Thailand postpones new visa rules for Taiwan visitors

The Southeast Asian country hopes to boost tourism despite spread of novel coronavirus

(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Thailand has indefinitely postponed its requirement for Taiwanese travelers to provide financial statements when applying for a visa online, as the country rushes to bolster its tourism industry amid the virus outbreak from Wuhan.

The Thailand Trade and Economic Office (TTEO) in Taipei announced on Dec. 2, 2019, that online visa applicants from Taiwan would be required to present evidence of their finances for the previous three months before they could be granted the visa. The measure sparked a public outcry as Thai citizens do not need a visa to visit the island country under the government’s New Southbound Policy.

The new regulation, supposed to take effect March 1, will not be implemented until further notice, according to a statement from Taiwan’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA). Those planning to travel to the Southeast Asian country can apply for a visa via a walk-in service, at the TTEO or through authorized travel agencies.

Thailand is one of the favorite holiday destinations for Taiwanese, in addition to Japan and South Korea. Tourism authorities announced on Feb. 4 a host of measures to ensure safe travel for those planning to travel to the country in the following months, including rigorous hygiene practices.