Thailand reversed its decision on the controversial income requirement amount just weeks after announcing the policy following online backlash, restoring hope to many eager travelers.
The Original ‘High Income’ Policy
In late September, prospective travelers to Thailand were overjoyed to hear the news that Thailand was relaxing its borders and letting people apply for visas to visit the country, which had previously been under a severe lockdown and had all-but closed its borders.
However, on closer examination of the announcement, many were dismayed to learn of the prohibitive financial proof that they had to show in order to be granted the visa.
The previous requirement stated that those wishing to apply for the 60-day tourist visa had to provide bank statements in the last six months that showed the equivalent to 500,000 baht, or $16,336 USD, along with a large number of other requirements that needed to be met.
Being a considerable sum of money, the announcement was greeted with a significant backlash by would-be holidaymakers across social media, who felt that it excluded a large number of people who may have intended to visit the Land of Smiles.
Thailand is known worldwide as a budget-friendly destination, so asking travellers to show over $16,000 USD in bank account balances automatically disqualifies the vast majority of tourists.
Changes To Thailand’s Income Requirements
However, in the past few days, it became clear that things had changed, and it appeared that this policy had seemingly been dropped by several different embassies and consulates around the world.
Once the requirement was listed on their websites, social media users began tentatively sharing screenshots of entry requirements on the websites of their local consulates that showed the requirement of 500,000 baht in the bank had been removed.
As of now, Thailand’s consulate in Los Angeles lists the requirement as “$700 per person, and $1,500”, whilst the London embassy and the Berlin embassy have neglected to mention any specific amount required in the bank to be granted the visa, signaling a reversal in the controversial requirement.
Following this change, the number of people applying for visas to Thailand is expected to rise. This means that the country will start to see its tourist numbers steadily increase just in time for high season.
Other Requirements For Entering Thailand
Whilst the removal of this visa requirement has been warmly received by many, there are still other hurdles that must be cleared in order to gain access to Thailand, such as having $100,000 worth of travel insurance, securing a Certificate of Entry, and confirming a stay at one of Thailand’s designated quarantine hotels.
The latter has proven to be a challenge for many wishing to visit Thailand at present; not only is the thought of spending 14 days of a holiday couped up in a hotel room unappealing for many, it has also proven to be prohibitively expensive for many people.
However, it has been widely reported that Thailand is considering reducing the number of days travelers need to quarantine from 14 days down to 10, in an effort in increase the levels of tourism into the country.
As well as the tourist visa, Thailand has also been touting a Special Tourist Visa, which will grant travelers from low-risk countries up to 90 days in the country.
Read More: See what countries are welcome tourists with NO quarantines or testing requirements, which companies offer travel insurance that covers covid, and the Top 10 countries to visit during the pandemic.
Sources: Linked throughout the article
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories
Monday 23rd of November 2020
At this time, Thailand, New Zealand and now Iceland are assessing its’ avaricious entry requirements targeting wealthier tourists or successful digital nomads. IATA may be closer to initiate a digital health passport that it believes will support the reopening of borders to international travel through the secure of information on Covid-19 testing and vaccinations.
Many travelers would welcome this scheme that could alleviate the discriminatory economic measures, xenophobia and paranoia in the post pandemic future of international traveling. Every tourist regardless of economic level and age before the pandemic has contributed a substantial spending to the host country during his or her travel itinerary. Why shouldn’t it be any different once international borders are open and the benefits of having a IATA approved travel pass.
Sunday 22nd of November 2020
Already been around Latin America as they open and will visit ASEAN countries as they open. Not for everybody, but definitely an audience for this.
Sunday 22nd of November 2020
I don't think this will matter much. Once the vaccines arrive and the Philippines opens, every country in SEA is going to be falling all over themselves to beg for the return of tourism.
Sunday 22nd of November 2020
I'm all for the 14 days of quarantine. This isn't a time to be travelling for leisure right now anyways. But it is a time for slow, more appreciative travel. Most of the quarantine requiring nations are calling for 14 days and should be as the virus can still fail to show symptoms until that time. Mass tourism can resume when the vaccine is readily available to everyone. Risking the lives of the people of Thailand (who have thus far managed this virus very well) is incredibly reckless, irresponsible and selfish. Be safe and if you wanna go to Thailand or anywhere right now, do the respectful thing and stay in quarantine. I'm happy they removed the income/bank statement requirement and maybe they'd consider reviewing the cost of their quarantine hotels before cutting back on the 2 weeks stay?
Saturday 21st of November 2020
I would rather wait for testing and quarantine to be removed first. So 2022 it is.