Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul on Tuesday said that she would bring up the issue of long term visas to immigration and security agencies’ notice.
Long term visas was again brought up by the Minister for Tourism Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul on Tuesday, a matter which has been in discussions for quite a while. While countries in the region like Malaysia and China offer 10-year visas, a 5 year visa could add a competitive edge to Bangkok’s tourism sector, according to the minister. Such long term visas find huge demand among students and expats who might not have easy access to Thai embassies in their respective countries. Also, a 5-year visa might seem more attractive than a 10-year visa, fees wise, allowing the applicants to extend in case of need. However; such visas do not hold validity for employent, same as in other countries which offer them.
The minister also brought up the recent complaints received against the delay at Chiang Mai immigration office. Wattanavrangkul pointed that it takes upto six times longer for expats to extend visas at the short-staffed Chiang Mai office in retrospect to other offices, stressing out the need for more staff. The province, home to around 10,000 or more foreigners who extend their stay time-to-time is also a medical tourism destination promoted by the government. The minister added that proper instructions will be given to the immigration bureau and measures such as replacing the 90 days check-in with an annual system will be adopted.