As reported by The Thaiger, the Thai Government is currently considering bringing back the 45-Day Visa Exemption stamp that was briefly in place from mid-2021.
Back then, the entry stamp received an additional 15 days as compensation for the two weeks quarantine / Sandbox period visitors had to overcome in order to travel throughout the kingdom freely.
Most visa-waiver eligible passports of western countries receive a 30-day entry stamp which can be extended once for an additional 30 days at a local immigration office. Extending the entry by an additional two weeks would be very beneficial to long-term travelers.
You can read more about this proposal from The Thaiger (see here).
Tourists might soon be granted a visa on arrival/visa exemption which allows them to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 45 days. Currently, passport holders of certain countries are granted 30 day visa exemptions on arrival, and others are granted visas on arrival with a maximum stay of 15 days.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will propose the idea to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) at the next CCSA meeting on August 19, according to TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
The proposed extension would extend both visa exemptions on arrival and visas on arrival (VOA) to 45 days. The new policy would be effective from the date of approval until December 31, 2022, said the TAT.
For lists of countries eligible for a visa, and exemptions click here.
If the CCSA accepts the proposal, the TAT expects the average tourist to stay for an extra five days, spending 4,000 – 5,000 baht each per day, pumping a potential 20,000 extra into Thailand’s economy for every trip made to Thailand.
TAT examined data from visa applicants at Thai embassies around the world and found that most tourists wanted to stay in Thailand longer than one month. The data might help convince the CCSA to give tourists what they want.
Yuthasak explained that the TAT also wants to get the tourist visa fee waived. At a meeting on July 18, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha said the idea needs more consideration and input from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Immigration Office. …
I’m not exactly sure what this proposal has to do with Covid. The CCSA is (with the exception of the PM chair) a body of non-elected officials tasked with evaluating and handling Covid measures in the Kingdom. Are they now making policy about everything? Normally this is a decision to be made by Immigration, the Tourism Ministry and then voted on in the cabinet.
Thailand introduced a 45-day stamp in 2021 even though only for a brief period of a couple of months. The reasoning for this was that it used to be mandatory for visiting tourists to stay two weeks in quarantine or undergo the Sandbox monitoring scheme after they arrived following the peak Covid period. After this practice had been discontinued, the 45-day entry stamps reverted back to the original 30-day period.
Travelers can also apply for a 60-day tourist visa ahead of time which is of course, costly and requires uploading a variety of documents as most embassies have moved to the e-visa application system.
Right now, this proposal to re-introduce the 45-Day Entry Stamp for visitors to Thailand is still under consideration and will be decided on within the next few weeks.
According to the current proposal, the measure would be in place until December 31, 2022 so once again, it wouldn’t be a long-term solution but just a temporary thing that would expire just four months from now. Giving just 30-days upon arrival is very unusual. Most western countries have a visa waiver agreement that allows a 90-day stay in other countries.