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Thai Immigration Streamlining Processing of Inbound Tourists

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are discussing recent initiatives that appear to be in the works from Thai Immigration to better facilitate the streamlining of inbound tourists coming into the Kingdom of Thailand.

In a recent article from the Bangkok Post, www.bangkokpost.com; the article is entitled Ministry Backtracks on Visa Fee Waiver Plan. There was some rather interesting sort of background that was done in this article. I recommend those who are actually watching this to go ahead and check out this article because there is more in here but I am just going to take out a few key pieces. Quoting directly “Instead of an exemption, the Minister has called for the Immigration Office to improve its services by providing better equipment and machines at all entries to facilitate visitors.” Quoting further, “The Immigration Office plans to offer an E-visa application and E-payment in the future to lower congestion and increase Visa capacity. The office is also being urged to prepare more machines to cope with the influx of tourists at major and minor entry points."

So what should one take away from this? Well in a prior video we did, we discussed the fact that the new head of Immigration has discontinued the practice, or has implemented measures to discontinue the practice, of so-called tipping at Immigration checkpoints. This especially apparently was the case with respect to visa on arrival platforms where there was sort of a “fast” lane and a “slow” lane depending on tipping practice. It looks to me like Immigration really is taking strong measures to better streamline how people are processed into the Kingdom and they may be doing that through online resources now; for example through being able to pay and process a visa on arrival or possibly even a visa itself just simply online; it is all done on line and you just come into the country.

There is a lot of ways I can see that would be a substantial benefit not only to Thailand which probably would save money on things like infrastructure and Human Resources but also I think that those who are here for tourism, legitimate tourism, I can even see a system eventually evolving for even non- immigrants who are on longer term visas basis where an E-Visa program could be much more conducive if you will, to not only efficiency all around, but also just kind of a better experience for everyone involved because essentially you are not having to deal with a long line of people, you are not having to deal with getting a visa on arrival when one comes in or having to go to an Embassy abroad to deal with that.

So how this all plays out remains to be seen but I do think especially in light of recent actions by immigration that the authorities concerned are serious about streamlining the overall process and really do want to facilitate a more convenient process and a more efficient process, not only as a cost-saving measure, but also to the benefit of tourists and non- immigrants coming into the Kingdom on a regular basis every year.