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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsI Have a 30 Day Thai Visa Stamp: What Happens When Amnesty Ends?

I Have a 30 Day Thai Visa Stamp: What Happens When Amnesty Ends?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the 30-day Visa exemption stamp. We are specifically discussing it in the context of the impending conclusion of the Thai Visa Amnesty also called the Automatic Thai Visa extension or the Thai Visa Waiver. 

As of now, those who got stranded in Thailand were basically granted an Amnesty that allowed their visa to continue through to the end of July 31st. There was some nuance with this and we have gone into great detail on that. I am not going to get into that in this video. This video is okay you were “amnestied” for lack of better term, you were granted amnesty, what happens when the Amnesty comes to an end? Well let me first of all state a lot of this video is to some degree speculative although we are making logical inferences based on experience, based on Thai Immigration law and based on common sense and that is what is going into making this video. 

Here is what I suspect is going to happen. The day the amnesty ends or shortly there before, it is going to be a good idea to leave Thailand because I think it is fairly safe to presume, unless something dramatic happens we are not going to see this Visa Amnesty extended; the initial one granted a month of Amnesty. Thereafter, they went ahead and granted three more months, so all of April, May, June July, they granted a total of 4 months lawful status in Thailand and let's be clear, it is Amnesty status. You are not accruing overstay but it is kind of nebulous status. I liken it to being akin to what is called Duration of Status in the United States where you have gone over there for a purpose, you have been permitted Duration of Status; usually we see this with student visas, your course of study may have ended but maybe you are doing something on the back end. In short, Duration of Status does not accrue overstay, or I should say before a prior memo in the US, Duration of Status did not accrue overstay. This is similar to what we are dealing with here. You are not really in a status if you are only being covered by the Amnesty you are simply operating in the negative. You are not accruing overstay, you are not considered in overstay for purposes of a blacklisting. That is the way we look at it. So what happens when this comes to an end? Well normal rules apply so you are going back to the way it usually is. For that reason, I would strongly urge those who have enjoyed the Amnesty that is why I am making this video quite a ways out, go ahead and make travel arrangements before this ends. I don't think it is wise to presume that it is going to be particularly easy to leave and come back in. I want to be clear. I don't think Thai Immigration is going to go out of their way to cause problems. It may very well be possible to effectively do a Border Run by the time July 31st rolls around. There may be borders where they are effectively just checking people out and checking them right back in, and seeing them leave the Border, they are keeping them right in the eye shot if you will, right in their eye line as they come back in and there is no reason to have to retest those folks you know, test those folks for COVID-19.  Now Immigration may take a harder stance on that. They may say, "No, we really want to discourage Border Running in the aftermath of COVID-19."  Again that stuff remains to be seen. 

At the time of this video I think those who are on a 30-day stamp, unlike those who are on a Non-immigrant Visa, it is probably a good idea for you folks to go ahead and start looking at making travel arrangements prior to the 31st because I don't believe this Amnesty is going to be extended and you are going to need to get out before you go into overstay, you start accruing fines and if you stay for a prolonged enough period of time, you start accruing a presumptive blacklisting. 

So the thing to take away from this video is yes it is going to come to an end. What rules come into effect? Well the normal rules come into effect and I don't think it is a good idea to presume a Border Run is going to be possible. It may be required that you return back to your home country even if that home country is some distance away geographically from Thailand.