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Phuket Immigration extends permits to stay for foreigners stuck in Thailand

Phuket Immigration extends permits to stay for foreigners stuck in Thailand

PHUKET: Phuket Immigration is issuing all foreigners stuck in the country due to the COVID coronavirus situation 30-day extensions so they do not have travel and risk infection, The Phuket News was told this morning (Mar 20).

COVID-19Coronavirustourismimmigration
By The Phuket News

Friday 20 March 2020, 11:18AM


A man walks away from the Visa Extension section at the Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

A man walks away from the Visa Extension section at the Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

The 30-day extensions are being issued to both tourists and foreigners staying on other types of visas, confirmed Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Udom Thongchin.

“It is very difficult for foreigners to leave the country due to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation, and doing so right now risks infection,” Lt Col Udom admitted.

"So we are issuing 30-day extensions in accordance with immigration regulations that allow for such measures during special circumstances, such as an outbreak of disease," he added.

The extensions cost B1,900 each, Lt Col Udom confirmed.

However, any foreigners seeking to extend their stay must have letter from the embassy or consulate of their home country, he stressed.

“The letter must be from the embassy or consulate requesting that the Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau allow the foreigner to stay in the country longer. It must name the foreigner and it must have the sentence that the foreigner is unable to travel due to the COVID-19 coronvirus situation,” Lt Col Udom said.

"It must be an actual letter, to be hand over with a copy of their passport at the Phuket Immigration Office during office hours,” he said.

The LifeCo Phuket

Any persons already on overstay but yet to receive such a letter from their embassy can wait until they have the letter in hand, Lt Col Udom said.

“Immigration can wait for this,” he said.

Lt Col Udom confirmed that foreigners were being turned away from the Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town if they were not wearing a face mask.

"Please, any foreigners coming to the Immigration office must wear face masks. If they don’t have one, they will have to go get one first, then we can talk," he said.

Lt Col Udom pointed out the immigration officers wore gloves while interacting foreigners and handling documents submitted at the office.

"Also, we clean the seat and table every time after people use it,” he said.

 

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JohnC | 22 March 2020 - 08:55:03

["Lt Col Udom pointed out the immigration officers wore gloves while interacting foreigners and handling documents submitted at the office."] Why don't they also try wearing smiles on their faces, or at the very least look approachable, rather than the usual standard grumpy "I have a uniform so I am important face" that just shows arrogance and complacency. 

furiousfrank | 21 March 2020 - 13:49:51

Captain Jack: ignorance? Are you aware that Covid19 has a unusual long incubation time? So mask wearing makes sense, because many infected simply are not aware that they spread the virus. You could be infected right now - so you are perfectly right that it mainly avoids to infect others. Which could be an elderly or higher risk group than yourself.
But sure that is no reason for selfish people...

Christy Sweet | 20 March 2020 - 21:54:09

If both people are wearing masks,  exchange of droplets is  far less. It's a sensible precaution, but can face masks be found ? And about my 90 day- report, awaiting the  mail-back slip.  I'll keep the mail receipt in my passport. 

Aachen | 20 March 2020 - 14:18:28

As far as I know some consulates do not provide such document..

CaptainJack69 | 20 March 2020 - 12:30:48

Again with the face-masks. It just shows peoples ignorance. A mask will NOT prevent you catching anything, it only prevents you transmitting it IF you are already sick.

CaptainJack69 | 20 March 2020 - 12:26:56

And how do they get these letters? Very few countries have actually active consulates on Phuket, so they have to go (fly?!) to BKK (population epicenter!) to get it?

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