Some news explained (visas etc.)
There has been a lot of news and information to process these last weeks, and not all the information is explained properly and is somewhat confusing at times. So here are some explanations just to try and iron out some of the questions that people are wanting answers for.
Visa – Visa amnesty
This week I had a meeting with Darren at Key Visa so that he could explain to me in detail everything we need to know. Darren had explained to me that those people that are here with short visas, that is visas with 90 days and under – whose permission expired on or after March 26 are automatically extended until April 30.
However, people like myself and many others that are living here on a work permit, Retirement visa, education visa etc are not covered by the amnesty and will be expected to go to immigration to report as per normal. But if a persons address check-in falls between March the 26th and April 30th you do not need to report. But if it was me, I still would do the check-in just in case as rules change all the time.
At this time, no one knows what will happen next month and what the rules will be but the announcement is expected soon. I feel that the amnesty will probably be extended due to the fact that officials will not want the endless queues and angry faces standing and waiting in the hot sun.
Again, there has been talks that we can do our 90-day check-in via the internet, and yes that is that case for short stay visas but that again does not include people like myself that are on a 12-month visa.
With all that said and done, there leaves one easy option.. Go see Darren and his staff at Key Visa, and for 500Bht the staff will go to immigration for you and you can go back home. Your visa and passport will be back within the hour and you can go back to collect your passport at your own leisure. Details for Key Visa will be below.
Any immigration visit you need to do then Key Visa can do it for you, why not take the stress out of your life.
Just a quick note, when it comes to visa rules please do not listen to the person on the street that has only heard himself and is still unsure. Make time just to make a call or visit to a visa office like Darren who will answer all your questions.
Visit Key Visa here: Key Visa
Call from Abroad
UK: +44 20 7097 1630
Au: +61 2 8006 2707
Darren : +66 (0)8100 45397
Monday to Friday, 10 am – 5 pm
Some places have been saying that treatments for the virus is free, however, this is not so. It was reported that if a person had landed in Thailand during March then yes if a person needed a test then that would be free.
At this point in time, the only foreigners that are eligible for free treatment are those that are on a work permit as they pay directly into the social system that are linked to hospitals.
Any other foreigners will have to pay for treatment themselves for medical treatment or use medical insurance that will cover the cost. Also, note that medical insurance that was bought and paid for last year may not cover for treatment, you may have to buy for additional insurance just so that you are covered or call you insurance company and ask where you stand.
Ban on booze
As we are all well aware by now, there is currently a booze ban going on till the end of the month. So this ban is on all buying, selling and transporting alcohol. We are not sure what will happen next month and if the ban will be extended. If the ban is not extended then this means people will be able to buy booze between the hours of 11:00 and 14:00 and then again 17:00 till 18:00. There is also a separate ban on alcohol from 18:00 till 06:00.
Most people now have either driven through the new roadblocks and checkpoints at the bottom Soi Khao Talo on Sukhumvit road. This is another measure to try and curb the spread of the virus.
Persons wanting to go from the Dark side to Pattaya or from Pattaya tot he dark side will have to pass through one of these checks points and prove why they have reason to cross.
The advice is for drivers in cars are to carry face masks in the car and also for all passengers and if you can, try to buy a bottle of hand sanitizer and have that in the car. Also original and blown up A4 copies of any relevant documents which will include passport, driving licence and proof of where you live. If you are on a bike, wear a face mask underneath your helmet and keep your documents under your seat on in a backpack.
If you have to travel outside the permitted area i.e Darkside to Pattaya then you will need proof of why you are travelling. So if you are going to a doctor or hospital you will need an appointment letter. If you are travelling for work then a separate document that will have details of your company boss and your details will be on that. If you do not have any of the above, then you will probably not be let through.
This process is actually going a lot better than the first attempt a week or so ago. I have passed through the checkpoint a few times and the whole process is quite quick and easy. The roadblocks will probably be there till at least the end of April unless the order to extend.
The curfew has been up and running for a while now and tho many people are not listening and are being arrested, a majority of people have listened and are staying inside during hours. The hours of the curfew is from 22:00 and ends at 04:00.
Because of this, you might find that many 7/11 and Tesco etc will now start to shut from 21:30. So try and do your last-minute buying before 21:30 and not be like me and have to travel miles and miles till i found a 7/11 that was open till bang on 22:00.
If people are found outside without a proper reason during these hours, then expect a large fine and or prison time. persons who are allowed to travel during the curfew and night workers, delivery workers and persons that are travelling to the airport and obviously ambulances and if you are being transported to hospital