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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawA New Long Stay Thai Tourist Visa for "Selected Groups"?

A New Long Stay Thai Tourist Visa for "Selected Groups"?

Transcript of the above video:

There has been a lot of talk recently of the possibility of new Tourist Visas or some sort of Tourism scheme that will be opened up in the fourth quarter of the year 2020 notwithstanding COVID-19 situation that has engulfed the world.

In a recent article from the Bangkok Post, that is, the article is titled: Long-stay Visits Possible This Winter. Quoting directly: "These long-term visitors would begin their stay with a mandatory 14-day quarantine and frequent virus tests in of Phuket. After three weeks on the island and negative test results, they would be free to travel." Quoting further: "Tourism and Sports Minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn reiterated on Saturday that he supported the idea of a long-stay Tourist Visa for "selected groups", and that is kind of left a little bit amorphous in the article. Quoting further: "Speaking at a news conference during a tour arranged for several ambassadors in Samutprakarn, Mr. Phipat said the initial visa would be for 90 days and could be extended twice more for a total of 270 days." 

So a couple of things going on here. First of all as noted, "selected groups" is a bit amorphous. We have seen a lot of talks about the possibility of Tourism. We have yet to see any real regulatory scheme be brought on line so all of these videos should be viewed for what they are. We are trying to provide updates and insight into how this is evolving but one should not go ahead and presume that just because for example the Tourism Minister said that they may have some initiative going sooner rather than later, that does not mean it is currently on the go.  As of the time of this video we are still stuck with a very truncated and narrow subset of folks that are currently being allowed into Thailand, the most notable and the most pertinent ones for most of the viewers of this channel are O Marriage Visas and B Business Visas with a Work Permit; Education Visas under certain circumstances and possibly Medical Visas but for the most part it is a pretty narrow subset of foreigners that are going to be allowed into Thailand. 

What I found interesting and quoting again: "90 days could be extended twice for a total of 270 days." Again I urge those who are watching this video to go ahead and check out that article on the Bangkok Post website. There is a lot of insight to be found in that article and we are just sort of pulling out the specific quotes in order to provide this analysis. So an initial 90-day Tourist Visa with the possibility of extending out to a total of 270 days. What this sounds like to me is what used to be called “triple entry” or “triple sticker” Tourist Visas. Back some years ago we saw this a lot out of Honorary Thai Consulates; what we deal with then was in the United Kingdom as well as the United States. We saw a lot of folks who would often seek what we often called “triple entry” or “triple stamp” tourist visas where basically the Consulate could only issue 3 total Tourist Visas in a given year and certain applicants would just apply for them all at once. In essence it was 60 days with the possibility of extending by 30 more. Back then you would do basically a "border run"; run across the border get another 60 days then that is convertible for 30 and then "rinse, repeat" so to speak and ultimately you would end up with 270 days. It looks like that sort of framework may be re-initiated or brought back online to provide sort of the long stay tourism option for folks to come into Thailand. Now whether or not it would be possible to go ahead and convert status and gain some sort of Non-immigrant Visa while in Thailand, that remains to be seen. 

It should also be noted that the so-called “triple entry” scheme was largely replaced when Thailand brought online the 6-month multiple-entry tourist visa which prior to COVID was frequently being used by folks to come into Thailand and remain here for a prolonged period of time. 

We will keep you updated on this channel as the circumstances progress.