Thailand government reduced the visa on arrival fees for tourists from India and 18 other nations on 22 November. The country’s economy is highly dependent on overseas tourists. The new move would give an impetus to this sector by attracting more tourists from other countries. According to the new rules, the visa on arrival fees will be reduced to INR2, 000 (1,000 baht) from 2000 baht which was earlier declared on 27 September for Indian tourists. The Press Trust of India quotes the Thai Tourism Ministry has pared the visa on arrival fees to 1,000 baht. Visa on arrival is offered by Thailand currently to citizens of Bhutan,Andorra, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, China, Latvia, Maldives, Kazakhstan,India, Malta, Lithuania Romania, San Marino, Mauritius,Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan,Taiwan, Cyprus, and Ukraine. The Cabinet has also decided to extend the long–stay visa for foreign nationals with an age of at least 50 to 10 years. Reporting to immigration police for the tourist once every three month is a necessity. According to vice minister, Col Apisit Chaiyanuwat, the long-stay visa will initially be valid for five years after which tourists can renew and extend it for five more years. The fee for this visa is 10,000 baht (INR20, 000) . Eligibility criteria for long-stay visas is that the foreigners should have a monthly salary of at least 100,000 baht or a minimum bank deposit of 3 million baht. These salary criteria have to be maintained for at least a year after the visa is issued. Additionally, they should be having health insurance worth 10,000 for inpatient care and 1,000 for outpatient care per policy annually. The rule targets to boost health and wellness tourism is in accordance to the policy of the government. Apsit also mentioned that their main target countries for long-stay visitor visas were England, France, Canada, Japan, Norway, Italy, China, the United States, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Taiwan and Germany, apart from India. Any tourist who is seeking for visa, has to abide by the rules made by Thailand government.
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