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Insights on Post Lock Down Border Runs and Visa Runs in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing COVID-19 yet again and we are also discussing Border Runs and Visa Runs into and out of Thailand specifically in the aftermath of this COVID-19 lockdown.

In a recent article from National News Bureau of Thailand, the article is titled: Strict Measures Still Needed to Beat COVID-19: PM. So they are basically saying the PM is saying we still need strict measures to beat COVID-19. Quoting directly: "The Prime Minister has thanked the people of all sectors for helping slow the spread of COVID-19." Quoting further: "He said proactive and stringent measures are still needed (and this is key) as well as strict regulation of persons entering and exiting the country over land borders who must be subject to State quarantine and other disease control measures."  So I thought this was insightful enough to be able to make a video on it. July 31 is the date when the Visa Amnesty is going to come to an end for foreigners that are in Thailand on Tourist Visas, visa exemption stamps. Now with the amended announcement on the Amnesty, it definitely covers Non-immigrants as well although again it is not a terrible idea to check with your local Immigration Office regarding matters pertaining to the requirement of extension for example of Non-immigrant visas; for example the Non-immigrant O Visa based on perhaps marriage or an O Visa based on retirement or perhaps even an OA Visa based on retirement as well as a B Visa; that is a Thai Business Visa that is issued for Non-immigrants doing business here in Thailand.  As of now I think it is safe to say "Yes, they are all extended outward" but different Immigration Offices have taken different interpretations on that. You may want to go ahead and check with your local Immigration office or contact us and we can assist in liaising with them if needs be. 

The thrust of this video though is it is clear to me again and I want to reiterate let me quote this again "as well as strict regulation of persons entering and exiting the country over land borders".  To a large degree, what we are talking about here is speculation. We don't know exactly what is going to happen after July 31.  I have read varying things and various sources that tend to say the same sort of thing which is the Thai government is saying “we are going to be have to be very cautious in our dealings with land border transport”. For this reason, I think it is prudent to presume that the Border Run situation or the situation on the ground if you will for Border Runs and Visa Runs and I will get into the differentiation of that in a second, may not be the same, it may not look the same as it did pre the lock-down. We may not see it look the same as it did pre lock-down for some time.  Now, it is hard to say exactly how this is all going to play out, and the various little permutations. Thailand is going to take different policies with respect to different countries but for now I think it is safe to presume yes a lifting of the lock-down is coming. I think it is inevitable, it is just a matter of when, but will border running be the same sort of nonchalant activity that it once was? That remains to be seen. In fact I think probably not. I think at least to one degree or another, there will be some added hurdles if you will or for lack of a better term, hoops to jump through when doing Border Runs. Again the difference and I have noted this here, I draw a line or distinction between Visa runs and Border runs in Thailand. A Visa Run is going to a Thai Embassy abroad and seeking a new visa and then coming back to Thailand. I view a Border Run as simply running across a land border, sometimes a sea border for lack of better term, and sometimes it can be done by air where you just go out and come back in oftentimes either using a 30-day exemption stamp or to update a 90-day stamp on a one year Multiple entry Non-immigrant Visa.  

So in conclusion on this video I think one should take away again, I just really want to read quote this: "as well as strict regulation of persons entering and exiting the country over land borders." Clearly Thai policymakers have this in their mind. This is not something that they are forgetting, for lack of a better term. They clearly are aware that land border crossings are an issue and I think they are going to keep an eye on this overall issue as things progress. So the thing to take away from this is if you can extend your status in Thailand, if you are in a Non-immigrant multiple entry visa for example, and you have the ability to extend, it might not be a terrible idea to consider doing so. A Thai visa extension will put you out but whole another year and that would basically preclude any problems that might arise subsequent to the ending of the Visa Amnesty on July 31 and any possible new obstacles that may arise with border running thereafter.