Foreigner exodus from Thailand expected as visa amnesty ends

Foreigners queue at Bangkok immigration

The visa amnesty for foreigners stranded in Thailand because of coronavirus lockdowns is likely to end on July 31, with close to 400.000 stuck tourists and business people having to leave the country on the few available flights, local media reported.

The amnesty, approved by the Thai government in April, allowed foreigners whose temporary visas expired between March 26 to July 31, to remain in the country without the need of applying for an extension at immigration offices.

While Thai immigration has still made no official statement on the pressing issue of an amnesty extension, a number of embassies in Bangkok have said that they will not issue any further mandatory visa extension letters for their citizens after July 31.

An announcement by the US embassy said US citizens residing in Thailand will have to decide whether to stay or leave, as it will no longer provide extension of stay requests for its citizens. The letter is mandatory for most foreigners who wish to extend their stay for another 30 days.

The British and Canadian embassies said basically the same.

A Thai immigration spokesman reiterated towards Khaosod newspaper that another round of amnesty extension was “unlikely.” He recommended foreigners whose respective embassies refuse to issue the required papers leave the country before July 31 to avoid being fined for overstay or even arrested and deported, noting that Thailand had shown “enough leniency for foreigners” with more than three months of visa amnesty.

Due to the unclear situation, foreigners with expiring visas have been recommended to make reservation for flights as soon as possible.

Update: The Thai immigration office on July 17 said that the visa amnesty will in fact end on July 31 but that stranded foreigners who are “unable” to leave the country can apply for a visa extension until September 26 at the latest, but they need to supply proof that there are no flights or that lockdown measures in their countries are maintained and the visa extension would be made on a case-by-case basis.

Foreigners queue at Bangkok immigration The visa amnesty for foreigners stranded in Thailand because of coronavirus lockdowns is likely to end on July 31, with close to 400.000 stuck tourists and business people having to leave the country on the few available flights, local media reported. The amnesty, approved by the Thai government in April, allowed foreigners whose temporary visas expired between March 26 to July 31, to remain in the country without the need of applying for an extension at immigration offices. While Thai immigration has still made no official statement on the pressing issue of an amnesty extension,...

Foreigners queue at Bangkok immigration

The visa amnesty for foreigners stranded in Thailand because of coronavirus lockdowns is likely to end on July 31, with close to 400.000 stuck tourists and business people having to leave the country on the few available flights, local media reported.

The amnesty, approved by the Thai government in April, allowed foreigners whose temporary visas expired between March 26 to July 31, to remain in the country without the need of applying for an extension at immigration offices.

While Thai immigration has still made no official statement on the pressing issue of an amnesty extension, a number of embassies in Bangkok have said that they will not issue any further mandatory visa extension letters for their citizens after July 31.

An announcement by the US embassy said US citizens residing in Thailand will have to decide whether to stay or leave, as it will no longer provide extension of stay requests for its citizens. The letter is mandatory for most foreigners who wish to extend their stay for another 30 days.

The British and Canadian embassies said basically the same.

A Thai immigration spokesman reiterated towards Khaosod newspaper that another round of amnesty extension was “unlikely.” He recommended foreigners whose respective embassies refuse to issue the required papers leave the country before July 31 to avoid being fined for overstay or even arrested and deported, noting that Thailand had shown “enough leniency for foreigners” with more than three months of visa amnesty.

Due to the unclear situation, foreigners with expiring visas have been recommended to make reservation for flights as soon as possible.

Update: The Thai immigration office on July 17 said that the visa amnesty will in fact end on July 31 but that stranded foreigners who are “unable” to leave the country can apply for a visa extension until September 26 at the latest, but they need to supply proof that there are no flights or that lockdown measures in their countries are maintained and the visa extension would be made on a case-by-case basis.

2 COMMENTS

  1. That’s exactly what the third paragraph says. Please do some reading before commenting.

  2. Fake News. There is no official announcement as of yet if there will or will not be an extension of visa amnesty.

    Please do some real journalism before posting.

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