UPDATE: In a message sent to The Phuket News today, it was confirmed that the letters being issued support extensions to stay for any type of visa.
“The British Embassy can issue a letter to support applications to extend existing visas. Those holding a tourist visa should first apply for a 30-day extension at an Immigration Office,” said the notice issued on the Gov.uk website for the British Embassy in Thailand. (See here.)
The notice adds that to apply, email Bangkok.DocumentaryServices@fco.gov.uk with evidence of:
• Copy of biodata page of passport
• Entry stamp
• Visa stamp/sticker with expiry date
The move follows hundreds of foreigners presenting themselves at the main Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town yesterday (Mar 23) to extend their stays in Thailand. (See story here.)
The rush followed Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Udom Thongchin confirming on Friday that such letters were needed in order for immigration officials to issue visa extensions. (See story here.)
If the foreigner cannot obtain such a letter, Phuket Immigration were unable to help them, Lt Col Udom re-confirmed yesterday. (See story here.)
Lt Col Udom Thongchin told The Phuket News that his office has no authority in the matter. “Everything is up to the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok,” he said.
Lt Col Udom also confirmed that B500 a day fines are being levied on any people who remain in the country after their permits to stay have expired.