Want to stay in Thailand? Get your visa figured out by October 31

30-Sep-2020 Intellasia | TheThaiger | 6:02 AM Print This Post

In a very last minute decision, foreigners stuck in Thailand will have another grace period until October 31 to get their visa in order. The Thai PM, in announcing the new visa amnesty, Prayut Chan-o-cha recognised that travel restrictions are still in place around the world and the coronavirus continues to spread with global deaths surpassing 1 million.

After rumours floated around about a possible amnesty yesterday, a spokesperson for the government’s Covid-19 task force confirmed that a new visa amnesty will be in place until October 31, allowing foreigners stranded in Thailand a ‘free pass’ until then. The new extension is set to be approved by the Cabinet today, according to Reuters.

Under the new regulation, 60 day extensions will be issued to foreigners who are unable to leave the country due to limited flights or other issues preventing them from going home. Thailand’s emergency decree was also extended until the end of October. The decree gives the CCSA the ability to make decisions about Covid-19 in Thailand ‘on the run’ without having to consult the Thai parliament.

Thailand closed its borders to foreign tourists in April, putting commercial scheduled arrivals on hold in an effort to slow incoming new infections with repatriation flights, and a handful of scheduled flights, the only option to leave Thailand. There was visa confusion early on in the pandemic with many people in Thailand unable to fly back to their home countries and their visas set to expire.

The visa amnesty was set to end on July 31, but just 10 days before the deadline, the government extended the grace period to September 26. In the past week, officials even warned that those who overstay could face fines and jail time and stated, emphatically, that there would not be another extension.

In July, immigration officials estimated around 250,000 to more than 300,000 foreigners were in Thailand on visa amnesty. Up to the end of last week, they estimated around 150,000 were on still in Thailand under the terms of the visa amnesty. Many were allowed to extend amnesty for 30 days if they had a letter from their country’s embassy, but many foreigners had problems obtaining or extending their visa. Others could not get an extension by the deadline.



Category: Thailand

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