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Deadline to apply for “Covid” visa extension July 29; office closures

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Stock photo via Thai Embassy

The deadline to apply for a 60-day special “Covid” visa extension is July 29, but many should apply at least a week prior as Immigration offices will be closed for public holidays during the last week of the month. Immigration offices in expat-dense areas tend to get packed during the days leading up to the deadlines.

The special visa extension is intended for foreigners who cannot leave Thailand due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The extension is somewhat of an alternative to so-called “border runs” since people cannot easily leave the country and re-enter on a new visa.

The extension costs 1,900 baht and can be granted if…

  • A foreigner cannot return to their home country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • There are no return flights available.
  • The foreigner has a letter from their embassy requesting a temporary stay.

The Thai Immigration Bureau has pushed the deadline to apply for the extension back several times, usually making the announcements at the last minute. The bureau is likely to push the deadline back by another couple of months given the current situation with limited international flights and Covid-19 still on the rise around the world. There has been no announcement yet about pushing back the deadline.

Foreigners who are on visas with an end date approaching should visit their local immigration office before the visa expires to avoid overstay charges.

Office closures… 

Monday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 28 are reserved for Buddhist holidays and to honour HM the King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua’s Birthday. The Thai government initially set Tuesday, July 27 as an extra holiday to promote travel and boost the economy, but with the recent surge of Covid-19 cases, the Cabinet cancelled the special holiday.

Procedures can vary depending on the immigration office. Check with your local immigration office prior to the deadline.

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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