Thailand launches free tourist visa scheme for six months

Thailand has just launched a new promotion which gives passport holders from 21 nations free tourist visas. Thai embassies and consulates worldwide are waiving the normal THB1,000 charge for a single use tourist visa from the 1 March 2017 until the 31 August 2017.

The free visa offer is open to nationals from the core tourism markets of China, India, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan as well as Bhutan, the Maldives and Papua New Guinea. Andorra, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Ukraine and Uzbekistan are the other nations on the list of 21.  

The Ministry of Tourism also says citizens from these same countries arriving at international airports and land border crossings will only pay half of the standard charge for visas on arrival until August.  These will only cost THB1,000 until August and are good for 15-day stays in Thailand.

The advantage of pre-applying for tourist visas is that they give 60-day stays and can be extended for an additional 30 days at in-country immigration offices.  The usual THB1,000 fee for tourist visas obtained from embassies and consulates is payable in the country’s currency.

The current visa promotion was originally initiated at the beginning of December 2016 and gave everybody free tourist visas. Thailand gives citizens of most of these countries 30-day visa exempt permits to stay when they arrive at airports or official border checkpoints. Tourists from the UK, Australia and Canada are among those who get fee-free, 30-day permits to stay. Read more on visa options for Thailand.