Visa approvals in India and China for travel to Thailand have become more time-consuming but for different reasons, the Foreign Ministry has acknowledged.
It was responding to reports that many Indian and Chinese visitors to Thailand prefer visas on arrival because procedures are too slow at Thai embassies and consulates in their homelands.
For Indians, local agents must carefully verify travellers’ documents because there have been cases of forgeries, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks said on Saturday.
She said the number of Indians seeking visas at the Thai embassy and consulates in India had doubled since last year but Thai officials were still able to process verified applications in three working days as before.
Indian visitors probably felt the process took longer because their agents needed more time to verify documents before submitting them to Thai authorities, said Miss Busadee.
For Chinese visitors, she said the number of Chinese travellers seeking visas at the Thai embassy and consulates was soaring amid the tourism boom, and officials were trying to maintain a completion schedule of three working days.
The number of Chinese visitors seeking Thai visas in their home country totalled 547,998 in November and had reached 495,018 this month as of Dec 26.
Figures for Indian visitors are also climbing and reached 22,358 last month.