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Thailand Government Expands Visa-Free Access for Tourists Worldwide

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Thailand Government Expands Visa-Free Access for Tourists Worldwide

(CTN News) – Over the last six months, the Thailand government has made enormous progress to make travel easier for millions more foreign tourists. Previously, visa-free tourist travel was limited to conventional or established markets such as the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.

However, under a mutually agreed-upon compromise, Russian holidaymakers now enjoy 90 days with no requirement for prior clearance or a visa on arrival, while Chinese and Indian citizens (and other smaller countries) are granted 30 days with no bureaucracy.

Thailand’s Vision for a Seamless ASEAN Travel Experience

Thai immigration authorities believe eight out of ten short-term visitors to Thailand no longer require a formal permit. The exceptions are primarily Africans, Asians, and South Americans.

This is only the beginning, according to Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. He is supporting preliminary talks with Australia, the European Union, and others to allow Thai citizens to travel to these countries without a visa in exchange for improved access to Thailand for their citizens.

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Another Thai attempt is to look into the feasibility of a regional or unification visa, in which a tourist’s entry into one Asean country, such as Thailand, Cambodia, or Vietnam, immediately grants access to any other participating member.

It is not unimaginable. On the other side, most foreigners with a valid US or Schengen visa have automatic access to Mexico’s borders.

Visa-free travel does not mean that security issues have been eliminated. Individual passenger records are still examined by increasingly sophisticated computers upon arrival, including details of any criminal crimes or “wanted” notices issued by Thai courts or Interpol.

Fingerprints, facial recognition, and iris scans are all examples of biometric and artificial intelligence technologies that are helping to improve border control and prevent identity fraud.

Certainly, the Thai approach looks to be meeting the government’s goal of increasing foreign travel and ending the COVID legacy, which saw obstacles increase everywhere and widespread debt problems.

Thailands Hat Yai Anticipates a 760 Million Baht Boom in Tourism During New Year Festivities 1

Thailand is preserving its previous visas for long-term expats, such as Elite and Long Term Residence, as well as annual extensions of stay for retirees, spouses, and students.

The bureaucracy for work permits remains intact, and there is an increasing number of tailored visas for specific purposes, such as medical treatment or martial arts qualification.

However, we can expect sophisticated technology and artificial intelligence to open new avenues to digital or e-visas to meet the demand for quick, paperless processes.

In the future, perhaps in 10 or 15 years, people will most likely travel without traditional passports and with digital versions of their trip information kept on their mobile phones. This should put an end to the tree-destroying photocopying in Thai immigration offices.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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