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Thai "Special Tourist Visa" Plan Apparently Moving Forward

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing these special Tourist Visas yet again.  

This is also been described as a "Long Stay Visa". It is basically a Visa that is kind of being made up on the fly as of the time of this video. We have discussed this type of scheme in prior videos. It is kind of akin to the old days where Honorary Thai Consulates would sometimes issue what was once referred to as triple entry or triple tourist visas. It would appear that this new Visa will initially be issued for 90 days and then it can be extended twice more in country. That stated, it remains to be seen and I have yet to see the regulatory framework upon which this will be based but it does appear to have received Cabinet approval. 

In a recent article from the Nation, that is, the article is titled: Cabinet Okays 9 month Visas for Foreigners. Deputy Government Spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Tuesday, September 15th that the Cabinet has agreed to allow foreigners to live in Thailand for up to 9 months per trip provided they can prove they have spent 14 days in quarantine and as we are going to get into detail in further videos on this as we do some for the research and kind of provide some further insight into this. 

This is a really good sign. Let me be clear, this is a very good thing. However, it is a little bit premature to view this as sort of a return to the way things were status quo ante COVID before this lockdown came into effect. It does appear and I will get into more detail in this in further videos, but it does appear there is something akin to a quota associated with this Visa. One also should be aware that there is going to be a lot of processing concerns associated with these visas; it is not going to be the most straightforward thing in the world.  You are going to need to be dealing with again similar circumstances to what we are currently dealing with: Certificates of Entry, "Fit to Fly" documentation, medical exams etc. So while this is definitely good news, and I think it is further sign that the situation is for lack of a better term “normalizing” in Thailand, I would definitely state that at least as of the time of this video. 

The other thing that remains to be seen is exactly when this is going to be implemented. I think we are probably not going to see this and from what we have been reading, they are even saying we are not going to see this until October at the earliest and from the things that I have been looking at it is implying very late October so I think as a practical matter this program will probably not be online until later October at the earliest. Therefore as a practical matter, implementation of the rules associated with this Visa is unlikely to be in place until probably November.

So as far as actual issuance of these things it remains to be seen. I think early to mid-November is the earliest we can possibly hope to see one of these issued and as noted there are other restrictions associated with this and I am going to get into that in further detail in further videos which should be coming out shortly.