Government Waives Visa Fees for Visitors from 18 countries, Including China and India
To boost the economy the cabinet on Tuesday resolved to extend free visas on arrival for some countries. Visitors from China, India and other countries will be eligible for free visas, however the proposal to waive the visas was rejected.
The visa waiver proposal from the Tourism and Sports Ministry was rejected for security reasons, said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon. Instead they approved to extend free visas on arrivals beyond the current October deadline to April 30, 2020
"Cabinet ministers disagree with a visa waiver but resolve that fees for visas on arrival be exempted at immigration checkpoints. The decision was based on security concerns," Gen Prawit said.
The deputy prime minister, on Monday, said he did not agree with the proposed visa waiver for short-term Chinese and Indian visitors. He said that this would make it too easy. China and India each has a population of about 1.2 billion people. He shared the concern of the Foreign Ministry that some of these travelers might be inspired to abuse the visa waiver, flee hardships and settle illegally in Thailand.
The 2,000 baht visa fee exemption is for visitors from 18 countries, including China and India, said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn the Tourism and Sports Minister.
The fee exemptions was extended until April 30 so it would take advantage of the Songkran Festival next year, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday.
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the cabinet on Tuesday approved a 316-billion baht economic stimulus package covering subsidies for the poor, soft loans for farmers, domestic tour incentives and the waived visa fee.