Southeast Asia Wants to Emulate Europe’s Visa-Free Model

May 4, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Great news for backpackers or anyone else interested in visiting several countries on one trip: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — a 10-member economic, political and security alliance representing Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — is looking to implement a single-visa policy for the entire region. This would mean that after receiving a visa for ASEAN countries, you could travel across their borders without a passport or having to apply for new visas each time.

The new single-visa policy could be in place as early as late-2017 or early-2018, starting with Thailand and Cambodia. In 2015, there were 104 million foreign visitors to the region, and as a result, ASEAN began marketing it as a singular destination instead of 10 separate countries. And while the growth of low-cost airlines in Southeast Asia has been tremendous, the region still doesn’t have a European-style Open Skies Agreement, which allows carriers from separate nations to fly from hubs in one foreign nation to another.

It seems that this move toward a more liberal travel policy is still in the works, but it’s exciting news for anyone planning a Southeast Asian adventure anytime soon. A single visa would also mean less money, fewer hassles and would ultimately make traveling between the countries a smoother experience. We’re hoping to see this policy get off the ground as soon as possible.

H/T: Skift

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.