Thai Immigration announces automatic visa extension for foreigners

The Immigration Bureau announced on Tuesday (7 April) that all foreigners’ visas will be automatically extended as an effort to prevent long queues at immigration centres and control the spread of COVID-19.

Suvarnabhumi airport (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Foreign nationals who entered the country before Thailand closed its borders and whose visas expired as of 26 March 2020 will automatically have their visas extended until 30 April 2020, and will not be fined 500 baht per day.

Those who are due to make their 90-day report between 26 March and 30 April will be exempted from reporting until further notice, while Border Pass holders will be allowed to stay in Thailand while the borders remain closed, but will have to leave within 7 days of the borders opening.

Last week, the government also announced that migrant workers with expiring work permits will be allowed to stay in the country without having to apply for extensions until Thailand reopens its borders.

Thailand declared a State of Emergency on 26 March, which will remain in effect until 30 April. The first set of measures implemented under the Emergency Decree closed Thai national borders and prohibit travel into the country through its land, sea, or air border checkpoint, with the exception of goods, transportation crews, members of diplomatic missions or other international organizations exempted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreigners with work permits, Thai nationals with medical certificates and embassy certificates, and any other person exempted by the Prime Minister.

On 2 April, the government also announced a nationwide curfew starting from 3 April, which prohibited the public from leaving their residences between 22.00 – 04.00. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has also announced a temporary ban on all international flights to Thailand from 6 – 18 April, with the exception of state or military aircraft, emergency landings, technical landings without disembarkation, humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights, repatriation flights and cargo flights. Passengers arriving on flights which departed before the ban come into effect have been subjected to a 14-day quarantine.  

As of 9 April, Thailand has a total of 2,432 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 940 of which have already been discharged from hospital, and a death toll of 32.