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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWhat Happens If My Visa Expires While Thai Immigration Is Closed?

What Happens If My Visa Expires While Thai Immigration Is Closed?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Immigration yet again and we are discussing the concept of Thai Immigration being closed when one's visa is expiring

Now I am making this video when we are dealing with the COVID-19 or the Coronavirus outbreak and so it is kind of tailored to that but this is a more general video insofar as this can happen for various reasons. Government shutdowns of all types and there are ramifications and there is a protocol for dealing with it. 

So for example let's say one's Visa is going to expire and the Government for any unforeseen reason closes and that closure lasts for a relatively for a relatively prolonged period of time. Or let's say ones visa expires over a weekend; let's use the weekend first.  If one's visa is going to expire on a Saturday, the best thing to do is get there on a Friday and go ahead and make best efforts to get the extension dealt with beforehand. But, what if that is not possible? Well strictly speaking, Immigration takes the position that they will deal with the matter as if it occurred on the day of expiration if they were closed, on the next available day but understand they are very strict on this. So, if the visa expires on a Saturday or the extension for that matter expires on a Saturday, the next available day they will be open is Monday. If you don't get in there by Monday, Tuesday it is not a foregone conclusion they are going to deal with you and in fact will probably view you as having overstayed and treat you accordingly. In our experience, the next available business day when Immigration is open is a possibility. 

Now if during this Coronavirus outbreak for example a full lockdown ensues and they  actually shut down Thai Immigration, then presumably if someone's visa expires or their status expires, if they are in extension status, if their status expires while the Immigration Office is closed due to Coronavirus, then the next available business day they are open is going to be when you need to deal with this. 

So those watching this video be well aware that this is going to come up. So if the thing closes down, you need to keep an eye on your visa and keep an eye on the news and when they open back up you can get right down there and get it dealt with. Under the extenuating circumstances of Coronavirus I am hoping Immigration Officers are going to be accommodating and to this point they seem to be relatively reasonable but you need to make best efforts to get down there at the first opportunity to get one's Immigration status sorted out because failure to do so and be very problematic. 

Holidays can also cause a visa issue. So if one's visa is expiring for example over Songkran, which over here in Thailand is often a prolonged holiday, and generally speaking, especially with respect to visa extensions, Immigration Officers don't really want to deal with those unless and until the date that the extension review has ended so the actual date of one's extension review ending and the need for the extension to be applied may not come up until a holiday is ended. Again, the rule of thumb, the next available open business day is when you need to deal with getting your Visa extended here in the Kingdom of Thailand.