Big Thailand Visa changes

Faz

Well-known member
The cabinet approved a raft of new visa promotions to attract more tourists on Tuesday, including visa-free and visa-on-arrival schemes and longer stays for students, and a reduced level of compulsory health insurance for retirees.

The Foreign Ministry proposed the measures to attract as many visitors as possible because the national economy depended heavily on tourism, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said.

He said the number of countries eligible for visa-free entry would increase from 57 to 93. The 36 new countries included Albania, Cambodia, China, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Romania, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.

Visitors' stays under this scheme were also extended to 60 days, the government spokesman said.

The cabinet also approved visa-on-arrival for 31 countries, up from 19 countries previously.

Visitors who want to work and also visit tourist destinations will be able to get five-year visas valid for stays up to 180 days, extendable for another 180 days. They were previously entitled to only two stays of 30 days each, the government spokesman said.

"This measure targets digital nomads, remote workers and freelancers... as well as those who want to learn Muay Thai and Thai cuisine. They can both learn and tour places," Mr Chai said. He called it Destination Thailand Visa.

Foreign students of higher education could stay for one year after graduation, instead of being required to leave the country immediately finishing their course.

"They can find work during the extended period, especially in the fields that we need," the spokesman said. There were about 40,000 such foreign students in the country, he said.

The above-mentioned measures will take effect on Saturday, June 1.

- Retirement -

Visitors aged 50 years or more who want long-stay visas are currently required to have health insurance coverage worth 3 million baht.

Under the cabinet's resolution on Tuesday, each long-stay visa applicant in this age group is required to have health cover of only 440,000 baht - 400,000 baht for inpatient treatment and 40,000 baht for outpatient cover.

This is effective for long-stay applicants from September to December, Mr Chai said.

The cabinet also approved the expansion of e-visa application services at Thai consulates and embassies from 47 to 94 locations, commencing in September, the spokesman said.



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Faz

Well-known member
UPDATE:

BANGKOK: -– The Thai government has announced a three-phase economic stimulus plan, including easing visa rules to boost tourism and attract more foreign visitors. The decision was made during a Cabinet meeting on May 28, as the country faces a prolonged economic slowdown, low GDP growth, and increasing public debt.

The Cabinet meeting reached a unanimous conclusion that Thailand needs to generate new income by fully accelerating tourism policies, which are considered the only economic engine that will yield rapid returns. Key points of the plan are divided into three phases for 2024-2025.

The government aims to generate this short-term measures no less than 3 trillion baht (81.91 billion USD) in tourism revenue by the end of 2024.

Short-term measures:

- Visa exemption for tourists, business visitors, and short-term workers from 93 countries (up from 57), allowing stays of up to 60 days.

- Expansion of Visa on Arrival (VOA) to 31 countries (up from 19).

- Introduction of a new visa category, Destination Thailand Visa (DTV), for foreigners seeking to stay in Thailand for an extended period and work remotely (workcation).

Destination Thailand Visa (DTV) eligibility and benefits:

- Skilled foreign talent, digital nomads, freelancers, and those engaging in activities such as learning Muay Thai, cooking, sports training, medical treatment, seminars, and arts and music events.

- Spouses and legal children (under 20) of DTV holders.

- Proof of financial support or a guarantee of at least 500,000 baht for the duration of stay.

- DTV allows a stay of up to 180 days, with a visa fee of 10,000 baht, valid for 5 years. The stay can be extended once for another 180 days with an additional fee of 10,000 baht.

Improved benefits for foreign students:

- Foreign students pursuing bachelor’s degrees or higher with a Non-Immigrant Visa (ED) will have an easier time finding work and staying in Thailand after graduation.

- Extended stay of 1 year after graduation for job hunting, traveling, or other activities, with certification from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.

Medium-term measures:

- It will be implemented from September to December 2024.

- Restructuring and reducing the number of Non-Immigrant visa categories from 17 to 7, starting in September 2024.

- Adjusting the criteria and conditions for the Long Stay visa for elderly people who wish to spend their retirement in Thailand, starting in September 2024.

- Reducing the health insurance requirement for Non-Immigrant visa (O-A) from 3,000,000 baht to pre-COVID-19 levels: 40,000 baht for outpatients and 400,000 baht for inpatients.

- Expanding the e-Visa service from 47 to 94 Thai embassies, consulates, and trade and economic offices worldwide by December 2024.

Long-term measures:

It will be fully implemented by June 2025.

- Developing an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system for foreign nationals eligible for visa exemption.

- Using technology and innovation to enhance the screening of foreign nationals by integrating data with the Immigration Bureau.

Government spokesperson Chai Wacharong stated that while these measures to facilitate tourism will result in a loss of approximately 12.3 billion baht (335.7 million USD) in government revenue annually, the expected return from increased tourism, estimated at 800 billion to 1 trillion baht (21.8 – 27.3 billion USD), led the Cabinet to approve the measures.
 

Faz

Well-known member
The increase from 30 to 60 days entering visa exempt, will effectively make the current Tourist visa redundant.

You can still apply for the 30-day extension of stay, meaning you will now be able to stay up to 90 days without a visa.
 

Faz

Well-known member
- Retirement -

Visitors aged 50 years or more who want long-stay visas are currently required to have health insurance coverage worth 3 million baht.

Under the cabinet's resolution on Tuesday, each long-stay visa applicant in this age group is required to have health cover of only 440,000 baht - 400,000 baht for inpatient treatment and 40,000 baht for outpatient cover.

This is effective for long-stay applicants from September to December, Mr Chai said.
Not to be confused with applying for 1 year extensions at local Immigration offices, which are 'permits', not 'visas'.
This is applicable for a limited period for those applying for the Non Imm O-A visa from their local Thai Embassies/Consulates.

The cabinet also approved the expansion of e-visa application services at Thai consulates and embassies from 47 to 94 locations, commencing in September, the spokesman said.
That will double the current Thai Embassies/Consulates using the online e-visa application system.
 

Faz

Well-known member
Destination Thailand Visa (DTV)

- Remote Workers/Digital Nomads/Freelancers
- Participants of activities such as
- Muay Thai courses
- Thai cooking classes
- Sport training
- Medical treatment
- Seminars
- Music festivals etc.

Period of stay: 180 days
(1 time extension of stay at the Immigration Bureau for a period not exceeding 180 days)

Validity: 5 years (multiple entry)
Visa fee: 10,000 Baht (THB)


Source: Department of Consular Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand 29 May 2024-05-29
Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 04.27.27.png
 

Faz

Well-known member
BANGKOK:-- The Thai cabinet decided on its cabinet meeting 2024-05-28 to scrap 10 of the 17 different NON-Immigrant visa categories. This will be implemented starting September - December 2024.
These are the 7 remaining categories for NON-Immigrant visas.

  1. (1) Category Non-Immigrant Code B (Business)
  2. (2) Category Non-Immigrant Code ED (Education)
  3. (3) Category Non-Immigrant Code F (Official)
  4. (4) Category Non-Immigrant Code M (Mass Media)
  5. (5) Category Non-Immigrant Code O (Others)
  6. (6) Category Non-Immigrant Code L-A (Labor)
  7. (7) Category Non-Immigrant Code O (L-A)
-- Translation from source: https://www.thaigov.go.th/
 

Nauts

Active member
Wow i think lots of changes to Visa rules in Asia lately. Even China is relaxing rules for Malaysians today, 30 days free visa.
 
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