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Today marks the ‘official’ end of tourist visa amnesty

“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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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. I live in thailand on a marriage visa. This is just another example of the dichotomy iof rational thinking in Thailand. Which might in itself me an oximoron. Oh we need help our economy is crashing, we need tourists, but oh we will not faciliate foreigners stranded here to stay here and spend their money. Stupidity is the least one could say, madness is a more extreme statement, perhaps some would say Thailand? I would really like to understand what that means. Please help me

        1. They are able to formalize their stay – to expect to be able to remain in the country indefinitely without a visa is unreasonable – I know of many who are simply trying to exploit the system to extend their stay – they knew the rules when they stepped off the plane – gives all foreigners a bad name

  2. I suppose they do have to have a deadline at some point, I was very grateful for the ‘invisible’ tourist visa extensions to my 90-day tourist visa which meant I could stay until the end of August.

    Most of the valid tourists like me who after staying in Thailand for 7 months did leave before the deadline, there is no reason not to leave or apply for a new visa before the date.

    Flights are limited but are still there and can be easily be booked in the months of time we had to do so.

    So now the people who are trying to abuse the system including people who are not so-called ”farangs” can now be routed out and found and then deported.

    No country wants undesirables in their country.

  3. Your way of thinking looks like a Thai.

    “there is no reason not to leave” There are reasons, like flying during a Covid pandemy or an unsafe country to return to. Or maybe people just like to have a long holiday?

    “people who are trying to abuse the system” Why are people on holiday and spending money in Thailand abusing the system?

    “No country wants undesirables in their country.” Why are people on holiday undesirable?

    1. Mike

      Because not all people on visas there are farangs from rich counties with lots of money to spend, there must be a lot of people from the surrounding countries who are exploiting the system, in order to get rid of them they have to apply the rules to all foreigners otherwise they will be accused of racism.

    1. Magg, how about those who did not come by airplane. Many came by yacht and cannot leave and have no place to go as ports are closed in nearby countries. Plus ocean passages are dangerous now with the nasty SW Monsoon season. Today we had 50+ knot winds at Ao Chalong. So we are stuck here and continue to spend more money than we would in jail.
      How about those who came by land border crossings?

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9 Comments

  1. I live in thailand on a marriage visa. This is just another example of the dichotomy iof rational thinking in Thailand. Which might in itself me an oximoron. Oh we need help our economy is crashing, we need tourists, but oh we will not faciliate foreigners stranded here to stay here and spend their money. Stupidity is the least one could say, madness is a more extreme statement, perhaps some would say Thailand? I would really like to understand what that means. Please help me

        1. They are able to formalize their stay – to expect to be able to remain in the country indefinitely without a visa is unreasonable – I know of many who are simply trying to exploit the system to extend their stay – they knew the rules when they stepped off the plane – gives all foreigners a bad name

  2. I suppose they do have to have a deadline at some point, I was very grateful for the ‘invisible’ tourist visa extensions to my 90-day tourist visa which meant I could stay until the end of August.

    Most of the valid tourists like me who after staying in Thailand for 7 months did leave before the deadline, there is no reason not to leave or apply for a new visa before the date.

    Flights are limited but are still there and can be easily be booked in the months of time we had to do so.

    So now the people who are trying to abuse the system including people who are not so-called ”farangs” can now be routed out and found and then deported.

    No country wants undesirables in their country.

  3. Your way of thinking looks like a Thai.

    “there is no reason not to leave” There are reasons, like flying during a Covid pandemy or an unsafe country to return to. Or maybe people just like to have a long holiday?

    “people who are trying to abuse the system” Why are people on holiday and spending money in Thailand abusing the system?

    “No country wants undesirables in their country.” Why are people on holiday undesirable?

    1. Mike

      Because not all people on visas there are farangs from rich counties with lots of money to spend, there must be a lot of people from the surrounding countries who are exploiting the system, in order to get rid of them they have to apply the rules to all foreigners otherwise they will be accused of racism.

    1. Magg, how about those who did not come by airplane. Many came by yacht and cannot leave and have no place to go as ports are closed in nearby countries. Plus ocean passages are dangerous now with the nasty SW Monsoon season. Today we had 50+ knot winds at Ao Chalong. So we are stuck here and continue to spend more money than we would in jail.
      How about those who came by land border crossings?

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