Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced the approval of a new long-stay visa for visitors during a cabinet meeting on September 15. The visa will be valid for up to 270 days and will allow visitors to stay in Thailand for 90 days.

The only pre-conditions currently are that travellers must complete a 14-day quarantine at the start of the 90 days, and that proof of stay for 90 days or more needs to be shown in the form of a villa booking confirmation, condo lease agreement, etc.

Thailand’s economy has suffered greatly due to the borders closing due to the pandemic. Reports suggest that the country previously earned approximately two trillion baht a year from the tourism industry. Last year’s records show that 39.8 million people visited Thailand in 2019, their spending making up 11.4 percent of the country’s GDP.

This announcement is seen as a step towards trying to regain some of this lost opportunity, with 1200 such visas to be issued daily. To test the waters, the government had earlier announced Phuket reopening from 1 October 2020 onwards, for visitors staying for 30 days including a 14-day quarantine period. 

The finer details of the long-stay visa are still awaited, including the starting date of issuance and the list of countries from where visitors will be allowed. But it has been stated that unlike many other countries, once the 14-day quarantine period is over, the visitor can freely move about within the country, allowing greater freedom and a more flexible itinerary. The visa will cost 2000 baht and could be extended twice, for 90 days each time. Long-stay visitors could begin arriving as early as next month, said deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul.

Besides travellers itching to travel, this will allow medical tourism to once again flourish in Thailand. The country is a destination of choice for many elective procedures with world-class medical facilities and high-end stay options such as private villas which are perfect for recuperating. The slogan, ‘Beyond Healthcare, Trust Thailand’ has been crafted by the government to firmly establish the country as the healthcare capital of the world.  

The 90-day long-stay visa is also a great option for people who would like to explore the opportunity to work remotely from another destination. Each of our luxurious villas boasts high-speed and dependable WiFi, as well as a convenient set-up for home offices. Media rooms, libraries and a myriad of work areas within the villa allow guests to spread out and establish a routine, while villa staff takes care of the running of the villa and all other needs. With schools also implementing remote learning, this is a wonderful option to consider. What better way to say goodbye to 2020 than to spend the last few months of the year in a magnificent Thailand luxury villa?