Visa Waived For Kazakh Tourists Entering Thailand

Thailand Visa on Arrival

Thailand Visa on Arrival

In February 2024, the Thai Prime Minister’s cabinet decided to continue the policy of waiving visa requirements for tourists from Kazakhstan for an additional six months. Originally, this visa-free scheme would last only from September 25, 2023, to February 29, 2024, but after seeing the positive impact it had had on the tourism industry in Thailand, it was set to continue from March 1 to August 31, 2024.

However, in April 2024, the cabinet came to the decision to make the waiving of visas for Kazakhstani tourists permanent. This means that anyone who holds a Kazakhstani passport or equivalent documents will be able to enter Thailand without the need to apply for a visa beforehand. 

New Ways to Enter the Kingdom

Eligible travelers have two ways to enter the country without a pre-approved visa. One is getting the Thailand Visa on Arrival and the other is entering through the Thailand Visa Exemption Scheme

Each of these methods allows the holder to stay in Thailand for a different number of days and come with a similar set of requirements. However, entering the country through the Visa Exemption Scheme requires no additional fee, whereas the Thai Visa on Arrival demands a visa fee of 2,000 THB that must be paid in cash, all the while granting a shorter stay of 14 days compared to the 30 days the former offers.    

A Boon to Thai Tourism

The decision to make the lifting of visa requirements permanent was driven by data. Statistics have shown that Kazakhstan is one of the key drivers of Thailand’s growth post-COVID crisis and is one of the fastest-growing markets for the tourism industry in Thailand. 

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), it was estimated that 172,000 Kazakhstani tourists entered Thailand in 2023, which is a significant increase from 60,000 in 2022. Many of the tourists came as families or couples, and stayed an average of 14 days in Thailand, with each person spending around 75,000 THB over the duration of their trips.

This year in 2024, Thailand is expected to receive 220,000 tourists from Kazakhstan in part thanks to the waived visa requirements. In response to this, Kazakh carrier Air Astana has made plans to increase their flights to and from Thailand to cater to the higher travel demand.

The Concerted Effort to Get More Tourists into the Kingdom

Kazakhstan is not the only country to benefit from a visa exemption scheme recently. The governments of China and Thailand have also just settled upon a permanent mutual visa exemption agreement, ensuring Chinese visitors can also enter the Kingdom without needing to apply for a visa beforehand. Russian tourists also do not require a visa to enter Thailand, as at the time of writing they are enjoying a temporary visa exemption period that has just been extended from May 1st to July 31, 2024. 

These efforts, among others being considered, are part of broad efforts by the Thai government to get tourism and revenue levels back to pre-COVID numbers. Thus far, as with the Kazakhstanis, the data has shown that the reduced immigration restrictions have led to more visitors from the affected countries and more money being spent in Thailand. As such, it is likely that the Thai government will enact similar policies in the future, and may make temporary visa exemption policies permanent.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. By submitting this form, you accepted and agreed on our privacy policy and terms.


No Comment