Thailand Visa: Chinese, Not Indians First To Benefit For Online Thailand Visa Scheme

Chinese citizens will the first to avail New Thailand Visa Scheme. The service of obtaining and paying for a Thailand Visa via the Internet will be available within three years almost worldwide. As the head of the consular department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand stated: Chinese citizens will be the first to use this service (online Thailand Visa) in the near future.

According to the newspaper The Nation, the electronic visa will allow foreign citizens to submit their documents through the Internet, fill out the necessary forms and pay the fee online. 

From February 15, 2019, the service will be available in Beijing, and from March 1 – in other Chinese cities. Starting April 1, the service will work in the UK and France. Within three years, the service will be available in all countries where there are Thai embassies and consulates.

According to the Foreign Ministry, in 2017 more than 8 million foreigners applied for visas to Thailand, of which 85% were tourists. Most of the applicants were Chinese. As for the payment of visas, it will be organized through the bank Kasikornbank and can be carried out in 126 currencies. Payments can be made using credit cards and a mobile bank.

Cancellation of visa fees

The Thai authorities agreed to temporarily abolish the visa fee of 2,000 baht for citizens of 21 countries arriving in the kingdom for 15 days. Now passport holders from Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be able to visit the kingdom without paying for visa.
By some estimates, thanks to this initiative, up to 40 million foreigners can visit the country before the end of 2018 instead of the expected 38 million.

In late November, the Association of Tour Operators of Thailand offered the government to extend the temporary cancellation of the visa fee on arrival for tourists from 21 countries until the end of April 2019.

All for tourists

Thailand’s immigration police will soon begin sending SMS alerts to foreigners about the imminent expiration of the visa. The text notification service will first work in the eastern province of Chonburi, where the resort city of Pattaya is located, where many tourists live.

Alerts will be sent only to those who indicated their phone number at the time of applying for a visa. The service will be available to tourists and foreigners who have a work permit.

The law enforcement agencies are confident that the innovation will minimize the cases of delay by foreigners of the visas provided to them. If the time frame is violated, the police promise to deport violators and prohibit them from entering the country for a period of 5 to 10 years, depending on the time spent in the kingdom with an expired visa.