Bangkok, Thailand – The cabinet on Tuesday agreed to increase the fee for a visa on arrival from 1,000 baht to 2,000 baht.
|Photo: Suvarnabhumi Airport|
Yes, you read it right. The 100% increase for visa on arrival will soon take effect. According to government spokesman Maj-Gen Sansern Keawkamnerd, the reason as to why the doubling of the visa on arrival fee is because many tourist tend to apply for visas at immigration checkpoints rather than applying for visas at Thai embassies or consular offices.
“This caused congestion at immigration checkpoints and also compromised immigration checks which may pose a security threat and allow undesirable elements to enter the country more easily,” he added.
But before you freak out or get much more confused as I heard you whispering that you didn’t pay anything when you arrive in Thailand, let’s differentiate visa on arrival and visa exemption.
There are countries where their citizens are required to pay for visas when visiting Thailand. They can either get their visas in their home country before traveling to Thailand, or do it at Suvarnabhumi’s visa on arrival booths located on the east side and the west side before reaching the immigration on the 2nd floor. These countries are:
Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
For the Philippines and other countries not listed above, however, we qualify for visa exemption. This means we aren’t required to procure a visa prior to commencing travel to Thailand. We get a stamp at the airport valid for 30 days for free.
Now you’re smiling 🙂