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Update for Residents of Thailand Stuck Abroad

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Permanent Residents of Thailand who have been stuck abroad as a result of travel restrictions which began last March and have continued until this time, January 2021, in response to the COVID-19 situation. 

In a recent article from the Bangkok Post, that is, and before I get into that let's explain what is going on here. Folks that have Thai Permanent Residence, under normal circumstances, if they go abroad they basically have to return once a year in order to obtain an Immigrant Visa and basically get a re-entry permit in order to leave again and come back and maintain their status. So in a sense, as a practical matter, under routine circumstances, Thai Permanent Residents need to return to Thailand at least once a year. Well that for many was made cumbersome to the point of impossible as a result of travel restrictions arising in response to COVID-19

Quoting directly from the Bangkok Post, that is, the article is titled: Immigration Bureau extends Re-entry Visas for Foreigners with Thai Residency. Quoting directly: "Foreigners with Thai Residency whose re-entry visas", and that is a little bit different than a re-entry permit. A re-entry permit is on a non-immigrant visa extension stamp and then you have to get a permit to re-enter and keep your status alive. Strictly speaking permanent residents get an Immigrant visas to come back and forth. So let me start over. Quoting: "Foreigners with Thai residency whose re-entry visas require their return to Thailand within one year from March 26th last year, will be allowed to stay abroad until further notice," So presumably they are going to give some kind of notice, "the Immigration Bureau said on Wednesday." So presumably we are going to see some kind of notice on this. They are going to provide some information regarding the terms of return etc. 

Just for folks’ information, we are going to go ahead and put this up on the screen here. I will read this. This is actually from Thai Immigration itself. It is a posted notice. Quoting directly: "An alien who has been permitted to take up residency and has made evidence of notification for leaving the Kingdom in order to re-enter within one year period by applying for an endorsement of re-entry permit which expired since March 26th, so the expiration date is March 27th and beyond arguably the 26th and beyond but just for purposes of this we will say 27 yeah you are okay up to now, "onwards and is currently unable to return to the Kingdom will be granted an extension to the period of re-entry beyond one year until the period of time will be specified by the Immigration Bureau." So they go into that and they explain to folks what is going to happen with respect to that.

Long story short, until further notice, it is a temporary amnesty for lack of a better term. You don't need to return to Thailand to retake up your Permanent Residence. You are okay to remain abroad until further notice. I urge folks who have Permanent Residence that are abroad, keep well abreast of this because I suspect if they give notice, it is not going to be a huge amount, it is not going to be like one year notice. I suspect it would be 30 days, 90 days at a max notice of folks "hey you need to get back into Thailand so as to retake up your residency without losing it". So keep well informed of this situation if you are a resident currently abroad and who has been placed in that precarious circumstance by the response to COVID. I urge you to keep track of this via the internet as things proceed. We will try to keep you updated on this channel as the situation evolves.