Open Borders for Expatriates from Neighbouring Countries to Thailand

Thailand, borders, visa

Nakhon Phanom in Northeast Thailand could benefit from open borders for expats.

Thailand wants to further boost arrivals to the Kingdom to counter the current slowdown. A new initiative would be to allow expatriate to come and go from the Kingdom without to be requested to present a visa…

As tourism is facing some difficult times, they have been further ideas from Thailand royal government to relax more tourists’ access to the Kingdom. Thailand just announced to remove any restrictions on land borders’ entry for expatriates living in Thailand neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Lao PDR and Malaysia.

Both English-written newspapers the Bangkok Post and the Nation reported about the new measures that the Cabinet decided to endorse. The new entry rules into Thailand will come into force from November 15 and will be valid until January 15 – a time frame almost similar to the recent adoption of a free-visa scheme for 21 countries which will be valid from December 1st to January 31st. All expatriates living in neighbouring countries will then be able to go to Thailand without any formality.

Double-visa would also be introduced for a period of six months for visitors wishing to come more than once and asking for a 30-day single entry visa. Foreign travellers who already obtained a single visa prior to the new measures will be able to come back to Thailand when travelling to the Kingdom’s neighbouring countries for a second stay.

The restriction on entry into Thailand had been put into application on January 1st, 2017. The new measures had restricted travels for anyone coming without a visa through land borders to only two single-entries for a period of six months. The providing length of stay for travellers coming through land borders can not exceed 15 days.

Other measures to benefit travellers is the implementation of more immigration fast lanes at airports to speed up procedures and further centres for tax refund.

Thailand continues to be worried about the current slow down in tourist arrivals, particularly from China, the country’s number one inbound market. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reported that Chinese visitors to Thailand shrank by 11.4% in July and August, then fell further by 14.4% and 19.1% respectively in September and October.

To boost confidence in the Thai market for Chinese travellers the Tourism Authority of Thailand invited a week ago 27 “K.O.L.” (Key Opinion Leaders) from China. However, Chinese tourism experts say that K.O.L. effect would only be felt in a few months time as most Chinese travellers already made their choice for travel until Chinese New Year. Japan and Vietnam are particularly popular for Chinese tourists for the time being…