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,
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
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.
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