Integrity Legal - Law Firm in Bangkok | Bangkok Lawyer | Legal Services Thailand Back to
Integrity Legal

Legal Services & Resources 

Up to date legal information pertaining to Thai, American, & International Law.

Contact us: +66 2-266 3698

ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWill 30 Day Thai Visa Exemption Stamps Ever Return?

Will 30 Day Thai Visa Exemption Stamps Ever Return?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thai 30-day Visa Exemption stamps. 

For those of you who are unaware, back at the beginning of the response to COVID-19 here in Thailand, they discontinued allowing Visa exemptions. What are Visa Exemptions? Well certain countries on a bilateral basis with Thailand have agreements wherein or in certain cases it may be multilateral for example within ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but for the most part this seems to be a bilateral practice. So different countries have a bilateral arrangement with Thailand wherein the Thai Government was allowing them to enter visa-free so they didn't need a visa. They were exempted from needing a Visa for 30 days. They got a 30-day stamp on arrival and that stamp could be extended by another 30 days once in country. Now again, as noted previously, when the Government response to COVID came down the pike the exemptions were essentially suspended; let's use that term. The question remains, "Are they ever coming back?" Again, this video is made based on conjecture but based on what we are seeing, I think there is a very real possibility that perhaps "No, the 30-day Visa exemption stamp may be a thing of the past". It may be akin to the era in Thailand when one could get Residence stamped into their passport upon arrival in the early 70s and before that. That was a possibility. Again that obviously has been phased out for quite some time now. We may look back on COVID as being the thing that ended the Exemption Stamps. Now is this a foregone conclusion? Certainly not. Is Thailand reeling economically from lack of tourism? Certainly. So a lot of factors go into play with analysis with respect to this but it certainly possible, I could actually see that at this moment in time November 2020, I could see it going both ways. I could see Thai Immigration officials and policymakers even above them, making the decision "No we don't really want to phase back in that exemption process. We are going to either do something new or just everybody needs a Visa.” I could see that happening. At the same time, I could see them simply saying "No we are going to reinstate Visa Exemptions”, especially if they wanted to goose tourism here in Thailand. 

So the thing to take away from this video is it is certainly up in the air for the moment but it is definitely something to think about because I don't think it is necessarily a foregone conclusion Thai Visa Exemption stamps are going to be back in the foreseeable future.