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Phuket Immigration agrees to change visa types, issue extensions

Phuket Immigration agrees to change visa types, issue extensions

PHUKET: Phuket Immigration is urging all foreigners who have been refused an extension to stay or have their visa status changed to a Non-immigrant B (‘Non-imm B’), which will allow them to work in the country, to apply for their extensions by end of government office hours on Monday (Nov 2). No fines will be charged for filing the late applications.

immigration
By The Phuket News

Friday 30 October 2020, 01:18PM


The move is to prevent foreigners from having to leave the country in order to obtain the correct visa to work in Thailand.

The appeal follows The Phuket News being informed that many teachers in Phuket have had their applications refused to change visa types from a tourist visa to “Non-imm B” so they could be hired to work as a teacher.

The Phuket News had also been informed that Phuket Immigration had refused to accept applications to extend permits to stay for teachers who had already entered the country on a Non-imm B visa.

The reason given by Phuket Immigration officers to the foreigners for refusing to accept their applications was that the foreigners had a ‘visa amnesty extension’ stamp put in their passports by immigration allowing them to stay in the country under the visa amnesty, which will expire tomorrow (Oct 31).

Phuket Immigration officers told the foreigners that the ‘visa amnesty stamp’ had made their previous visa “null and void” – and that in order to get a new Non-imm B visa, the foreigner must leave the country to obtain the visa from an embassy and then come back.

This was despite The Phuket News having obtained a copy of an internal order by Royal Thai Police Pol Deputy Commissioner Gen Suwat Chaengyodsuk to the Ministry of Education on Sept 16 explaining that immigration officers around the country would convert tourist visas to Non-imm B visas so that foreigners may start work as teachers, and that Non-imm B visas – and any other kinds of visas – would be extended so that foreigners would not have to leave the country.

Of note, the National Police Policy Board, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, agreed unanimously on Aug 28 to promote Pol Gen Suwat to become the new national police chief, replacing Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda. Gen Suwat’s promotion was to be effective Oct 1, pending royal endorsement.

“I have never seen this document,” Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Udom Thongchin told The Phuket News this morning (Oct 30).

Asked why a Phuket Immigration officer would refuse to accept an application to change visa status or refuse to accept an application to extend a permit to stay simply because of the ‘visa amnesty stamp’, Lt Col Udom was silent.

CMI - Thailand

Regardless, Lt Col Udom urged any foreigners who had been told they must leave the country in order to obtain a new visa so that they could continue their stay in Thailand – and most importantly to work in Thailand – to file their applications as soon as possible.

“We will abide by the conditions set out in the document [the notice issued by  Gen Suwat],” Lt Col Udom said.

“All foreigners have been allowed to stay in the country on visa amnesty, and this includes those on Non Immigration B visas. If that is the visa they entered the country on, that is the same visa they will be allowed to extend their stay on,” he said. 

“But to have their applications accepted and approved, the foreigners must present all the documents required,” Lt Col Udom cautioned.

“If they file their applications on Monday, there will be no penalty fines issued,” he said

“Please do this on Monday. If they file their applications on Tuesday or later, they will be fined for overstay from Sunday [Nov 1],” Lt Col Udom warned.

The Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town will close at 4:30pm today (Oct 30).

The office will not be open tomorrow, the last day of the visa amnesty (Oct 31).

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Friedrich | 31 October 2020 - 20:17:06

2. There was no 'amnesty' in Thailand. For an amnesty you have to fail and face a punishment. This punishment may be reduced or set out by an amnesty.
In our case the government allowed the foreigners to stay longer due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 measures. This is a special allowance granted in the immigration act.

Friedrich | 31 October 2020 - 20:11:51

"Phuket Immigration officers told the foreigners that the ‘visa amnesty stamp’ had made their previous visa “null and void” – and that in order to get a new Non-imm B visa, the foreigner must leave the country to obtain the visa from an embassy and then come back."
That's wrong.
1. The foreigners still stay here due to their initial visa. There is nothing in the law to su...

CaptainJack69 | 31 October 2020 - 12:10:50

So let me get this straight, anyone who took advantage of the visa 'amnesty' now has their visa's cancelled? WOW! Welcome to Thailand.

Kurt | 31 October 2020 - 10:18:56

@ Edward R, You are wrongly informed. When you renewed Retirement extension, and also applied and got a new Re-enrty visa, you are allowed to return, 'just' test less than 72 hours before taking flight to Thailand, and after arrival Thailand 14 days quarantine, including tests. So far Thailand Immigration not published you can not return.

Kurt | 31 October 2020 - 09:42:47

..."The move is to prevent foreigners to leave the country in order to obtain the correct visa to work in Thailand"...   Why not make this 'move' permanent?  In which other country one has to travel to another country 'B' for obtaining a working permit in country 'A'? What is the thinking behind this? 

Kurt | 31 October 2020 - 08:32:32

How about a foreigner with working permit, having own business? Must he close his business and sack the by government obligated number of Thai employees? Making more Thai jobless?

Newa_mahesh | 30 October 2020 - 23:00:04

I extended my visa last month on 26th of September and paid 1900B, and as per the news it was told that whoever got their visa extended on September they can stay till November with no extra fee, but when I went to the immigration for the visa stamp till November they charged me 1900 B again, can anyone help me please and tell me why did they do so??

Edward Reumann | 30 October 2020 - 22:00:11

I have a different issue.  I have lived in Phuket for the last 2 years but need to return home for business.  I have been informed that if I leave, I will not be allowed to return.  Retired, O/A Visa. No use transfering more money here if I will not be allowed to return to my home here.  I have spent alot of money here the last 2 years.  Home, vehicles, employing contractors/ maintenance workers..

agogohome | 30 October 2020 - 18:47:14

@Paddy. All visa extensions have to be approved in Had Yai, hense you have to wait for the paperwork to be returned, to get 60 days.

Paddy | 30 October 2020 - 14:47:15

My friend who works for a visa company. Told me all visa companies were called to attend a meeting yesterday morning . They were told that with the 60 day extension , you had to cancel your work permit to get it. Also that they were going to visit everyone who had their permit cancelled , to make sure they were not still working. If caught working , a 200,000B fine and get deported.

Paddy | 30 October 2020 - 14:42:38

I just came back from there. How can anyone keep up with all these changes. For the 60 day extension, they gave me 10 days and go back on Nov 9th again.

 

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