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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsAre Thai Visa on Arrival Fees Being Waived?

Are Thai Visa on Arrival Fees Being Waived?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggest we are discussing Thai Visa on Arrival Fees and we are specifically discussing the issue of whether or not those fees are going to be waived in the foreseeable future.

So there was a recent article in the Phuket news, on www.phuketnews.com. The article's title is Visa on Arrival Fees to be Waived. Quoting directly, "the Government plans to exempt visitors from visa on arrival fees during November and December as it strives to salvage falling tourist numbers". Quoting further, "Tourism  Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said Mr. Somkid has authorized the Immigration Office to exempt 21 Nations from visa on arrival fees in the final 2 months of the year." so that would be November and December 2018. It should be noted that article was written Thursday October 18th, 2018.

Going over to October 19th, 2018, in the Bangkok Post, www bangkokpost.com, headline Ministry Backtracks on Visa Fee Waiver Plan. Quoting directly, "The Government's plans to exempt tourist from visa on arrival fees to attract foreign travelers is unlikely to happen this year according to Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat. He said at a meeting with the private sector on Thursday that the Chinese tourists have already finished their travel planning for the high season this year and will resume their overseas trips during the Chinese New Year which falls in early February." 

Basically to provide some color commentary if you will on this whole issue, it appears that Thai Authorities were looking to possibly sort of goose the numbers with respect to foreign tourists from visa on arrival countries, in this case specifically China, because some of those numbers seem to have fallen in the aftermath of some recent activity that has occurred here in Thailand most notably a really tragic boat crash that occurred down off Phuket that involved Chinese Nationals as victims. It appears that they are trying to sort of, for lack of a better term, encourage not only just Chinese tourists but more tourism into the Kingdom and it seemed that visa fee waivers was one way that they were thinking about encouraging the numbers to rise up. However it appears, at least as at the time of this filming, that is not going to be the case and we are probably not going to see any change to the visa fee waiver structure at least for the foreseeable future but it is of note that it looks like possibly over the Chinese New Year period, probably happening toward the first couple of months of this coming 2019, January, February March, somewhere in there I suspect, we may see some visa fee waivers brought to bear with respect to visas arrivals and I will do another video on that topic if that does come to pass.