BANGKOK, 18 February 2019: Thailand’s new eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service went live, 14 February, potentially offering an online service to visitors from 21 nations including China, India.
Thailand’s Immigration Bureau chief, Surachate Hakpal, confirmed at a launch event, last Friday, that the eVOA service was up and running at four airports — Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi, and Don Mueang as well as Chiang Mai and Phuket.
Visitors who receive an authorisation email confirmation for their eVOA issued by service provider, VFS Global, can pass through a fast-track channel at the four airport border checkpoints with minimal fuss.
Technically, the eVOA service is open to nationals from 21 nations: Andorra; Bulgaria, Bhutan; China; Cyprus; Ethiopia; Fiji; India; Kazakhstan; Latvia; Lithuania; Maldives; Malta; Mauritius; Papua New Guinea; Romania; San Marino; Saudi Arabia; Taiwan; Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
However, currently the service is limited to 15 nationalities. Still offline are: Bulgaria; Latvia; Lithuania; Romania and San Marino.
The visa processing is completed online with an approval letter, but final approval to enter the country remains within the jurisdiction of immigration officials at the checkpoint.
Tourists can apply from 30 days up to 24 hours before they are due to arrive in the country and an express eVOA for passengers who may urgently need to travel to Thailand.
VFS Global created the system and supervises the screen processing coordinating with the Immigration Bureau to facilitate the issue of a barcoded confirmation emails.
It is credited with being the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.
Operating in 143 countries across five continents and handling over 189 million visa, or passport applications in 2018, VFS Global partners with 62 client governments to handle visas and some instances a full passport renewal system.
In response to questions filed by TTR Weekly on the role of Thai Airways and Thai Smile in Thailand’s eVOA service, VFS Global said: “Thai Airways International and Thai Smile have created webpages for the convenience of their travellers from the 21 countries. It allows them to apply for the eVOA service when they are booking flights online through an interface with the VFS Global platform.”
Travellers using other airlines that do not have an interface page can apply online by visiting https://thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com.
VFS confirmed the fees for the new online eVisa as follows:
Standard Thailand eVisa on Arrival THB2,600 (Visa fee THB2,000 plus THB600)
Official travel authorisation should be received 24 to 72 hours ahead of the departure date.
Express eVisa on Arrival THB4,500 (Visa fee THB2,000 plus THB2,500 TBH service fee). This offers quicker processing for a decision within 24 hours