Easier Visa Rules Coming Soon to Thailand

Starting late June or early July, Thailand will implement simpler visa rules, new visa types, and longer visa-free stays of up to 60 days, according to a government announcement.

On May 28, 2024, the Thai Cabinet approved several measures to boost the economy and promote tourism, marking the first major visa reform in 22 years.

The changes will happen in three stages: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. Five short-term measures are expected to begin in late June or early July 2024. This counters misinformation that the rules were already active, causing confusion at airports.

Short-Term Measures

  1. Extended Visa Exemption: Tourists and short-term business visitors from 93 countries can stay visa-free for up to 60 days, up from 30 days (including the United Kingdom).
  2. Expanded Visa on Arrival (VOA): Passport holders from 31 countries can now qualify for VOA, up from 19 countries.
  3. New Destination Thailand Visa (DTV): Long-term travelers, including digital nomads, can stay up to 180 days per visit on a multiple-entry visa valid for five years. Activities covered include Muay Thai, martial arts, cooking, sports, medical treatment, and more.
  4. Enhanced Non-Immigrant Visa: International students and recent graduates can extend their stay for one year to seek employment.
  5. Visa Policy Committee: A new committee will be established to improve Thailand’s entry processes and immigration efficiency.

Medium-Term Measures

  1. Streamlined Visa Types: Non-immigrant visa types will be grouped and simplified.
  2. Lowered Health Insurance Requirements: Requirements for long-term visas will be reduced, and more countries will be eligible.
  3. Global e-Visa System: By December 2024, the e-Visa system will be available at all embassies and consulates worldwide.

Long-Term Measure

  1. Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA): By June 2025, the ETA system will be implemented at international airports, aligned with the e-Visa system.