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Onerous new document requirements for stranded foreigners announced

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PHOTO: thailande-fr.com

Thailand’s Immigration Bureau announced yesterday that 9 separate documents are now required for foreigners stranded here to extend their stay for up to 30 days. New requirements include land deeds, rental contracts, even selfies of foreigners at their accommodations, even as scenes of chaos and massive queues at immigration continue unabated. A Thai Immigration spokesman defended the inconvenience on the grounds of “national security.”

Countless long queues have been packing immigration offices around Thailand as foreigners scramble to sort out their visa situation and apply for extensions to avoid overstays. The long queues, many in stinking hot conditions around the country at the moment, are putting Thai immigration staff, and the applicants, in a dangerous NON social distancing situation.

Be aware that the same requirements may not be required at every immigration office on every day as the situation remains fluid and immigration officials are working hard to process all the paperwork and adapt to the changes in rules.

“Indeed, we are requiring more documents than usual because there are those who want to exploit the opportunity. We are doing our best to provide the best service, but bearing in mind that national security is our utmost priority.”

The new rules were brought to public attention in a photo posted yesterday by longtime British expat Richard Barrow.

Onerous new document requirements for stranded foreigners announced | News by Thaiger

Apart from the usual TM7 application form, copies of passports, and applicants’ photos, the new rules require a certificate from their respective embassies, a copy of a rental contract, a document confirming their stay at the accommodation, a copy of the landlord’s ID card and house registration, and a map showing the location of their residence.

The landlord must accompany the applicant in person when submitting the documents (!!!??###!!!???) The applicant must also provide at least four photos of themselves at the accomodation, preferably showing the house or apartment number, to prove their residency.

The spokesman said these new regulations are “in accordance with immigration protocols.”

Speaking by phone, the spokesman also shot down news reports that the Cabinet has approved automatic visa extensions for foreign tourists.

“In fact, the matter is still being deliberated.”

Onerous new document requirements for stranded foreigners announced | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Khaosod English | Twitter/Richard Barrow

 

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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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