A Thai Cabinet meeting, in early May, approved a proposal to add six European countries to its 30-day visa exemption list, but it could take a few months before the ruling becomes law.
Once the measure has been announced in the Royal Gazette, citizens of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland Republic, Slovenia and Liechtenstein will be given a 30-day visa free entry to Thailand.
A summary of the Cabinet’s resolution is available on the government’s website, www.thaigov.go.th , It identifies the nations that will be added to the 30-day visa-free entry list.
The rulling still needs to be processed. After the Cabinet’s approval on 3 May, the Immigration Bureau was asked to draft a ministerial law for the Interior Ministry to sign, which will then be published in the Royal Gazette. It becomes law once published in the gazette.
Asked to clarify a time-line, the Immigration Bureau said it needed to wait for the new government to be formed after the 3 July national elections to begin the process at interior ministry level.
The Cabinet proposal was based on a ministry of tourism and sports recommendation that said “eastern Europe is an emerging market for Thai tourism with a double digit growth of 13.58% over 2009 when 205,855 tourists visited the country.”
Liechtenstein is not part of eastern Europe. It is a small principality in the Rhine Valley that shares its borders with Switzerland and Austria.
Currently, passport holders from 41 countries and one special administrative region Hong Kong SAR are given visa-free entry for 30 days.
However at overland border checkpoints, with the exception of Malaysia, the visa-free entry period is reduced to 15 days.
TTR Weekly, first published a report on the Cabinet’s approval 30 May. However, readers challenged the report claiming the Thai consulate in Liechtenstein was unaware of any visa-free development.
TTR Weekly rechecked the facts and confirmed a Thai language statement on the Cabinet ruling, 3 May, was posted in the public domain of the government’s official website. It confirms the ruling to extend visa-free entry for the six European nations.