The Thai government seems to have realized the folly of forcing over 150,000 foreign tourists out of Thailand during a time of economic crisis.
At least if the latest news foreigners can now get a visa extension until October 31st, plus additional 60-day extensions after that is anything to go by.
According to the Bangkok Post, the Thai government is extending the grace period for visa renewals for any foreigner still stuck in the country until October 31st of this year.
Once that grace period ends, a new policy of 60-day extensions will kick in for foreigners who are still unable to leave.
While the matter is subject to approval by the Thai Cabinet tomorrow, it is likely to pass.
The latest visa news was announced after a Thai Immigration official confirmed earlier today “Thai authorities don’t know what to do” about foreigners unable to exit Thailand due to inability to get flights or due to their own country’s borders being closed.
Faced with the task of possibly having to call for the arrest and jailing of over 150,000 foreigners, it seems the Thai government has decided to extend the visa grace period instead.
As long as Thailand’s borders remain closed to foreign visitors, however, and as long as those still stuck in the country are only able to get out via expensive repatriation flights, this situation is likely to continue.
In other words, while those who did manage to leave Thailand before the visa amnesty ended last Saturday must be furious at being forced out, those who are still stuck in the country need no longer worry about being on overstay and, thus, being in Thailand illegally.
We will keep you posted as new visa rules are announced or as things change.