Visa Amnesty extended to May 30.2021

Special Requirements for stranded Visitors
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Midge
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Mon May 03, 2021 10:03 am

Visa amnesty extended to May 30.2021 for stranded tourists

Stranded foreign tourists, either genuinely stuck in Thailand since April 2020, or stuck here by choice, are able stay in Thailand until May 30, according to an order signed by the Immigration Bureau this week. The order empowers local officers to grant a 60 day visa extensions from January 29 up to May 30. 2021 The order coincides with the world’s Covid-19 situation getting worse and more countries sealing up their borders.

The order allows for a further 60 day extension for people on a tourist visa beyond January 29.2021 when the previous order expired.


Immigration officials have explained the reason for the latest extension is the “ongoing pandemic which has seen many European countries close their borders to non-European Union air traffic.”

The UK has also tightened entry procedures with Covid-19 testing and mandatory quarantine, much the same as Thailand now has in place. The US still allows citizens to return but has barred travellers from the UK and Europe for the time being. Australia has a ban on foreign tourism for now although citizens can re-enter Australia under important circumstances (contact your embassy if you need to repatriate at this time).

Local officers in each province can now issue 60 day extensions on expired tourist visas up to March 30, which will make the order valid up to May 30. Thailand’s Immigration Bureau Chief has announced the further visa extension for stranded travellers and tourists because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, both in Thailand and around the world.

If you need to extend your visa, or your visa deadline is approaching, or lapsed, visit your local immigration office and check you options. The previous order authorised immigration officers to grant a 60 day extension at any time from September 29 2020 to the January 29 2021. Last year, as deadlines loomed for the end of visa amnesties for stranded foreign tourists, nearly all who arrived in Thailand before the start of April 2020, the Thai PM and cabinet acceded to last minute reprieves issued, despite warnings from senior Immigration Bureau officials to the contrary.

Before the the last September 29 deadline, the immigration officials and government left it to the very last minute to decide on a further extension to the visa amnesty. A large chunk of foreigners, many long-term expats, left the country as there had been no hint of a further extension to the visa amnesty. At the time the amnesty would allow people who had applied for earlier extensions to stay until October 31, 2020, and others the ability to apply for 60 day extensions.

Adding to the confusion back in September last year were requirements for letters from the applicant’s embassy along with medical certificates, causing confusion and stress for many of the tourists and travellers that wanted to stay in Thailand. Some immigration officers stayed open for extra hours to precess the applications as the deadline loomed, others didn’t.

1,900 THB still needs to be paid for the 50 day extension to tourist visas.

Immigration officials say that there are still 100,000 – 150,000 tourists still stranded and living in Thailand. Before September 29 last year, the officials guessed the number was around 250,000. Earlier, when the first amnesty was applied in April 2020, the figure was estimated to be around 500,000.

For the genuinely stranded tourists and travellers the amnesty has provided a relaxing lifestyle with many heading for the popular tourist zones and taken advantage of the empty beaches, cheap hotels and great weather. If your visa has lapsed you will likely have to pay a fine for overstaying your visa. Visit your nearest immigration office to sort out your individual situation as being caught on an overstayed visa will result in heavy fines, possible deportation, jail or bans from re-entering Thailand in the future.
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Midge
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:52 am

Mon May 03, 2021 10:04 am

Tourists in Thailand can apply for another 60 day extension

Thailand’s Immigration Bureau is allowing visa extensions for tourists who have been in stuck in Thailand since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Royal Thai Immigration Bureau announced the news through an urgent public memo yesterday.

The previous extension allowed those tourists to stay until the end of March, but now they can apply for another extension until May 29. The new extension lasts for 60 days, which would allow people to stay until July 27.2021


Thai Immigration says the application will need to be completed in person at an immigration office, with additional requirements and documents being needed depending on where one is from. The new visa extension’s cost is 1,900 baht. The extension will allow those who are “stuck” or who wish to stay longer in Thailand to get the extension. Authorities say the extensions will also help Thailand’s economy, which was void of tourists since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, Phuket is preparing to reopen in July to vaccinated tourists. The recently approved Sandbox tourism scheme, would allow tourists who are inoculated, to enter Phuket without having to undergo quarantines. But, the approval is contingent upon the Andaman island achieving a herd immunity among its local residents, which deems that 70% must be inoculated before tourists are allowed to enter.

So far, Phuket’s governor says the island plans on vaccinating 50,000 locals in the first 7 days of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, but hasn’t given details on how that goal will be carried out. The island allegedly has prepared 9 vaccination centres to administer the vaccines, but with some only being open less than 8 hours, the goal of vaccinating such a high number of locals in a short amount of time, seems unrealistic.

If putting pen to a paper, the math doesn’t add up as to how 9 centres would vaccinate 50,000 people in 7 days as more than 100 people would have to be vaccinated per hour in an 8 hour day by each centre. Phuket’s governor has not given details on when the vaccines will arrive, except saying “next month” which starts tomorrow.
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