Is the Jomtien immigration office busy?
After the enormous queues on April 6 and 7, the office is now very quiet. No queues to speak of.
I have a 60 day tourist visa expiring at the beginning of May so what is my position?
Two courses of action are available to you. You are currently covered by the free visa amnesty and can simply wait, trusting that the prime minister will extend it from April 30 to the end of May, a further month. If he does, you do not need to visit the immigration bureau and the new extension would also be free. Alternatively, you could visit the immigration bureau now and request the 30 days extension of your visa – to the beginning of June – which has always been available with a 60 days tourist visa. But you would be charged 1,900 baht in this case for a normal extension. With your particular circumstances, holding a valid visa issued by a Thai consulate abroad, you have a choice here.
I have been on overstay since March 28 with my 30 day visa-exempt stamp on arrival. What do I do?
Nothing. You are covered by the amnesty which stated that anyone with overstay since March 26 is automatically extended to April 30 without visiting an immigration office and without paying an overstay penalty. The government will update what will happen after April 30 later this month. Anyone with an overstay earlier than March 26 is not covered by the amnesty and should report to immigration authorities as soon as possible as their plight will only worsen.
Has the 90 day address reporting for one year visa holders been abolished?
No, but it has been temporarily suspended. If your due 90 day reporting falls in the period March 26 to April 30 you do nothing. If your due date was before March 26, you should visit the immigration bureau and pay the fine, normally a flat 2,000 baht. If your due date is later than April 30, wait for the next government announcement.
I have a one year retirement extension which expires on April 21. Does the visa extension amnesty apply to me?
No. You need to apply for your next one year visa extension, on or before the due date, just as you did last year. The amnesty to April 30 does not apply to holders of one year visas or extensions.
Does the immigration bureau still issue certificates confirming your local address?
The question here is why you would need one. The land transportation department is currently closed to the public so you cannot apply for a driving licence, nor buy and sell a vehicle. Incidentally if your current Thai driving licence has recently expired, or soon will, its life is automatically extended until the state of emergency ends and government offices reopen.
I have read that farang residents of Thailand who cannot return to the country before their permission ends have been given an extension. Who is covered by this?
Only foreigners with a residence book who are normally required to return to Thailand within a year of their departure. They have been granted an extension of their compulsory return deadline. They will be required to return when the situation improves within a period specified by the immigration bureau. Foreigners without a resident book – for example one year visa holders – are not residents in this context.
What happens at immigration if I have lost my passport or it has expired?
You cannot receive an immigration service without a valid passport. You have to contact your embassy any way you can – many embassies are principally operating by email at the moment – and obtain a new passport or an emergency travel document.
What is the main purpose of the visa amnesty?
It has two purposes – to reduce the awesome queues at immigration premises during the pandemic crisis and to assist short-term tourists and visitors who want to return to their own country but cannot do so just now. Thus all 30 days, 60 days and 90 day stamps/visas terminating since March 26 are automatically extended to April 30 without payment or needing the passport stamped. Holders of 14 day border passes (mainly citizens of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar) can stay until the borders reopen. The government has promised to announce its overall visa policy for May before the end of the current month.