New Visa app runs a concierge

September 22, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 22 September 2017: Visa launched its first mobile concierge app, Thursday, targeted at affluent consumers in Singapore.

VISA research suggests nine out of 10 Singapore affluent consumers are interested in accessing concierge services via a mobile app

Downloadable on iOS App Store and Google Android Store, Singapore is the first market in Southeast Asia where this mobile app is available. Read more

Affluant Thais lift Visa growth

September 12, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 12 September 2017 – Spending growth among affluent Visa cardholders in Thailand tripled the growth of overall Visa’s business, defying economic slowdown and driven by increased travel-related expenditure, according to Visa.

Payment volume in the affluent segment grew at a rate of 30% year-on-year for the first half of financial year 2017, higher than the overall cardholder growth of 11 per cent.[1]

Overall credit card spending has stabilised despite an uncertain global economic outlook, which affected the export-reliant Thai economy. Read more

Thailand introduces 10-year visa

August 17, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK — Foreigners from 14 designated countries are now eligible for a 10-year retirement visa according to Thailand’s Immigration Bureau.

The Thai government announced the new visa last November, but it only became available last week.

The extended 10-year retirement visa is a an option in addition to the standard one-year visa for retirees who must have funds in the bank of THB800,000 as a guarantee. Read more

Cut the cost of a China visa

August 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 4 August 2017: China has been making it easier to travel to and through the country without any cost since last year. But the message might not be getting through.

UK’s Independent newspaper alerted UK travellers that they can now visit Shanghai stay for up to six days on what is for all intents and purposes a free transit visa. Read more

Call for more visa-free exemptions

July 21, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 21 July 2017: Vietnam’s Tourism Advisory Secretariat Board says the government should add six more countries to the list of those with visa exemptions to help encourage more travel to the country.

Local media quoted the board head, Hoang Nhan Chinh, saying the country should add Australia, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, and Switzerland on a visa exemption list.

“Tourists from these six countries often stay for a long time in Vietnam and spend an average of USD1,200 each…they present almost no security risk.” Read more

Grand Sale goes digital

June 29, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 29 June 2017: For the first time, the annual Visa Thailand Grand Sale goes digital as the flagship inbound programme gets a mobile-first revamp.

Visa Thailand Grand Sale 2017 was officially launched earlier this month by Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Visa country manager, Thailand Suripong Tantiyanon and Tourism Authority of Thailand deputy governor for tourism products and business Noppadon Pakprot.

However details of the new digital features were released, Wednesday, that opens shopping for the first time to the mobile online experience. Read more

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

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