Hot NewsPhuketTourism

Over 7,000 Russians in Phuket apply for visa extensions

Over 7,000 Russians in Phuket are applying for visa extensions in a bid to stay in Thailand. Local immigration chief, Thanet Sukchai, says the great weather is one factor in their attempts to stay.

“Phuket is a nice place to visit with delicious food and good weather. As word has spread about the island, Russian tourists keep coming to the province.”

“Many obtain visas to stay on the island for three months or not more than 90 days. There are also Russian business operators holding business visas. Russian nationals stay mostly in tambon Rawai and tambon Chalong.”

According to the Bangkok Post, Thanet says 7,596 Russian nationals are seeking to extend their stays, mostly in Muang, Thalang, and Kathu districts.

An average of 300,000 foreigners enter the island per month, with that number continuing to rise in lieu of the Covid-19 pandemic being considered mostly over.

As Russians hold the top spot in tourism numbers to Phuket, India, Kazakhstan, England, and Australia visitors follow. Thanet says 31,128 foreign nationals are seeking to extend their stay in Phuket.

He says immigration police have adjusted to the influx of foreign visitors, launching a so-called “white accommodation” project. The project features crime and drug-free accommodation to ensure the safety of foreigners and residents.

Vice president of the Phuket Tourism Association, Thanawat Ongcharoen, says most of the Russian visitors are staying in hotels. But, he says others rent houses, with owners being mandated to report their stay to immigration officers as per Thailand law.

Thailand’s Real Estate Information Centre (REIC) reported that Russian citizens own nearly 40% of foreign-owned condominiums in Phuket, worth a collective 880 million baht (US$25).

In Phuket, Russians have overtaken the Chinese as the No.1 condo buyer.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 last year, Thailand has become a refuge for Russian citizens, as reported by Al Jazeera.

The number of Russians in Thailand, especially in Phuket, has increased. From November last year to January 21 of this year, Phuket International Airport reported 233,000 Russian arrivals.

Thaiger deals

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.