Thailand Reduces Visa Exemption to 30 Days for 60 Countries
Thailand just shortened the visa exemption period from 45 to 30 days for visitors from 60 countries, which could put a damper on the travel plans of many tourists looking to stay longer in the country.
Thai Visa: Shortened to 30 Days
The Thai government has reduced the visa exemption period from 45 to 30 days for visitors from 60 countries, including the United States, Australia, and Europe, who can enter the country without a prior visa. This measure took effect on April 1, 2023 and is expected to impact travelers who planned on staying in Thailand for more than 30 days. The change in policy is a revision of previous regulations that were in place prior to October 1, 2022, when the 45-day visa exemption was implemented as a temporary measure to attract more tourists until the end of March 2023.
Possible Extension of Tourist Visa
The Tourism Authority of Thailand attempted to extend the 45-day visa exemption period, but was unable to do so for tourists from the 60 countries allowed to enter without a visa. However, they will still have the option to extend their stay once for an additional 30 days if they go through immigration, allowing them to explore the country for a maximum of 60 days instead of 75.
Countries eligible for the visa exemption will also have another option to obtain a 30-day extension if they leave the country and briefly return. However, land border crossings can only be made twice per year. While there are no official restrictions on entry by air, immigration officers may deny entry to tourists if they deem it necessary for individuals to obtain a formal visa from a Thai embassy before their trip.
30-Day Visa Decision Yet to Come
The Thai government has not yet officially announced this policy change, but is expected to do so after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. The Tourism Authority of Thailand intends to approach the new government after the general elections in May to potentially modify the visa program again to attract more tourists.
The reduction of the visa exemption period from 45 to 30 days for visitors from certain countries is likely to affect the Thai tourism industry, which is one of the country’s main economic drivers. Thai authoritie
s will have to find a balance between protecting their borders and keeping the tourism industry thriving.