Phuket simplifies visa renewal by implementing an online system

By TravelWiseDec 31, 2023 22:53 PMNews
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Phuket simplifies visa renewal by implementing an online system
The goal is to simplify the immigration process, making it efficient and accessible. Source: freepik

Phuket, Thailand's bustling tourist centre, has taken a significant step forward in its immigration policy. The Immigration Bureau Commissioner, Pol Lt Gen Itthiphon Itthisanronnachai, announced that foreigners residing in Phuket on any of 12 different types of visas can now apply for visa extensions through an online portal.

This announcement was part of Lt Gen Itthiphon's broader mission to strengthen the Bureau of Immigration's efforts to promote tourist arrivals for the New Year holidays. Having checked the activities of immigration officers stationed at Phuket International Airport, he was convinced that they were ready to cope with the expected flow of tourists. This was reported by thethaiger.com.

The essence of this initiative is embodied in the motto "Convenient, fast, safe, impressive". The goal is to simplify the immigration process by making it efficient and affordable. The government has prioritized Phuket, an important tourist area in the upper southern region, and introduced a visa waiver policy for tourists from certain countries such as China and India. This move is expected to further boost the tourism industry.

The impact of this policy is already evident. In December, the largest number of tourists travelling through Phuket Airport came from Russia, with an average of 3,600 people per day. This was followed by China, the United Kingdom and India with average daily arrivals of 1,500, 780 and 720 people, respectively. Total tourist arrivals through the airport are expected to reach 350,000 this month.

In addition to facilitating the flow of tourists, the Immigration Bureau is also tasked with preventing the entry of banned groups and potential criminals. The new online visa extension system, called E-Extension, aims to simplify the immigration process for 12 types of visas by allowing tourists to apply and make appointments online before receiving a physical stamp to extend their visa.

The E-Extension Visa service is currently available at Immigration Bureau 1 in Bangkok, as well as at immigration offices in Chonburi, Phuket and Chiang Mai. However, the specific details of the E-Extension service for foreigners in Phuket have not yet been announced on the official Phuket Immigration website.

The E-Extension service, launched last November as a trial for foreigners living in Bangkok, is provided in partnership with VFS GLOBAL, the UK government's authorized partner for accepting passport applications from British citizens. The Immigration Bureau now includes the notice "Apply for an Electronic Thai Visa Extension" on its main national website.

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