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COVID-19 and Thai Retirement, Marriage, and ED Visa Extensions

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas, Marriage Visas and Education Visas and for good measure under marriage visas  I think you can look at this as visas for those who are supporting a Thai child; so O Visas generally, the multiple entry Retirement visa, the Education Visa. I am going to lump all this together because I think the analysis is relatively similar and where it is not I will try to provide distinction where I can and definition where I can where I can.

The long and the short of it is I have gotten a fair number of inquiries from folks that say look "I am on a Retirement Visa, what am I doing now that COVID-19 has hit?"  If you were extending, and this is just on an across the board piece of information, if you were extending if you were in an O or O-A Retirement Visa status, and you were extending your status as you always had, you have been doing it for years and it happens to come up in April, this doesn't have a lot to do with you unless they shut down the Government which it does not appear that they are going to be doing any time soon.  Extensions continue apace so it is going to continue the way that they always have done. This is true for retirees who are on Retirement Visas here in Thailand, those who are on a Marriage Visa here in Thailand or those who are on an ED Visa here in Thailand. I want to make this clear.  You need to understand that folks in Non-immigrant Status do not appear to be being considered to be waived under this amnesty. So this amnesty that started on March 26th and ends April 30th, the Non-immigrant categories do not currently appear to be covered by this amnesty. Now we are hearing conflicting things. Some Officers are saying one thing, some Officers are saying another. We have heard things from different clients; we have gotten insight from comments on our channel etc.  There is a lot of information coming in. We have contacted Immigration directly down at Chaengwattana. It appears Non-immigrant status is considered a different thing. It is a substantively different status than the tourists who have been granted this amnesty due to being stranded here in Thailand. So do not presume that just because your Visa is expiring between the 26th of March and the 30th of April and you were otherwise planning to leave, that you are necessarily going to skip out on overstay.

Just to check my notes here. We had one client that presumed that their ED Visa was just automatically extended and it wasn't. It turned out it wasn't and they had to deal with 500 baht fines for all the days that they overstayed. It could have been worse. If they were arrested during that time period, now obviously everybody is not running around getting arrested but if they had been detained by the police for whatever reason and it was determined that they happened to be in overstay they could have been in a position where they could have been detained and I don't think you want to be in detention right now because getting out of detention depends on being able to get a flight and at this particular time period, depending on nationality, getting a flight out of here is going to be a pretty difficult thing to swing. There are certain nationalities that that will certainly be possible for but are certain nationalities can't even get back into their home country so if you were going to go into overstay and get detained that would be a real problem.

The thing to take away from this video is as I said this person had an ED visa and they simply presumed that the amnesty applied to them. Do not make that presumption. It looks to us as though Non-immigrant visas are not covered by the amnesty policy and for that reason you should be looking to continue to extend your status as you otherwise would.

For those who are in a multiple entry nonimmigrant Visa  in one of these categories; either a multiple entry O for Marriage, a multiple entry O-A for Retirement Visa visa or kind of an ED visa that is akin to a multiple entry, if you are in a multiple entry type of visa where a sticker is good for a year but your status is granted every time you are stamped into Thailand for example the multiple entry O Visa for marriage, you are granted 90 days at each entry, you folks are in a qualitatively different position and again the amnesty does not appear to apply to you and border runs do not look like a possibility so if you are in a multiple entry O based on marriage it might be a good idea, especially if you have got the time, to be looking around at your options for extending that status. Those of you who are having issues with this, if you want to go ahead and contact us we are happy to provide what assistance we can depending on the circumstances. 

But the thing to take away from this video is those are all non-immigrant categories, Retirement, Marriage, taking care of a child and Education and for that reason they are not necessarily covered under the provisions of the Thai Immigration's amnesty for COVID-19.