In a development that will come as a welcome relief for tourists currently in Thailand, the Kingdom has decided to offer visa amnesty throughout April. This means that anyone in Thailand at the moment will not need to worry about their current visa expiring this month.
Under the new regulations, any visas that expire after 26th March will automatically be extended to 30th April. Furthermore, foreign nationals are no longer required to apply in person for an extension at an immigration office; the usual 500 baht per day fee for overstaying their visa will also be waived.
Foreigners due to file their 90-day reports between March 26 and April 30 are also temporarily exempted, while those with border passes will be permitted to stay in Thailand for the time being. However, they will be required to leave the Kingdom within 7 days of the borders reopening.
The news was confirmed in a notification from Thailand’s Interior Ministry, dated 7th April 2020. According to the statement:
“[The Ministry] grants permission to foreigners of all nationalities residing in Thailand an automatic visa extension for ALL types of visas including Visa On Arrival, … which have not expired prior to 26th March.” This means all tourists in Thailand will be able to remain in the country until 30th March without the need to extend their current visa.
In addition, the Thai government has also made the following recommendation: “all foreign nationals are advised to closely monitor the Immigration Bureau’s website for updates, though the measures announced on Wednesday are valid until April 30 unless otherwise updated.”
The news will be music to the ears of many travellers currently in Thailand, as their ability to get home has been hampered by flight cancellations, travel restrictions and border closures both at home and abroad. According to local media, many tourists, expats and other visitors had previously been required to queue up, sometimes in cramped or hot conditions, putting themselves and Thailand’s immigration officials at risk from transmission of COVID-19.
The news of temporary visa amnesty will give tourists a welcome reprieve, while also helping to safeguard locals against unnecessary spread of the virus.
Panorama Destination will continue monitoring events in Thailand closely, and will post updates as soon as there are developments to share. To get the latest COVID-19 stories from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, please follow our social media channels: