Phuket simplifies visa extensions with new online system

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Phuket simplifies visa extensions with new online system

Post by buksida »

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

This announcement was part of Lt Gen Itthiphon’s broader mission to enhance the Immigration Bureau’s efforts to facilitate the influx of tourists for the New Year holidays. With the inspection of the operations of immigration officers stationed at Phuket International Airport, he ensured readiness to handle the expected surge of tourists.

The essence of this initiative is captured in the motto, “Convenient, fast, safe, impressive.” The aim is to streamline the immigration process, making it efficient and accessible. The government has prioritised Phuket, a critical tourist area in the upper southern region, and has introduced policies to waive visas for tourists from certain countries such as China and India. This move is expected to boost the tourism industry further.

The impact of these policies is already evident. In December, the highest number of incoming tourists travelling through Phuket Airport hailed from Russia, averaging 3,600 people per day. This was followed by China, the United Kingdom, and India, with daily averages of 1,500, 780, and 720 people, respectively. The total tourist inflow via the airport this month is expected to reach 350,000.

As well as facilitating the flow of tourists, the Immigration Bureau is also tasked with preventing the entry of prohibited groups and potential criminals. The new online visa extension application system, dubbed the ‘E-Extension’, aims to simplify the immigration process for 12 types of visas, enabling tourists to submit documents and schedule appointments online before receiving a physical stamp to extend their visa, reports the Phuket News.

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

Itthiphon is set to meet with local immigration officers to discuss issues and gather feedback and suggestions. The E-Extension service, launched in November last year as a trial for foreigners residing in Bangkok, is provided in partnership with VFS GLOBAL, the authorised partner for the UK Government to receive passport applications from British citizens. The Immigration Bureau now carries the notice “Apply for Electronic Extension of Thailand Visa” on its primary national website.

This new approach to visa extensions is a progressive step that promises to streamline the immigration process, facilitating a smoother experience for foreign visitors and residents. ... ine-system

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