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Sunday 2 June 2024

A long-term chillout in Thailand is now a lot easier

Ever thought of spending a few months in Thailand, chilling out on the beach?

Visa issues have, until now, made that difficult, but the Thai government is delivering changes to make it easier, the Skift travel news website reported.

In an effort to boost Thailand tourism numbers, ordinary tourists visas can be extended to up to 60 days, along with the possibility of extended stays for post-grad students and remote workers.

And government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said travellers from more countries will be eligible for visas on arrival.

The validity of visas for self-employed "digital nomads" and other remote workers will be extended to five years, with an unbroken stay of up to 180 days. 

The “Destination Thailand Visa” will now allow a 180-day maximum stay per visit, extendable for another 180 days, with another THB 10,000 ($270) fee.

Previously, digital nomads were entitled to only two 30-day stays. 

Wacharonke noted that this measure targets remote workers, freelancers, and those interested in learning Muay Thai and Thai cooking skills. .Also, foreign students can stay in Thailand for an additional year after graduating.

The tourist visas will be available to visitors from 93 countries, up from 57 currently. The new policies will kick off this month.

Thailand welcomed 14.3 million tourists for the year to date. In 2019, pre-Covid, it welcomed a record 39.9 million arrivals.

Image: Winsor Dobbin

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