Sunday, September 19, 2021

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Guide for foreigners living in or travelling to Thailand


As of May 6, the Thai government has restored the mandatory 14-day quarantine for both vaccinated and unvaccinated arrivals in the country, regardless of their nationality.

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Thai embassies and consulates are issuing a Certificate of Entry (COE) for all travellers to Thailand, including those in the visa exemption list, as well as 60-day tourist visas and special tourist visas (STV).

Foreigners entering Thailand are required to have an ASQ hotel reservation and Covid-19 insurance.

At present, only semi-commercial flights are allowed to land in Thailand.

Foreigners allowed entry include diplomats and foreign workers, including their families, business representatives and experts invited by the government, permanent residents, foreigners with Thai families, students and their guardians, medical tourists and their attendants, business visa holders, Thai Elite Visa holders, APEC cardholders, STV and tourist visa holders, non-immigrant O retirement visa, non-immigrant OA and OX holders and migrant workers with official documents.

All foreigners are required to get in touch with their local Thai embassy to apply for a COE and for more information.

Until September 30, 2021, Thailand will allow a limited number of long-stay tourists under the STV programme. This long-stay visa is open to foreign nationals travelling to Thailand with the intention of staying long-term as a tourist.

Those eligible can get in touch with the Tourism Authority of Thailand Office or Thai embassy in their current location for more information.

Guide for foreigners living in or travelling to Thailand

Visa amnesty/extension

What is visa amnesty?

As of May 29, 2021, all foreign nationals living in Thailand affected by the Covid-19 crisis will be granted a 60-day visa extension.

Who is covered by the visa amnesty?

All foreign nationals living in Thailand legally with a visa exemption entry stamp, tourist visa, non-immigrant visa or yearly extension of stay.

What are the rules related to visa amnesty?

Visa or permit to stay that is still valid and updated by the local immigration office.

Foreigners holding long-term visas, such as a work visa, marriage visa or retirement visa are required to apply for their yearly extension at the immigration office as usual.

Foreigners do not need an embassy letter to be granted the automatic visa extension due to Covid-19.

Is the Covid-19 visa extension free of charge?

No, the Covid-19 extension of visa costs 1,900 baht.

Will the visa amnesty be extended?

There is no indication that this visa amnesty or grace period will be extended.

What happens when the visa amnesty is lifted or not extended?

When the situation is resolved and returns to normal, foreigners must leave Thailand on or before the permit to stay date in their passports is up or must apply for the proper type of visa at the immigration office.

Travel Ban

Most international flights are banned, though some semi-commercial flights are allowed to land in Thailand.

Foreigners qualified to enter Thailand must apply for a “Certificate of Entry to Thailand” before they book a seat on the available repatriation flight.

90-day reporting

If you are a foreigner staying in Thailand for a period longer than 90 consecutive days holding a Non-Immigrant Visa or Extension of Stay, you are required by Thai Immigration to report your current address every 90 days. You may file for the TM47 notification in person, by mail, online, or through an agent. 

Consequences of visa overstay

During this Covid-19 crisis in Thailand, some foreign nationals may find themselves overstaying in Thailand either by mistake, miscalculating the length of stay, forgetting their visa expiration date or by unforeseen cancellation of their flights due to travel restrictions.

As a foreigner, you are strongly advised to avoid overstaying in Thailand. But if you do find yourself in Thailand on an expired visa it is very important that you act fast and in the right way.

Cancellation of Visa on Arrival

Travellers from the following countries are no longer allowed visa on arrival: Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu.

Travellers from these countries are required to obtain a proper visa to travel to Thailand.

Though the visa on arrival for Russia has been cancelled, Russian passport holders may still enter Thailand for 30 days under the bilateral agreement.

Guide for foreigners living in or travelling to Thailand

Published : May 28, 2021

By : The Nation