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Thai "COVID Visas" Available Through November, Discretion Remains

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing so-called COVID Visas. I did another video, in a sense I kind of got burned on it. I was talking about I thought it was looking like they were going to perhaps not extend the so-called Amnesty, the COVID Visa another round but apparently they were willing to do it. 

Quoting directly from a recent article from the Pattaya Mail, that is, the article is titled: Sigh of Relief for Thailand COVID Visa Extenders. There is a lot of information in here. I am going to quote some excerpts. I urge folks who are watching this to check out directly. Quoting directly: "The Immigration Authorities have confirmed that the final date of applications for the 60 day Special COVID extension is now November 26th. This replaces the former “last date” of September 27th." As they note here, it was the "last date" before and now it has been extended again. Quoting further: "The COVID Extensions were introduced 18 months ago and have allowed short-stay tourists to remain here." Quoting further: "The reason has always been dislocation of air travel schedules and the closure of land borders because of the pandemic." Quoting further: "The numbers in Pattaya areas have shrunk as most COVID extenders have already departed but there are groups of long holiday Europeans and even tourists from neighboring countries still holding out." And this I thought was notable. "Immigration Authorities declined to give the local numbers but said they were "hundreds rather than thousands." Now that is notable to me and for those who are unaware this COVID Visa, I think people have some misconceptions out there about it. We often times get calls for folks who are in status here in Thailand and they think "oh I can just move into a COVID Visa." No, not necessarily. COVID visas are not necessarily designed for folks who are in non-immigrant status. They were created for folks who got stuck here. Now you can argue whether or not there is still this exigent need for it but long story short it is discretionary at the end of the day and that is worth noting. It goes into this further in this article. Quoting directly: "Most Pattaya expats are holders of Non-immigrant Visas such as Retirement or Marriage or have Work Permits or Permanent Residence status." Quoting further: "None of these groups are covered by the COVID extension discretion which was devised strictly with trapped tourists in mind." Again, I wholeheartedly agree with this article, what it is saying here. Non-immigrant visa holders who are in Non-Immigrant visa status, you may not be able to get discretion to get into a COVID Visa. I have seen this happen actually. It was designed for folks who got stuck here. Now those who got stuck here who may be able to keep rolling over, more power to you. That said, be careful. When this ends, I suspect it will just be a situation where they just say, "Hey we are not extending it. It's over, done!" and you don't want to get caught out in the cold. If you can get in to a long-term Visa status out there, do it. It is better than being at the mercy of whether or not this is going to roll over. 

My personal opinion, I doubt this is going to last into 2022. That said, I kind of doubted it would keep going as long as it has so maybe take that with a little grain of salt. Especially once Thailand reopens especially to vaccinated tourists without a bunch of quarantine and things, I think it is very likely that we could see this whole thing just fade away and there could be folks that could get inadvertently caught out and not have an immediate option to get a visa for Thailand and you definitely don't want to end up on overstay here in the Kingdom of Thailand.