The Thai government confirmed the start of the introductory phase for formalities leading to electronic visa that should be launched by Thailand by the end of 2018.
Following the ministry cabinet meeting, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports in Thailand, announced that the government had validated the process of entry into Thailand, notably with the implementation of the electronic visa.
The Department of Foreign Affairs will thus work with the immigration office to develop the system in the country. Its full integration is planned for 2018, according to an Action-Visa report.
Since introducing the e-Visa would decrease the revenue coming from fees at Thai consulates worldwide, the new system will need agreement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The president of World Tourism and Travel Council, David Scowsil, announced his support to the e-visa system and asked other countries to follow the path from paper to electronic visa.
“The WTTC focus is on electronic visas, freedom and the right to travel,” he said. “Visas are required by 58% of the world’s 1.2 billion population and they still need a paper visa…they are required to queue and pay for a visa it’s a crazy out-dated system.”
A proposal for an extension of the free tourist visa fees for more than 30 days was also presented to the ministers by the Thai tourism minister. It is currently being considered by the authorities.
The Minister of Tourism also recalled that the single visa project for the ASEAN region is still under consideration, which is however the case since 2013. This would make it possible to visit Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand with a single visa, as is already the case in the Schengen area of Europe, for example.