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Cabinet to decide on third visa extension for foreigners



PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

The Foreign Affairs Ministry announced today that a third “automatic extension” of visas for foreigners is “in the works” and will be proposed to the Cabinet with the results announced “soon” by the Immigration Bureau. A decision was originally slated for July 15, then postponed to today. Spokesman Natapanu Nopakun’s remarks this afternoon indicate the decision hasn’t yet been made.

Currently set to expire July 31, the immigration amnesty was put in place after international travel was shut down in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was later extended to the end of this month, but with few travel options available and a continued ban on virtually all foreign arrivals, anxieties are running high about what options exist for longtime residents who may be between visas or jobs.

Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that the government would offer foreigners a “grace period” until September to apply for visa extensions as it continued to ease restrictions.

The Immigration Bureau Commissioner Sompong Chingduong told Reuters that “the situation in the country and overseas has improved,” without elaborating on any specifics.

“So we do not propose to extend visas after July 31, but allow for visa requests from August 1 to September 26,” adding the grace period would be proposed to cabinet for approval. After which, if a request isn’t made and the visa expired, “over-staying will be considered illegal”.

SOURCES: Coconuts | Nation Thailand | Reuters


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  1. Che

    Friday, July 17, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    How do you apply for a Non B visa, because your previous one expired during lockdown, without getting out of Thailand and coming back?
    Are Immigration Offices going to deal with that?

  2. charles

    Friday, July 17, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    I have a business in Thailand & a non B visa due to expire in Feb, even if i could get a flight out to do my 90 stamp I cannot get back into the country

  3. Michael Lewis

    Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 12:22 am

    Okay, so Mr. Immigration if you think that everything has improved so much and its that easy to come in and go out of Thailand why are you keeping all borders closed, air flights limited and land crossings impossible. We have not been overstaying, we have been locked in by the Thai government against our will. We cannot book flights after flights after flights only to have them all cancelled and the money retained by the airlines. We do not have unlimitted financial resources to entertain this chaos. Flights are cancelled due to ineffective Thai government control input to achieve an efficient number of flight schedules for the numerous required destinations for repatriation of tourists and other visitors.

  4. Toby Andrews

    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Mr Lewis has said it all, except that the Thai immigration and government are a bunch of clowns.
    OK I can see the merits of not letting people into the country – they might be infected, but what is wrong with letting them out!
    In other countries they might be able to fly out at a reasonable cost.
    Malaysian airways fly to the UK from Cambodia for £670.
    Latest is this shall we or shall we not extend the visas. Well, yes or no!
    Get on with it. They love being big shots, flaunting their power.
    They are just uniformed offspring of peasant farmers. Everything Thailand has gained is from foreign investment, technology, and tourism.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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