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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThe "Special Tourist Visa" Plan for Thailand Has a Quota?

The "Special Tourist Visa" Plan for Thailand Has a Quota?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the "special tourist visa" yet again.  

This is quite a hot topic recently and we are all very happy to see this come online, to see the return of tourism to Thailand but this is something of an Ad hoc or created "on the fly" endeavor. The Thai Government is doing the best that they can in an effort to bring in some sort of tourism and they are trying to for lack of a better term walk kind of a middle path here. The other thing to consider, there are just logistical issues. There are not as many flights coming into Thailand as there normally are and due to the current protocols associated with COVID screening, you are looking at a rather more prolonged process of actually obtaining a Visa. 

In a recent article from the Nation that is, the article is titled: Cabinet Okays 9 Month Visas for Foreigners. Quoting directly:  "The measure will start from for next month”, and this was on September 15th, so October at the earliest. As I have gotten into in other videos, we don't know exactly when this is going to be implemented.  They are saying October. I sort of am paid generally speaking in an advisory capacity to look at worst case scenarios so I am going to presume that means late October before this plan is in place; the legal infrastructure is there and therefore as a practical matter I don't think we are going to see issuance of these visas until probably mid to later November at the earliest. I could be wrong and I hope I am. I try not to be pessimistic in my personal life but professionally I always think it is wise to maintain a kind of professional, I hesitate to call it cynicism, but just a general conservative outlook on how these things work or skepticism maybe the right word.  In any event quoting directly: "The measure will start from next month and up 1,200 tourists per month will be granted this extended visa.” Up To 1,200 tourists per month will be granted this visa. That is great and we are very happy to see tourists coming back in. However, that is a substantial decrease from what most people are used to seeing coming in in terms of tourism so I think it is safe to presume, if you are already on course getting a Visa for example folks that are seeking a Marriage Visa or there are folks that are seeking Business Visas, it probably doesn't really apply to you in the Business Visa context; you are already dealing with things for other purposes. For example, a Marriage Visa is a good example. If you usually come in and we have a lot of clients that do this. They usually come into Thailand on a 30-day stamp or on a Tourist Visa and they don't necessarily get a Marriage Visa. If you are already pursuing a Marriage Visa, continue doing so because this Tourist Visa scheme, although audible and we really find it to be a positive development, it is not for lack of a better term sort of the "end all, be all" in rectifying all Immigration concerns for everyone that wants to come in. It appears to be rather narrowly defined Visa that is going to be issued to a rather narrow subset of people. 

So again, while it is certainly laudable, it remains to be seen exactly how many of these visas are going to be issued and further it remains to be seen when they are going to be issued. What we do know, based on this article, is that there is going to be a cap of 1,200 a month.