The Foreign Ministry stated that the purpose of the revision is to introduce a clear categorization of personnel eligible to apply for media visa in view of the changing nature of media over the years and an increase of new media and online media apply for media visa.
The former guidelines lack a clear scope as to who would constitute a foreign journalist which led to a misuse of media car holders working on unrelated fields, said the ministry.
The ministry defended that the revision of guidelines was not intended to restrict, forbid or limit the work of foreign media as well as foreigners who work in Thailand. It assured that foreign journalists and freelancers employed by news agency legally registered here will not be affected.
For those who are ineligible for media visa, the ministry said that they could apply for another appropriate visa.
The Foreign Ministry said that the revision of guidelines was based on an extensive research of media visa requirements from various nations and on discussions with related foreign correspondents, as well as a meeting with some executive members of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand to discuss the elements of the revised guidelines.
As for foreign photographers, the ministry would advise them to apply for another category of visa such as non-immigration type “B” (for business and work).
As for freelance photographers working for news agency, the ministry will receive their applications and informed related Thai agencies to issue them media card. Photographers working under news agency registered with Thai or foreign governments as stated in the guidelines will not be affected however, said the ministry.