Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Auto visa extension for visitors stranded in Thailand

Thailand’s automatic visa extension for stranded foreigners continues up to 31 July the Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on its website late last week.

The provision extends all categories of temporary visas automatically without fees and the need to show up at an Immigration Bureau office or present any documents.

Called a special case, the MoF notice also confirms that foreigners who hold year-visas do not need to do the routine 90 days reporting until at least 31 July.

Foreigners with permanent resident permits who are currently out of the country do not need to worry about getting back within the year stated in their re-entry permit. The deadline to keep their permanent residency valid has been extended until further notice. However, at some point, the Immigration Bureau will announce a revised timeline to close off the concession for permanent residents once the Covid-19 emergency is over and commercial international flights resume.

Extending the service to 31 July is a welcome gesture for thousands of foreigners who will need to extend their visas. At present, international flights to Thailand are banned until 30 June. Foreigners stranded in the country will not be able to book a flight home until July when airlines return, but the stay extension gives them more leeway to secure a flight home without worrying about their visa expiring.


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