In a significant development for Thailand’s tourism industry, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is considering extending visa waivers to travellers from Taiwan and India.
This comes as Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin proposed the possibility of making visa-free entry for mainland Chinese tourists a permanent feature, following a temporary visa exemption that is set to expire on February 29.
Prime Minister’s Proposal for Chinese Travellers
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin made this groundbreaking announcement during the signing of a letter of intent between TAT and eight prominent Chinese companies in Beijing. The occasion marked the Thai delegation’s participation in the Belt and Road Forum.
The temporary visa exemption for Chinese travellers has garnered immense success, and authorities are exploring the possibility of making it permanent.
Proposed Visa Waivers and Easing of Travel Restrictions
As part of the plan to accelerate tourism growth, TAT is contemplating visa waivers for travellers from Taiwan and India. Additionally, efforts are underway to ease travel restrictions for Malaysian tourists arriving via land borders.
The proposal includes removing the TM6 immigration form requirement during weekends to streamline the influx of tourists.
Mutual Visa Waiver Agreements
Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, the TAT deputy governor for Asia and the South Pacific, emphasized that if Thailand and China mutually agree to waive visa requirements for visitors, it will lead to an increase in seat capacity and more flights to serve the growing demand.
Business operators in Taiwan have already urged Thailand to consider visa exemptions for visitors from the island, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is actively reviewing the request.
Thailand Visa Waiver Program Explained
A Thailand visa waiver is a permit that allows eligible citizens of certain countries to enter Thailand without a visa for a limited period of time. The current visa waiver program allows citizens of 64 countries to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days.
To qualify for a Thailand visa waiver, you must:
- Be a citizen of one of the eligible countries.
- Have a valid passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your intended date of departure from Thailand.
- Have a confirmed return ticket or onward travel ticket.
- Have sufficient funds for your stay in Thailand.
How Visa Waiver Works
If you meet all of the above-mentioned requirements, you can enter Thailand without a visa and stay for up to 30 days. You will need to present your passport and onward travel ticket at the immigration counter upon arrival.
Here are some important things to keep in mind about the Thailand visa waiver program:
- You cannot extend your visa waiver stay in Thailand.
- You cannot work or study in Thailand on a visa waiver.
- If you are planning to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days or for a purpose other than tourism, you will need to apply for a visa in advance.