Thailand’s 45-day visa exemption is back to 30 days
Thailand’s 45-day visa exemption is back down to 30 days for visitors to the kingdom from a list of around 60 countries.
Starting from April 1 (yesterday), visitors from mainland Europe, the UK, the US, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and other countries will only be granted a 30-day stay in Thailand if they choose to enter the country without obtaining a prior visa, as the 45-day visa exemption is officially over.
This policy change is a revision of the previous regulations that were in place before October 1, 2022, when the 45-day exemption was implemented as a temporary measure to draw in more tourists until the end of March 2023.
The cancellation of the 45-day visa exemption will likely impact many travellers who have been planning to visit Thailand and stay for longer than 30 days.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has tried hard to extend the 45-day visa, but tourists from around 60 countries who are allowed to enter without a visa will no longer be granted a 45-day stay. However, they will still have the option to extend their stay once for an additional 30 days if they go through Immigration. This means they will be able to tour the country for a maximum of 60 days instead of 75.
Visa-exempt countries will also have another option to obtain a 30-day addition if they leave the country and then return briefly. However, land border crossings can only be done twice per calendar year. While there are no official restrictions on entry by air, immigration officers can refuse tourists entry if they deem it necessary for individuals to obtain a formal visa from a Thai embassy beforehand.
Meanwhile, the visa-on-arrival period, which was extended from 15 to 30 days, has finished and has returned to 15 days for countries that are considered visas on arrival.
The Thai government has not yet officially announced the change but is expected to do after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.
The TAT reportedly plans to approach the new government after the General Election to potentially change the visa program once again to attract more tourists. Some political analysts noted on social media that with Parliament currently dissolved and the government in a caretaker position until the May General Election, finding a way to legally extend the program may have been too difficult. Therefore, the originally planned date of the end of the program was allowed to expire.
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