Thai Government in “discussions” about an estimated 500,000 tourists who may be stranded in Thailand and forced to go on overstay if they cannot extend their visa


The Thai Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, has confirmed that the Thai Government is in discussions about what to do about an estimated 500,000 tourists stranded in the country by the coronavirus situation and who may be facing going on overstay if a reasonable option is not brought up.

With many countries having or going to lockdown their borders options for tourists to go home or go on a visa run, even for things like an education visa, are becoming less by the day.

The discussions will be taking place between the Tourism Ministry, The Interior Ministry and the Immigration Bureau.

A timetable for the discussions and an answer was not given, however, it is clear that the situation is on a limited timeframe before people begin to become heavily affected.

The Tourism Minister also said that during this situation many of the tourists here can stay and help the local economy while essentially trapped in the country. Many tourists from Europe, Russia, Germany and America have said they prefer to ride out the situation here, where, so far, there is little to no panic buying or similar behavior and no lockdowns or stay in place measures along with more temperate weather.

The issue overall is a sensitive one however and Immigration Authorities have made it clear that it has security concerns.

It is hoped that further communication on this issue will come forth early next week as hundreds of thousands of foreigners worry about what they will do when their visa runs out.

In Pattaya, local Immigration officials told The Pattaya News that they have to follow the current rules that are in place as no new rules or exceptions have been introduced at this time. However, they anticipate getting new instructions shortly and are issuing extensions that they are currently able to do under current rules. Immigration officials also encouraged foreigners here to be open and work with them during the difficult situation and that they understood this was a stressful time for all.


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Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: