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Phuket Immigration confirms automatic visa extension applies to all visa types

Phuket Immigration confirms automatic visa extension applies to all visa types

PHUKET: The automatic visa extension granted by the Immigration Bureau does apply to all visa types, not just short-term tourist visas, Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Col Nareuwat Putthawiro confirmed to The Phuket News today (Apr 22).

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 22 April 2020, 04:26PM

The notice posted by the PR Department today (Apr 22). Image:  PR Department / Facebook

The notice posted by the PR Department today (Apr 22). Image: PR Department / Facebook

The Cabinet approved the “second automatic visa extension” to all types until July 31 yesterday. (See story here.)

While the second extension has yet to be publicly posted on the main Immigration Bureau website (see here), the PR Department of Thailand today posted the news in an announcement that read:

“The Cabinet, during its meeting on 21 April 2020, approved the draft notification of the Ministry of Interior on the second automatic visa extension for foreigners to stay temporarily in Thailand.

“The objective is to avoid mass gatherings, as a large number of foreigners are likely to travel to meet immigration officials for visa extensions, and this may lead to a risk of COVID-19 infection.

“The Ministry of Interior on 7 April 2020 issued a notification granting an automatic visa extension until 30 April 2020 for foreign visitors whose visas expired as from 26 March 2020, in an effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

“According to the draft notification approved by the Cabinet on 21 April 2020, the period of time permitted to stay will be extended from 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020. This means that foreigners whose visas had expired as from 26 March 2020 will be permitted to stay until 31 July 2020 without having to apply for an extension,” the announcement added. (See here.)

A briefer post on the PR Department’s main Facebook page noted:

- Automatic visa extension

CMI - Thailand

- Exemption from 90-day reporting

- Exemption from visa extension fee

- No need to submit any documents

The Immigration Bureau will process all the above steps for you. For more information please contact the Immigration Bureau’s call center at 1178, the announcement said.

Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Col Nareuwat told The Phuket News that while his office has yet to receive an official order from the Immigration Bureau headquarters in Bangkok confirming the second automatic visa extension, it is expected to be same the first automatic extension to all visa types issued on Apr 7, granting all visa types that had not expired before Mar 26 free extensions until Apr 30. (See here.)

Col Nareuwat said that he was aware of the Cabinet’s approval granted yesterday, but noted that technically his office still has to receive the official order before they can enforce it.

However, he did confirm the automatic visa extension does apply to all visa types.

Asked specifically whether the extension apply to one-year visas, he said, “Yes, the extension applies to all visa types.”

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Galong | 23 April 2020 - 16:46:02

@DeKaaskopp I asked a very simple question that was not worthy of your retort: What is the grace period?  In other words, how many days after the 31st before Immigration starts charging us or frowns upon us. If you don't know, please don't comment.

DeKaaskopp | 23 April 2020 - 11:40:39

@Galong  Only idiots would wait until the first day after the automatic extension ends.Everyone with a common sense would go to the immigration a few days earlier.

Kurt | 23 April 2020 - 11:05:49

Great, so it is for ALL type of visa. That is now clear. But, is the Phuket Town Immigration open? For when one likes to renew in time? And the car drive thru 90 day report window, is that still working as normal?

Galong | 23 April 2020 - 09:13:20

How soon after July 31 does one have to do their 90-day report again?  In other words, what is the 'grace' period?  I imagine if everyone is trying to do it right after July 21st, it'll be a zoo at immigration, again.

Billy Fitness & Lifestyle | 22 April 2020 - 21:34:02

This is amazing news! I hope it gets approved. 

psychout | 22 April 2020 - 19:10:44

Does anyone know if the exemption applies to one-year visa holders who are supposed to report before July 31 to document that they have kept 800,000 baht  in the bank for three months after receiving the one-year retirement visa?


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