Thailand Special Tourist Visa Delayed with No Refunds

Written and Published October 9, 2020

Following the news and updates around the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines were forced to suspend or reduce their daily operations, and countries were forced to introduce travel restrictions. With the pandemic slowing down around the world, many countries have started to ease border restrictions and reopen for international tourists. The Thai Government announced a decision to start opening up the countries tourism sector again following the approval of special tourist visas. Unfortunately, that has been delayed.

Thailand Special Tourist Visa Delayed with No Refunds

Thailand Special Tourist Visa Delayed with No Refunds

Thailand was planning on launching a new tourist visa for long-term stays of up to 270 days. The Special Tourist Visa or STV would be valid for 90 days and you will be able to extend it twice. The application procedure for the Special Tourist Visa is rather complicated. The Tourism Authority of Thailand decided that the STV program will be run by an individual company called Thailand Longstay Company. Unfortunately, just two days before the STV was supposed to come into effect it was delayed. So far no official start date for the visa has been announced. According to a Thailand daily newspaper, Khaosod, those affected by the delays will not be offered any refunds by the government.

From the Khaosod article:
“It’s part of the conditions of the STV that they had to pay first,” Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn said by phone. “So, there’s no need for those refunds, because their trip is not cancelled, it’s just delayed.”

Thailand Special Tourist Visa Delayed with No Refunds

So far the official website for the STV has not made any public announcements or updates. This is definitely not a good look for Thailand, and we can only hope this delay is temporary and not permanent.

Application Procedure for the Special Tourist Visa

A foreign applicant will be required to e-mail Thailand Longstay Company at [email protected] and submit the intention for applying for the Special Tourist Visa. In the e-mail applicants will be required to provide the following information:

-Photo of the passport that the applicant will use for entry into Thailand
-Current Location/Residence (City & Country)
-Nearest Thai Embassy/Consulate to the Applicant

After the first step is taken, the Thailand Longstay Company will first forward the photo of the passport to the Thai Immigration Bureau to check the applicant’s criminal record. After receiving approval from the Thai Immigration Bureau all applicants will be required to pay an application fee and the company will correspond with the applicant of the visa about the following:

-15 days ASQ/ALSQ quarantine accommodation options
-Accommodation options and requirements after the 15 days quarantine. The minimum stay requirement is 15 days after the 15-day quarantine
-Options for chartered flights
-Medical and Travel Insurance options with a minimum 100,000 USD coverage for COVID-19 medical treatment and minimum coverage of 400,000 THB which equals to 12,650 USD, for other medical and accident expenses. The insurance must cover for at least 90 days

Once all payments have been made for all the above items and the applicant must send all of the documents to [email protected] After the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made the approval, the company will inform the applicant to pick up the certificate of entry and the STV Visa at the designated Thai embassy or consulate. The STV program will have no benefits for people currently in Thailand since you have to apply from abroad. Many passengers were forced to take this complicated route in order to return to Thailand, and just two days before it was supposed to come into effect it was delayed.