ThailandTourismVisa

Thailand “relaxes” visa criteria to draw in more tourists

In an effort to revive the tourism industry after a quiet 7 months without foreign tourists, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says they’ve “relaxed” the criteria for issuing tourist visas and are now allowing foreigners from countries considered a “medium risk” for spreading Covid-19 to apply for a tourist visa.

Thailand will start allowing some foreigners to enter on a 60 day tourist visa which can be extended to a 90 day stay, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand executive director for tourism products, Thapanee Kitaphaibool.

The Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, DC lists requirements for a single entry tourist visa on its website. First, travellers need money. Applicants need a bank account balance of at least $17,000 USD (500,000 baht) each month for the last 6 months. Applicants also need a medical certificate issued 72 hours before departure and health insurance coverage of at least $100,000 USD. The traveller must still go through a 14 day quarantine upon entering Thailand and must arrange and pay for the alternative state quarantine (ASQ) hotel at their own expense.

Thailand initially launched the new Special Tourist Visa for travellers from countries considered at “low risk” for spreading the coronavirus. The visa allows a 90 day stay that can be renewed twice, adding up to about 9 months. Since target countries like Europe and Scandinavia are categorized as “medium risk” countries, Thai consulates have relaxed regulations for applicants from those countries.

The requirements for the Special Tourist Visa are also expensive. Applicants need at least 500,000 baht in savings, health insurance coverage of at least $100,000 USD and out-patient coverage of at least 40,000 baht. Applicants must also take a Covid-19 test 72 hours before they travel and be in possession of a medical certificate.

Opening up Thailand back up to tourists has been a slow process. Before the pandemic, the country had millions of tourists entering the country each month. Since travel restrictions eased up, only a few flights of foreigners on the Special Tourist Visa have entered the country. As of November 5, the ministry issued certificates of entry to 1,465 foreigners with most people approved to enter on retirement visas, Special Tourist Visa and privileged entry visas.

Visas and visa requirements vary from country to country. Check, check, check with your local Thai Embassy before booking any flights or making any travel arrangements.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. I think the only relaxation is the term ,medium risk,. As far as I remember it has been ,low risk, previously.

    However, nobody with a brain will visit under the requirements for this STV. There are in fact NO registrations from anybody for this scheme in November as stated by relevant agencies.

    Welcome to a next episode of the Muppet show.

  2. The “relaxed” criteria is easy to meet….but certainly not worth it right now. 99% of potential tourist will wait until a vaccine is released and effective. So that Thailand will return to the normal criteria.

  3. Thailand is start to became in a dictadure country that alloud to control the population that can entry in his country Just for the money they have, how is gona go there when bali is gona open soon, Brasil is full of People travelling there without any stupid quarentine in expensive hotels, have to be 15000 euros in your account and that manipulative and dictatorial states of supremacy

  4. If TAT thinks these are relaxed restrictions then they’re on crack!! How many tourist have $17.000 sitting in thier bank for 6 months and an over priced Thai insureance policy, is it any wonder there has not been that many people entering Thailand under the STV scheme (And there won’t be the landslide of applications they are hoping for) But I’ll put money on things changing JUST in time for chinese new year!! and they’ll come and spend money in chinese hotels, tour groups and restaurants and people of local run businesses will get very little…

  5. This is the visa i come in on,extended to 90 days. My £10,000-400,000 Baht holiday money will not be spent in Thailand this year and i will not return until i can quarantine in my own home with my girlfriend taking care of me.

  6. As everyone else is noticing, this is not relaxed at all. Thailand used to have over 30 million tourists per year. Having a few thousand back is a joke. What are they thinking? How many people have had $17,000 in their bank account for the past six months??? Those who have that kind of money will not bother to go through 14 day quarantine just to have a vacation in Thailand. They will go elsewhere where there is no quarantine requirement which itself costs three times more than a two week vacation in most places in Thailand. All in all this is ridiculous from any point of view.

    1. How many people? Tens of thousands of retired parents that did not see their child or close relatives for almost a year!
      And these people will have no difficulties to show this amount of money in their bank account (if you look at any statistics of westerners>60 years incomes). And they will also be able to patient 2 more weeks in quarantaine before reconnecting with their loved ones.
      I Agree nevertheless that it will be too difficult to afford for the poorest among us which is unfair but hope for them this test will be successful in terms of public health and will be an opportunity to open more largely the country to tourists moving forward.

  7. hahahaha nice try Thailand. I’d rather go somewhere close to home like Mexico or Costa Rica that doesn’t demand all these requirements and allows local businesses to officially charge dual prices!
    The way I see it, you need my money but I have better options available. Pass

  8. These unwise travel restrictions will have a huge negative impact on Thai economy and its Thai population. Directly affecting tourism industry and indirectly affecting millions of Thai labor force, plus its services and suppliers. The unemployed work force will end up in hardship forcing them to commit criminal acts to support their families.

    Solution: Allow foreigners in with Negative PCR report conducted within 72 hours of flying to Thailand and another PCR test upon arrival with only 2 days quarantine…

  9. How is SWEDEN even allowed, let alone “medium risk”? This is absurd, and criminally reckless. The Thai authorities responsible for this travesty in reasoning should be forced to vacation in Sweden this winter.

    1. The world’s tourist industry is dead. Why does Thailand keep driving nails into the coffin? Hello you silly Thai “ministers”, get a clue: No one’s coming. When and IF an effective vaccine comes out and IF tourism starts to get a pulse, this place will NOT be on the traveller’s ‘must go’ list with all it’s ridiculous cash grabbing entry requirements. Most tourists get travel insurance when paid with a credit card. But US $100k just to come here? Dream on…

  10. i’m so ” relaxed” watching this news now. I can see thailand is doing its best to bring in thousands of tourists now .. haha, well its their tourism industry not mine.

    From the statistical evidence even if Thais do catch it such a low percentage die, I don’t think they really need to worry about infection what do I know. Its almost like Asia doesn’t really believe in the virus on some level.

    One things for sure its not Buddhism as that lets them drive around squashing everyone in sight

  11. exactly! The suits keep visiting these once lively money generating spots around the country and see now sad ghost towns and desparation. Then they rehash and propose their same tired old schemes targeting big spenders. Makes no sense. Other, better destinations are slowly opening their doors to tourists without quarantine. Pre and sometimes post flight testing only.

  12. I’m fine with these requirements. After all of someone living here must have 800K B “just sitting” in a bank for a visa, 500K is less due to less time. Returning retirees must have all the same and quarantine as well. If the virus actually got loose on rural Thailand, billions in cost and death is the result. Money “generation” spots are peanuts vs cost. Those who really want to come will do so.

  13. At the moment how can a country with almost no cases would open the doors to millions of tourists from highly affected countries? The consequences on both health and economy could be much worst than the current situation.
    So what they are doing now, step by step reopening the country aiming to welcome less people but during longer stay makes perfect sense.
    And if you consider the thousands of retired people who get their children or parents working there it is a change for them to meet up again.
    And if you look at the criteria most of the retired ‘Westerners’ will have no problem to comply with.
    It’s definitely not made for young travellers with lower income and/or short period of vacation that anyway will not come in mass during this period.

  14. Too many hoops to jump through . As retired visitors , we have spent around 3 months a year in Thailand in each of the last 10 years , spent a lot of money and really enjoyed it . BUT we cannot be bothered with all the new paperwork and 14 days quarantine , will wait for Malaysia or Vietnam to open up.

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Caitlin Ashworth

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.

25 Comments

  1. I think the only relaxation is the term ,medium risk,. As far as I remember it has been ,low risk, previously.

    However, nobody with a brain will visit under the requirements for this STV. There are in fact NO registrations from anybody for this scheme in November as stated by relevant agencies.

    Welcome to a next episode of the Muppet show.

  2. The “relaxed” criteria is easy to meet….but certainly not worth it right now. 99% of potential tourist will wait until a vaccine is released and effective. So that Thailand will return to the normal criteria.

  3. Thailand is start to became in a dictadure country that alloud to control the population that can entry in his country Just for the money they have, how is gona go there when bali is gona open soon, Brasil is full of People travelling there without any stupid quarentine in expensive hotels, have to be 15000 euros in your account and that manipulative and dictatorial states of supremacy

  4. If TAT thinks these are relaxed restrictions then they’re on crack!! How many tourist have $17.000 sitting in thier bank for 6 months and an over priced Thai insureance policy, is it any wonder there has not been that many people entering Thailand under the STV scheme (And there won’t be the landslide of applications they are hoping for) But I’ll put money on things changing JUST in time for chinese new year!! and they’ll come and spend money in chinese hotels, tour groups and restaurants and people of local run businesses will get very little…

  5. This is the visa i come in on,extended to 90 days. My £10,000-400,000 Baht holiday money will not be spent in Thailand this year and i will not return until i can quarantine in my own home with my girlfriend taking care of me.

  6. As everyone else is noticing, this is not relaxed at all. Thailand used to have over 30 million tourists per year. Having a few thousand back is a joke. What are they thinking? How many people have had $17,000 in their bank account for the past six months??? Those who have that kind of money will not bother to go through 14 day quarantine just to have a vacation in Thailand. They will go elsewhere where there is no quarantine requirement which itself costs three times more than a two week vacation in most places in Thailand. All in all this is ridiculous from any point of view.

    1. How many people? Tens of thousands of retired parents that did not see their child or close relatives for almost a year!
      And these people will have no difficulties to show this amount of money in their bank account (if you look at any statistics of westerners>60 years incomes). And they will also be able to patient 2 more weeks in quarantaine before reconnecting with their loved ones.
      I Agree nevertheless that it will be too difficult to afford for the poorest among us which is unfair but hope for them this test will be successful in terms of public health and will be an opportunity to open more largely the country to tourists moving forward.

  7. hahahaha nice try Thailand. I’d rather go somewhere close to home like Mexico or Costa Rica that doesn’t demand all these requirements and allows local businesses to officially charge dual prices!
    The way I see it, you need my money but I have better options available. Pass

  8. These unwise travel restrictions will have a huge negative impact on Thai economy and its Thai population. Directly affecting tourism industry and indirectly affecting millions of Thai labor force, plus its services and suppliers. The unemployed work force will end up in hardship forcing them to commit criminal acts to support their families.

    Solution: Allow foreigners in with Negative PCR report conducted within 72 hours of flying to Thailand and another PCR test upon arrival with only 2 days quarantine…

  9. How is SWEDEN even allowed, let alone “medium risk”? This is absurd, and criminally reckless. The Thai authorities responsible for this travesty in reasoning should be forced to vacation in Sweden this winter.

    1. The world’s tourist industry is dead. Why does Thailand keep driving nails into the coffin? Hello you silly Thai “ministers”, get a clue: No one’s coming. When and IF an effective vaccine comes out and IF tourism starts to get a pulse, this place will NOT be on the traveller’s ‘must go’ list with all it’s ridiculous cash grabbing entry requirements. Most tourists get travel insurance when paid with a credit card. But US $100k just to come here? Dream on…

  10. i’m so ” relaxed” watching this news now. I can see thailand is doing its best to bring in thousands of tourists now .. haha, well its their tourism industry not mine.

    From the statistical evidence even if Thais do catch it such a low percentage die, I don’t think they really need to worry about infection what do I know. Its almost like Asia doesn’t really believe in the virus on some level.

    One things for sure its not Buddhism as that lets them drive around squashing everyone in sight

  11. exactly! The suits keep visiting these once lively money generating spots around the country and see now sad ghost towns and desparation. Then they rehash and propose their same tired old schemes targeting big spenders. Makes no sense. Other, better destinations are slowly opening their doors to tourists without quarantine. Pre and sometimes post flight testing only.

  12. I’m fine with these requirements. After all of someone living here must have 800K B “just sitting” in a bank for a visa, 500K is less due to less time. Returning retirees must have all the same and quarantine as well. If the virus actually got loose on rural Thailand, billions in cost and death is the result. Money “generation” spots are peanuts vs cost. Those who really want to come will do so.

  13. At the moment how can a country with almost no cases would open the doors to millions of tourists from highly affected countries? The consequences on both health and economy could be much worst than the current situation.
    So what they are doing now, step by step reopening the country aiming to welcome less people but during longer stay makes perfect sense.
    And if you consider the thousands of retired people who get their children or parents working there it is a change for them to meet up again.
    And if you look at the criteria most of the retired ‘Westerners’ will have no problem to comply with.
    It’s definitely not made for young travellers with lower income and/or short period of vacation that anyway will not come in mass during this period.

  14. Too many hoops to jump through . As retired visitors , we have spent around 3 months a year in Thailand in each of the last 10 years , spent a lot of money and really enjoyed it . BUT we cannot be bothered with all the new paperwork and 14 days quarantine , will wait for Malaysia or Vietnam to open up.

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