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Thailand offers GCC nationals 90-day visa exemption

Benefit limited to medical patients and allows three accompanying individuals

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals going to Thailand for medical treatment are entitled to a three-month visa exemption following a decision by the Thai government last month.

The Thai government’s decision will benefit patients who need a long period of medical treatment, a statement by the Thai Embassy in Abu Dhabi said on Sunday.

The 30-day visa exemption for tourists continues to apply to GCC nationals (except for Saudis who get a visa on arrival for 15 days stay).

The new regulation also allows a patient to have three individuals (parents, children, spouse or maid), accompanying them. Maids or accompanying persons of other nationalities need a visa.

To apply for the visa exemption, GCC nationals needs to present certain documents to immigration officers upon arrival in Thailand. A patient needs to show an official medical appointment issued by certified health institutions in Thailand and financial support documents (i.e. health insurance) issued by authorities in his/her respective country.

Patients with people accompanying them have to produce a copy of official documents as proof of the relationship (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate, house registration, ID card) in case of family. In the case of an an employee or maid, an employment contract and affidavit of support (prepared by hospitals in Thailand) have to be presented.

Thailand has become a popular medical tourism destination. In 2012, the country received 2,530,000 medical tourists, an increasing pf 11.3 per cent over 2011 (2,240,000), according to the statement.