The 17 countries are Australia, England, the United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland,Norway, Israel, United Arab Emitrates, Spain and New Zealand.
Immigration commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Panu Kerdlarpphol explained that the reason for reconsideration was that the 17 countries still charge visa fees on Thai nationals.
The visa fee exemption should be reciprocal in order to be fair to Thai tourists and travelers wishing to visit those countries, he said, adding that, moreover, applying for visas to visit the US and England by Thai nationals is very complicated and problematic.
The immigration chief said further that charging visa fees would help screen visitors to Thailand, especially criminal elements and tricksters who may capitalize on the privilege to come to Thailand to seek refuge or to commit crimes.
He recommended two options of charging visa fees: the first is a minimum flat rate of 1,000 baht for each visa and the second which is to charge the same rates impose by those countries for Thai visitors which range from 750-3,900 baht.
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