ASEANTA lobbies for single visa


KUALA LUMPUR – Members of the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) are lobbying their respective governments to adopt a policy of a single visa valid for all ten countries as a critical step of turning ASEAN into a single tourism destination.

In a report in, ASEANTA's vice president, Elly Hutabarat said, the idea of a single ASEAN visa has received widespread support from the governments of the association.

But the problem lies in its implementation due to the varying immigration and visa policies among the 10 countries.

To facilitate the change, ASEANTA has set a target deadline date of 2009 for introduction of the new "one-visa" policy.

But, according to Hutabarat, the commencement date could be accelerated by ASEAN during a coming Ministerial meeting.

Another scheme being proposed is passport-free-travel by citizens of ASEAN nations travelling between member countries of the association.

Under this scheme, passports would be replaced by an ASEAN Identity Card or Smart Card that would allow full freedom of movement within the 10-member region.

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