Thailand’s Ministry of Interior has approved 90-day visas for patients and medical visitors from Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) as well as from the People’s Republic of China. This has been put in place since 22 March, 2017.
Prior to this, Chinese and CLMV citizens were able to get visas of 14, 30 and 90 days, depending on the bilateral agreements between Thailand and the respective countries. Under the new scheme, visitors coming for medical treatment from these five nations, as well as a maximum of three accompanying people, will be granted a 90-day visa.
This is an extension of a policy already in place for citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), which include the Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
To get the 90-day visa and come to Thailand for medical treatment, citizens of China and the CLMV as well as GCC have to contact hospitals or healthcare centres listed by the Ministry of Public Health to make an appointment. The hospital or healthcare centre will then send a confirmation to the patient. This letter has to be shown to immigration officials at any checkpoint into Thailand. The official can then grant a stay of up to 90 days at their discretion.
The Ministry of Public Health has by far listed 118 hospitals and healthcare centres that are eligible to provide a confirmation letter to patients or visitors seeking medical treatment in Thailand.
The measure is aimed at promoting Thailand’s thriving medical tourism industry. It is also in line with the policies of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, which is trying to promote Thailand as a regional hub for medical and wellness tourism.