What is STV?
Knowing that COVID-19 pandemic has severely attacked the world nowadays, the global economy and people’s well-being are retrogressive. Big authorities around the world are working on all possible solutions there could be, and, as carrying the fame of tourism country, Thai government couldn’t just stay speechless.
Effective from 1 October 2020 onwards, Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration: CCSA (Operated under Thai government) has approved a new Special Tourist Visa: STV. It is one of the economic strategies to restore the local tourism industry.
STV is another type of long-stay visa which allows 90-day stay in Thailand and can be extended for 90 days one or two times. Thus, the maximum staying period in Thailand of people holding STV will be 270 days. Please note that STV can be applied from 7 October 2020 until 30 September 2021 and cannot be changed to other types of visas.
Qualifications of STV Applicants
According to regulations of CCSA, people with non-thai nationalities applying for STV must:
- Be from low-infection countries defined by Department of Disease Control (Updated on 1st and 15th of every month).
- Have intention for long stay in Thailand.
- Accept the measures from the Ministry of Public Health and accept to be quarantined for 14 days in provided or certified places by Thai government.
- Have evidence of paid residence for staying in Thailand
And other regular requirements for inbound travelers, they must:
- Not be prohibited from entering the Kingdom as provided by the Immigration Act
- Have no criminal record in Thailand and the country of the applicant’s nationality and residence
- Confirm that they do not have the following prohibitive diseases: Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, drug addiction, third phase of Syphilis.
Link for Confirmation Form https://bit.ly/3dkXQWY
- Completely filled Two visa application forms (With colored photos of white background within the last six months)
- Two copies of applicant’s passport main pages and the validity of passport must be more than 12 months.
- Two copies of applicant’s permanent I.D. card
- Completely filled Certificate Of Entry (COE) declaration form.
- Medical insurance:
5.1 The insured period must cover the period of stay
A: Inpatient Treatment 400,000 Baht
B: Outpatient Treatment 40,000 Baht
(Purchase from a Thai Insurance Company ONLY.
For more information, https://longstay.tgia.org/home/companiesstv)
5.2 Health insurance with minimum coverage of 100,000 USD for COVID-19 (In English only)
- Copy of Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) confirmation
(See ASQ list: http://www.hsscovid.com)
- Proof of Accommodation in Thailand:
7.1 Proof of full-paid accommodation after 14 quarantine days which covers the whole period of stay in Thailand (must be issued by legitimate entrepreneur with tax identification number) or
7.2 Proof of condominium ownership in Thailand or
7.3 Proof of purchase/ hire purchase of condominium in Thailand which shows not less than 25% of the full amount has been paid
**The paid amount must cover the period of stay**
- Proof of sufficient fund (If NO Proof of Accommodation in Thailand):
Certificate of bank deposit stating bank contact information and copy of bank book and bank statement which shows fixed deposit with the amount of not less than 500,000 Thai Baht ($16,001.28)
- Applicant’s spouse (no age specified) or children (age under 20 years old) must show a copy of marriage certificate/ birth certificate of proof of legitimate child together with documents stated in 1-7.
All Costs upon STV
If you have a plan to apply for STV, you might have heard about the STV fee. But that is just a little part of the whole expenses that allow you to finally enter Thailand. Let’s take a look at all costs there would be; reference to the period of 3-month stay.
- STV issuance fee = ฿2,000 THB (≈ $65).
The first application costs 2,000 THB, and an additional 90-day extension is the same for two more times.
- Health insurance = ฿20,000 (≈ $643)
Quarterly health insurance that meets the requirements for STV costs around 8,000 – 40,000 THB, depending on age range and country’s infection risk. You may have to hold two insurance policies (According to Required Documents, 5.), or there are insurance plans that provide all requirements you need in one policy as well.
- Alternative State Quarantine = ฿40,000 (≈ $1,285)
Hotels in ASQ list are quite luxurious and also certified by Thai government; the charges are 27,000 – 280,000 THB for 14-15 nights. As there are over 100 ASQ hotels now, they have been offering much more affordable packages than before.
- Accommodation in Thailand = ฿45,000 (≈ $1,446)
Approximate price for monthly apartments in Thailand is 15,000 THB, with facilities for basis, such as gym, swimming pool, garden, etc. They normally provide 1-year contract. So, if it’s for short term, the price may be more expensive, otherwise; you get less facilities.
- Flight ticket = ฿50,000 (≈ $1,606)
This is an average deal for a one-way trip from Europe and the US at these moments. Flying from Asia would be a lot cheaper. Anyway, please keep in mind that the flight tickets now are almost doubled in price from what you have known earlier.
- Medical Certificates =9,700 (≈ $312)
At a check-in counter at your departure airport, you will have to show two medical certificates: “Fit to Fly” and “COVID-19 test” Fit to Fly is similar to a regular checkup where you can just go to a hospital or a clinic by walk-in; charging around 3,200 THB. For COVID-19 test, the procedure is more particular, that’s why it’s costly (6,500 THB) and may charge over 10,000 THB. But in some low-risk countries, they arrange free tests.
In summary, all costs upon STV are approximately 166,700 Thai Baht (≈ $5,357). It is not that bad, maybe? Manage your plans carefully, so these could be less for sure.
Countermeasures of Thai Government
STV is planned to accept 100 applicants each time; 1,200 travelers per month. Since it mainly focuses on restoration of Thailand tourism industry, the government claims that STV will boost up the country’s income to 12,000 million baht in one year. This may sound far away from the recorded income from tourism which used to be 2.2 trillion baht per year but seems a good start of economic recovery.
However, this STV project is still giving Thai people big concerns, as there could be another lockdown coming if STV has caused any positive COVID-19 cases. The government has realised the incoming effects from STV and has been preparing to cope with those issues with related organizations, such as, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Health, Department of disease control, etc. Ever since COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand has been considered one of the lowest infection risk countries and contains excellent health care. The government is currently considering to shorten the quarantine period from 14 to 10 days, yet the quarantine regulations still remain, even more strictly.
Above all, traveling to Thailand appears to be attractive for foreigners around the world; cheap food, beautiful nature, friendly people, and also an effective system of pandemic control. What else could you imagine for your 3-month dream vacation at these moments? Come and find out. Here is probably becoming your destination for long stay.
- Royal Thai Cosulate – Gernaral, Hong Kong