The Thai cabinet approved new measures to promote tourism and stimulate Thailand’s economy, including a new Destination Thailand Visa category.

Key Points:

  • As BAL previously reported, the Thai government is undertaking several new immigration initiatives designed to increase tourism and spur economic growth.
  • During the most recent cabinet meeting on May 28 the government approved additional measures, including:
    • Effective June 1, the visa-on-arrival policy will be expanded to include additional countries. The allowable stay of 30 days will be extended to 60 days for tourists and short-term business travelers from 93 countries.
    • A new visa category called the Destination Thailand Visa will be created for foreign nationals who wish to stay for work and tourism for a longer period.
    • Expanded rights for student visas and employment opportunities for foreign students who are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program or higher and hold a nonimmigrant ED visa.
      • The new policy would allow eligible students to stay after graduation for one year to look for a job, travel or engage in other activities.
      • Individuals may also then obtain employment and apply for a work permit. The change of status would be from an education (nonimmigrant ED) to a work permit (nonimmigrant B) without having to leave the country.

Additional Information: The new Destination Thailand Visa has received cabinet approval but is pending official implementation by the Thai Immigration Bureau. Once implemented, the new category will be tailored to foreign nationals who wish to travel for longer-term tourism and remote work, including highly skilled foreign nationals and digital nomads. Currently, tourist visas allow for a 60-day stay and a single 30-day extension. The new visa category will allow for up to a 180-day stay per entry. The visa will cost 10,000 THB (about US$272) and be valid for five years. Individuals may also be able to extend their stay for an additional 180 days and change visa types within the country.

BAL Analysis: The cabinet has tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant agencies to update and align their internal regulations and implement these measures to promote tourism and stimulate Thailand’s economy. BAL will provide further updates and confirm the official commencement and detailed procedural guidelines for the Destination Thailand Visa once available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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