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A Single Visa for ASEAN?

ASEANTA Aims for Single Visas Valid for 10 Member-Countries by 2009.

(11/13/2004) The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) comprised of member tourism organization from the 10-member nations of ASEAN, is busy 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.

According to ASEANTA's Vice-President, Elly Hutabarat, the idea of a single ASEAN visa has received widespread support from the governments of the association but has encountered problems in moves towards the actual implementation of the measure 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.

Smart Cards

ASEANTA - in addition to their efforts to introduce a single ASEAN visa are also actively working for passport-free-travel by citizens of ASEAN nations traveling between member countries of the association. Under this scheme, passports would be replaced by a ASEAN Identity Card or Smart Card that would allow full freedom of movement within the 10-member region.