Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will launch an online E-visa application service on 15 February, 2019, starting first with the Chinese market and then expanding it in phases to other countries worldwide in 3 years.
Beijing will be the first Chinese city where the service will be available followed by other Chinese cities. Other countries to follow will be the United Kingdom on 1 March and France on 1 April.
Mr. Chatri Archjananun, Director-General of the MFA’s Department of Consular Affairs, said that in 2017, more than eight million foreign nationals applied for Thai visas. Of these, 85% were for tourist visas, mainly from China.
The online visa will automate and speed up the visa application process globally.
Applicants can fill out the electronic form at the website http://www.thaievisa.go.th and pay the visa fee via the Kasikornbank (Kbank) E-Payment system and designate a date and time to submit the passport at the local Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate.
The service can be used any time at any location via mobile and computer devices, with full assurance of maximum security of the payment gateway.
Mr. Chatree added, “The Consular Affairs Department aims to develop a full electronic signage inspection system. In the future, certain types of visas will not need to be affixed to the passport. It will be emailed, and the results will be posted to the immigration office through a jointly developed system using biometrics for verification of identity and Robotic Process Automation to check the supporting data.”
Last month, Thai government approved the exemption of the visa-on-arrival fee for citizens of 20 countries. From 15 November, 2018, to 13 January, 2019, citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand not more than 15 days.