BANGKOK — An immigration bureau spokesman Monday that another round of visa amnesty for foreigners residing or stranded in Thailand due to the coronavirus pandemic is very likely.
The previous amnesty, extended back in April, expired on Saturday. Spokesman Col. Phakkhaphong Saiubon said by phone Monday that an extension from Sunday through Oct. 31 should be officially announced within the week.
The amnesty will also be implemented retroactively, meaning that those who failed to renew their stay after the Sept. 26 deadline will not be prosecuted.
“I just knew from my bosses over the weekend as well. It’s not official yet but will be announced within this week,” Phakkhaphong said. “Since many foreigners can’t exit the country, Thai authorities don’t know what to do.”
Words about a new amnesty were spread Sunday night by British blogger and longtime expat Richard Barrow, who posted an unsigned ministerial announcement to reinstate on his social media platforms.
“According to this unsigned document from the Ministry of Interior, Immigration is expected to extend the visa amnesty from 27 September to 31 October,” the post wrote. “This should be signed by the PM and published in the Royal [Government] Gazette soon.”
Phakkhaphong said that the amnesty could be extended along with the Emergency Decree.
“It’s hard to say when extensions will end because many flights can’t go out,” he said. “A lot of people already paid for an embassy letter and extension already as well. Many good people are following the rules.”