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Thailand to Offer Extra 30 Days to Visa Exempt Travellers

Home Search Send to Friend Latest Travel News Asia Thursday, 28 August 2014
 

Effective 29 August 2014, tourists from 49 countries who were permitted to enter Thailand for 30 days on what is called a "visa exempt" stamp, will now be able to extend their stay for a further 30 days.

In the past, it was only possible to extend a 30-day visa exempt stamp for an extra 7 days.

Tourists will need to apply for the 30 additional days, a same-day process which will cost THB 1900, at an immigration office in Thailand.

Only one 30-day extension is permitted.

Visa exempt stamps, often mislabeled as visas on arrival by travellers, are frequently used by business travellers and tourists to enter the Kingdom of Thailand, as it saves them the time, money and effort to apply for a visa outside the country. This new regulation will allow such travellers to stay for 60 days, albeit with a visit to an immigration office.

Passport holders of the following 49 countries will be able to apply for an extra 30 days from 29 August 2014:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.

Visa Exempt Extension or Visa Tourist?

It is difficult to see what, if any, impact this new regulation will have on tourism, but giving travellers more choices is always a positive move.

The visa exempt extension is most likely to appeal to those who do not live close to a Thai Consulate or Embassy, those that have not had the time to organise a visa, and those that had not originally planned on staying a few extra weeks in the country. Those people, as long as they are passport holders of the countries listed above, can now enter Thailand on a 30-day visa exempt stamp and not worry about having to leave the country to get another 10, 20 or 30 days extra.

 That said, the tourist visa is cheaper, offers more flexibility, and some may even argue, added peace of mind. This last point is especially important, as getting a tourist visa before you arrive saves you a visit to the local immigration office in Thailand, which you may not even know where it is, nor how many hours you may need to spend there, nor even whether your application will be accepted.

Regardless of which option you decide to take, it is comforting to know that travellers to Thailand now have more options available to them.

See other recent news regarding: Interviews, Pictures, Videos, Visa, Thailand

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