The news came as state news agency NNT announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) had “relaxed criteria for issuing types of visa”.
Among the key measures to “relax” visa entry requirements, the ministry has allowed tourists to enter Thailand on a tourist visa, recognised officially as a TR visa, but only if they pass the COVID protection measures and prove they have the equivalent of B500,000 at their disposal before entering the country.
TAT Deputy Governor Thapanee explained that Thai tourism is currently ‘partly recovering’ after the government allowed more foreigners to come in, reported Bangkok Biz News.
“The MFA has relaxed criteria for issuing types of visa after they started issuing Special Tourist Visa (STV) for those who living in low-risk countries,” said the report.
“However, European and Scandinavian countries are ranked as moderate-risk and high-risk, Thai consulates in the countries will relax the criteria and consider issuing tourist visa (TR) visa for applicants, instead of STV,” it added.
The TR visa allows foreigners to stay in Thailand for 60 days, or up to a maximum 90 days if they file for extension.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, those who are interested in applying for a TR visa have to show their bank statement, which must have at least B500,000, and other documents as required by Thai consulate in each country,” Ms Thapanee explained.
“They still have to quarantine for 14 days to follow the CCSA’s [COVID-protection] measures,” she added.
Ms Thepanee explained that as of Nov 5 the MFA had issued a certificate of entry (COE) for 1,495 people who had already entered the country.
Of those, 501 were issued to foreigners who had already entered the country on a long-stay visa (OA), while 331 were issued to people who had entered Thailand on the Special Tourist Visa (STV).
Ms Thepanee pointed out that a further 1,000 people had applied to enter Thailand on an STV.
The MFA had issued CoEs to 296 Elite card holders who entered the country under the Privilege Entry Visa (PE). The Elite card is under the operation of Thailand Privilege Card Co Ltd (TPC), which operates under the management of the TAT, she added.
Only 113 foreigners had been issued CoEs in order to enter the country on Non-immigration B (Non-B) visas, Ms Thepanee noted.
The remaining CoEs issued were for 86 people who entered Thailand on a Tourist Visa (TR), 84 who entered Thailand as business operators who hold APEC cards, and 41 who entered the country in order to conduct filming, she added.