News

Thailand Introduces New Visa Measures to Boost Tourism and Economic Growth

May 31, 2024

Thailand is set to rejuvenate its tourism sector and stimulate economic growth with a comprehensive set of new visa measures introduced by the Thai cabinet. These amendments aim to make the country more accessible and attractive to various groups, thereby bolstering its economy. Here’s a detailed look at the new initiatives:

New Visa Category

A key highlight of the new measures is the introduction of the Destination Thailand Visa (DTV). This new visa category is designed to attract skilled foreigners and remote workers, commonly known as digital nomads, who wish to work and travel in Thailand. It targets individuals involved in cultural activities and those seeking medical services. The DTV offers extended stays of up to 180 days, with the possibility of further extensions, facilitating a longer, more enriching experience in Thailand.

Changes in Student Visa

The Thai government has enhanced visa regulations for international students pursuing undergraduate degrees or higher. The improvements to the Non-Immigrant Visa code ED are intended to attract skilled individuals to Thailand’s workforce. Importantly, graduates will now have the option to extend their stays in Thailand for one-year post-graduation. This change provides graduates with ample time to explore career prospects and contribute to the local economy, making Thailand a more appealing destination for higher education.

Amendments to Retirement Visa

Recognizing the needs of older individuals seeking long-term stays, the cabinet has approved revisions to the criteria and conditions for temporary and long-term visas. The health insurance requirements for retirees aged 50 and above have been significantly reduced from 3 million baht to 440,000 baht. This substantial reduction aims to ease the financial burden on retirees, making it more feasible for them to obtain long-stay visas and enjoy their retirement in Thailand.

Expansion of E-Visa and Visa on Arrival

To further streamline the visa application process, the expansion of e-visa application services at Thai consulates and embassies from 47 to 94 locations is set to commence in September. This expansion is expected to enhance accessibility for travelers worldwide, making it easier to apply for visas. Additionally, the cabinet has approved the granting of Visa on Arrival (VOA) rights, a measure that considers reciprocity principles, political and international relations, security, tourism, and economic factors. This measure will benefit travelers from countries without a Thai embassy or consulate.

Economic Impact

The policy of listing countries whose passport holders are granted visa exemptions for short-term stays (up to 60 days) is projected to result in a revenue loss of about 12.3 billion baht per year, based on the number of tourists from 93 nationalities in 2023. This includes waivers for 4.5 million Visa on Arrival (VOA) fees, amounting to 4 billion baht, and 3.3 billion baht in tourist visa (TR) fees. Additionally, facilitating foreign students by canceling the re-entry permit requirement is expected to result in a revenue loss of about 152 million baht, considering the approximately 40,000 foreign students in higher education in Thailand in 2023.

Conclusion

These new visa measures are crucial for bolstering Thailand’s economy, which heavily relies on tourism. By diversifying visa options and simplifying procedures, the government seeks to attract a larger number of visitors and support the country’s recovery from the economic fallout of the global pandemic. While the detailed implementation of these new visas remains to be seen, the anticipated benefits highlight Thailand’s proactive approach to revitalizing its tourism sector and economy.

If you would like to have support with all your Visa and Work permit matters in Thailand, please contact us at [email protected].

Andreas Seela

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Andreas, Associate at FRANK Legal & Tax, is a licensed German lawyer with expertise in corporate/commercial, real estate, and tax law, and has been living and working in Thailand since 2023.


Share

You might also like...