Free visas for Chinese imminent

A plan to give free visas to Chinese and Taiwanese tourists visiting Thailand is expected to be approved after it is presented to the Interior Ministry on Monday.

Sihasak Phuangketkeow, the permanent secretary for foreign affairs, said on Saturday that he would ask the Interior Ministry to announce the visa waiver.

Under the plan, the waiver would be in effect until Oct 1 to stimulate tourism in Thailand.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry would also alert the Thai embassy in Beijing and the Thai consulate in Taipei to be prepared to offer the service once confirmation is published in the Royal Gazette, Mr Sihasak said.

Visas for work and temporary residence in Thailand would remain subject to fees, he added.

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, earlier said he with the proposal by the Tourism Council of Thailand and organisations serving Chinese tourists to exempt the 1,000-baht visa fee for Chinese and Taiwanese tourists.

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