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In reversal, Australian embassy will provide visa extension letters

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Australia's ambassador to Thailand Allan McKinnon gives his daily video address - Facebook

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. Both the US and British embassies announced that their citizens in Thailand will have to decide “whether to stay or go,” and that such letters will “no longer be possible.” But at least one country is bucking the trend.

Immigration officials estimate that between 300,000 – 400,000 foreigners are stranded in Thailand due to the lockdowns and closing of borders.

Australia’s ambassador to Thailand has confirmed that the Australian Embassy in Bangkok is now providing letters to help Australian nationals seeking to extend their visas. Allan McKinnon made the announcement in a video Facebook post.

The Australian Consul-General to Phuket also told The Phuket News that the Australian Embassy and Consulate-General in Phuket will be issuing visa letters to Australians who require them.

“While there has been no announcement on the future of the visa amnesty to date, we understand many people have gone to Immigration to extend their existing visas (or to convert their visas) ahead of the deadline. Furthermore many have been informed that they require a letter from their embassy to do this.”

“Above all its our intent to ensure that we are not an obstacle in this process. As a result, we will be issuing letters (at no fee and via email) to those Australians who send their passport biodata page to consular.bangkok@dfat.gov.au. People should expect a reply within 1 – 2 working days.”

“We are in regular contact with Immigration authorities and we will ensure that when we have official news it is conveyed through our regular announcements on our Australia in Thailand Facebook page.”

“I know previously we said that we would not sign these letters. That was at a time when we were trying to encourage everyone to leave Thailand, but now we can see that it is very hard to leave and we are happy to provide those letters.

“Should you require such a letter please email consular.bangkok@dfat.gov.au with a copy of the biodata page of your passport. The team here will email your visa extension letter within a couple of days.

“There is also no fee for this service. The letter will be sent by email and no physical copies will be provided.”

The Ambassador also provided information about extremely limited flights into Australia and some possible repatriation flights coming up in the next few weeks. The Australian government is severely restricting flights in and out of Australia at this stage.

In reversal, Australian embassy will provide visa extension letters | News by Thaiger

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Phuket News | Facebook

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 11:04 am

    What does the Australian embassy want medals?
    They are paid by the citizens of Australia. They should provide what citizens in distress abroad want, not look for excuses to do nothing and have an easy life abroad on Australian wages in a cheaper country.

  2. Avatar

    Sam

    Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I just spent 10 days and countless emails, trying to get a “letter” from the Aust embassy.

    They wanted documents that were either impossible to provide or just silly.
    They wanted proof of an airline ticket booked to return home.

    It’s hard to book a ticket If the Aust govt is stopping all flights into your state.

    It becomes impossible to book a ticket with any airlines.
    If those airlines stop taking bookings due to a backlog of passengers on waitlist.

    The Aust embassy website confirms the airlines have stopped taking bookings.

    Yet they still kept refusing to issue a letter until I booked a ticket back to Aust.

    In one email they still refused to issue me a letter, instead suggesting I go to another country if I could not book a ticket to Aust.

    I was surprised at the lack of help and how difficult the embassy made it.

  3. Avatar

    https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/U/devinalaurentjia

    Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    It’s truly very complicated in this active life to listen news
    on TV, therefore I just use web for that purpose, and take the hottest information.

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Monks gather for a special ceremony in Pattaya to pray Covid-19 away

Tanutam Thawan

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Hands placed together in the “wai” position and seated in chairs placed a safe “social distance” apart, monks in Pattaya gathered together at a local temple for a special ceremony to pray Covid-19 away.

The Wat Chai by the Pattaya Walking Street was given special permission to hold the event where dozens of monks from other temples in the area came together to pray. To prevent the spread of Covid-19 at the ritual, monks wore face masks, practised social distancing, used hand sanitiser and had their body temperature checked.

The monks chanted several mantras and performed rituals that they believe will help slow the spread of Covid-19 in Chon Buri and help the local economy recover.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Lampang province sets example for vaccine registration

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Vaccine hesitancy is hampering Thailand's quest for herd immunity. (via Pixnio/Freepix)

Vaccine hesitancy is proving to be a big problem in the quest to reach herd immunity and reopen Thailand, but Lampang province has outdone all the others in jab registration. In the northern province with just 740,000 people, nearly 224,000 have already registered for their Covid-19 vaccine, a number only topped by Bangkok’s 7 million residents registering just over 500,000 appointments. In fact, Nontha Buri is third-ranked with less than a quarter of the number of registered vaccine appointment that Lampang has, and only 22 of Thailand’s 77 provinces registered more than 10,000 people.

The low registration numbers is a disappointing setback in Thailand rush to achieve a 70% vaccinated population necessary for reaching herd immunity. The figures show that the public is either distrustful of vaccines or disinterested in being vaccinated to help reopen the country.

The chief medical officer for Lampang credits their success to a vaccine rollout that started with public health officials and health volunteers, and then progressed to their relatives and then on to the public. Along with the health officials and their families, the jabs were given to retired civil servants to send out the message that while occasional side effects may occur, they were rare and local medical facilities were prepared to address any negative reaction to vaccines.

The vaccinated medical personnel were able to reach out and educate residents and show that they personally experienced no negative side effects from being vaccinated. This education and awareness plan has been ongoing for several months in the province with door-knocking in neighbourhoods to reassure people and help them book vaccine appointment. Lampang also took proactive steps online by launching their own Lampang Prom system that was later dovetailed into the national Mor Prom Line account in order to sidestep rollout snafus.

The vaccine messaging was further bolstered by a 10 line call centre to help people make their appointments online. Divisions of the hospital that were underused due to Covid-19 like social medicine, dental, rehabilitation, and PR were able to provide staffing for the call centre from 8 am to midnight.

This preparedness and education of residents have served Lampang well, and it is hoped that other provinces learn from their example and start getting the Thai population registered to vaccinate Thailand’s way to herd immunity.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Bangkok

Protest leader tests positive for Covid-19 a week after being released from jail

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul

A pro-democracy movement leader has tested positive for Covid-19 after she spent 8 weeks in jail awaiting a trial on lese majeste charges which prohibit statements that insult or defame the Thai Monarchy. 2 other protest leaders facing similar charges have tested positive for Covid-19 while in court detention.

After being released from the Central Women’s Correctional Institution on May 6, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul spent most of her time at home. She went to a drive-through Covid-19 testing venue on May 10. She went by the Bangkok Remand Prison the next day for the release of 2 other protest leaders, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Chai-amorn Kaewwiboonpan. Rung has now been admitted to the Thammasat University Hospital in Pathum Thani for treatment.

Rung says had been denied an earlier Covid-19 test because she did not have some of the symptoms of the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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