Automatic Visa Extension – The Last Visa Amnesty

After the Thai Immigration Bureau’s announcements for automatic visa extension back in March, April and June 2020, foreigners whose visa was expired could stay in Thailand until the end of July 2020 without any penalty for overstaying. There were many questions on what will be the next step for foreigners after the end of July 2020 – can they extend or renew their visa in Thailand, or they must leave the country to get a new visa?

The Ministry of Interior has recently issued a notification on Permission on Certain Groups of Foreigners to remain in the Kingdom as Special Case (No.3), dated 23 July 2020, permitting foreigners to further stay in Thailand until 26 September 2020 effective from 1 August 2020 onwards. This notification was published in the Government Gazette on 29 July 2020

According to the notification, foreigners who currently stay under visa amnesty have two options; (i) to submit application to extend their visas in Thailand, or (ii) to prepare to leave the country by 26 September 2020.

The Immigration has announced further instructions for the two groups of foreigners, as follows:

Short-Term Visa Holders

This include foreigners holding Visa on Arrival (VOA), Transit Visa (TS), Tourist Visa (TR) or visa exemption (30-day or 15-day entry stamp). This group of foreigners must prepare to leave the Kingdom by 26 September, except for special cases such as bearing illness, no flights available or having an outbreak situation which is confirmed by the Embassy or Consulate. Foreigners with special cases are permitted to stay longer for not more than 30 days.

Long-Term Visa Holders

This include foreigners holding 90 days Non-Immigrant Visa (for example, Non-B for business/employment, Non-ED for education, or Non-O for accompanying family members). This group of foreigners can submit application for extension in accordance with a reason of necessity per visa type. It is recommended to submit application as soon as possible from now until September 26. The approved visa extension will be effective from September 27, 2020.

However, foreigners who has a 90-day Report due date from 26 March to 31 July, 2020 could be made until the end of August only, without any penalty.

The Immigration services for 90-day Report and Short-Term Visa Extension of Stay has been moved to Muang Thong Tani Center from 13 July, 2020 onwards. Foreigners are requested to book online queue in advance via online system limited at 800 queues per day.

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