Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan announced the new extension for an electronic visa on arrival (E-VOA) “E-Visa On Arrival” at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. The officers not only want to speed up the process but also increase the comfort and safety of the visitors.
Already in November last year, the authorities announced the new system for visitors from China and said: “The electronic visa system (E-VOA) allows foreigners to apply for and pay for a Thai visa online for the first time. The service offered on the internet goes from completing the form to paying the visa. The service was initially only available to visitors from China.
Chief of Staff Surachate Hakparn, the head of the immigration office said the department had teamed up with VFS Global, Thailand’s airport authority, Thai Airways International and Thai Smile Airways to provide Thailand e-visas for tourists on arrival.
The introduction of the E-VOA is due to the fact that the number of tourists continues to increase each year, and on arrival, about 7 million visas were obtained, which has been known to have often led to congestion and inconvenience on entry.
Therefore, the Immigration Bureau has teamed up with Visa service provider VFS Global to develop E-VOA and e-payment for visitors upon entry. At the same time, a video was published in the social networks and on YouTube.
The E-VOA is now available for 21 countries: China, India, Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Taiwan.
VFS Global has also developed a fast-track service at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which allows passengers to submit their passports without immigration officials receiving visa information.
Mr Sumeth Damrongchaitham, President of Thai Airways International, said that upon arrival, e-visas will also be offered to THAI and Thai Smile Airline customers to reduce travel time and procedure on entry.
When passengers buy a ticket through thaiairways.com or thaismileair.com and THAI’s mobile app, they can apply for Thailand E-Visa On Arrival from anywhere, 24 hours a day, by clicking on the “Thailand E” menu – Visa on Arrival”.
The normal Visa On Arrival (VoA) fee per tourist in Thailand is Baht 2,000 (Indian Rs 4,500), VFS Global did not state what the charges for the eVoA will be and if people will need to pay more for skipping long immigration queues on to get the visa-on-arrival. All you need to do is complete the personal and travel information with ePayment for a visa through the website thailandevoa.vfsvisa.com.
VFS Global will then forward the results with a confirmation to the passengers’ e-mails within three working days.
Mr Zubin Karkaria, Chief Executive Officer of VFS Global, said the system would increase the security and speed for tourists travelling to Thailand. At the same time, the system would treat its information with global expertise when applying for visas confidentially.