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Visa amnesty extended to Oct 31

Visa amnesty extended to Oct 31

PHUKET: After weeks of foreigners scrambling to have their permits to stay extended by Immigration before the ‘visa amnesty’ deadline expired on Saturday (Sept 26), The Phuket News today was informed by the Prime Minister’s Office that the visa amnesty has now been extended through to Oct 31.


By The Phuket News

Monday 28 September 2020, 04:55PM


An officer processes another application to extend a permit to stay at Phuket Immigration last week, when Phuket officers were processing some 190 applications a day. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

An officer processes another application to extend a permit to stay at Phuket Immigration last week, when Phuket officers were processing some 190 applications a day. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

The news was delivered in a message sent directly to The Phuket News in Thai saying: “As COVID-19 is still causing harm and there are many infections around the world, more than 30 million cases, some foreigners have to stay in Thailand, and cannot travel out of the Kingdom of Thailand to go back to their home countries – and they cannot follow Section 35 and Section 37 (5) of the Immiragtion Act 2522 and other related laws [legally extending their permits to stay] before Sept 26 this year… 

“So it has been agreed to announce that the Interior Ministry is to use Section 17 of the Immigration Act 2522 to extend the time [for foreigners to] follow Section 35 and 37(5) by allowing them to stay as a special case from Sept 27 to Oct 31. Foreigners who are not able to travel out [of Thailand] and intended to stay after Oct 31 can go to ask for an extension at immirgation for their permits to stay to expire Oct 31.”

Bernhard Stoever, a German long-stay tourist staying in Phuket who published an open letter to the Royal Thai Government on behalf of all tourists still stuck in Thailand, also received a message directly from the Prime Minister’s Office, saying: “Hi, Good news, the government just announced today that foreigners holding tourist visa who wishes to stay can do so until October 31. For those who would like to stay longer than October they can file for visa extension with immigration and do so before Oct. 31 So, good luck.”

Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Udom Thongchin this afternoon told The Phuket News that he was aware that the Immigration Bureau had requested that the ‘visa amnesty’ be extended through to Oct 31.

However, he added that he had yet to hear confirmation that the extension had been approved.

“We are waiting to hear that the Prime Minister has approved the extension. That was supposed to happen by 4:30pm today,” he said.

QSI International School Phuket

Lt Col Udom admitted that he had yet to be informed exactly what happens with all the extensions already approved.

“Foreigners who have applied for an extension but have yet to have the full extension stamped in their passport will be stamped to stay until Oct 31,” he said.

As for foreigners who already had stamps in their passport for 30 days from Sept 27, as per the previous amnesty, Lt Col Udom said he had yet to be informed what to do with such cases.

However he added, “They, too, of course will be allowed to stay until Oct 31,” he said.

Asked how he felt about his officers being overworked for weeks making sure foreigners’ applications to extend their permits to stay were being accepted before the Sept 26 deadline expired, to only now have all their hard work rendered pointless by a single decision in Bangkok, Lt Col Udom said, “What else can I do? This is Thailand.”

 

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DeKaaskopp | 30 September 2020 - 15:10:17

"They realized not to have enough handcuffs,shackles,foreigner size prison clothes..."    OMG ,really ?

Kurt | 30 September 2020 - 10:50:35

They realized not to have enough handcuffs, shackles, foreigner size prison clothes, and, ...  not like prisoned tourists witness the inhumane thai prison situation. Some arrested/prisoned tourists would write books about it. Hehehe.

Christy Sweet | 29 September 2020 - 20:22:08

Seems to me an infusion was needed at the expense of likely some very worried and even financially strapped FARANGS, SO WHO CARES is the message. TiT

JohnC | 29 September 2020 - 09:57:14

@Galong. Kudos my friend. Well played!!

ThorFinger | 28 September 2020 - 21:53:51

As if things weren't stressful enough. We're all trying to survive and help some fellow thais. I had a long term visa with 5 months left which I was told was null and void as of 26th. i had to apply for a new long term visa. Absurd but encouraging to hear the poor head of immigration shrug how shoulders and say... this is Thailand.
No excuse for his superiors. It's a disgrace.

Galong | 28 September 2020 - 20:45:01

Sounds like someone should video this and run it at high speed to the Benny Hill theme song.

Chas | 28 September 2020 - 18:42:11

"Asked how he felt about thousands of foreigners being worried sick for weeks about extending their permits to stay before the Sept 26 deadline expired..."

Oh, wait, nobody asked him that.

Nasa12 | 28 September 2020 - 18:15:12

Lt Col Udom and all of you in phuket Immigration, you all make a very good job the last 2 weeks, Salute to you all. 

HubertK | 28 September 2020 - 17:33:19

Will they wait until 29.October to come up with another prolongation ? Can't they decide it earlier, like let's say 15.October ? That would save a lot trouble for many people !

 

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