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Visa - Embassies might give visa letters on a case by case basis

7 Sep 2020

It is now thought that up to 500,000 foreigners were part of the Thai government's visa amnesty that was introduced in April for foreigners on both tourist and other visas who were stuck in Thailand and unable to leave. Aircraft had been grounded around the world and at the time Thailand was closing its borders. Six months later, and after 2 extensions, on September 26, the visa amnesty is set to end. 


In the past, it was automatically rolled over if your visa lapsed during the amnesty. But as travel restrictions slowly ease Thai Immigration has said it's unlikely that the amnesty will be extended again. 

They said those without valid visas must leave Thailand or submit an extension application that would be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is now estimated that there are fewer than 100,000 remaining foreigners in the Kingdom who are here on lapsed visas. 


The Department of Immigration has signalled 2 groups which would be allowed to extend their visas.

In both cases, the 30-day extension for the visa processing fee would cost 1,900 baht. Thai cabinet had approved the exemptions. 


• Foreigners too ill to travel and not fit to fly (requiring a medical certificate), or ... 

• Foreigners who are unable to travel for other reasons, flight problems, etc. (requiring a letter of explanation and requesting their embassy or consulate to be extended). 


The embassies of the Americans, the British and Australians have all said they will provide the letters on request. Earlier in all cases, the embassies refused to provide the letters of request but have since relented to acknowledge the problems of travelling back to their country at this time, although some flights are available for emergency travel. 


A new 90-day, the non-immigrant visa could be another option for post-September 26 visas. To arrange for you, you would need to discuss this with your local immigration office or consult a qualified and professional visa agent. It is likely that getting a visa through an agent will cost you between 25,000-75,000 baht. 


At this time, there are plenty of ads being posted offering magic visa extensions and opportunities to stay in Thailand after September 26. Please be aware that some of these presumed visa officers are scams.

There will be some foreigners, fearful of the looming September 26 deadline for visas, who fall between the cracks and are either unable to find the cash to organise a new visa or afford to fly home, often at highly inflated airfares. You'll need to address the situation at some stage and speak with an immigration official to sort out your options – the sooner the better. Alternatively, contact your Embassy or Consulate, ensure that they at least know how to get in touch with you and find out about possible flights to repatriate. 


If under your current visa, you are required to 90-day reports to immigration, you are now required to bring this up to date (before or on August 31). You could be subject to a fine of 2,000 baht or more if you haven't done your 90 reporting by now.

Source Thaiger