Immigration launches hospital visa service

PHUKET: The Phuket Immigration Office (PIO) has launched a new free visa extension service for foreigners in hospital.

Pol Capt Krissarat Nusen of Phuket Immigration Office told the Gazette that the new service, launched a few days ago, covers only genuine inpatients, who must get the hospital to contact the PIO at least one day in advance of the expiry of their current visa.

“We will check first with the hospital that the patient really cannot visit the PIO. If that is the case, then the next day officers will go to the hospital.

“We are offering this service because, in the past, when sick people authorized someone else to extend the visa on their behalf, documents or signatures were often missing. If we go to the hospital it will make it easier to complete the procedure,” Capt Krissarat said.

“But I want to stress that this is for people who are seriously ill, or who cannot move, for example, after having an operation.

“We served the first such person last week when the Mission Hospital contacted us about a patient who had a bacterial infection and could not walk,” he added.

He also issued a reminder to those staying in Phuket on visa extensions that they must report to the PIO every 90 days, and added a warning that all information on foreigners living in Phuket is now being computerized.

“The new system will be complete by February, after which we will be able to access all details on every foreign resident, to see whether they are following the immigration rules or not.”

Phuket News
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