BANGKOK, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Immigration Bureau and its partner VFS Global on Tuesday launched a new e-visa on arrival system, which will be available as of Feb. 14, for foreign tourists from 20 countries.
During a press conference held in Suvarnabhumi airport, attended by Thai deputy prime minister Prawit Wongsuwan, Surachate Hakpal, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau stressed the urgency to launch e-visa on arrival service.
According to VFS Global, travelers to enter Thailand at Suvarnabhumi airport, Don Mueng airport of Bangkok, Phuket airport and Chiang Mai airport can apply for the service before their trip.
Eligible travelers can apply online for eVOA for Thailand by visiting thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com, and upload the necessary documents as well as pay applicable fee with Mastercard, Visa, Union Pay, Wechat Pay or Alipay.
Then, travelers, if processed correctly, would receive a pre-approved eVOA code which they can print out for reference.
VFS Global said travelers will receive their pre-departure travel authorization online within three days and they can pay additional fee to get one within 24 hours.
VFS Global CEO Zubin Karkaria said they would maintain the security and integrity of the visa applying process.
Thailand launched a eVOA system last year but it has been much complained for its low efficiency.
Some Chinese tourists said they paid the fee and got no notice whether they were permitted or declined and some said they were declined twice for submitting incorrect documents.
The old system is complained much by foreign tourists so we turned it down and chose to work with VFS Global, who designed a brand new system with advanced technology for our eVOA service, Surachate said to Xinhua.
He added that the Immigration Bureau will check the documents submitted by travelers first before asking them to pay to prevent those cases.
Besides, Thai Airways president Sumeth Damrongchaitham told media during the press conference that passengers can click the Thailand e-visa on arrival when buying air tickets on their websites, mobile applications.
The 20 countries eligible for Thailand's eVOA system include China, India, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, among others.