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Foreign embassies stop issuing visa extension letters

Jack Burton

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A number of embassies in Bangkok are saying that they won’t issue any further visa extension letters for their citizens when Thailand’s visa amnesty expires on July 31. An announcement published last week by the US embassy said American citizens residing in Thailand will have to decide whether to stay or leave, as it will no longer provide extension of stay requests for its citizens. The letter is mandatory for most foreigners who wish to extend their stay for another 30 days.

“US citizens have between now and July 31, 2020, to either return to the US or their country of permanent residence or to obtain the appropriate visa type for a long-term stay in Thailand. The US embassy is unable to give advice on individual visa issues. Please refer specific visa questions directly to immigration. “

The British Embassy in Bangkok also said on its website that requests for visa extension letters will not be possible.

According to a Facebook post concerning Canadian citizens…

“We have just checked with the immigration office in Chiang Mai and were told that foreigners who wish to stay longer in Thailand and apply for an extension (as usual) of their 30 days visa or tourist visa by end of this month will only be granted another 7 days allowance of stay with a stamp on their passports and then they have to leave the country. No further extension will be allowed and the letter from Embassy or Consulate will neither be considered for a further extension request.”

The amnesty, approved by the government in April, allowed foreigners, whose temporary visas expired between March 26 to July 31, to remain in the country without the need of applying for an extension at immigration offices.

A Thai Immigration spokesman reiterated yesterday that another round of amnesty extension is “unlikely.” He recommended foreigners whose respective embassies refuse to issue the required papers leave the country before July 31 to avoid being fined or arrested.

Under Thai Immigration rules, foreign tourists and travellers who found themselves stranded in Thailand without relevant visas earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, need the letters if they wish to extend their stay in the Kingdom after the amnesty expires.

“Thailand has shown enough leniency for foreigners. It’s been nearly 4 months already. If you have a letter, you’re good to stay, but if you can’t get one, then there’s not much we can do.”

The spokesman from the US Embassy declined to comment on the motive behind the embassies’ decision to stop providing extension letters.

“It’s up to them and Thailand has nothing to do with it. If a foreign embassy refuses to provide the service to its citizens, no one else can. We have done our best to help foreigners. “

Overstay fines and the 90 day reporting requirements will resume after July 31 should the government decide not to extend the amnesty.

Foreign embassies stop issuing visa extension letters | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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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.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    mr sparky

    July 15, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    come on home my peoples! hurry, come on back where you belong, hurry my people cone home!

    • Avatar

      Gazmo

      July 15, 2020 at 5:13 pm

      And having survived the Pandemic in Asia you may not be so lucky when you return home. I for one would rather be in Thailand than in the UK right now.

  2. Avatar

    gosport

    July 15, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Cast away.

  3. Avatar

    John Williams

    July 15, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    There is a mistake of fact in the declaration that you report from the Immigration Department: “Thailand has shown enough leniency already. It’s [the amnesty] been nearly 4 months already”, unless that declaration applied to a particular case and not in general to those under the visa amnesty.

    There is a number of foreign visitors with short-term visas who entered Thailand with a 90-day visa. For them there has not been any extension of 4 months or even 3 months.

    • Avatar

      Louie

      July 15, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      Yes, I’m one of those people with multiple entry visa. (6months) Originally expired on July 2nd. So technically I’ve only been exempt for 30days. I’m going to Phuket immigration next week and see if they allowed me for another 30days . I paid a hefty fee for that multiple entry visa before coming. So I’m holding they can at least extent one more month for me ..

    • Avatar

      Zeke

      July 16, 2020 at 7:48 am

      They were stupid to travel there at that point. Had they never heard of covid and associated travel restrictions? They were trapped there by choice. Time to go home.

    • Avatar

      Mattia

      July 16, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      This is my problem,Government had never been clear, everyone always spoke of visa extension, but the amnesty referrred only to sanctions concerned with overstay. I am in fact in the situation which after 31 july I cannot extend any further because my tourist visa expired on 15 april, at Phuket immigration thay assume I already “enjìoyed” the two allowed 30 days extension, and cannot extend or change visa because it expired on 15th april. Is this a Joke? If government extended visa up to 31st july why I cannot now change my tourist visa into a marriage visa within the date?We were mandatorily stranded due to flight unavailability. Today I am still waiting to come back with the Airline I came with but I have to buy a new ticket with another airline although international flight are still under Government restrictions and certainly we are now forced to leave amid absolute unfair and expensive services

  4. Avatar

    Anh Lam

    July 15, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Booo Huuu Huuu, thats the way it is. Its really up to tbe individual to keep up with Thai Immigration policy. You all had 4 months, OMG, wake up, the partying is over! Time to meet the reaper…

  5. Avatar

    Stan Ederthal

    July 15, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Better let the thais enjoy with the rest of the Asian group.

  6. Avatar

    Stephen Haigh

    July 16, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Good luck finding a flight out of Thailand at the moment

  7. Avatar

    Worried

    July 16, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Better to be arrested and stay in Thai jail than to return to a country of lunatics spreading Covid everywhere.
    If allowed to stay we are spending money into the Thai economy that they will lose if they choose to jail us or kick us out.

  8. Avatar

    David Vallaire

    July 18, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Contact Senators and Congressman in the U.S. They will put pressure on the embassies not matter where they to provide extension letters.

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