Thailand tightens visa requirements for Taiwanese nationals

Thailand is set to tighten this month the requirements in obtaining visas for Taiwanese nationals.

Late last month, the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei said that it is making visa applications and payment systems electronic beginning December 2019 for those holding a Republic of China passport.

This means that the office would no longer accommodate walk-in applications without an online appointment.

Likewise, the agency would now require Taiwanese nationals to show bank details for the prior three months as proof that they could cover their travel expenses.

Cola Tour, a Taipei-based travel agency, said that the requirement is limited only to individual travelers, and that members of tour groups would only have to provide a letter of guarantee from their place of work or travel operator.

During the first 10 months of the year, the number of Taiwanese nationals visiting Thailand grew by 24 percent year-on-year to 700,356, figures from the Tourism Bureau showed.

Apart from Taiwan, Thailand is also tweaking applications for visas-on-arrivals for 17 more countries such as Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Ethiopia, Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and Romania.

Travelers from said countries will need to apply for an e-visa on https://www.thailandevisa.org and https://thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com websites.

Visitors who intend to stay in Thailand for less than 15 days will be exempted from paying a 2,000-baht fee until April 30, 2020.

However, applicants would still need to pay an online visa-processing fee of 600 baht for up to three days of processing, and 2,500 baht for those who would need an approval within 24 hours.

Applicants would need to fill out an online form, scan and upload the required paperwork, pay fees online, and download the e-visa that will be presented to Immigration officials at Don Muang International Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport, and Phuket Airport.