As previously speculated and reported by LoyaltyLobby a week ago, Thailand will soon (at least temporarily) increase the stay period visitors are allowed to remain in the Kingdom.
The extension will affect both Visa-exempt travelers whose stamp will be 45 days from currently 30 days and Visa-on-Arrival applicants will receive a 30-day stay permit rather than the 15 days as is the case right now.
The Thai Government had their regular meeting of the CCSA (Covid Council) today and decided to bring back the 45-Day Visa Exemption stamp that was already 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.
This was reported today by the Bangkok Post:
… Thailand will permit an extended length of stay for foreign tourists between October and March in a bid to support its economic recovery as pressures from Covid-19 ease, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said on Friday.
Foreigners from 18 territories coming to Thailand under the visa on arrival category will be allowed to double their length of stay for up to 30 days, Dr Taweesilp said. Those from more than 50 places that currently get 30 days will be able to stay for up to 45 days. The country will extend the duration of its visa-on-arrival, which applies to nationals of India, China and Saudi Arabia, from 15 days to 30 days starting in October. …
It’s nice to see they will also consider the Visa on Arrival nationalities who will be able to stay 30 days with their VOA that can be obtained at the airport prior to immigration.
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. This can also be extended at the local immigration office by an additional 30 days for a fee of 1900 Baht.
Under the new system, travelers will be able to stay a maximum of 75 days in Thailand which includes a one-time extension.
These are the news from today’s CCSA meeting and no definitive dates and links have been revealed by immigration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since this is supposed to kick in from October (likely OCT 1) I expect this to happen in the coming weeks.
Definitely a good thing for all who seek to stay a bit longer than 30 days in Thailand. If it has the desired effect to boost the economy is another question. Will it attract more foreigners who seek to escape the winter months or be primarily a fallback option for inofficial residents of Thailand?
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 news reports, the measure will be in place until March 2023 so a 6-month period (OCT-MAR). Maybe it will even be extended, who knows? Giving just 30-days upon arrival is rather short and unusual. Most western countries have a visa waiver agreement that allows a 90-day stay in other countries.
There are several countries from South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru) that actually get very long 90 Day entry stamps in Thailand. This is likely a reciprocity measure and let’s keep in mind most countries make it rather difficult for Thai citizens to obtain a visa.