Chinese citizens can obtain Thailan eVisas from 15 February, according to the Thai Foreign Ministry. Electronic visas will be available for many other nationalities later in 2019.
The new Thai eVisas will save visitors and eliminate the need to visit an embassy or consulate. The department explained that online application would be easy and visa applications would be processed quickly.
The largest group of applicants in Thailand are Chinese citizens, which explains their priority. The Ministry explained that the eVisa programme would cover all countries that have had diplomatic relations with Thailand for three years.
Chatri Archjananun, Director General of the Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry, said: “Last year there were more than 8 million Thai visa applicants, of whom 85% had applied for a tourist visa, and Chinese travelers were the largest candidates. ”
The following eligible nationality for eVisa is France (1 April).
Currently, many nationalities can enter Thailand without a visa for a limited period of 14 to 90 days. Visa-free countries include the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Russia.
However, it may be necessary for nationals who are currently exempt from the thai visa requirement to apply for an electronic visa in the future once the system has been extended.
Government plans to increase tourism with Thai electronic visa
The creation of eVisa is part of a wider government plan to promote tourism, which accounts for about 20% of the country’s GDP. In October, the number of monthly visitors decreased for the first time since early 2017. The Ministry of Tourism is committed to increasing the number of visitors.
Chatri: “We will be making a presentation tour in January to ensure that the world is aware of the new service and that we also need to prepare for the system.”
Tourists using Thai electronic visas to enter the country will not receive a visa in their passport at the time of entry. Instead, they will receive an automatic e-mail notification. The information is also sent to the Thai Immigration Service.
As part of the eVisa application, you must pay fees. Kasikornbank handles payments and accepts credit and debit cards as well as bank transfers. More than 126 coins are accepted. To win more Chinese applicants, they accept WeChat Pay, Alipay and China Union Pay.
Applicants must also meet various visa requirements, including a valid Chinese passport. The Ministry of Thailand will announce further information about eVisa in the weeks prior to its launch.