The Immigration Bureau (IB) of Thailand has urged foreigners who have been stranded in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic to renew their visas before the end of an exemption which falls on September 26.
IB deputy spokesman Police Colonel Pakpong Sai-ubol said that more than 150,000 foreign nationals need to have their tourist visas renewed by September 26 or face a charge of overstaying.
Overstaying the tourist visa is punishable by both a jail term and fine under the Immigration Act, he said, adding offenders will also be deported to their countries of origin.
According to the law, anyone who has overstayed their visa for more than 90 days is barred from re-entering the kingdom for one year. The blacklist extends to a lifetime if the overstaying period exceeds 10 years.
Many foreign visitors were stranded in Thailand at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in late March when international flights were suspended and borders closed to stave off the transmission of the virus.
As of September 21 noon, the country had recorded 3,506 infections, including 59 fatalities.