Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Udom Thongchin told The Phuket News late this afternoon (Mar 23) that his office has no authority in the matter.
“Everything is up to the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok,” he said.
Lt Col Udom urged foreigners needing to stay in Thailand, or unable to travel home, to obtain a letter from their embassy requesting the Thai Immigration Bureau to allow them to extend their stay in the country.
If the foreigner cannot obtain such a letter, Phuket Immigration were unable to help them, he said.
“If a foreigner’s permit to stay is about to expire and they cannot get a letter from their embassy, or their embassy refuses to issue them a letter, we have no regulation that can help them,” Lt Col Udom explained.
“We can only wait for any new policies to come from the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok,” he said.
“My advice is for foreigners to urge their embassies to issue them a letter requesting a 30-day extension. If their visas expire, they will be charged for B500 a day overstay in accordance with the law,” Lt Col Udom confirmed.
Lt Col Udom also clarified that the issue of people having to leave the country because their permit to stay will expire does not apply to foreigners renewing their one-year extensions to stay.
“These are being processed as usual,” he said.
“If people are just renewing their one-year permit to stays, like they do every year, they do not have to leave the country while waiting for their renewal to be approved – just as usual. These people are unaffected,” he said.