With just two weeks before the September 26th visa amnesty deadline expires in Thailand, tens of thousands of foreign visitors in the country are asking the same question — “Will the September 26th visa amnesty deadline be extended?”
In all likelihood, the answer to that is “No”.
From rumblings coming out of the Thai Immigration Bureau, unless the government suddenly takes a drastic u-turn, it is unlikely foreigners in Thailand without proper long-term stay visas will be legally able to stay past September 26th.
Unless they have been able to secure a short 30-day extension on their current stay valid from the 27th onward, that is.
In fact earlier in the week, Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, Sompong Chingduang, urged any foreigner still in Thailand and still without permission to stay after September 26th to make arrangements to leave the country by the deadline.
He also stressed the only two circumstances where a 30-day extension will be granted are for foreigners who cannot get a flight out of the country or whose country of nationality’s borders are still closed, or who have medical issues preventing them from flying.
Any other foreign visitor in Thailand is likely to be denied an extension and told to leave the country.
This announcement suggests there are no more conversations going on by the Thai government or Immigration to allow a further visa amnesty for foreign visitors after September 26th.
You can keep an eye on any new announcements on the Immigration Bureau’s website but, if you are holding onto the hope government officials will suddenly change their mind and allow you to stay, that hope is likely to do nothing but get you in legal trouble.
The penalties for overstay after September 26th, by the way, are quite severe.
The possibility of weeks or months in the Thai Immigration Detention Center when caught, thousands of baht in fines and up to a 10-year ban from the country depending on how long you overstay before you are discovered.