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Thailand Approves New Visa Promotions to Attract Tourists, Including Sri Lankans

Thailand’s cabinet has approved a range of visa promotions aimed at attracting more tourists from various countries, including Sri Lanka, according to Foreign Affairs Minister M.U.M. Ali Sabry.

These measures include visa-free and visa-on-arrival schemes, longer stays for students, and reduced compulsory health insurance for retirees. Sabry noted that Sri Lankan tourists, along with visitors from 36 other countries such as Albania, Cambodia, China, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Romania, and Uzbekistan, can now enter Thailand without a visa and stay for up to 60 days.

Thai government spokesman Chai Wacharonke highlighted that this expansion increases the number of countries eligible for visa-free entry from 57 to 93. The initiative aims to boost the national economy, which heavily relies on tourism.

The new visa policies also include:

  • Visa-on-Arrival: The number of countries eligible for visa-on-arrival has increased from 19 to 31.
  • Work and Travel Visas: Visitors who want to work while touring can obtain five-year visas valid for stays up to 180 days, extendable for another 180 days. This scheme targets digital nomads, remote workers, freelancers, and those interested in learning Muay Thai and Thai cuisine, dubbed the “Destination Thailand Visa.”
  • Extended Stay for Students: Foreign students can now stay for one year after graduation, allowing them to find work in fields where Thailand needs skilled professionals.

These measures will take effect on Saturday, June 1, 2024. The Foreign Ministry proposed these changes to attract as many visitors as possible, emphasizing the importance of tourism to Thailand’s economy.

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