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Pattaya Today 1 Vol. 8 No. 14  1 - 15 April 2009 Volume 8, Issue 14 1 - 15 April 2009 Tourist Visas Free Until June Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore The Thai Foreign Ministry and the Immigration Authority has confirmed that tourist visas issued abroad to foreigners coming to Thailand until early June will be free. Thai embassies and consulates round the world have been told to abolish all charges, provided that the visa being granted is specifically tagged as “tourist”. This means that Non-Immigrant Visas, types “O” or “B”, will continue to be paid for. Tourists who obtain a free 30 or 15 -day “visa on arrival” at Thai airports or border posts are unaffected. However, extensions to all visas, including tourist visas, issued at immigration offices in Thailand will need to be paid for as before. A spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry said, “We want to encourage foreign tourism in the slow period leading up to the summer. For example, if a foreigner previously paid for a 60-day tourist visa in his own country before setting off, that visa will now be free, whether single or multiple entry. The ruling will not affect the income of Thai Immigration Bureaux since all extensions to any visa must still be paid for. The charge for extending a visa of any kind in Thailand remains Bt1,900. Those foreigners securing tourist visas in neighbouring countries, including Laos, Malaysia and Cambodia, will not be charged for them, but the extension charge remains in place for them, too. An immigration spokesman said the move would help increase tourist numbers in April and May when there is traditionally a downturn in the statistics. Pattaya Immigration Officers recently organised an online training course to develop the skills of hotel operators by instructing them in the use of registering foreigners on line upon their arrival to stay in Pattaya. The course which took 25 BAHT Continued on page 2 Pattaya Immigration Police trained hotel operators to use online address place at the Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital attracted in excess of 400 hotel operators from around the city. Continued on page 4

Volume 8 Issue 14

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