UPDATE: ’Inspector Joe’ at Phuket Immigration has confirmed that extensions to COVID visas are dated from the date the current ’visa’ is set to expire -- not the date that the foreigner applies for the extension.
The so-called ‘COVID visa’ was launched amid the pandemic last year so foreigners stuck in Thailand can stay in the country until they choose to go home or more options to fly home become available.
The ‘visa’, initially launched to allow stays of 30 days, now allows foreigners to stay for 60 days at a time, but still forcing foreigners to renew their ‘visa’ every two months at a cost of B1,900.
An announcement posted by the Phuket Immigration Office yesterday explained, “Short term visa extension for the reason of COVID-19 pandemic, an alien can submit an application until 27 September 2021. Each permission will be granted for a period not exceeding 60 days.”
An officer at Phuket Immigration who asked not be named, but asked to be referred to as “Inspector Joe”, told The Phuket News, “The infographic is just to announce that the COVID visa extension will open further to September 27, as the previous announcement explained that the visa extension would be open only until July.”
Asked whether Phuket Immigration had been informed how long the ‘COVID visa’ extensions would continue to be offered, Inspector Joe said, “I think they will further extend [allowing COVID visa extensions to stay] for as long as the COVID-19 pandemic is still happening and has not been resolved.”
Inspector Joe urged foreigners to not leave it until the last minute to renew their permits to stay under the ‘COVID visa’, in order to avoid crowds and long queues at the immigration offices on the island.
“Foreigners can come to immigration offices to extend their visa early within 45 days before the expiry date, so please come early to avoid congestion and rush,” he said.
Of note, Phuket Immigration opened a new office at Blue Tree Phuket in Cherng Talay in May to provide services to foreigners living in the north of the island to help alleviate crowds and delays at the main immigration office in Phuket Town.