Opinion: Yes, It’s Time to Allow More Countries to Have a 90 Day Visa on Entry to Thailand

Earlier this week TPN Media and some other Thai media reported a proposal that for once got a nearly universally positive response from our readers.

That proposal, being put forward by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, is to allow many more countries a 90 Day stay in Thailand with a Visa Waiver upon arrival, which we reported here.

Currently, only Russians have a similar program of the same length which was largely due to a reciprocal agreement between the two countries that also allows Thai nationals to enter Russia up to 90 days with a visa waiver. This agreement came together last year largely due to Thailand’s neutrality between the Ukraine and Russia war.

Recently, China has signed a similar agreement with Thailand but for less days, as we reported here, which is designed to hopefully boost lagging Chinese tourism.

Now, with the most recent proposal, hopes have been raised by many of our readers from countries like the UK, America, Australia, and many more that a similar program is coming for them.

Let’s be clear, this is just a proposal. There is no guarantee whatsoever that the proposal will happen. We state this so people don’t continually ask us when the extended visa waiver will begin.

To be approved, the proposal needs approval from multiple branches of the Thai government but most notably the Thai Cabinet. It’s also important to note that although Thailand would deeply hope for a reciprocal proposal for its own citizens to countries they allow to come to Thailand for 90 days to, this is unlikely to happen, especially with countries like the US.

This lack of a reciprocal proposal has been a major roadblock in the past for longer visa waivers for many countries. However, there is work being done on allowing Thai nationals Schengen visas for Europe with waivers, but again, are just mostly proposals at this point.

Regardless of any reciprocal programs or not, Thailand’s economy is still rebuilding after the Covid-19 pandemic brutalized the tourism sector for about two and a half years. A large number of visitors would love to stay longer in Thailand on 90-day tourist visas and not have to deal with visits to Immigration, long waits in line, intimidating paperwork, and many other obstacles to longer stays.

This would also make life much easier for our part-time expats who come for 3 to 6 months a year to stay.

Such an extension would also significantly reduce the amount of work Immigration has to do and reduce lines at Chonburi Immigration and other popular offices in tourist areas. This in return would allow the offices to focus on more pressing issues.

This strategy also ties into Thai Immigration encouraging and urging expats to report their 90-day check-ins online versus in person, as we reported here.

Bottom line, it is the opinion of this author that extending the 90-day visa waivers on arrival for many more countries is long overdue and would be incredibly welcome for many of our readers.

What do you think? Tell us on social media or mail us at [email protected]

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.