Contrary to the historically last-minute announcements regarding visas for foreigners in Thailand during the pandemic, the Covid-19 visa has been extended nearly 2 weeks before its current July 29 expiration date. The new extension on the Covid-19 visa allowing foreigners to stay longer-term in the country will allow people to continue on this special visa type until September.
The Covid -19 visa was originally created to deal with the problem of foreigners who came to Thailand before the pandemic and then found themselves unable to travel home due to closed borders, flight cancellations, travel restrictions, or outbreaks in their home country. Many were stuck waiting for flight options to become available or restrictions at home to be lifted, so am amnesty was developed allowing foreigners to stay longer than the normal 30 or 60 day standards allowed by Thai immigration.
Many times throughout the pandemic the decision to extend the amnesty was delayed until just a few days before the program expired or even a day or two after it ended, resulting in millions of foreigners giving up and fleeing Thailand before they ended up in overstay. This time though, the announcement was made to extend the program to allow foreigners to apply for the Covid-19 visa until September 27.
The visa originally allowed extensions 30 days at a time, but has since been extended to 60 days each stamp. That means if someone applied on the last day of the newly extended program, they maximum someone could currently stay in Thailand is November 26.
The government hasn’t officially set any time limit about how long these Covid-19 visas will continue to be extended, and many expected them to continue indefinitely until the Covid-19 pandemic is completely handled.
Officials reminded that visa extensions can be requested up to 45 days before the current stamp’s expiration date, so there is no need to wait until the last minute and end up in long queues and crowds.
SOURCE: The Phuket News
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