Thailand Immigration, Travel & Covid Update

Asia-Pacific countries, including Singapore, Australia, Japan, and Thailand, have eased international travel restrictions to revive their economies. Thailand’s government has opened Thailand’s borders to eligible travelers who want to come to Thailand, including foreigners who are granted work permits to work in Thailand. 

However, the immigration authority has stipulated that the maximum extension, which can be granted until 26 September, can last until 26 October, i.e. 30 days. This means that those whose visas or residence permits have expired (with the exception of one-year extensions and pensions that are never amnestied) will face a penalty for overstaying until the new end date is passed. Those with expired short-term visas can stay until their expiry date, but only for a maximum of three years. 

Foreigners holding valid long-term visas and intending to remain in Thailand after 26 September 2020 are advised to follow the instructions for renewing their visas. From that date, anyone who entered Thailand between 20 January and 26 March or who has used the virus amnesty as a tourist must have already left the Kingdom and apply for and receive a long-term visa with the relevant reasons. If they wish, they can submit their expiry date to the local immigration authority for renewal of their visa. 

The National Electoral Committee expects to send the applications for the first round of the parliamentary elections on 26 September 2020 to voters by the end of October. The election selection meeting for voters scheduled for this year’s general election will be postponed until 1 October 2020, the last day of September. 

Visa forms, including short-term and multiple-visit visas, as well as visas previously issued to the People’s Republic of China and Iranian passports are requested. Visa forms (which include short-term or multiple-visit visas) and visas previously issued to persons, the Republic, China or Iran will apply. Visa forms – which include short-term or multiple-visit visas – previously issued to individuals from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Iran, Turkey and Vietnam. Sources: 10

This route is open to all visa applicants, including the European Economic Area (EEA). Swiss nationals who wish to live and study in the UK after 1 January 2021 but have not started their studies in Thailand. Thailand currently has a policy to extend the visa until 31 July 2020, provided the visa expires on 26 March 2020. The Thai Immigration Department has extended this policy until 26 September 2020 to give foreigners more time to prepare for their departure. 

The extension of the policy means foreigners will have to file their 90-day application with the immigration department by August 31, 2020. Meanwhile, Thailand’s immigration department has confirmed that foreigners stranded in the kingdom can apply for an extension of their visas at any time until October 31. The Immigration Department is asking short-term amnesty recipients who think they need to stay beyond the new October 31 deadline to delay until early this month. 

One of the problems with the letter, which is at the heart of the amnesty granted until the end of October, is the unpredictability of foreign embassies in issuing it. Australian embassies have made it clear in recent weeks that they will send any letters required to their embassies via an email system where applicants can provide details such as their name, address, date of birth and other required information to the embassy. 

Travellers are reminded that the military junta in Thailand is in charge and martial law can be re-imposed. The Immigration Department has announced that all immigrants from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore have been suspended until the end of October, at the same time as the amnesty in which the new military government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is due to enter into force. 

Foreigners with Malaysian passports – issued by 23 countries – and Malaysian – Long-term passports issued from Malaysia are restricted in their entry into Malaysia. Thai nationals may travel to Korea if they have left Thailand and have a confirmed ticket to a third country. Foreign nationals from Myanmar and Myanmar – accredited diplomats and diplomats from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore cannot return by air due to the strict immigration policy of Covid 19. Those who have had to behave on a longer-stay visa cannot return to Thailand by sea. 

Travellers who purchased their ticket on or after 20 March 2020 can convert their ticket to one of the following airlines: Etihad will treat bookings made before 29 April 2020 as if the flight had been booked on 30 June 2020. GoAir offers a 10% discount on all bookings made between 30 May 2020 and 30 July 2020 on flights to Thailand. 

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Sophie Eccles

Sophie Eccles

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