The immigration authorities have confirmed that the final date of applications for the 60 days special Covid visa extension is now November 26. This replaces the former last date of September 27 and effectively prolongs the right to remain until well into the new year.
The Covid extensions were introduced 18 months ago and have allowed short-stay tourists to remain here, even though their initial permission had expired, on application to the immigration bureau. The reason has always been dislocation of air travel schedules and the closure of land borders because of the pandemic.
The numbers in the Pattaya areas have shrunk as most Covid extenders have already departed. But there are groups of long-holiday Europeans and even tourists from neighboring countries still holding out. Immigration authorities declined to give the local numbers but said they were “hundreds rather than thousands”.
Most Pattaya expats are holders of non-immigrant visas, such as retirement or marriage, or have work permits or permanent residence status. There are separately labourers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia with authorized permits. None of these groups are covered by the Covid extension discretion which was devised strictly with trapped tourists in mind.