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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThai Visa Amnesty for COVID-19: 30 Day Exemption Extension Stamps

Thai Visa Amnesty for COVID-19: 30 Day Exemption Extension Stamps

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing COVID-19 yet again. We are discussing it specifically in the context of this automatic Thai visa extension regime also called the Thai Visa Waiver now or referred to as the Thai Visa Amnesty for those whose Visa expired between March 26th and April 30th and are sort of stranded as a result of COVID-19. 

So for those who are unaware, Thai Immigration promulgated a policy wherein they said "look if your Tourist Visas, visa-on-arrival or Visa exemption stamp, expired between 26th of March 2020 and April 30th, 2020, we are going to just go ahead and waive you. We are going to waive you needing to get an extension to maintain lawful status until April 30th when we sit down and review the policy and decide whether or not we are going to extend that amnesty further."

I have done videos about that specifically and some of the nuances associated with that. I have also done a video about how it appears, at least depending on the Immigration Office you talk to, but it appears there seems to be a thread of thought if you will that if your Visa expired prior to the 26th of March and you received a letter from your home Embassy so if you are an American, you received a letter from the US Embassy and we did a video on these, requesting that the Thai Government provide an extension of status, if your Visa would have expired prior to the 26th of March and you received an Embassy letter that allowed your status to continue, if your status would have expired only by dint of the fact that you had that letter and it expired during that window period,  certain Thai Immigration Offices and certain Thai Immigration Officers are taking the position those folks need to deal with Thai Immigration in order to regularize and keep their status normalized because they don't fit under the specific date window for a Visa amnesty of March 26th through April 30th. I have done a video on that already. It should already be up and I go into that in great detail. 

This videos about something different. What I am talking about here is folks who had a 30-day exemption stamp, so you get a 30 day stamp at the airport when you come into Thailand, and you have gone down and gotten another 30-day extension on that stamp and we talked about that, it is possible to extend a 30-day exemption by another 30 days; you pay a fee and go ahead and do that. What if that expires within the window? Well that seems to be what I am referring to as a naturally expiring Visa or a naturally expired lawful status if you will. So an Embassy letter that got special dispensation for lack of better term an “under consideration” stamp or a “pending stamp” if you want to call it where they basically said look we are going to extend you until we decide what to do with you, those folks may need to go and normalize their status. It looks like some Immigration Offices are arguing that is falling outside the amnesty and you have got to go deal with Immigration Office to keep your status maintained. 

Meanwhile, so let's say you had a 30-day stamp and you came in on February 25th, that stamp was going to expire on March 25th for example, okay. Now March 26th is the cutoff date. Let's say you went and you got a 30-day extension on that exemption stamp on March 25th the day before the window began, if that 30 day stamp expires in April, it is April 26th I think or April 25th whatever, that expires before April 30th. That individual you are going to be considered in lawful status until April 30th. That specific subset of people who came in on a 30-day stamp, asked for an extension and the extension happened to expire during this window, it looks to me like the Visa amnesty applies to you and you don't need to deal with anything like an Embassy letter person would have to go deal with to keep your status regularized.