The Thailand Pass which has been introduced on November 1, 2021 in order to facilitate the quarantine free arrival into Thailand had a rocky start but now the government has made some modifications to the system.
Applicants now have the ability to check the status of their application through the online tool as well as consulting a 24 hour hotline in case of questions about the functionality.
The system went live on November 1st with a few very apparent bugs that should have been fixed during the testing phase and prior to letting it loose onto the public but as ever so often with Thailand the implementation was a trial by fire. Putting thousands of travelers through the misery of an untested program is par for the course.
Here is my initial article I wrote on the day the website went live and as you can see from the comments people weren’t happy to say the least:
After an expected backlash on social media and the official communication channels the government has then started to work on fixing the bugs and improved the system based on the input (complaints) they received.
Now two features have been added that should really improve the ability of applicants to see through the approval of their application.
- A real time application status check
- A 24hr hotline to provide support with questions about the application process
This is the website for Thailand Pass where the application will be filed:
I have tried calling the hotline myself and was able to get someone on the line within 3 minutes of waiting time. The answers to some basic and a few detailed questions I had were competent enough that I’d rate the hotline as useful though that might vary with the agent you get.
Travelers are advised to apply at least 7 days prior to their trip as this is the official processing time. According to recent media reports a lot of the applications are auto approved now but that largely depends on a few factors within the application. Officials said that applications for travelers who seek to enter the ASQ program (because they don’t have received a vaccine) are typically automatically/fast approved. The same goes for countries whose vaccine QR codes can be verified by the Thai system which according to them *should* include most European countries. A list whose QR codes can be verified wasn’t provided so I guess it’s a roll of the dice.
Richard Barrow posted the following graphic that outline the total application / approval numbers:
As of yesterday morning, 147,503 people have applied for a Thailand Pass and 92,920 have been approved. Out of these, 35,872 were auto approved. The rest… who knows how long these will take and if they’re ever approved as some applications might have been filed with incomplete documentation etc.
Thailand has recently opened the Thailand Pass website to request the entry QR code, straightened out entry conditions and even expanded the list of eligible countries to now 63 nations, three times as many as originally expected. The start of this application was a bit of a disaster but the government has now fixed most of bugs and added some helpful features.
Travelers should still expect at least 7 days processing time for their QR code. Don’t book a fly withing a couple of days, apply and then be upset that the code doesn’t arrive on time like some people did. Just like with a common visa application it’s always best to give it a bit of breathing room to avoid potential problems.