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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsImpact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Border Runs in Thailand

Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Border Runs in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing border runs here in the Kingdom of Thailand. 

What does that mean? Well we are talking about if folks come in to Thailand and for example they have a 30-day exemption stamp and perhaps they have extended it perhaps they haven't, but they feel the need to go over the border and be stamped out and try to stamp back in, or if they have something like a multiple-entry tourist visa or multiple-entry non-immigrant visa or even folks for example that could have an Elite Visa in Thailand and have a one-year validity, they opt  to go ahead and just step out of the country, step back in and get a new visa issued for themselves. It requires what is called a border run. 

Now we have made a video on this before where we distinguish between a Border Run and a Visa Run. I make the distinction between a border around and a Visa Run as a border run is what people have to do who don't necessarily have a visa or already have a visa and they just need to leave and come back in so they literally run to a land border for example and just stamp out and stamp back in. What I would call a Visa Run is traveling to, in this case a Thai Embassy or Consulate outside of the Kingdom and obtaining a visa and then returning to Thailand with a new visa. 

So in another video we discuss visa runs; that is an Embassy run directly. This is basically talking about land borders. What is going on with respect to that? At present Thai authorities have made restrictions on certain nationalities with respect to visas-on-arrival and Visa exemptions. I have noted in a prior video those nations but we will go back through and just list those out. 

Visas on arrival will be suspended for Nationals from Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu. Meanwhile Visa exemptions will be canceled for South Korea, Italy, and Hong Kong. So I think especially for those from South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong that don't already have some kind of Visa stamp, if you are looking to do a border run to go out and then to get back into status here in Thailand, you may want to think again and seriously consider something akin to a Thai visa extension here in country as opposed to doing a border run or coming up with some other way of dealing with one's status because if you are in an exemption stamp, you could have some real problems. 

Meanwhile, again visa-on-arrival has been suspended but that doesn't necessarily mean that being stamped in on a border run has come to an end. This is where my analysis get frayed because I think it is very difficult to predict what would happen along a land border in Thailand for those Nationals who try to come back in who are on this list of folks whose visas-on-arrival privileges have been suspended and visa exemption status has been revoked. With the exemptions I think it is pretty clear; they are not going to be able to get back in. If any or all of those folks have visas, I think they can run out and if their visa for example is multi-entry for example multi-entry tourist visa, those folks should be able to get back in. 

That being stated we are making another video specifically on multiple entry non-immigrant visas and I urge those are watching this video who have a multiple-entry non-immigrant visa to stay tuned. We will have that video out for you shortly. The issue in this video is simply out and in; you are going out and you are trying to come back in to maintain status. I think if you are on a visa exemption stamp or from one of those nationalities, it is not going to be possible. If you have issued visas, it may be possible to get back in depending on your circumstances.

Those of these nationalities that we have mentioned, it is probably a good idea to contact a legal professional regarding how best to maintain one's status and get in the country legally and stay here probably through use of some sort of visa extension although it is difficult to say exactly what that would entail, at least at the present time. That being stated, we will keep you updated on this channel as things progress on these topics.