Thailand, Cambodia joint tourist visa ready from Nov 21, 2012??
Thailand and Cambodia are ready to start a single visa agreement. Tourists will have to buy only one visa for both countries from Nov 21, 2012.
But Cambodian officials denied on November 12, that Cambodia and Thailand have set a date for implementing the single visa scheme.
Is it all about politics?
The project comes under the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (Acmecs).
Foreign ministers of the involved countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) have discussed single visas several times, but Thailand and Cambodia were the first to sign an agreement five years ago and have been the first to decide to start the scheme.
Thailand and Cambodia have implemented the single visa pact first because Cambodia had a computer network that could connect well with that of Thailand. The remaining member countries are now developing their computer networks and would adopt the single visa system later.
The computer systems will be at three checkpoints in Chanthaburi, Sa Kaeo and Trat provinces, which border Cambodia.
New Visa Scheme.
Under the scheme, tourist visas obtained at the embassies of either Thailand or Cambodia will be valid for entry into both countries. But Thai police are very concerned about transnational crimes and border security matters. Therefore, the United Nations is providing the immigration bureau with technology to help detect international criminals and human trafficking gangsters.
Thai Immigration police are working closely with the military to suppress international human trafficking. They have set up 12 checkpoints on roads in the three eastern border provinces. Since the beginning of this year, these checkpoints arrested 109 suspected members of human trafficking gangs and about 1,300 Cambodians who travelled to Thailand with the gangs.
- Thailand, Cambodia ready to launch joint visa scheme. (The Nation)