Asia Business Channel

Thailand extending visas for foreigners to September 26


After some confusion about the legal status of foreigners stuck in Thailand because of the coronavirus lockdown after July 31, Thailand’s immigration authorities clarified that another automatic visa extension for all types of visas will be granted until September 26 without the need to visit an immigration office.

This extends the overall pandemic-induced visa amnesty to six months and means that foreigners whose visas had expired as of March 26 – when the initial amnesty became effective – will be permitted to stay until September 26 without having to formally apply for an extension, the Thai immigration bureau said in an announcement.

The immigration department also said that holders of short-time visas – one to three months tourist and non-immigrant visas, visas on arrival – and visa-exempt foreigners will have to arrange to leave the country by the September 26th date.

According to immigration statistics, there are almost 400,000 tourists and business people who are in the country, who have received visa extensions, and these people will need to make arrangements with airlines to leave the country.

While authorities want to convey the message that there will be no further extensions, there will be exceptions for business executives, government officials, people who are ill or where other circumstances apply.

People who want to obtain new visas will be foreigners married to Thais and/or with a Thai family, work-permit applicants and holders as well potential or actual students. People who are ill may also be able to apply for visa extensions.

In cases where a destination country remains locked for returnees and there are no flights operating, a letter of confirmation from the embassy is needed as well. However, some embassies, including those of Canada, the UK and the US have already said they would not provide these letters and have recommend that their citizens leave Thailand.




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