China First to Benefit From Thai E-Visas Next Year

Photo: Immigration Bureau
Photo: Immigration Bureau

BANGKOK — China will be the first country to enjoy Thailand’s E-visa services starting next year, a top foreign affairs official said Monday.

Chatri Archjananun, director-general of the Consular Affairs Department, said the electronic services will first be introduced Feb. 15 at the Thai Embassy in Beijing with other consulates in major Chinese cities starting March 1, while France and the United Kingdom will begin April 1. He said the department aims to expand the services to every Thai embassy within three years.

Visitors will be able to apply and pay fees online for all types of visa, Chatri said. They will still have to get their passports physically stamped once approved, but the department said it plans to stop requiring visa stickers in the future.

There will be no need to visit individual embassy or consulate websites, as the services for foreigners worldwide will be available on a single page. The website will be accessible as services for each country begin, the office said.

Chatri said about 8 million people apply for Thai visas each year, about 85 percent of which are travel visas. He said the largest group of applicants are Chinese.