The Thai Government has approved a Visa extension for all foreigners currently stranded in the country until July 31, 2020, to help those who are unable to leave due to canceled and reduced flights as well as to encourage physical distancing by not having people come to Immigration offices.
The Pattaya News first reported this on our social media channels last night and have got a deluge of questions and mails. We wanted to answer the most frequently asked questions in an article for our readers. If you have further questions we encourage you to call the Immigration contact center at 1178, they will be able to answer more detailed questions as opposed to our staff.
Question: Who is this extension for?
Answer: Specifically, anyone whose visa expired after March 26th will be permitted to stay until July 31 with no extension needed and NO visit to Immigration. This covers ALL visa categories that were set to expire in this time period, not just tourist visas, according to the Immigration Department.
Question: What if my Visa expired before March 26/I had other issues/Overstay/Etc
Answer: For those who had a visa expire before March 26, you will need to visit Immigration directly. You can also call them first at 1178 and explain your situation. Overstay fees would still be applied to those in this category.
Question: Is there any fee for this?
Answer: No, unless your visa expired prior to March 26 and/or you were on previous overstay or in the country illegally.
Question: What about 90 day check ins?
Answer: There is no need to do a 90 day check in during this period, however, one can do so as usual if they choose online or in person at an Immigration office. You are not required to do so.
Question: What will happen on July 31?
Answer: This is an impossible question to answer, as the situation with Covid-19 could be dramatically improved-or worse-by this date. Stay tuned to notices and information from Immigration.
Question: I managed to get a flight home before July 31, do I need to inform Immigration or will I have a fine?
Answer: No. Simply leave as normal at the airport.
Question: I am in the process of applying for a family/business/retirement/marriage Visa do I have to wait until July 31?
Answer: Absolutely not. There should be significant less traffic at Immigration offices and these services will take place as normal. You should wear a mask and follow physical distancing rules. You will have a temperature check and required to use hand sanitizer on your visit.
Question: I am stuck in (Insert country here). I really need/want to come back to Thailand because (insert reason here). Can I have an exception, it is very important that I come back.
Answer: At this time, no, regardless of how important the reason is. This is one of the questions we have seen the most of. The only people currently allowed into the country is Thai citizens being repatriated to the country with a health certificate. They are also mandated to a fourteen day state quarantine upon arrival. There is currently a ban on all inbound passenger flights until May.
Question: Will the ban on inbound flights end in May?
Answer: The Thai Government has not made this decision yet. It is, however, regretfully likely to continue at least in the short term. Foreigners with work permits or married/children in Thailand would likely be the first category of non Thai Citizens allowed back in the country, but there is no date on when they would be. A state quarantine would likely still be required.
Question: I want to change my tourist visa to a work/family/marriage/education/retirement/etc. Visa from my current tourist visa and stay long term, what do I need to do?
Answer: You need to speak directly to Immigration or a Visa agent about this process. Please call the contact center at 1178 or contact a locally based Agent, such as Mots services or Tik Tok Services. We are not affiliated with either.
Question: I heard the Malaysia border is open, can I come in/leave through there?
Answer: It is only for Thai citizens being repatriated at this time. Some border checkpoints are opening and closing to allow out migrant workers from those countries to leave. However, they will not allow a non citizen to leave and enter, such as for those who wish to go to Cambodia, at this time.
For any further questions The Pattaya News encourages readers to call the Immigration Contact Center at 1178, there are speakers available who speak multiple languages such as Chinese, Russian and English.