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Proposal being ‘examined’ by authorities for a possible visa amnesty extension

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Proposal being ‘examined’ by authorities for a possible visa amnesty extension

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Today the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has briefly addressed the issue of the current visa amnesty, which is due to finish on July 31. The issue was mentioned today as part of the daily briefings.

The visa amnesty was announced, then extended, in April to allow foreigners with lapsed visas, to stay in the country without having to visit an immigration office or prepare new paperwork, until the end of July. There has been a lot of speculation in the past few weeks but no official comment from the government.

At today’s briefing of the CCSA the spokesperson, Natapanu Nopakun said that a third proposal of an extension for visa amnesty “is being drafted and reviewed by relevant agencies”. He also announced that people should… “stay tuned for further announcements from Thai Immigration in the very near future”.

The comment mentioned a ‘proposal’ and is no guarantee that the current visa amnesty will be extended again. Nopakun made no additional comments if there would be any conditions or requirements regarding the proposed extension. The Thaiger would continue to urge anyone currently in Thailand, without a current visa, to examine their options just in case an extension is not announced.

The Thaiger

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I wouldn't be at all surprised if they keep the borders locked till at least the end of September so I guess the amnesty could be extended till then .....  

Can't help but think that Thai Imm will be looking to make a few baht where they can, and why not? Wonder how much income they have lost since April.

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Here's the latest news:-

Foreigners can apply for visa extensions after July 31


Long queues of foreign nationals at the Immigration Bureau office at the Government Complex in Nonthaburi on March 23, seeking visa extensions after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted their travel plans. The bureau later declared a “visa amnesty” until July 31 to reduce the risk of crowding at its offices. (File photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Foreign visitors still stranded in the kingdom by the Covid-19 pandemic will be allowed to apply for an extended short stay after their visas expire on July 31, the Immigration Bureau chief said on Friday.

Foreign tourists who are unable to leave Thailand would be given a grace period from Aug 1 to Sept 26 to apply to stay for a specified period, said Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, the bureau commissioner. However, if they do not obtain extensions and are still in the country after Sept 26, they would face legal action and be blacklisted.

He urged foreigners to contact the bureau as soon as possible to prepare for their next steps in order to avoid crowding as the Sept 26 deadline approached.

Foreign visitors must specify their reasons and submit necessary documents when seeking to renew short-term visas, which will be granted for 30 days, he said.

"If they are unable to return because there are no flights or due to lockdown measures in their countries, they must submit proof. The granting of a short-stay visa will be made on a case-by-case basis," Pol Lt Gen Sompong said during a visit to Phuket, a province with a high number of stranded foreigners. 

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He said the bureau had asked the Council of State about the proposed short stay and it had advised that the Interior Ministry could issue an announcement. 

He said the Interior Ministry's visa relief measures for foreign visitors would be submitted to the cabinet for approval next Tuesday. The bureau would later issue guidelines on how to apply for a visa extension.

He said those who planned to return to their home countries did not need to contact the bureau but also had to leave Thailand by Sept 26.

He estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 foreigners were stranded in the kingdom due to the lockdown. 

The government earlier automatically extended their visas until July 31, but they must still inform authorities where they are staying.

Bangkok Post


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