Thailand Didn’t Extend The 45-Day Visa Exemption Stamp, Reverting Back To 30-Day Entry For Most Nationalities
It was rumored for some time that the Thai Government considered keeping the 45-Day Visa Exemption stamp that was in place until March 31st through the end of the year, but that has not materialized, and the visa-free entries are now back to the original 30-Day time period.
The 45-Day Entry exemption for a wide number of nationalities was implemented on October 1, 2022 as an effort to help stimulate the Thai tourism industry.
Most visa-waiver-eligible passports of western countries receive a 30-day entry stamp which can be extended once for an additional 30 days at a local immigration office.
Extending the entry by an additional two weeks has proven very beneficial to long-term travelers though the question is how many of those arrivals stayed in hotels, resulting in increased revenue as a tourist rather than cheaper Air BnB’s (not really allowed in Thailand).
Last October, the 45-day visa waiver stamp returned as Thailand sought to stimulate the tourism industry and induce visitors to stay longer in the hopes they would spend more money.
It’s probably difficult to measure if that really came to fruition other than checking how many people stayed longer than the original 30 days. I asked a couple people who commented on the last article how long they stayed and in all cases it was less than 30 days.
In late January, it was reported that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is recommending to the government that the measure should be extended through the end of the year.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand will propose extending the 45 day visa exemption on arrival policy until the end of the year to boost tourism recovery. …
Between October 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023, foreign tourists arriving in Thailand are eligible to stay in the kingdom as follows depending on their passport country…
- Visa on Arrival stays will be extended from 15 days to 30 days. Passport holders from 19 countries are eligible for Visa on Arrival.
- Visa Exemption stays for passport holders from 64 countries that have bilateral agreements with Thailand will be extended from 30 days to 45 days.
Thailand surpassed its target of 10 million tourists in 2022, welcoming 11.5 million in total, which the TAT largely attributes to Thailand’s extended visa on arrival/visa exemption policy. …
Last year, the TAT predicted that extended stays would spur tourists to stay in Thailand for an extra five days on average. If each tourist spent 4000 – 5000 baht per day, that’s an extra 20,000 baht pumped into the economy per tourist for every trip made to Thailand.
Extended stays have been vital to generating tourism revenue, spurring Thailand’s tourism industry to be among the fastest to recover in post-pandemic Southeast Asia. But there is still a way to go to make a full recovery.
For this reason, the TAT has proposed extending the visa on arrival/visa exemption on arrival policy to help reach their target of 25 million foreign arrivals in Thailand in 2023. …
This was in mid-January and until March 31st, nothing materialized, so the regulation simply expired and reverted back to the original entry duration set forth in the visa waiver agreements.
It’s not unheard of that Thailand decides such things in the last second, so I’m actually not surprised they simply let it die rather than making a big fuss about it. The idea behind it was that this is targeted at longer-term tourists, yet I’m convinced that it didn’t make the expected impact.
All it did was help long stayers who usually remain in the country on tourist visas to avoid one more visa run. While this demographic does spend money in the country, it’s by no means as much as a genuine tourist would spend on a daily basis, measured in hotel receipts and other expenses.
Objectively though, those who always cry the loudest are hardly legitimate “tourists” in Thailand but rather the usual “barstool crowd” that tries to get by cheap and remains put by methods such as visa runs. The same people bickered for years when Thailand had the “Covid extension” in place, which was a visa relief or extension that granted 60 days of stay to those who apply without having to leave the country. This eventually ended in August of 2022, way beyond when Covid was really a problem anymore, and yet you still had people who complained about the program ending.
For those who want to stay longer, travelers can also apply for a 60-day tourist visa ahead of time, which is, of course, more costly and requires uploading a variety of documents as most embassies have moved to the e-visa application system.
Both options of entry can be extended for another 30 days at a local immigration office for 1,900 Baht fee.
Some countries, including Korea and many from South America, actually receive a 90-day visa waiver stamp when entering Thailand, usually based on reciprocity.
It was reported online that Thailand has officially reverted back to the original rules for visa waiver arrivals, which means that most countries from Europe, North America, and Japan will receive the basic 30-day entry allowance compared to the 45 days which has been in place for the past six months.
Rumors and appeals by the Thai Tourism Authority did not materialize in the extension of the program. Some people who banked on the initiative being extended were disappointed and became very vocal on certain online platforms, such as Richard Barrow’s page.
Should travelers now wish to stay longer in Thailand, they can either get a 60-day tourist e-visa prior to their arrival or extend the stay one time at a local immigration office. I suggest using the e-visa as its much cheaper, more convenient, and way easier than visiting an immigration office in Thailand. You can easily spend half a day there waiting in line, depending on where you go (Bangkok being the worst).