Thai immigration authorities have given a further lease of life to Covid-related visa extension applications beyond May 24. The last application date for international tourists who are unable (or unwilling) to leave the country is now Monday July 25. The extended period is related to Thailand’s state of emergency which has recently been extended a further two months: Covid’s national status remains a pandemic at least until the end of July when it is again subject to review.
The latest order to immigration offices nationwide contains no new instructions. It is still necessary for applicants to fill in an affidavit confirming the reason, for example lack of flights to the preferred destination or high prevalence of Covid infections in the home country. The order also refers to the need for applicants to seek embassy support, although it is widely recognized that most diplomatic posts decline to offer confirmation why their nationals aren’t going home.
Although Thailand’s land borders are reopening to tourist traffic, the process is not yet complete. For example, Myanmar’s frontiers remain closed to most foreigners and preflight approval is still necessary for a tourist visa to enter by air. In fact, many Covid-related visa extenders are Europeans who have been enjoying a prolonged stay in Thailand for over two years without the need to apply for an expat visa.
Assuming the Covid extension discretion is not extended further beyond July, the last of the successful applicants will be able to remain in Thailand until late September. Most immigration offices give an initial 30 days, technically an “under review” status, which requires a further visit to receive the second month. However, the cost is a one-off 1,900 baht payable on initial registration. There is no requirement to show proof of insurance or vaccination.