Thai immigration allows stranded foreigners for 30-day extension


BANGKOK — The Thai immigration said they will allow stranded foreigners in the country to extend their stay for up to 30 days — this is because traveling anywhere in the world continues to be severely affected by Covid-19.

To do so, foreigners have to visit the immigration offices to apply for those extensions once they get a letter from their embassies.

“The bureau had previously permitted the extension to foreign nationals of 11 countries and territories, but we now granted it to every nationality,” Immigration Bureau spokesman Phakkhaphong Saiubonsaid said in an interview as reported by Khaosod English. “Those who wish to apply need to acquire a letter from their respective embassies.”

A huge number of people today, reaching up to 3,000, showed up at Chaeng Wattana to extend their stays, file 90-day reports, and do other necessary things in case a lockdown in Bangkok happens.

According to Col. Phakkhaphong, they’ve already responded to the overcrowding problem.

“People were afraid that a curfew would be declared that’s why the bureau was packed with people today,” Col. Phakkhaphong said, adding that the waiting area at Chaengwatta office is being expanded for people to practice social distancing. Moreover, the bureau is looking for a bigger space in order for them to respond to the influx.

Col. Phakkhaphong also said that the 90-day reporting can be done online or via registered mail, while personal appearance is still required for visa-related services at the immigration office.

“Most foreigners do not need to come to the bureau in person,” Phakkhaphong said. “However, we still require them to report themselves in person in some cases such as applying for a marriage visa.

Khaosod English also reported that “foreigners who queued up for their documents at the Government Complex today said they had to wait in line for hours as queue numbers exceed 3,000. Many were also told to come back on the following day.”

“I was there today. Quite a dystopian experience and the queue numbers were finished,” user Manuele Mambelli commented on a Khaosod English news thread. “So lots of people will have to go back tomorrow.”

Concerning the emergency decree banning large gatherings, Col. Phakkhaphong said the bureau will discuss the matter.

“We understand the current situation and we are trying to provide the best service,” he said. “But our national security needs to come first.”

Source: Khaosod English
Photo: SWD Filipino Netizens in Thailand

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