Immigration spokesperson says visa amnesty unlikely to continue

12 Feb 2021

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Another offer of visa waiver is unlikely for foreigners living in or stuck in Thailand, an immigration spokesperson said Friday. The amnesty, which was renewed back in April, ends at the end of this month. 


Spokesman Col. Phakkhaphong Saiubon said when the global pandemic scenario starts to wind down, there is a need to "clean citizens out." The government granted mandatory stay extensions earlier this year just after hundreds of visitors queued up across the world at immigration centres. 


"There would most definitely not be an expansion. In that front all is silent. This has been a long time so we need to drive people out, "said Phakkaphong. "Thailand is now cooperative with the Thai Community. Every other nation has a visa amnesty so broad. 


Foreigners wanting to prolong their stay would also have to fly as far as the show hall Impact Muang Thong Thani from July 13 onwards; immigration offices would transfer there temporarily to maintain physical space, the spokesperson added. 

The amnesty, which was accepted by the government in April, allowed foreigners whose visas expire from March 26 to July 31 to remain in the Kingdom without asking for an extension at immigration bureaus. 

Following July 31, the over-stay fees as well as the conditions for recording for 90 days will restart because immigration failed to prolong the amnesty. Foreigners who want to remain in Thailand are required to extend their visas and 90-day records in advance. 


"I suggest that you do this during this month," said Phakkaphong. 


Foreigners who are reluctant or unwilling to extend their visas, or who are unable to leave due to flight restrictions, can seek to obtain an official letter from their respective embassies to allow them to remain. 


Otherwise, they should have been ordered to quit Thailand. 


"It depends on the available flights for you too," Phakkhapong said. "So if your embassy is not going to send a letter to you, then you would have to leave, because we can't do anything." 


Immigration officials wanted as many as nine different papers for visitors to prolong their stay by up to 30 days until the visa amnesty was issued. These contain land deeds, leasing arrangements and even visitors' selfies with their lodgings.


​Source Khaosodenglish