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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWhat Should Non-Immigrant Thai Visa Holders Do As Amnesty Ends?

What Should Non-Immigrant Thai Visa Holders Do As Amnesty Ends?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing multiple entry Thai Visa holders and the imminent end of the Thai Visa Amnesty. 

This is Thai Immigration's Amnesty which has allowed folks to remain in status without the need to be put in overstay or fines accrued associated with overstay as this COVID-19 situation has caused a lot of travel complications. We have done a number of videos on that topic specifically. What we are noting here is that folks that have a multiple entry Visa, so multiple entry B, multiple entry O visa and in some cases multiple entry OA Visa; these are folks who have a sticker in their passport of a certain validity and then obtain lawful status at each entry to Thailand via a stamp in their passport at that entry that either provides 90 days of status in the case of B or O multi-entry visas or with an OA, 1 year of status. 

In the past, these folks were using border runs to keep their status regularized and we have talked about that at length on a number of videos on this channel but there appears to be specific issues associated with these visas in this Amnesty. 

A recent article from Thai Examiner, that is, the article is titled: Visa Amnesty to End with 30-day Extensions on Application as the Focus Moves to Long Stay Visa Holders.  I urge folks watching this video to go check out Thai Examiner. There is a lot of information,  very exhaustive work they have done. They go ahead and quote Deputy Commissioner of Immigration, Major General Porchjai Kantee,  and to quote directly from this article, and as I said it is very exhaustive. A lot of information there. I really strong people to go read this for themselves because there is a lot in there. Quoting directly: "Long stay Visa holders with expired Visa must begin immediately to regularize their position." I can't urge this enough. The Amnesty ends September 26th. It is not over yet. If you have not regularized your status and you have a multiple entry Non-immigrant Visa, it is probably a good idea to try to find a way to normalize that status if you wish to remain in Thailand past the end of the Amnesty. To be clear and we have talked about the end of the Amnesty and the possible Ad hoc 30-day stamps that may be granted to tourists post Amnesty, that same sufferance will not appear to be granted to Non-immigrant Visa holders. So those with a Non-immigrant Visa are likely to not fall into the same protocols that are going to dictate maintaining Tourist Visa status.

Quoting directly, and we will get in the nuts and bolts on this: "The Deputy Commissioner also had news for foreigners and Thailand with long stay visas who for whatever reason saw their visas expire after March 26th when the State of Emergency came into effect. The Immigration Bureau official was light on his information in respect of this group and would only say that an application to regularize their position should be made as soon as possible up to September 26th, 2020. This appears to suggest that the Amnesty for this group de facto had also applied and their position will now be reviewed." Quoting directly and this is a direct quote from a Deputy Commissioner of Thai Immigration:  "All long-term Visa holders whose permits to stay expired after March 26th also must submit an application or an extension of stay from now until September 26th, 2020, he said." So it appears there is an affirmative duty to regularize one’s status before the end of the Amnesty if you are in a Non-immigrant category Visa. It does not necessarily apply to tourists but Non-immigrant category. Quoting further:  "He urged such foreigners to hasten their applications to regularize their visa status,"  and now we are quoting again directly from him, "Please contact the local Immigration Office as soon as possible in order to avoid congestion in the last few days." For those who are confused about this and look I understand, Thai Immigration Law, the Act itself, and the regulations promulgated in furtherance of that Act it is a narrow and deep body of Law. You are dealing with a lot of discretionary and administrative peccadilloes if you will; different offices deal with things a little differently from place to place. 

If you are having trouble with this and I have taken a bunch of flack in the comments on this channel in saying this but again I reiterate, it is a good idea to contact a legal professional and it is not necessarily me saying that is necessarily us.  If you have someone you are comfortable with that has handled Thai Immigration matters for you in the past and they have the qualifications to do so, go ahead, seriously consider talking to someone about getting this situation normalized. As I have said I have taken some guff in the comments about this and I really don't exactly know why because I am saying this in a general sense. This Amnesty is ending and people can find themselves in an overstay scenario after this Amnesty is over if they do not take steps now to regularize their status. This isn't necessarily a totally promotional thing that I am saying.  It is simply stating good advice: seek some assistance if you need it to regularize your status before it is too late.