Phuket Immigration Chief Col Narong Chanaphaikul today (July 7) urged foreigners to not worry about their visa and permit to stay status just yet, as the automatic visa extension granted by the Immigration Bureau will remain in effect until at least July 31.
Under the extension, foreigners whose visas had expired on or after March 26 are permitted to stay in the country until July 31 without having to apply for an extension, without paying any fees or submitting any documents.
The automatic extension applies to all visa types, not just short-term tourist visas, and 90-day reports are not required until July 31.
“However, any foreigners who are starting to feel concerned as the July 31 deadline approaches can just book an appointment to come and see us,” Col Narong told The Phuket News today.
“People whose visas have already expired can come and see us to renew their visas [extensions to stay] if they want to. We will not deny them that,” Col Narong said.
“The same applies for 90-day reports. We will process them also,” he added..
Col Narong did stress for foreigners to try to use online portals first, especially for 90-day reports.
“Please try to use the Immigration Bureau app or website first. If people have issues using either of these, then please book an appointment to come to see us at the Phuket Immigration Office,” he said.
“Download the app and click ‘Bank/Service’. Then choose ‘Immigration Bureau - Phuket Immigration’ and follow the instructions. If you have any issues with this, or you do not see a correct option for you, then please contact us directly,” he said.
Alternatively, instead of using the QueQ mobile phone app, people can book appointments through the queue system available through the Phuket Immigration website.
“There might be a rush after the July 31 deadline. We have not yet received any new orders about any extension to the amnesty, but please do not worry… That said, it would be a good idea to start thinking about what you from Immigration,” Col Narong advised.
“It is very likely that some arrangement will be made to accommodate all the people who will need visas renewed or 90-day reports done, but those who would like to be sure before the current deadline of July 31 passes can book an appointment to come and see us before then.
“This is not required, but it may help people feel more at ease with their visa situation,” he said.
“If you do want to come to see us, booking an appointment is necessary. This helps us to manage the time that officers need to spend processing applications and it helps reduce the number of people waiting in our office
”If you come to our office for whatever service you need, please make sure you bring all the required documents with you. This helps to save time for everyone, and will save you from having to make a second trip,” Col Narong noted.