General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, presided over the press conference to announce Thailand E-Visa on Arrival, for tourist convenience, along with Police Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakpal, Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, Mr. Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, President of the Airports of Thailand, Mr. Ekniti Nitithanprapas, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), Mr. Sumeth Damrongchaitham, THAI President, and Mr. Jiten Vyas, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer, VFS Global Group, with Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transport, and Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, as guests of honor at the Premium Area, 4th Floor, Passenger Terminal, Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Police Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakpal, Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, said that approximately 7 million people per year currently enter Thailand through all regions across the country. These tourists may apply for a visa on arrival to enter the country instead of waiting in long lines for document verification in a service area that is limited and may be insufficient and inconvenient, not fast or safe for tourists.
The Immigration Bureau is joining hands with VFS Global in the private sector to design and develop the operation of “replacement system for the service of the government sector” to receive and pass on electronic data by promoting the development of Electronic Visa On Arrival (E-VOA), e-Payment through a computerized system based on standardized information transactions, and secure information technology system while securing privacy in accordance to the law and regulations. VFS Global designs this system and oversees its development.
This project is operated with a standard system and adheres to the Government’s policy on the government system 4.0. Work may be followed up and verified with consideration to suitable access to user information and cyber security. This project begins with 20 countries, those being the People’s Republic of China, Republic of India, Principal d’Andorra, Republic of Bulgaria, Kingdom of Bhutan, Republic of Cyprus, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
Republic of Fiji, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Maldives, Republic of Malta, Republic of Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Republic of Marino, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, including one business district in Taiwan. No document needs to be filled out. Merely submit a passport to the immigration officer and receive inspection at any service channel.
VFS Global has developed the Fast Track Project in order to upgrade services provided to passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport, in order to provide speedy and convenient services that will create a good image and impression to passengers and foreign tourists who will travel to and from Thailand out of Suvarnabhumi Airport for vacation, travel, investment or business. As a result, travel will be more convenient for first class and business class passengers. Immigration Division 2 of the Immigration Bureau will implement this special privilege to its Fast Track system that will speed up travel document verification in the immigration process with support from the private sector through technology that makes this service possible.
Mr. Sumeth Damrongchaitham, President of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), said that in the past THAI had a policy to prioritize passenger travel convenience and launched a new mobile application “Thai Airways” to introduce a new travel experience and increase convenience for THAI customers who use the application. THAI has increased channels of communication by providing additional services to customers and will be able to reach even more customers though the Thailand E-Visa On Arrival service, which both THAI and Thai Smile customers may use to save time and reduce immigration procedures to enter Thailand without having to queue up for a visa to enter Thailand.
When passengers purchase tickets through the website thaiairways.com or thaismileair.com and when making mobile transactions on Thai Airways and Thai Smile applications, they can request a Thailand E-Visa On Arrival anywhere, every day, and every time, 24-hours a day. Initially, this starts with tourists from 20 countries and one business district. Passengers can take advantage of this service on the websites thaiairways.com and thaismileair.com and Thai Airways mobile application by clicking “Thailand E-Visa On Arrival.” Passengers can fill out their personal information, travel details, and pay the fee for advanced visa request through the VFS Global system (https://thailandevoa.vfsvisa.
Mr. Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global, said that it is an honor to work with the Immigration Bureau of Thailand and THAI to ensure a more convenient and faster service for travelers to Thailand, while maintaining the security and integrity of the visa process. With experience and reliability in providing seamless visa application services across the world, and with the advantages of eVisa solution, the Thailand eVOA service will further enhance ease of travel to Thailand, and thereby facilitate increase in tourism to the country. In addition, we are proud to be associated with the Royal Thai Embassy with whom we already share a long-standing relationship since 2005 and provide visa services across 27 cities in four countries through a strong network of 27 Visa Application Centers. As an organization VFS Global continues to support the economic growth and development of Thailand through operations within Thailand, where we employ 326 Thai nationals – of which 96 are dedicated resources for the new eVOA service.