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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsThai Immigration Authorities Ponder a "Special Tourist Visa"?

Thai Immigration Authorities Ponder a "Special Tourist Visa"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the notion of a "special tourist visa". We have done a video on this channel recently where we discussed the possibility of a new long stay visa being on the horizon. This is sort of in follow-up of that; it provides a little more clarity.  

In a recent article from KhaoSod English, that is, the article is titled: Phuket Model Expanded Nationwide Despite Little Support. Quoting directly: "what was known as the Phuket model will now be rebranded as "Special Tourist Visa". We have discussed this at length on this channel. This whole notion of Tourism coming back into Thailand has been discussed a lot in recent weeks. It has come under a lot of different headings: "Travel Bubbles", "Safe and Sealed", "Green Corridors", whatever, they have been discussing it. Then rather more recently it came under the moniker of the "Phuket Model" as it was basically Phuket immigration that was discussing it and they were talking about a program whereby folks would be able to come in to Thailand in limited groups. They could quarantine and then as soon as they were cleared as not having the COVID disease, they could go on their way and travel more freely on the island and then presumably, at least from what I was reading, they may or may not have been able to leave the island and go elsewhere in Thailand. Apparently that has caught on in some quarters. Meanwhile apparently, there is a little bit of debate I think within policy circles as to whether or not it should be implemented yet but clearly it is a major concern getting tourists back into Thailand so this special tourist visa is something I think many folks here in Thailand, many locals, are very concerned about seeing tourism return. That said, there are also major concerns regarding public health and safety but it appears that especially I was reading some things that said risk management has to be more the paradigm, not total risk avoidance which oftentimes is practically impossible. So again, the situation is evolving is the point I am trying to make. 

Quoting further: "It is unclear whether the plan will have any backing either from the government or business communities. A number of local residents, Health experts and tourism officials have spoken out against the proposal due to concerns that the Coronavirus outbreak may return."But Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, was adamant the measure could go ahead. He said he already had approval from the government's Pandemic Response Center."

So again clearly the situation is still in something of a state of flux. As I have made other videos on whatever happens with this I think at best we are looking at very late in the year and another thing to bear in mind with respect to this is I think it is going to be very limited at the beginning. I am always hesitant to speculate too much in these videos but I think one of the reasons folks watch these videos is to hear my insight on it as well as the combined insight of some of our staff into what they are thinking, based on our research what we are looking at, trying to distill down exactly what the possible scenarios might be in the future as far as how this plays out.

The way we are looking at it is, we are looking at the very end of the year maybe for this to be coming online in earnest. I think it is safe to presume that it will be very narrow at the beginning. It will be a relatively few numbers of people who are going to first be coming in under whatever this new plan is, call it the “Phuket Model”, "special tourist visa" whatever, it is going to be a relatively limited number of folks, at least at the beginning. Again, and I have mentioned this in other videos, I am not necessarily for that. I would really like to see the floodgates open tomorrow. That stated, I don't really like to inject my personal beliefs into these things because we have to deal with the situation as it is and react to the situation in a logical manner.

Long story short with respect to this video, it does look like there is some evolution, there is some progress if you want to call it that, being made towards some kind of special tourist visa. We will keep you updated on this channel as the situation progresses.