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Extension of visa amnesty, extension of emergency decree

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In a big day of important announcements, the Cabinet has approved an extension to the emergency decree as well as an extension to the visa amnesty for foreigners.

The extension of the visa amnesty will now run until September 26. It now allows foreigners to stay in Thailand without renewing their visa as long as their visa did not expire before March 26. The amnesty also extends to foreigners with current visas so they don’t have to do the regular 90 day reporting.

Immigration officials estimate there are between 250,000 – 300,000 foreigners in the country who are here as a result of the visa amnesty. At this stage there has been no further details outlining any additional paperwork or fees for the automatic extension.

It was also decided today to recommend an extension to the emergency decree beyond the end of July 31. The National Security Council and Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration have agreed to extend the situation and will present the proposal to the Thai PM tomorrow. It is understood that the Thai PM is expected to sign the extension into law.

Opponents of the decree say the emergency decree is unnecessary now that Thailand has had 55 days without a single case of local transmission of Covid-19. As in the past, they’ve maintained that there are other acts and laws that can be used to handle repatriation of Thai Nationals and quarantining of visitors into the Kingdom.

In making the two major announcements today, theCCSA say they continue to be concerned that the pandemic is still “raging around the world” and a controlled re-opening, including border controls and strict quarantine will be necessary in the coming months.

They maintain that existing rules prevent them from properly addressing the situation and prefer to bring all the decisions under the one controlling body (the CCSA), rather than having to work through a number of departments, ministries and provincial governors.

 

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