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Confusion over entry requirements for Russians as Thailand cancels visa on arrival for 18 countries

Confusion over entry requirements for Russians as Thailand cancels visa on arrival for 18 countries

PHUKET: Confusion remains over whether not the announcement by Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda today (Mar 11), saying that Thailand had cancelled the grant of visa on arrival for 18 countries and visa exemption for three others in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus, applies to Russians.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 11 March 2020, 08:21PM

Previously, nationals of 18 countries or territories could use their passports or travel documents to apply for Visa on Arrival (VoA) at Thai immigration checkpoints, reports the Bangkok Post.

The 18 places are: Bulgaria, Bhutan, China (including Taiwan), Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu, the report said.

Visa exemption will be cancelled for South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong, the interior minister said, reported the Bangkok Post, also citing a report by Reuters. (See story here.)

Gen Anupong said all arrivals from those countries have to apply for visas at a Thai embassy or consulate and travel with a medical certificate to prove they are not infected with the virus.

The measures will be temporary until the situation improves, he added.

However, the Royal Thai Embassy in Moscow late this afternoon posted a notice plainly explaining that the new requirements do not apply to holders of Russian passports.

“Please be informed that according to the Bilateral Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Thailand dated from 13 December 2005, holders of Russian passports are permitted to enter into the Kingdom of Thailand and stay up to thirty (30) days without a visa, in accordance with terms of the Bilateral Agreement,” the statement said.

“The latest news on the Thai Government’s decision to temporarily suspend visa on arrival (VoA) for 18 countries DOES NOT affect holders of Russian passports. Russians can still visit Thailand for 30 days without visa,” it added. (See post here.)

Thai Residential

The notice by the Thai Embassy in Moscow made no mention of the new requirement to present a medical certificate in order to enter Thailand.

Confirmation that the temporary suspension of visas on arrival (VoA) for 18 countries did not affect holders of Russian passports was also posted on the Russian Embassy in Thailand’s official Facebook page. (See here.)

As of 8pm tonight (Mar 11), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had not posted any announcement regarding the status of Russian passport holders. However, the website still listed Russians as permitted to enter Thailand without a visa. (See here.)

According to statistics by the Ministry of Tourism & Sports, 1,483,453 Russians visited Thailand last year, generating B103.78 billion for the country.

In March 2019 alone, 194,471 Russians visited the Kingdom, generating B13.224bn. (See statistics here.)



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Kurt | 14 March 2020 - 10:44:06

Fun to see how different Thai Government bodies create confusion and contradiction about the Russian arrivals.
It is clear, Russians can continue to come and get visa on arrival, but have to arrive with a medical certificate. Simple and clear. Right?

Kurt | 12 March 2020 - 08:58:14

Doing 'things', and spreading confusion while doing it without pre-thinking through, is a charming part of the thai culture. But it creates problems when you do that at international levels as most countries know the drill/protocols how diplomatically to handle international affairs.

Rorri_2 | 12 March 2020 - 06:58:59

"Confusion," now why doesn't that surprise me, when so many different announcements come from so many different retards, is more  intelligent countries, the announcement comes from one source, that message then communicated by his/her underlings. Uneducated, non-professional retards.

Shwe | 12 March 2020 - 05:00:50

More stupidity from Thai Government, one group says one thing another group says something different. Government Thai style. They used to be indecisive , but no they are not sure.

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