Author Topic: Foreign Ministry asked to rethink free visa fee decision  (Read 753 times)

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Offline thaiga

Foreign Ministry asked to rethink free visa fee decision
« on: December 19, 2013, 12:03:04 PM »
The Immigration Bureau will ask the Foreign Ministry to reconsider the decision to exempt visa fees for tourists and travelers from 17 countries.

The 17 countries are Australia, England, the United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland,Norway, Israel, United Arab Emitrates, Spain and New Zealand.

Immigration commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Panu Kerdlarpphol explained that the reason for reconsideration was that the 17 countries still charge visa fees on Thai nationals.

The visa fee exemption should be reciprocal in order to be fair to Thai tourists and travelers wishing to visit those countries, he said, adding that, moreover, applying for visas to visit the US and England by Thai nationals is very complicated and problematic.

The immigration chief said further that charging visa fees would help screen visitors to Thailand, especially criminal elements and tricksters who may capitalize on the privilege to come to Thailand to seek refuge or to commit crimes.

He recommended two options of charging visa fees: the first is a minimum flat rate of 1,000 baht for each visa and the second which is to charge the same rates impose by those countries for Thai visitors which range from 750-3,900 baht.

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sicho

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Re: Foreign Ministry asked to rethink free visa fee decision
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 12:18:14 PM »
He has a point about the fees and obstacles involved in the visa application process but, at least, the UK. I assume that by 'England' he means the UK.

The argument for equality of treatment could be extended to foreigners in Thailand to include for example, land ownership and a ban on dual pricing. It might also include the removal of the need to make 90 day reports and annual extensions.

I don't see how a fee would help in identifying 'criminal elements and tricksters'. More effective would be a background check to identify those who don't qualify for a visa because they have served a prison sentence abroad.
 

Offline negrita

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Re: Foreign Ministry asked to rethink free visa fee decision
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 03:14:19 PM »
You are of course correct Saf.

I thought the 'free visa' only extended to tourist visitors so charging them a Visa fee could affect the number of tourists who want to visit The Land of  Permanent Demonstrations with a Smile'

Certainly my Visa wasn't free nor is its annual renewal nor is my multiple entry exit visa or my work permit.
 

Offline Al

Re: Foreign Ministry asked to rethink free visa fee decision
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 06:06:59 AM »
While it does seem reasonable to want reciprocal visa fees, I think that perhaps this country should be careful what it wishes for.  I suspect that loosing numbers of UK/US tourists to Thailand would be a significantly bigger financial risk of loss than loosing Thai tourists to the UK/USA.  And I would be surprised if, after this happened, other countries in this area did not begin tourism marketing campaigns touting their low cost or free tourist visa options.

P.S.  Gotta keep an eye out for those tricksters!
 

 



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