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“Let us stay – Why can’t Thai Immigration extend our visas?”

“While the Thai government has indeed been generous with the 3-month amnesty and given a clear date from the start, the situation is far from back to normal.

Quite a few foreigners currently already in the country would choose to stay in Thailand if offered the choice, and have good reasons to want to do so.

There are ways for the Thai government to normalise the foreigner situation (=get people back on some sort of extendable paying visa or stay permit) and keep control while also recognising the unprecedented nature of this crisis.

If non-resident foreigners currently “waiting it out” in Thailand have proof of funds, are willing to pay for a visa and subsequent extensions, what is wrong with giving them a chance to stay here for a little longer – say until Thailand decides to reopen up its borders to tourist arrivals, for instance?

And letting non-resident foreigners extend their stay could even be a part of Thailand’s current domestic tourism incentive policy.

On a similar timeline, Indonesia has just put an end to their emergency stay permit system. Since July 13, people who entered the country on a free visa on arrival will have 30 days to leave. But all other visas, including the paid visa on arrival, will be allowed to extend their visas for a fee “until the emergency is declared over”.

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