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5-Year Visas Now Available

5-Year Visas Now Available

5-Year Visas Now Available for Digital Nomads, Boxers, and Culinary Students

The cabinet has introduced several new visa initiatives to attract more tourists, including visa-free and visa-on-arrival schemes, extended stays for students, and reduced mandatory health insurance for retirees. These changes were suggested by the Foreign Ministry due to the country’s significant reliance on tourism, according to government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke, as reported by ASEAN NOW.

The number of countries eligible for visa-free entry will increase from 57 to 93. Newly included countries are Albania, Cambodia, China, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Romania, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan. The duration of stays under this program has been extended from 30 to 60 days. Additionally, the cabinet approved visa-on-arrival for 31 countries, up from 19 previously.

Tourists wishing to work and sightsee can now obtain five-year visas for stays of up to 180 days, which can be extended for another 180 days. Previously, stays were limited to two 30-day periods. “These new rules target digital nomads, remote workers, freelancers, and those interested in learning Muay Thai and Thai cuisine,” Mr. Chai explained.

Foreign graduates can now stay for a full year after graduation. Previously, they had to leave immediately after completing their studies. “These graduates can search for jobs during this extended period, especially in our areas of need,” Mr. Chai noted. Currently, about 40,000 foreign students are studying in the country.

These measures will come into effect on Saturday, June 1.

In other visa-related changes, tourists aged 50 and above seeking long-stay visas will now need health insurance coverage of 440,000 baht, down from the previous 3 million baht. This reduction will be effective for long-stay applicants from September to December, according to Mr. Chai.

Additionally, the cabinet approved increasing the number of e-visa application services at Thai consulates and embassies from 47 to 94 locations, starting in September.

Summary of Key Changes

  • Visa-Free Entry: Increase from 57 to 93 countries, including Albania, China, Cambodia, India, Kazakhstan, Laos, Jamaica, Romania, Sri Lanka, Panama, Mexico, Morocco, Uzbekistan, etc.
  • Extended Stays: Visa-free stays extended from 30 to 60 days.
  • Visa-on-Arrival: Increase eligible countries from 19 to 31.
  • Five-Year Visas: For digital nomads, remote workers, freelancers, Muay Thai students, and Thai cuisine students, extended from 60 to 180 days.
  • Foreign Students: Extended stay for one year post-graduation to seek employment.
  • Health Insurance for Retirees: Requirement reduced from 3 million baht to 440,000 baht.
  • E-Visa Services: Doubling of locations offering e-visa services from 47 to 94 embassies and consulates-general, effective September.

These measures are expected to significantly boost tourism and provide more flexibility for various categories of visitors.

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