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The Foreign Ministry has been asked by the Immigration Bureau to reconsider the decision to exempt visa fess for tourists from Australia, England, the United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Spain and New Zealand.
Pol Lt Gen Panu Kerdiarpphol, the immigration commissioner, has said that the reason for reconsidering the free thirty day on arrival visa is that those seventeen countries still charge a visa fee for Thai nationals to enter their countries. He feels the visa fee exemption should be reciprocal in order to be fair to Thai tourists and travelers wishing to visit those countries adding that applying for a visa to visit the US and England by Thai nationals is very long, problematic and complicated process.
He went on to say that charging a visa fee would help to screen the visitors to Thailand, especially criminal elements and tricksters who may capitalize on the privilege to come to Thailand to seek refuge or to commit crimes.
His recommendation includes two options for charging a visa fee to enter Thailand. The first is a flat rate of one thousand baht for each visa and the second way is to charge the same rates imposed by those countries for Thai visitors that ranges from seven hundred and fifty to three thousand nine hundred baht.