Embassies to stop issuing letters for visa extension

Consulate of Canada in Bangkok

Some foreign embassies in Bangkok won’t be issuing any more letters for further visa extension after the visa amnesty expires on July 31.

The US embassy had published an announcement last week stating that American citizens residing in Thailand will have to decide whether to leave or stay, as they will no longer issue letters for visa extension. The letter is compulsory for most foreigners who wished to extend their stay for another month.

“US citizens have until July 31 to either return to the US, other permanent residence or obtain appropriate long-term visa. Refer specific visa questions to Thai immigration.” The embassy is unable to give advice on individual visa issues.

The British Embassy in Bangkok also posted on its website that requests for visa extension letters will not be possible.

Another Facebook post concerning Canadian citizens says:

“We have just checked with the immigration office in Chiang Mai and were told that foreigners who wish to stay longer in Thailand and apply for an extension of their 30-day visa or tourist visa by the end of this month will only be granted another 7 days with a stamp on their passports and then they have to leave the Kingdom.”

No further extension will be allowed and the letter from Embassy or Consulate will neither be considered for request for further extension.”

The visa amnesty that was granted by the government in April, allowed foreigners whose visas have expired since March 26, to remain in the country until July 31 without the need of applying for an extension at immigration offices.

An immigration spokesman restated yesterday that another amnesty extension is ‘unlikely’. He advised foreigners whose respective embassies refused to issue the letter should leave the country on or before July 31 to avoid penalty or overstay.

Under Thai Immigration rules, foreign tourists and travellers stranded in Thailand without relevant visas earlier this year due to the pandemic, requires a letter from their embassy if they wish to extend their stay in the Kingdom after the amnesty expires.

“Thailand has shown adequate leniency for foreigners. It’s almost been 4 months now. If you have a letter, you’re good to stay, but if you can’t get one, then there’s not much we can do,” the spokesman added.

The US Embassy also declined to comment on the reason why they’ve decided to stop providing extension letters.

“It’s up to your embassy. Thailand has nothing to do with it. If a foreign embassy refuses to provide the service to its citizens, no one else can. We have done our best to help foreigners. “

Fines for overstay and the 90-day reporting will resume on August 1.

Original writer: Jack Burton
Sources: The Thaiger | Khasod English