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Plan for long-term visitors set for October



PHOTO: Unsplash: Kevin Bosc

After months of discussing plan after plan, Thailand will have a solid plan for long-term foreign visitors by the end of October. At least that’s what a senior officer says. (We realise you’re sick of hearing about ‘plans’ but whilst the officials keep rolling them out, we’ll keep reporting them)

Long-term travellers would need to do a 14 day quarantine, but after that they would be able to go anywhere in the country, according to secretary of the Centre for Economic Situation Administration Thosaporn Sirisumphand.

The government officials haven’t revealed anything else about the potential plan, but there was talk a couple weeks ago about developing a new 9 month long-stay visa. The proposal is aimed for so-called “snowbirds” who want to get away from Europe’s winter and stay in Thailand for the season.

Government officials are motivated to get the plan in place and hope that opening the borders to long-term visitors will help revive the tourism-dependent economy, potentially saving millions of jobs that are on the line. Thailand Development Research estimates 3.27 million jobs are at risk.

Phuket was hit hard and plans to reopen the island to international tourists are delayed. Before the pandemic, international tourists contributed to 2/3 of Phuket’s revenue from tourism. 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 and those that are still open say they desperately need foreign tourists to stay open.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Lance

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    It’s just not people from Europe why are they just talking about Europe I am from the US and I am ready to come and stay for a long time aa well! I have a GF as well as a condo I am paying for!

    • Ada

      Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 11:07 am

      Because too many Covid cases in your country. We do not want you in Europe and in Thailand.
      They would have to be crazy to allow Americans to come.

  2. barry

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Here’s a idea: why not let foreigners currently already in Thailand and with the means to finance their extended stay in the country a chance to hop onto this new “snowbird” visa?

    Tourists, but also those falling in between the cracks like those expired non-Bs for example.
    Would certainly beat trying to get on non-O Volunteer or non-ED that shady agents are peddling at crazy rates (heard 70 000 THB quoted for a non-O volunteer this week…)

    Another option would be to introduce an exceptional extension measure, specifically for foreigners in Thailand who want to stay stay in the country and have the means to support their stay here given the exceptional circumstance – beyond stranded or not, many people have good reasons to want to stay here.

    Forget the amnesty, and move onto something more practical.

    Let’s call it Thailand’s “COVID-19 Emergency Stay Permit”.

    Here’s an outline:

    – Make foreigners register online to apply for their Covid-19 Emergency Stay Permit, then come to their local immigration office to pay and process.

    – To process the Covid-19 Emergency Stay Permit, foreigners would need 2 photos, proof of sufficient funds to finance stay in Thailand, housing info and of course the fees, along with a statement of understanding that this exceptionnal stay permit will be revoked when borders reopen

    – The Covid-19 Emergency Stay Permit is renewable every month or every 90 days (and subject to 90 day reports) until Thailand’s borders are fully reopened

    – The Covid-19 Emergency Stay Permit is offered to *all foreigners* currently on amnesty, not just tourists, regardless of current / expired visa (tourist, VOA, non immigrant type B, O-A….), as long as they can justify funds to stay in Thailand.

    Problems solved: no more amnesty, no more talk of “stranded/freeloader”, the Thai government makes money, fully controls the situation and can communicate positively on the subject, locals make money, foreigners are happy, those caught in the gaps (expired non-Bs) have a solution…

    Aaah, I’m repeating myself, byt if only Thai officials came to the Thaiger’s comment section for advice 😉

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Barry for PM! Thanks for the long and considered comment Sir.

      • barry

        Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 12:40 am

        I’ll settle for Ministry of Foreign Affairs 😉

    • Rinky Stingpiece

      Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      Here’s a better idea, why not have annual free visas and free work permits for everyone married to a Thai. Scrap all 90-day reporting, and let people retire on 40,000 a month with no annual renewals. Stop making everything so complicated. Foreigners will come, spend money, Thais get paid.

      • barry

        Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 12:48 am

        Sure, why not – that’s how it is in quite a few places around the world, marriage gives access to residency, even in “Jus sanguinis” places like Japan (quite a few hoops to jump through though, takes a few months and loads of paperwork, and you need guarantors etc) .

        Thing is quite a few tourists and others are not married to Thais nor intend to be in the foreseeable future.
        With the current covid-conundrum people can’t get in and those that want to stay have to leave…

        • Issan John

          Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 4:15 pm

          … and, to be fair, how it ISN’T in most places where most of those complaining about residency here come from (UK, most of Europe, USA, etc) …..

      • robert

        Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1:26 am

        I certainly agreed with you. Irrespective of which country you come from , with all the stringent tests for covics, if I am a patient I will be stupid to enter….bearing all the costs implication. I agreed with the long term visa one year.

        Just open up for all to come in honestly but on conditions they satisfy the country terms and regulations.


    • Sami

      Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      Aaah, I’m repeating myself, but if only Thai officials came to the Thaiger’s comment section for advice ?
      Well said!!

    • Not Moby

      Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Well said. I am in a similar situation. If there was a cost-effective way to stay in Thailand legally and work as a self-employed consultant, I’d stay as long as I can – paying taxes, a lease, and shopping/traveling locally. The current rules make it next to impossible to do that. So I’ve opted to relocate to Cambodia where a foreigner can easily and legally register and run a business, and the cost of living is about half as much as Bangkok. The contradiction between pushing out the farang (and our money) currently here legally and chasing an unworkable long stay tourism program is self-defeating in both the short and long terms.

  3. Sami

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    (We realize you’re sick of hearing about ‘plans’ but whilst the officials keep rolling them out, we’ll keep reporting them)… full sympathies towards you…I couldnt agree more..

  4. Alex

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    “We realise you’re sick of hearing about ‘plans’ but whilst the officials keep rolling them out, we’ll keep reporting them”

    You can’t even take it seriously anymore! They are on a roll, rolling them out. But that’s about it!
    The credibility about these plans going back and forth from the start is long gone already.

    I’m sick and tired of this Corona BS! Because it is BS!

  5. Joe

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    We are not sick of hearing about plans but sick of hearing about the 14 day quarantine period which will not work.

  6. Gary

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    So many retirees waiting to get back , all with many bills to pay, I know, would be an easy start. What really is the difference between a Thai doing 14 day quarantine and a farang doing the same, if the farang has health insurance, apart from the obvious, they are Thai?

  7. Eddie

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Not only sick with the plans…we also sick with their imbecile officials…

    • Sami

      Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1:20 am

      Issan John,,,,are you reading this???

  8. RR

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 12:03 am

    Nobody mentally sane would ever overpay a hotel for 2 weeks of prison even if they will stay for 9 months, unless the quarantine period is chosen by the traveller and, most of all, not paid for.

  9. Perceville Smithers

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1:43 am

    Oct is a few weeks away. Better be circulating the plan for final review!

  10. Mark

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Sounds like Thai Government is really doing well in establishing plans every two weeks.

    Not sure if they considered that people around the globe have to work as well within their home countries. And exactly these people earn money which they are able to spend on vacation.

    Of course there are freelancers or elderly people which have the possibility to work from home or don’t work any more. For sure!

    But just look into global statistics and you can see easily who which part of the workforce spends most during having a holiday. Just a fact.

    I am from Europe. And vacation here is managed since some months already. Because it is an important part of economics.

    How? Let selected countries fly into, step by step. Test people directly at arrival (quick test) at the airport and tell them to go directly into their home or hotel. Test results will be delivered within 24-36 hours. If negative everything fine. If positive -> quarantine.

    If a tourist or business traveler breaks the rules he/she has to pay big fines.

    Every country in the world has to deal with the situation. Just a fact.
    Of course, Thai Government can go ahead like this. But from my perspective it is just mismanagement. Let’s wait for the next two or three plans. 😉

  11. Issan John

    Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Yes, thank you.

    Not much point in trying to convince the likes of Alex that it’s not all down to 5G and the moon’s not made of cheese.

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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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