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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsWill Non-Immigrant Thai Visas Be Given Automatic COVID-19 Extension?

Will Non-Immigrant Thai Visas Be Given Automatic COVID-19 Extension?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the recently-announced automatic visa extensions associated with Coronavirus.

For those who are unaware, Thai Immigration is announcing or at the time of this video is in the process of announcing that those who hold a visa a Tourist Visa, tourists who came into Thailand after March 1st, 2020 so presumably those on a Thai Visa exemption stamp, on a visa on-arrival-stamp or on an actual Thai Tourist Visa issued by a Thai Consulate or Thai Embassy abroad. All of those folks are going to be granted an automatic extension of their status; tourists who came to Thailand and were inadvertently stranded by the Coronavirus will have their visa status extended automatically and the full ramifications of is we are still kind of dealing with but that seems to be a given. Tourists can extend.

A question I am getting a lot is well “I have a multiple-entry Non-immigrant Visa or I have a multiple-entry Non-immigrant Visa. Where do I stand? What about me? Is my status automatically extended?”  To quote directly from a recent article in the Nation, that is nationthailand.com, the article is titled: "Tourists get Automatic Visa Extensions. Quoting directly: "People who hold other types of visas still need to go to visit the Immigration Office for extensions." and they were quoting directly from the Deputy Ministry spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It appears that those who are in Non-immigrant Visa status still need to deal with their extensions as they normally would. Now for those who maintain their status in Thailand by extension this is fine but there are a number of people as previously noted: Non-immigrant multiple-entry Visa holders, O Visa holders who maintain their status via for lack of better term border runs or visa runs, they just prefer to get the one-year Non-immigrant multiple entry visa mostly because they travel a lot regionally usually for business and maintain their status via border runs. Well that for now it is my understanding all borders or effectively sealed and all the bordering countries to Thailand are refusing to accept anybody coming into their country and it is going to be even hard to get back into Thailand after going out and trying to come back in. So as a practical matter the border and the visa run are a dead letter at least for the foreseeable future and I should say the immediately foreseeable future because it seems likely by the end of the year certainly and probably by the end of the second quarter of the year, we will be looking at having these borders reopened but that being said it still remains speculation.

The thing to take away from this video Non-immigrant multiple entry visa holders if you are in Thailand and you have for example a B Visa that is a multi-entry,  you may need to seriously be considering extending status in the Kingdom because failure to do so can result in you falling into overstay and there is no automatic extension for those kind of visa holders. Those folks are going to be compelled, they are painted into a corner if you will, required to get an extension. There are no other two ways about it; they have to get an extension in order to maintain status. 

Now hopefully folks will have an expiry date of their last entry stamp which will hopefully go past when these closures will end so somebody that is currently stamped into Thailand until June, I think it is okay to presume at least for now that that individual will be able to do a border run when the time comes. But again we are kind of playing this by ear and that remains to be seen.  We will continue to do videos on this channel to keep people updated on this topic as the situation evolves.