Thailand Opens Door For 93 Countries Including India; Provides Two-Month Visa-Free Travel

Thailand Opens Door For 93 Countries Including India; Provides Two-Month Visa-Free Travel

Thailand Opens Door For 93 Countries Including India; Provides Two-Month Visa-Free Travel

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The expansion from 57 to 93 countries eligible for visa-free entry is an effort of Thailand’s commitment to restoring its position as a leading global tourist destination.

10 June 2024

By Ishika Kumar

Thailand Extends Visa-Free Entry to Bolster Tourism

In a deliberate move to enliven its tourism sector, Thailand has announced a significant expansion of its visa-free travel policy, now welcoming passport holders from 93 countries to visit for up to two months without a visa. This decision has come into effect from 1st June 2024 and is part of Thailand’s broader initiative to revitalise its economy, which has faced substantial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Indian passport holders are among those who can now enjoy extended stays, making it easier for tourists, students, retirees and remote workers to explore the country’s rich cultural and natural attractions.

Welcoming a New Wave of Visitors

The expansion from 57 to 93 countries eligible for visa-free entry is an effort of Thailand’s commitment to restoring its position as a leading global tourist destination. This policy shift allows visitors from key markets such as China, India, the United States and the United Kingdom to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days, double the previous limit of 30 days. The extended stay is designed to provide ample time for travellers to immerse themselves in Thailand’s diverse offerings, from bustling urban centres to serene natural landscapes.

In addition to visa-free entry, Thailand has also broadened its visa-on-arrival program as well; it is now available to citizens from 31 countries, up from the previous 19. This inclusive approach aims to attract a diverse array of tourists, fostering economic growth and job creation within the tourism sector.

Tailored Options for Remote Workers, Students and Retirees

Recognising the evolving nature of work and travel, Thailand has introduced specific measures to accommodate remote workers and digital nomads. The new “Destination Thailand Visa” offers a five-year validity with each stay limited to 180 days. This policy, significantly more generous than the previous 60-day limit, caters to freelancers, remote employees and those interested in engaging deeply with Thai culture, such as learning Muay Thai or Thai cuisine.

For postgraduate students, the Thai government has extended the period they can stay in the country after graduation. With certification from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, students can now remain in Thailand for an additional year, providing a valuable opportunity to secure employment and contribute to the local economy.

Retirees also benefit from eased visa requirements. The health insurance coverage requirement for long-stay visas has been significantly reduced, making it more accessible for older travellers to enjoy Thailand’s hospitality. The new policy reduces the mandatory insurance coverage from THB 3 million ($82,000) to THB 440,000 ($12,000), effective from September to December. 

Furthermore, the expansion of e-visa application services at Thai consulates and embassies from 47 to 94 locations will streamline the process for international visitors.

Thailand’s Economic Revival Through Tourism

Tourism plays a crucial role in Thailand’s economy, and the government is making rigorous efforts to attract up to 40 million foreign visitors annually, aiming for a record revenue of THB 3.5 trillion ($95.73 billion). This ambitious target builds on the momentum from 2023, which saw approximately 24.5 million foreign tourists.

By relaxing visa regulations and introducing new incentives, Thailand is bagging itself the position of an attractive destination for a wide range of travellers.

Government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke highlighted the importance of tourism, regarding the role it plays in job creation and economic stability, noting that from January to May this year alone, Thailand recorded 14.3 million tourists. The country’s proactive measures, including reciprocal permanent visa exemptions with China, are expected to drive significant increases in tourist arrivals.

Top 6 Must-Visit Attractions in Thailand Which Can Help You Reap This Benefit and Get What the Country Has to Offer

1.    Bangkok: The capital city, Bangkok, is a dynamic metropolis where ancient temples and bustling markets coexist with modern skyscrapers and shopping malls. The iconic Grand Palace, home to the revered Emerald Buddha, is a must-see. Wander through Chinatown’s lively streets, explore vibrant markets and savour the flavourful street food that makes Bangkok a sensory delight.

2.    Chiang Mai: Nestled in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is renowned for its ancient temples, lush jungles and rich cultural heritage of the northern mountains. Visitors should not miss the sacred Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the pristine forests of Doi Inthanon National Park and the vibrant night markets showcasing local craftsmanship.

3.    Phuket: Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, is famous for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and vibrant nightlife. Relax on the sands of Patong, Kata and Karon beaches, explore the beautiful Phi Phi Islands by boat, and indulge in water sports such as snorkelling, diving and surfing.

4.    Ayutthaya: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya’s ancient ruins offer a glimpse into Thailand’s past as the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Marvel at the impressive temples, statues and palaces that tell the story of Thailand’s rich history and cultural heritage.

5.    Sukhothai: It is the birthplace of Thai civilisation. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sukhothai is home to the ruins of Thailand’s first capital, dating back to the 13th century. The historical park features well-preserved temples, Buddha statues and intricately carved stonework, showcasing the beauty of Thai architecture and artistry.

6.    Krabi: Krabi is renowned for its dramatic limestone cliffs, emerald-green waters and pristine beaches. Discover the picturesque Railay Beach, embark on a boat tour of the famous Phi Phi Islands, and explore the hidden caves and lagoons of Ao Phang Nga National Park.

Embrace the Land of Smiles

Thailand’s relaxed visa policies present a golden opportunity for travellers to experience its unique blend of culture, history and natural beauty. Whether you’re a student, retiree, remote worker or tourist, the Land of Smiles awaits you with open arms. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in Thailand’s vibrant landscapes and cultural treasures, and make the most of your extended stay in this enchanting country.