Policy that enabled longer stays for tourists to Thailand has now ended – here’s what you need to know

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A government policy designed to spur tourism by granting eligible tourists an extended stay in Thailand has now ended.

From October 1, citizens from 64 countries had been given a visa exemption (that’s the stamp you get in your passport when you enter the country via Suvarnabhumi) that enabled them to stay in the country for 45 days, an increase from the usual 30 days.

At the same time, foreigners arriving as part of the Visa on Arrival program were granted a 30 day stay in Thailand, an increase from the usual 15 days.

However, both of these incentives ended on March 31, 2023.

It means that from April 1, tourists who are eligible for visa exemption (see list below) can stay in Thailand for an initial period of 30 days. If they wish to stay longer they can apply for a further 30 day extension at an immigration office in Thailand for a cost 1,900 THB.

It also means that those eligible for Visa on Arrival can now only stay in Thailand for a period of 15 days.

While the Tourism Authority of Thailand had indicated that it would ask the government to extend the policy until the end of the year, it is not known if the policy will be introduced again in the future.

Many of those who benefited from the policy were Russian tourists, who accounted for most arrivals to Thailand since November 2022.

The news comes after the government announced last week that Thailand had beaten the target for tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year.

According to government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul, 6.15 million people visited Thailand from January to March 27.

Previously, the government had set a target of 6 million arrivals for the first three months of the year.

Meanwhile, at least 30 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Thailand in 2023, according to Chamnan Srisawat, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand.

Countries eligible for visa exemption to Thailand

1. Andorra 23. Ireland 45. Peru (30 and 90 days)
2. Argentina (90 days) 24. Israel 46. Philippines
3. Australia 25. Italy 47. Poland
4. Austria 26. Japan 48. Portugal
5. Bahrain 27. Korea (30 and 90 days) 49. Qatar
6. Belgium 28. Kuwait 50. Russia
7. Brazil (30 and 90 days) 29. Laos 51. San Marino
8. Brunei 30. Latvia 52. Singapore
9. Cambodia (14 days only) 31. Liechtenstein 53. Slovak Republic
10. Canada 32. Lithuania 54. Slovenia
11. Chile (90 days) 33. Luxembourg 55. South Africa
12. Czech Republic 34. Macau 56. Spain
13. Denmark 35. Malaysia 57. Sweden
14. Estonia 36. Maldives 58. Switzerland
15. Finland 37. Mauritius 59. Turkey
16. France 38. Myanmar (14 days only) 60. Ukraine
17. Germany 39. Monaco 61. United Arab Emirates
18. Greece 40. Mongolia 62. United Kingdom
19. Hong Kong 41. Netherlands 63. United States
20. Hungary 42. New Zealand 64. Vietnam
21. Iceland 43. Norway
22. Indonesia 44. Oman

 

Countries eligible for Visa on Arrival to Thailand

  • Bulgaria
  • Bhutan
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Nauru
  • Mauritius
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu

 

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