BANGKOK — Nine separate documents are now required for foreigners stranded in Thailand to extend their stay for up to 30 days, the immigration said Thursday.
Immigration spokesman Phakkhaphong Saiubon defended the inconvenience on the grounds of “national security.” New requirements include land deeds, rent contracts, and even selfies of foreigners with their accommodations, even as scenes of disarray and massive queues at immigration continue unabated.
“Indeed, we are requiring more documents than usual because there are those who want to exploit the opportunity,” Col. Phakkhaphong said. “We are doing our best to provide the best service, but bearing in mind that national security is our utmost priority.”
The new regulation was brought to public attention in a photo posted yesterday by travel blogger and longtime British expat Richard Barrow.
Will this madness ever end? We are in the middle of a global pandemic and the Immigration bureau are still insisting for stranded foreign tourists and expats to jump through hoops to extend their stay. This is the latest list released by Trat Immigration. Look at No. 10 #Thailand pic.twitter.com/ZMsQT2cneV
— Richard Barrow 🇹🇭🇬🇧 (@RichardBarrow) April 1, 2020
Apart from the usual TM7 application, copies of their passport, and applicant’s photos, the new rule requires a certificate from their respective embassies, a copy of rent contract, document confirming their stay at the accommodation, a copy of landlord’s ID card and house registration, and a map showing the location of their residence.
The landlord is required to accompany the applicant in person when submitting the documents. The applicant must also take at least four photos with their accomodation to prove their residency.
The spokesman said these new regulations are issued in accordance with the immigration protocols.
Speaking by phone, Col. Phakkhaphong also shot down news reports that the Cabinet has approved automatic visa extensions for foreign tourists.
In fact, the matter “is still being deliberated,” the colonel said.