International News

UN recommends simplified visa, immigration formalities

One of the conferences under the auspices of the ASEAN Tourism Forum held in Bangkok early this year deliberated on the theme Towards seamless intra - ASEAN travel to facilitate travel in Asia Pacific countries. Mohommad Rahmatullah, director transport, communications, tourism & infrastructure development division, UN Economic and Social Commission Asia/Pacific who was one of the speakers recommended some measures for promoting travel in this region. These are :

  • Granting Visa on arrival/adopting simplified processing.
  • Adopting a single standardised, machine readable visa format along the lines developed by the European Union's Schengen Agreement.
  • Exploring the possibility of using the Internet for Visa applications, processing and collecting/charging of fees payment.
  • Introducing green and red channels and exploring the possibility of abolishing written customs declaration in favour of a selective checking at the green channel, on a random basis based on standard criteria.
  • Increasing the limit on currency allowed into a country with a view to promote tourist's spending) some countries already allow the import upto US$ 10,000 without declaration)
  • Conducting appropriate training programmes for immigration and customs officials to provide more efficient and courteous services and encourage more liberalised formalities.