BANGKOK — If approved, the visa extension proposal of the Immigration Bureau will allow foreigners who have had their travel plans disrupted by COVID-19 to extend their visas to 30 June 2020.
Currently, Immigration is giving foreigners who are unable to fly back to their home countries or to another destination a 30-day extension of stay, providing they can provide a ‘visa extension letter’ from their embassy.
But now Immigration has proposed to the Cabinet that foreigners should be given visa extensions to 30 June 2020.
The proposal was submitted to the Cabinet for consideration last week but it is not known if it will be approved.
An unofficial translation of the proposal reads:
“Due to the worsening situation of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic around the world including Thailand, where borders between countries are closed, while foreigners who have entered the Kingdom of Thailand for a temporary stay are unable to return to their domicile or leave the Kingdom, causing them to stay illegally in the Kingdom of Thailand violating the immigration law.
To mitigate the suffering among the foreigners, the Immigration Bureau hereby propose to the Cabinet in the meeting held on 24 March 2020 to consider the resolution that permits the Immigration Bureau in granting permission to foreigners an extension on a temporary stay in the Kingdom of Thailand in accordance to their visa type or the exemption for the visa as a result of border closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the fact that they are unable to return to domicile or leave the Kingdom, under the immigration law until 30 June 2020 or until the time frame as considered reasonable, as the case, may be. For your consideration.”
The news comes after Immigration offices nationwide have been inundated with foreigners desperately trying to extend their visas after being left stranded in Thailand. Many neighbouring countries have now closed their borders, while people have also struggled to get flights.
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