Brits say they are confused by latest Thai visa news

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From October, they get 45 days on arrival but how many extra?

The news that from October 1 British tourists will be visa-exempt and able to obtain for free 45 days on arrival without any paperwork is causing some scratching of heads. At present they can obtain 30 days free on arrival, but can extend at local Thai immigration offices a further 30 days (total 60) on payment of 1,900 baht or five pounds. The new regulations don’t specify how many days can be added to the 45 for longer stayers.



The latest revision applies to almost 60 countries in addition to UK, including the United States, most of mainland Europe and Australia. A spokesman for Thai immigration, answering a hotline enquiry, said that no clarification was yet available on the extension to 45 days. However, she thought it likely the matter would be addressed on publication in the Royal Gazette in coming days. “The issue is important,” according to the UK-based Expat Explore, “because if the extension is a further 45 days, there will be no need for our clients to obtain prior visas at Thai embassies.”



A further area of ambiguity is whether those arriving without a prior visa must show evidence of an airticket to the next destination. Thai immigration has an old standing rule that these tourists should show proof of their exit, although it is rarely enforced these days. However, some airlines have been known to refuse boarding to travellers without a visa or to require them to purchase a new and separate ticket out of Thailand. Reports in Thai social media suggest that “what’s your next destination?” rules have collapsed as the pressure grows to maximize the number of visitors after the Covid pandemic. It’s a classic bums-on-seats scenario.



The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, the top committee headed by the Thai prime minister, has also improved the tourist lot of other 19 countries – including India and China – who are not visa exempt but currently receive 15 days at the airport by filling in paperwork and paying a fee. From October 1, they will receive 30 days but their extension will be limited to a further seven days on payment of 1,900 baht and is a warning they must now leave. Although Chinese tour groups are still banned by Beijing for health reasons, Indians now constitute the largest number of arrivals at Bangkok airports on a daily basis. Their favorite destination is Pattaya as the number of Indian restaurants in the resort is now once again approaching 70.









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