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Richard Barrow is dusting off his luggage in case he can’t renew visa

Anukul

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Richard Barrow is dusting off his luggage in case he can’t renew visa | The Thaiger
PHOTO: twitter.com/RichardBarrow
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Yesterday, Richard Barrow, a popular British blogger who has been living and working in Thailand for decades, says he had a surprise visit from the immigration bureau in regards to the renewal of his visa. Kapook reported the incident on their page saying that many Thai people admire the work he does for Thailand as a tourism and expat influencer.

Richard bemoaned on his Facebook page that “things didn’t look good” for an extension of his visa to stay in Thailand.

“Bangkok Immigration came to inspect my workplace. They were here for 3 hours. Looks like they will not extend my “visa”. They said I will probably have to leave the country. They will give me a final verdict next week.”

Social media has been full of speculation about Richard’s possible departure and assuming that it has something to do with his occasional swipes at Thai officialdom on his blogs. But Richard says none of that is true.

“I know a lot of people are speculating about the reasons with some crazy conspiracy theories. The Immigration officials gave me no indication that they were targeting me. I only passed last year because some influential people in government called the chief of Immigration.”

“In normal years, I would leave the country and come back with a tourist visa and start again. With the borders closed, my only option is to fly back to the UK. As I won’t have a Non-B visa, I cannot come back for months. Unfortunately, the family home in the UK is being sold.”

In the past few years Richard has had an annual wait to see if his application to stay would be approved. In the end he’s been able to pull in a few favours and make contact with leading officials to “sort things out”.

Richard has contacts at many levels of Thai society and is generally recognised as a ardent enthusiast about Thai life and is loyally followed by over 100,000 people on his Facebook page.

Apart from the fact Richard only promotes Bangkok Post articles, The Thaiger genuinely hopes that Richard is again able to sort out the paperwork and continue his many journeys and blogging around the Kingdom.

The Kapook article noted that Richard has been in Thailand for a long time without any problems. Some Thai social media speculation said the problems arose after he translated news of the student protests onto Twitter. But the general tone was that everyone is encouraging Richard and hoping he gets to stay in Thailand to continue doing what he loves, and does very well.

Richard Barrow is dusting off his luggage in case he can't renew visa | News by The ThaigerRichard Barrow is dusting off his luggage in case he can't renew visa | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Kapook

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 14, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Stay out of local politics. Expats forget it is not their country and are a visitor.

    • Avatar

      Latecomer

      August 30, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      Computer deparment of the elementary school in Samut Prakan now hiring inexperienced farang 50+, on a tourist visa, with limited knowledge of thai, for a highly paid, long term position

  2. Avatar

    murika

    August 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    it seem more easy for someone on a multiple tourist visa to get a ED or volunteer visa to stay than people with thai wife or husband, like me who’s been told to go back to my home country even if i have the money in the bank and all the paperwork, this logic tear apart families all over the country for no apparent reason, not being separated from our families should be a fundamental human right even in time of covid, this situation is hurting so many people right now and the gouvernement is more concern about buying vip planes than adressing this question

  3. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    August 15, 2020 at 12:32 am

    This complex Thai visa system doesn’t really help Thailand. It’s well known to the Thai authorities that the major economies of the world are not comparable to countries in the developing world, and making life difficult for “farang” is of no benefit for the Thai economy, Thai education and trade.

    It would be nice if Thai authorities made some reciprocal agreements with countries that Thai people enjoy many better conditions in than vice versa. There are about 40,000 Thai wives in the UK, all able to work on the basis of being married, and there’s no good reason for not reciprocating that. I’m sure the situation is similar for USA, Canada, Aus, NZ, and Western Europe, Japan and Korea, the countries that many Thais would like to study or work in or live in with their families. All this Alphabetti Spaghetti of visas for us is not fun for Thai immigration staff to deal with, and not fun for farang and their families.

    Why, in the 21st century, can we not get “Indefinite Leave to Remain” for marrying a Thai, and the right to work without jumping through bureaucratic hoops, when that spouse can get that in the UK and its equivalents in that list of other advanced countries. Farang create jobs for Thai people, we don’t steal jobs from them.

    • Avatar

      james

      August 15, 2020 at 4:33 am

      I suppose Thailand is worried about the marriage scams which happen in the UK where it is big business to pay someone just to marry them until they have the right to stay and then the fake marriage is dissolved.

      Plus a large number of women marrying farang men and go to the farangs country get divorced as soon as they have the residency visa.

      Thailand probably wishes to avoid this.

      I wish the UK was as sensible as Thailand is about this.

      The immigration laws are very clear in Thailand, pay your way or get lost, they do not want freeloaders.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 15, 2020 at 11:15 am

    The problem with turning someone out of the house is that they can come back at night and throw bricks through the windows.
    If Mr Barrow is turned out he can write what he really thinks about Thailand.
    Me being in Cambodia can, and I do.
    Which is the Thais are a nation of peasants that got lucky with foreign investment, and tourism, and now cannot hang onto this through sheer stupidity

    • Avatar

      james

      August 15, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Toby

      But you are not free to write anything About Cambodia eh?

      Well, there is nothing much to write about unless you wish to talk about absolute poverty, lack of education, and a lot further down the ‘peasant’ ladder than Thailand is.

      I think you will find Cambodians are sneaking into Thailand illegally to work and not the other way around.

      Enjoy your buffalo sandwich.

    • Avatar

      me

      August 15, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      toby, you need to get laid.

  5. Avatar

    Farang

    August 15, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Farang no pay, Farang no stay. Khao Jai Ai Kwai!

    • Avatar

      Phil

      August 15, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      Fake diploma or No diploma

  6. Avatar

    Frank

    August 15, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Anukul

    In your bio you might want to correct

    I a writer —- to —- I am a writer —- or —- I’m a writer

    Have a great day and keep smiling!

  7. Avatar

    Keith Fitzgerald

    August 18, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Barrow’s posts on his blog, Twitter, and Facebook are typically little more than exercises in unadulterated narcissism, with all the selfies and chatter about himself. And then there’s the fact that he’s doing loads of free advertising for various hotels and restaurants, who then give him free stays and meals, though he writes his stuff as if he just wandered into some joint and was warmly greeted by the owner, who kindly set him up in a first-class room and laid out an amazing meal for him, just because he’s such a great guy, as opposed to the obvious fact that it’s all quid pro quo.
    Another point: Barrow was going on for years about how he’s a long-time teacher at some school in Samut Prakan, but then, recently, he claims that he just works in the computer department.
    And why has he “normally” had to enter Thailand on a tourist visa if he’s been a school teacher?

    • Avatar

      Latecomer

      August 30, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      Exactly so. Nothing of real interest to read in any of his postings, except if you are first time visitor, older, preferably family man. Otherwise, it is boring beyond limits.
      On the other hand, his “computer department at the Samut Prakan school” is not convincing at all. Does it exist? Is it legal? Hiring farangs? What level of thai language required?

  8. Avatar

    Fog Breather

    August 27, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Who? What makes this guy think he can get on with a visa by some magical privilege? Tool.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Complete Thailand Travel Guide (September 2020)

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Complete Thailand Travel Guide (September 2020) | The Thaiger

Latest update – September 27. The Thaiger updates information about travelling to and re-entering Thailand. Depending on where you’re coming from, your purpose for visiting Thailand and your country’s own Covid-19 travel restrictions, the situation is changing daily. If you are overseas and wish to come to Thailand your FIRST port of call must be the Royal Thai Embassy in your country before you make any bookings.

Tell us about the new long stay ‘special tourist visa’, the STV.

Here are the strict basic requirements of the new STV…

• Foreign visitors will be required to have a Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before, departure

• They will have to buy Covid-19 health insurance

• Sign a letter of consent agreeing to comply with the Thai government’s Covid-19 measures

• Will be for a minimum 90 days (there have been some reports of a minimum 30 days), renewable twice, to a total of 20 days

• The visa will be limited to people from ‘low-risk’ countries although that list has not been announced

• Successful applicants will have to complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine at a state-registered quarantine/hotel

• STV travellers must travel by charter plane and every flight carrying them must receive permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or CCSA

The new 90 day special tourist visa would be able to be extended twice, for 90 days each time. So, a total of 270 days (around 9 months). It was also announced that travellers would have to arrive on charter flights only, further pushing up the price of potential travel back to Thailand.

“Visitors can arrive for tourism or health services, and they can stay at alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas or at hospitals that function as quarantine facilities. Our public health system is amongst the best in the world and people can have confidence in it.”

The new ‘STV’ (Special Tourist Visa) which will cost 2,000 baht and will last for 90 days each. The new visa regulation will be in effect until September 30, 2021 and may be extended beyond that time.

The government noted that it doesn’t have the ability to fully re-open to tourism at the moment as they have to be able to process incoming visitors and find approved locations for them to serve their 14 day quarantine.”The target is to welcome 100-300 visitors a week, or up to 1,200 people a month, and generate income of about 1 billion baht a month.”

Thai officials have also said they will only accept tourists from “low risk” countries, without specifying what those countries are.

On Friday, September 18, a director at the Department of Disease Control, said that foreign tourists will have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to travel.

The Thaiger will update the details of the new long stay tourist visa as soon as the become available.

The Special Tourist Visa will be formerly approved Monday. Read more HERE.

How is Thailand doing compared to the rest of the world with it’s re-opening to tourists?

The UN World Tourism Organisation has published its latest update on the state of the world’s re-openings in the Covid-era. 53% of the world’s tourist destinations have now started easing travel restrictions government’s imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The UNWTO reports acknowledges that many destinations “remain cautious” and some are even re-closing borders and tightening up restrictions again.

It’s the 7th edition of the “Covid-19 Related Travel Restrictions: A Global Review for Tourism”and identifies an ongoing global trend to gradually restart the world’s tourism machine. The report analyses restrictions by governments up to September 1. The research covers a total of 115 destinations (53% of all destinations worldwide) have now eased their travel restrictions – that’s an increase of 28 since 19 July. Of these, two have lifted all restrictions, while the remaining 113 continue to have certain restrictive measures in place.

• Another stand-out stat was that in advanced economies, 79% of tourism destinations had already started easing restrictions. In emerging economies, less than half, just 47% of destinations, have started the process.

• 64% of those destinations which have eased have a “high or medium dependence” on airlines to deliver international tourists to their location. Island destinations are particularly at risk at this time as the air lift is critical to their tourist success.

• 43% of all worldwide destinations continue to have their borders completely closed to all tourism, of which 27 destinations have had their borders “completely closed” for at least 7 months.

• Half of all destinations in the survey, with borders completely closed to tourism, are listed as being among the “World’s Most Vulnerable Countries”. They include 10 Small Island Developing States, one Least Developed Country and three Land-Locked Developing Countries.

Should I use a visa agent to extend my visa?

There are plenty of ads being posted at this time offering magic extensions to visas and opportunities to stay in Thailand after September 26. Please be aware that some of these alleged visa agents are scams. There are also plenty of good visa agents who will be able to provide you with advice and solutions, at a cost, allowing you to remain in the country.

If you do wish to contact a visa agent at this time make sure you get a referral from a friend, visit their office in person or ask plenty of questions and check their bonafides. Do not start sending money to accounts until you have seen some paperwork or evidence that they are able to provide you with a legal and professional service. Caveat emptor!

I had a retirement visa and have lived in Thailand for many years. When can I return?

Soon, it seems. The next batch of returnee categories is now being considered by the CCSA. This time, foreigners with permanent residences who have been stranded overseas for the past 6 months, and long-term foreign residents (retirement visa), will receive priority when the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announces the next date for the next phase of lifting the shutters on Thailand’s borders.

The chairman of the CCSA’s panel, who oversea the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, announced that the panel will recommend these two groups of foreigners back into Thailand “as they have high purchasing power”.

Both groups would still have to undergo the mandatory state-controlled 14 day quarantine. It’s under the quarantine that so many Thai repatriates have been found to have Covid-19 during the series of tests they undergo.

As of today there has been no official date announced for the commencement of this program.

If you believe you fall into either of these categories, contact your local Thai Embassy or consulate to discuss your circumstances BEFORE you purchase a ticket or make any other arrangements.

Is it safe in Thailand at the moment?

Yes. No less safe than usual and certainly there has been no civil unrest that would make you ponder your personal safety beyond the usual precautions you would take anywhere in the world. The current student protests are fairly limited and are publicised ahead of time so you can avoid those situations. Whilst there has been some outbursts against foreigners from a Thai politician and a few stressed-out locals, the situation for foreigners remains safe and secure at this time.

What happened to the Phuket Model?

It was a non-starter after the government encountered resistance from some in Phuket. It was also not well received by travellers and many in the local hospitality industry.

At this stage, a model to allow limited tourists to re-enter the country, on extended tourist visas, with some restrictions, is being hammered out by the CCSA in conjunction with the Public Health Department, TAT and Ministry of Sports and Tourism. It’s called the Special Tourist Visa and is aimed at high-wealth tourists with plenty of time, as the visa has a minimum 90 day stay requirement.

Are there any Facebook pages where I can share my story about wanting to come back to Thailand?

The ‘Love Is Not Tourism Thailand’ Facebook page, which includes families torn apart by the pandemic, is calling on the Thai government to help reunite their families.

“We’re asking the government to issue visas or allow entry for family members and lovers to reunite with each other for humanitarian reasons. Evidence such as a passport with an entry stamp into Thailand, photos, and text messages should be able to verify their unions.”

I have been stranded in Thailand since April. Now I have run out of money and don’t know what to do.

This is a really difficult situation and you’d be well advised to contact your friends and family, and advise them of your predicament. Also, you MUST contact your country’s embassy or consulate to alert them of the situation. They will at least have information about repatriating you to your home country or perhaps other options that may be available.

Just hoping your situation is going to improve won’t work. Get as much information as you can about your options. And hopefully your family or friends can send you some funds to tide you over during this crazy time. Chock dee krub!

The airlines are selling tickets to fly to Thailand now. Should I buy one?

No. Don’t buy a ticket for a flight to Thailand until you have ALL the paperwork required, have discussed your trip with your local embassy and you have been approved for travel. Why the airlines keep selling tickets, for flights that will be cancelled, is a mystery.

There are currently no plans to open Thailand’s borders for international tourism beyond proposals for a limited opening for tourism into Phuket called the Phuket Model. It was proposed to start in October but no decisions have been made.

Which leads us to the next question….

When will Thailand open its borders for international tourism?

Both the Civil Aviation Authority and a Deputy Governor from the TAT have stated that it is unlikely that the borders will be reopened for general tourism until 2021. But there is now the new Special Tourist Visa which allows tourists to visit for 90 days at a time (extendable twice for a total of 270 days), at a cost of 2,000 baht per application or extension. There are still quite draconian restrictions on the new visa, including the 14 day mandatory quarantine and lots of paperwork. Your starting point would be to contact your Royal Thai Embassy in your country.

Would a Thailand Elite Visa solve my problems?

Yes and no. The Elite Visa program is an excellent and convenient means of staying in Thailand with few problems, allowing you to avoid visits to Immigration and most of the paperwork. But it’s an expensive up-front costs and, for now, there is a 3-4 month waiting period to process new applications.

At this time, there is also a limit on the number of people, on various visas, they are allowing to re-enter Thailand each day. But if you have the cash, it’s definitely an option as people on the Thailand Elite Visa are currently allowed to re-enter the Kingdom.

Our flight has a transit stop in Thailand. Can we get off the plane and spend a day in Bangkok?

No. At this time all transits require passengers to remain on the plane. There may be some situations where they deplane passengers but you will be restricted to a section of the airport.

Can I get a job, get a new visa and stay in Thailand?

Maybe, possibly. Jobs for foreigners are thin on the ground at the moment. Outside of teaching English (there will always be jobs for English teachers in Thailand), most companies are cutting staff right now, rather than employing. You would need to secure a letter of offer from your new employer and visit you local immigration office to discuss the matter urgently, before September 26.

Can I fly back to my country and get a new Non B visa, and then return to Thailand?

In theory, yes. But it will take some good planning and a dose of luck for the plan to be successful. Theo did it… HERE’s the link to his story. You will certainly need to do a 14 day quarantine upon your return and the capricious nature of various embassy and immigration officials could make the many steps to get all the paperwork a nightmare.

What about other tropical holiday spots?

Island economies, dependent on tourism – from Bali in Indonesia, to Hawaii in the US – grapple with the pandemic, which has brought global travel to a virtual halt. World aviation has dropped by 97% (last month compared year-on-year). Re-opening to tourists has led to the resurgence of infection in some places like the Caribbean island of Aruba, and governments are fearful of striking the wrong balance between public health and economic reality. Even The Maldives, which confidently re-opened for tourism, has had a recent surge of new cases and forcing the government to rethink its plans.

Ibiza and the other popular Spanish party islands, are also devastated by the current Covid situation.

Can I travel to Thailand for medical Tourism?

Yes. Even though Thailand’s borders are still closed to most travel, including tourism, there are some select groups being allowed back into the Kingdom. Medical tourists are one of those groups but, for most countries, ONLY for urgent or emergency medical matters. Foreign medical tourists are now permitted to apply to come to Thailand for medical treatment with strict disease control measures being put in place.

BUT, and there’s always a ‘but’ at the moment, some countries will not permit its citizens to travel outside of their home countries, even for medical emergencies. In all cases, you would need to consult your local Royal Thai Embassy to find out if you are eligible, before you book a flight or sing a contract with a medical provider in Thailand.

Under the CCSA regulations, foreign medical and wellness tourists have to arrive by air to ensure effective disease control, not via land border checkpoints at this stage.

“Those seeking cosmetic surgery and infertility treatments will be allowed to enter the country. Those seeking Covid-19 treatment are barred.”

If you’d like to investigate coming to Thailand at this time, go to MyMediTravel to browse procedures and check out your options.

Spokesperson Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin says the visitors must have an appointment letter from a doctor in Thailand and entry certificates issued by Thai embassies across the globe. People wanting to visit Thailand for medical procedures at this time will need to contact the Thai Embassy in their country to organise the visa and paperwork. Thailand’s major hospitals will provide potential candidates with an appointment letter.

They will also need to produce proof that they tested negative for Covid-19 before their arrival. Once in Thailand they will be tested again and will required to stay at the medical facility for at least 14 days, during which they will be able to start their chosen treatments.

The CCSA says that medical procedures will only be allowed for foreigners at hospitals that have been registered to provide the treatments and have proven their ability to contain any potential outbreak. Potential patients will only be allowed to bring a total of 3 family members or caretakers during their visit to Thailand. Caretakers will have to go through the same screening procedures as the patient.

Embassies and participating hospitals will be able to provide more information about procedures, facilities, paperwork requirements and arrival options.

Again, MAKE SURE you consult the Royal Thai Embassy in your home country before proceeding with any medical tourism pans.

Are there any plans to extend the range of foreigners who can come into Thailand at this stage?

Two more categories are being currently considered for re-entry into Thailand – foreigners with permanent residences who have been stranded overseas for the past 6 months, and long-term foreign residents (retirement visa), will receive priority when the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announces the date for the next phase of re-opening.

Since Thailand’s experience with Covid-19, it has closed its borders to tourists and visitors, stranding both Thais and foreigners who want to return to the Kingdom. It also stranded up to 500,000 foreign visitors who are unable to leave Thailand due to the border closures or simply decided to wait out the peak of the pandemic here. Many of those have already flown back home on either specially organised repatriation flights or the handful of scheduled flights still leaving Bangkok.

Although restrictions are slowly being lifted, the new measures prioritise professionals, businesspeople and wellness travellers, rather than couples who aren’t legally married, including gay couples, and other types of non-immigrant visas.

People currently allowed back into Thailand include people holding a certificate of permanent residency, a current and valid work permit, those who have special arrangements with, or have been invited by the Thai government, and migrant workers. Holders of a Thailand Elite visa are also permitted under the current situation, although there is a cap on entry numbers under that program.

There’s also the Special Tourist Visa, which starts in October, which is aimed at high-wealth tourists but still has a long list of requirements, including a minimum 90 day stay.

Travel advice from the UK government

From 4 July, Thailand is exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

However, the requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from Thailand remains in place. See guidance on entering or returning to the UK.

The following advice within Thailand remains in place. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to areas within the provinces on the Thailand-Malaysia border, including…

  • Pattani
  • Yala
  • Narathiwat
  • Southern Songkhla province. This does not include areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom, and areas north-west of and including the train line which runs between Hat Yai and Pedang Besar.

Travel to Thailand is subject to entry restrictions.

  • At present only certain categories of foreign nationals are permitted to enter or transit Thailand.
  • If you’re eligible to enter, you will be subject to a 14-day state quarantine at a Thai government-designated facility at your own expense. If suspected of carrying Covid-19, you may be denied entry into the country
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Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review

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Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review | The Thaiger

A Koh Chang resort is fighting back and, reportedly, suing an American citizen after posting a nasty online review on TripAdvisor. After recently visiting the Sea View Resort on Trat province island in the Gulf of Thailand, American Wesley Barnes wrote an unflattering, almost bitchy, account of his stay prompting the owner to file an official complaint over the ‘unfair’ review. Barnes is accused of causing “damage to the hotel’s reputation” as well as fighting with hotel staff over refusing to pay a corkage fee for alcohol that he had brought into the hotel. Barnes’ review on TripAdvisor below, has got him in hot water with police.

Wesley B wrote a review Jul 2020…
Unfriendly staff and horrible restaurant manager
Unfriendly staff, no one ever smiles. They act like they don’t want anyone there. The restaurant manager was the worst. He is from the Czech Republic. He is extremely rude and impolite to guests. Find another place. There are plenty with nicer staff that are happy you are staying with them.
Date of stay: June 2020

Immigration police detained and arrested Barnes, who works and lives in Thailand, took him back to the island where he was later freed on bail. If convicted, Barnes could face up to 2 years in jail along with up to a 200,000 baht fine under current defamation laws.

Sea View Resort is located on Kai Bae Beach currently ranks 10th out of 85 properties on the island that have been reviewed on TripAdvisor. Out of 1,922 reviews, 1,090 rate the resort as excellent, 580 rate it as very good, 170 as average, 48 as poor and 32 as terrible.

They have published a reaction to the case, featured on Richard Barrow’s Facebook page…

Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review | News by The Thaiger

Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review | News by The Thaiger

Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review | News by The Thaiger

And then….

Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review | News by The Thaiger

Thailand’s defamation laws have often been used as weapons to silence people and are used by businesses and influential figures to intimidate detractors, sometimes over trivial matters.

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Today marks the ‘official’ end of tourist visa amnesty

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Today marks the ‘official’ end of tourist visa amnesty | The Thaiger

“Technically you will still be able to report to immigration and sort out your visa on Monday.”

And that, as they say, is that – the end of the twice-extended visa amnesty. Today is the official end of the Thai government’s visa amnesty for those staying in the country on tourist visas. The amnesty was originally given 6 months ago after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the closure of borders and suspended international flights. Despite calls for the government to extend the amnesty yet again from the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the government has not made any announcements that would allow those on tourist visas to stay in the country legally after today’s end date.

For those tourists still stranded in Thailand, they would have needed to provide a letter from their respective embassies that would provide proof that they are unable to travel out of the country by today’s date. Such reasons include medical, flight availability or the Covid situation remaining poor in their home countries. Those who have not provided a letter or have not sorted their visas by today’s date will reportedly face overstay fines of 500 baht per day with a maximum of 20,000 baht in total fines. Other repercussions include being arrested, imprisoned, deported and/or blacklisted from entering Thailand for certain periods that coincide with the amount of time overstayed.

The Royal Thai Immigration has warned numerous times of the approaching end date and what could happen to those who fail to fix their visas properly, however, some immigration centres are open today and/or extending the end date to Monday as the last chance to sort out visas. Such centres are located in Chiang Mai and other provinces, giving foreigners an extra day without receiving an overstay fine.

Today’s end date has some in disagreement over Thailand’s handling of the situation, with critics saying the hard line stance is set to turn off future tourists from the country as well as taking away the only income that some businesses are receiving during the battered economy. Such tourists who are staying for a long time need accommodations that undoubtedly help such businesses stay afloat when international tourists are unable to enter the kingdom.

Technically you will still be able to report to immigration and sort out your visa on Monday as today was meant to be a closed day, although many Immigration offices were open. At least the Chiang Mai Immigraiton office announced yesterday that it would tend to visa extensions and business on Monday, without penalty.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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