Immigration orders stranded foreigners to obtain new visa, embassy letter to avoid arrest


Thailand’s Immigration Bureau warned foreigners stranded in Thailand who don’t have the means to leave the country before their visa expires on July 31st, to immediately obtain a letter from their embassies. The kingdom will start the “clear out” which could make them the subject of overstay fines, as well as arrest and detention by Thai authorities.

Colonel Phakkhaphong Saiubon, a spokesman for the Immigration Bureau, said on Friday the need to “clear out people” to reset the system as the situation of global pandemic starts to wind down. This signalled that the visa amnesty for tourists stranded in Thailand which will expire on 31st July, is highly likely won’t be extended.

‘There most likely will not be an extension. It’s all quiet on that front. It’s been a long time and we need to clear out people,’ he said.

‘Thailand and the Thai government are already generous. No other country has this long of a visa amnesty,’ he added.

This means that overstay fines after July 31st will apply to foreigners overstaying their visa from that date. The 90 days reporting will also be required.

Seek a letter from your embassy if you can’t leave Thailand on July 31

Foreigners who don’t have the means to access a flight due to financial concerns or flight availability caused in part by the current government block on incoming flights may still be required to present a letter from their respective embassies as respect.

According to reports, there are some stranded foreigners who are relying on charity and food handouts to live in Thailand.

Colonel Phakkaphong urged any person with such concerns to make contact with their embassy now to obtain the appropriate letter.

‘It also depends on the flights available for you,’ the senior officer said. ‘But if your embassy won’t issue a letter for you, then you may have to leave since there’s not much we can do.’

Source: Thai Examiner

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Marcus Felipe