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Govt waives visa fees, not visas, for Chinese, Indian visitors

Govt waives visa fees, not visas, for Chinese, Indian visitors

BANGKOK: The Cabinet today (Aug 20) resolved to extend the period for free visas on arrival for visitors from China, India and other countries, but rejected a proposal to waive visas for Chinese and Indian visitors, to boost the economy.

tourismeconomicsChinese
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 20 August 2019, 07:16PM


A Chinese tourist uses an e-immigration terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport. Cabinet has extended the visa-fee waiver for citizens of 18 countries until April, as part of an economic stimulus package. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

A Chinese tourist uses an e-immigration terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport. Cabinet has extended the visa-fee waiver for citizens of 18 countries until April, as part of an economic stimulus package. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the Cabinet meeting rejected the visa waiver proposal from the Tourism and Sports Ministry for security reasons, and instead extended free visas on arrival for visitors beyond the current October until April 30 next year.

"Cabinet ministers disagree with a visa waiver but resolve that fees for visas on arrival be exempted at immigration checkpoints. The decision was based on security concerns," Gen Prawit said.

The deputy prime minister yesterday said that he disagreed with the Tourism and Sports Ministry’s proposal to waive visas for short-term Chinese and Indian visitors for one year to help stimulate the economy.

He said that would make access too easy.

China and India each had a population of about 1.2 billion people. He shared the concern of the Foreign Ministry that people from these countries would be inspired to abuse the visa waiver, flee hardships and settle illegally in Thailand.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said today that the B2,000 visa fee exemption was for visitors from 18 countries, including China and India.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today that the fee exemption was extended until the end of April so it would include the Songkran festival next year.

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The waived visa fee is part of the stimulus that economic ministers planned last week. Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the cabinet on Tuesday approved a 316-billion-baht economic stimulus package covering subsidies for the poor, domestic tour incentives and soft loans for farmers.

 

Read original story here.


For the Ministry of Foriegn Affairs updated list of Countries and Territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on Arrival to Thailand, click here.

 

 

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Pascale | 22 August 2019 - 20:16:24

"..with a smelly discriminatory accent for tourists from other countries."Something tourists from all kind of countries experience when travelling to all kind of different countries.Or can you name me one country where the same visa rules apply for all tourists?

Kurt | 22 August 2019 - 09:39:27

First a visa-waiver for 18 countries only.  Enormous lost of countries income with a smelly discriminatory accent for tourists from other countries. Now a free visa! Wow, not only visa waiver income lost but now Government 'pay' more for work to provide free of charge visa. Thailand will not  benefit in this matter. Better try to do something about the overvalued Baht.

Steve wooly | 21 August 2019 - 01:59:20

so which other countries are exempt ? full story please 
---------------------------------
The MFA has updated its list. See here:
http://www.consular.go.th/main/contents/filemanager/VISA/Visa%20on%20Arrival/VOA.pdf

Thanks, we will add it to the story

– Ed

 

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