm

      You can’t get a non b Visa If you’re privileged to work online or not at all.

  3. Avatar

    Frank Leboeuf

    September 10, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Let’s hope they let foreigners currently in Thailand and trying to stay hop on that visa…

    Proof of funds to cover stay, 2000 THB… would be great for those on tourist visas and also those caught between the gaps (expired non-Bs, OA etc) – Staying here a little more or going back to places with thousands of cases per day, it’s a no-brainer for some

    • Avatar

      Jules

      September 13, 2020 at 9:13 am

      And extend retiree visa to, even to the point of permanent residency. A retiree is only welcome if their well enough to spend their money. When they become too frail to apply for retirement visa in person they have to return to their own country. In many cases they may not have been back to their own country for many years and have no connections their. For a country that used to respect their elders this is and ever depreciation of respect. In Thailand money is the god and unless this attitude changes by example from the government/ immigration it send out the wrong signals to the general public.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    September 10, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Do you have a better idea, @murika?

    • Avatar

      rinky stingpiece

      September 10, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      Do away with visas… what are they for anyway?
      Just use passport numbers and countries to select people for entry. keep it simple.
      let spouses of thais work or make businesses and contribute to the economy.

    • Avatar

      Patrick Nouvel

      September 10, 2020 at 10:58 pm

      Now I know who has stollen my crystal Ball, we will get a great vaccine & let enter tourists by April or June… No crystal ball needed to understand by that time that 50 to 60% of the tourists related industrie will be closed for ever. The soft loans advertized by government being a hoax, banks refusing 95% if not more applications

  5. Avatar

    Eddie

    September 10, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    They never consider those visa free countries.

  6. Avatar

    Gosport

    September 10, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    To make it easy, renew visa 3 months by 3 months untill vaccine is available for foreigners. After this, visa free for all neighbor nations. Happiness all in one

  7. Avatar

    Bjørn

    September 10, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Will all those people currently on visa amnesty without anywhere to go be allowed to apply for such a visa? What about making it easier for those tourists who are already here, covid-free, extending their stay, so they can continue to contribute to the local tourism business?

    • Avatar

      barry

      September 10, 2020 at 11:01 pm

      not just tourists Bjorn, people who were here on now expired long term visas (such as non-immigrant type Bs) have very little options to stay, even though they often have much less of a “home” to come back to than tourists.
      People have good reasons to want to stay in Thailand, my slogan is “let them stay, make them pay”….

      • Avatar

        Rinky Stingpiece

        September 10, 2020 at 11:16 pm

        In the end, it’s not the foreigners that are wanted, but the money they spend… the problem is they seem to want to collect all the money up front, which is culturally opposite to westerners who are used to pay as you go. Asking people to pay up front so much makes people so, no thanks, and so they get no money. The better strategy is to make it easy to come and to stay, and easy to keep spending small amounts but very frequently, and in the end they get the money… its the difference between putting a frog in boiling water, and heating the water with the frog already in it… the wise strategy is to coax your cows into the milking yard, and then you can milk them all for a long time, and enjoy the cream too.

        • Avatar

          J.C.

          September 14, 2020 at 2:32 am

          Low IQ take.

  8. Avatar

    FRED

    September 10, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    We are around the world for a year and a half, we have rented our house until our return.
    We would like to buy this visa because we are tourists block here …
    Why want us to leave on the 26th.
    We have finances, and income every month because we rent apartments.
    So stopped believing that we are all bad people.

    • Avatar

      barry

      September 10, 2020 at 11:02 pm

      Exactly – and even if you guys weren’t tourists, you would have to leave, on an expired non-immigrant type B for instance.
      We really hope the Thai government will give us options to stay in these unprecedented circumstances…

  9. Avatar

    Mark

    September 10, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Of course people which have the freedom to stay such a long time within another country will highly appreciate to take advantage of that offer.

    But seriously. There exists different studies to the topic how long people usually stay on vacation. Depending on the study the numbers are between 8 and 14 days in average which makes sense if you look into countries like e.g. Japan where employees have limited time to go on holidays or for example US (which is just used as an example right now – not saying to open the boarders for US).

    What I want to mention is: will that step really boost the tourism economy of Thailand? And all the suppliers which depend on that industry? Frankly speaking. Not sure about.

    1. The amount of people who enter the country is limited.
    2. These people will have totally other habits than short term visitors, e.g. don’t spend money in the same way like short term vistors in restaurants, for sight-seeing, and so on.

    But this is just my view on it.

  10. Avatar

    InnerCynic

    September 11, 2020 at 12:15 am

    The visa “solution” will arrive once they see the money has “disappeared”. Funny how that works but it works every time.

  11. Avatar

    Maverick

    September 11, 2020 at 6:52 am

    One thing that is overlooked and not even covered by the Media is health insurance and the latest government requirement for Covid insurance – this is not available for high risk groups such as the over 70’s – why would insurance even be necessary if they have to quarantine ? There are so many contradictions in these stories being covered by the media where is the scrutiny from journalists – they just repeat parrot fashion what these clowns say

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      September 11, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      “why would insurance even be necessary if they have to quarantine ?”

      The quarantine is to protect others in the country from the possibility of you bringing in the virus.

      The insurance is to pay for your treatment if you subsequently catch the virus.

      No contradictions, and perfectly reasonable for those visiting. For those expats living here, for example on a Non-Imm ‘O’ visa, the insurance is unnecessary as they have to have funds in the bank for such eventualities.

      • Avatar

        Svcoquette

        September 11, 2020 at 12:43 pm

        The 100,000 US insurance requirement will prevent many retired tourists (like us) returning to Thailand. Better to have to show proof of sufficient financial ability to pay whatever might happen. Better to have well to do tourists than poor ones. Has there been a problem of tourists not paying their hospital bills?

  12. Avatar

    Svcoquette

    September 11, 2020 at 9:33 am

    We and many others arrived here on our yachts from Malaysia and are stuck here. Malaysia has closed it’s borders and seaports to foreign yachts until at least 31 Dec. All foreigners in Malaysia are permitted to stay until 14 days after 31 Dec. without payment or penalty.
    Forcing us to leave 26 Sept with no place to go is not sending a good message to the foreign yachts who come here each year and spend much money on boat repair and re-fitting.
    In our case our boat has been our ONLY home for many years. We hold USA passports but have no home there or reason to risk flying there. We also would not consider leaving our boat here as many have been vandalized as their owners can not get back.
    Phuket town Immigration was overwhelmed this past Tuesday. A real hassle for the foreigners and the staff there. Thailand should match what Malaysia is doing and extend all VISA s automatically until at least 31 Dec. If the 1900 baht monthly extension fee collection is what’s behind this then collect it when we leave.
    Before you jump thru hoops trying to attract new foreign tourists make the ones you have here feel welcome to stay and continue to support the local economy.

    • Avatar

      Frank Leboeuf

      September 11, 2020 at 11:32 pm

      Agreed – Thailand should extend all visas until at least 31 Dec, or at least give all foreigners here a chance to stay (and not just tourists with embassy letters).

      Even Indonesia let all foreigners, tourists but also those with expired work/stay permits (kitas) hop onto social visas (max extension, 6 months in normal times).

      Most foreigners here would gladly pay to stay, but for some of us (expired non-immigrant Bs or O-A) it isn’t an option…

  13. Avatar

    Jules

    September 13, 2020 at 9:11 am

    And extend retiree visa to, even to the point of permanent residency. A retiree is only welcome if their well enough to spend their money. When they become too frail to apply for retirement visa in person they have to return to their own country. In many cases they may not have been back to their own country for many years and have no connections their. For a country that used to respect their elders this is and ever depreciation of respect. In Thailand money is the god and unless this attitude changes by example from the government/ immigration it send out the wrong signals to the general public.

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