EU will adopt visa exempt screening

June 12, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

LUXEMBOURG, 12 July 2017: EU countries on Friday backed a proposal to adopt new security checks for Europe’s borderless Schengen area, in which visa-exempt travellers will be screened online prior to arrival.

Dubbed ETIAS, the proposal is based on a US system that would allow EU countries to quickly cross check identity documents and other details from visa-exempt travellers with a host of databases.

Nationals from nearly 60 countries currently do not need to have visas to travel the Schengen zone, including those from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina as well as European neighbours like Albania and Bosnia. Read more

US asks for social media IDs

June 6, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 6 June 2017: The United States has begun asking some would-be visitors applying for visas to provide their identities on social media, among other more vigorous screening methods.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP new security procedures had gone into effect last week for travellers deemed to present a risk.

The plan has already raised the concerns of civil liberties advocates, who fear travellers who pose no terrorist threat may be stigmatised for their political or religious views. Read more

US visa service cheats Chinese

May 22, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

BEIJING, 22 May 2017: Four Chinese filed an USD50-million lawsuit against a visa fraud scheme in a Los Angeles Court on Friday.

According to the lawsuit the scheme cheated more than  100 Chinese citizens, that prompted a federal investigation followed by lawsuit by the alleged victims.

Federal authorities raided a business called California Investment Immigration Fund located in San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles last April. Read more

Taiwan extends visa free for Thais

April 27, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

BANGKOK, 27 April 2017: Good news for Thai travellers as Taiwan decides to extend visa-free visits for Thai passport holders for another year until the end of July 2018.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of China (Taiwan), the visa exemption that was offered to nationals of Thailand and Brunei will now be extended to 31 July, 2018.

It was due to expire 31 July this year. Read more

India extends eVisa role

April 5, 2017 by  
Filed under News, South Asia, Trade Talk

NEW DELHI, 5 April 2017: India has liberalised and extended the scope of its eVisa scheme effective 1 April in a move to boost tourism to the country.

The popular eVisa, is now available in three distinct categories specifically for leisure, business and medical travel, India’s Press Information Bureau announced last week.

The e-Tourist, e-Business visa and e-Medical visas have also been extended to 161 countries for entry through 24 gateway airports, up from 16 airports earlier and three Indian sea ports; Cochin, Goa and Mangalore to tap cruise tourism potential. Read more

Egypt delays visa hike

February 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

BANGKOK, 27 February 2017: Egypt says it is delaying an increase in its tourist visa until 1 July, mainly due to pressure from the tourism industry that said the move would damage tourism.

Struggling with the task of winning back tourist confidence, Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has taken the unusual step of more than doubling tourist entry visas from USD25 to USD60. It was supposed to be introduced 1 March.

The country’s State Information Service announced the changes that prompted a strong backlash from the country’s travel industry. Read more

US extends its social media checks

February 27, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

BANGKOK, 27 February 2017: Social media is now the latest tool to vet travellers applying for a visa to visit the US.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice, last week, confirming the Department of Homeland Security would extend its social-media vetting to include for the first time Chinese visitors.

Chinese US visa applicants will be asked to provide the names of their social-media accounts in their visa application. Read more

SpiceJet flies to Bangkok

February 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, South Asia

BANGKOK, 22 February 2017: SpiceJet, an Indian low-cost carrier, will launch a direct flight between Delhi and Bangkok effective 15 April.

According to the airline’s website, the Delhi-Bangkok route will be served by six weekly flights.

Flights will increase to daily, effective 9 May. Read more

Free visas for another three months

January 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 23 January 2017: Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister says she wants to extend the free tourist visa concession for another three months after it lapses at the end of February.

Tourism Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, is expected to present her proposal to the Thai Cabinet, Tuesday.

She will also include extending the period visitors can obtain a visa-on-arrival for THB1,000, instead of the customary THB2,000. Read more

Danang residents get a visa break

December 15, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Trade Talk, Vietnam

DANANG, 15 December 2016: Embassies of Australia and the UK  in Vietnam opened visa application centres, Tuesday, in Vietnam’s central city of Danang.

Local media reported the centres are located in the ACB Building on Bach Dang Street in Hai Chau district.

Visa applicants, residing in central Vietnam, will no longer have to travel to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to submit their documents, the report said. Read more

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