senior couple watching the sunset
In order to promote tourism during the tourism high season, the cabinet agreed on Tuesday to waive visa fees for tourists from 19 countries as of December 1 until February 28.

Tourists from 19 countries including

Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Mario, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan

need not have to pay the 1,000 baht visa fee when they apply for a visa at Thai embassies or consular offices.

In the meantime, the cabinet agreed to reduce fee for visa on arrival at immigration checkpoints for tourists from the 19 countries above mentioned.

The two measures are expected to increase tourist arrivals by over 357,000 during the three-month festive season, generating revenue amounting to 28,703 million baht.

They will help create over 62,000 temporary jobs and increase the government’s tax revenue by about 1,200 million baht.

Thai Government Approves 10-Year Visas for Foreigners Over 50

Affluent foreign residents over 50 will soon be able to apply for 10-year visas, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

Intended to promote Thailand as a hub for medical services, the policy was approved by the interim cabinet on Tuesday, according to spokesman Athisit Chainuwat.

It would replace one-year renewable visas and come in two installments of five years each, Athisit said. It was not immediately clear when the plan would be implemented.

Applicants must either earn a monthly salary of at least 100,000 baht or have more than 3 million baht in their bank account, which cannot be withdrawn within the first year after receiving the visa. They must also have health insurance that covers hospital stays and provides at least USD$10,000 in annual coverage.