Thailand Extends Free Tourist Visa Scheme For 6 More Months, Say Thai Visa Service Experts

For more than 30 years the Bangkok based company has served the Thai and foreign communities in Thailand, offering a range of legal and financial services. It also has a Thai visa service desk specializing in visa and Thailand work permit matters and keeps abreast of relevant rules and regulations and the latest news on this scene.

This can make a law firm in Thailand such as BSA Law a useful contact point for advice and assistance on visas and work permits and other related areas.

“The free tourist visa scheme waives the usual Bt1,000 fee for a tourist visa that is valid for a stay in Thailand of up to 30 days, and with the six month extension this will continue through to 31 August 2017”, said BSA Law’s spokesman.

The tourist visa fee waiver was originally introduced on 30 November 2016. Introduced at the same time was a 50 per cent reduction in the cost of a 15-day Visa on Arrival (VoA) from Bt2,000 to Bt1,000, which has also been extended for the six month period.

Eligible for the tourist visa fee waiver and Visa on Arrival fee reduction are passport holders from 21 countries and territories namely Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports proposed the extension of the visa incentives and the Thai cabinet gave its approval at one of its weekly meetings in February.

It’s hoped the free tourist visa and cheaper Visa on Arrival will boost visitor numbers to Thailand, particularly during this low season. The kingdom is aiming to attract 35 million international visitors in 2017, having welcomed 32,588,303 arrivals last year which was 8.9 per cent up on 2015’s performance of 29,923,185 arrivals.

Thailand’s tourism industry is vital to the national economy, last year providing 17 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

“Thailand’s tourism sector is thriving but with extra government support, such as this visa waiver and reduction scheme, it means we can remain the top destination in the region. By continuing, this policy will help motivate visitors from the eligible countries to discover Amazing Thailand’, said Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

BSA Law noted that the Thai tourism and sports minister had recently confirmed the pilot project for an E-visa later in the year, and that if this trial run was successful then Thailand could have in place an online Thai visa service by the end of 2018.

It won’t be the first destination to do so, though. Myanmar has been offering foreign visitors online visa application with credit card payment for a couple of years now and Vietnam is also planning to introduce a similar service.

Aside from its Thai visa service desk, BSA Law’s other areas of expertise include tax consulting, accounting and auditing services, Thai labour law, Thai law in general, corporate law, contracts, property, intellectual property, insurance, investment and everything one needs to know about starting a business in Thailand.
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