“Any persons who still have not filed an application to extend their stay, regardless of which type of visa they were staying on before, will be fined B500 a day, starting from Sunday [Nov 1],” Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Udom Thongchin told The Phuket News today (Nov 3).
However, those who had been misinformed by immigration officers that they had to leave the country to change their type of visa, or had their applications to extend their stay not accepted because they were told they had a ‘visa amnesty stamp’ in their passport, were given until close of yesterday (Nov 2) to file their applications.
Lt Col Udom said that despite the confusion even among immigration officers over accepting applications, only 48 people came to the Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town to file thie applications yesterday.
“Most of them were Europeans,” he added.
Lt Col Udom said his office was unable to determine whether any foreigners staying on the island still had yet to file applications to extend their stay. “Some foreigners will have filed applications in other provinces,” he said.
Phuket Immigration will continue to accept applications to change the visa status that a foreigner is staying in the country on, such as from a tourist visa to a Non-immigrant B visa so that the foreigner may be hired for work.
“There is no deadline for this. We will continue to accept applications to change visa types,” Lt Col Udom said.
“There have been no changes to this, so we will keep accepting applications to change visa status,” he said, as if Phuket Immigration had been accepting such applications for years – a point plainly denied by many foreigners living on the island.