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PHOTOS: Immigration at Chaeng Wattana heaving with foreigners desperately trying to extend their visas


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PHOTOS: Immigration at Chaeng Wattana heaving with foreigners desperately trying to extend their visas


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Image: @wirojlak

 

The Thai Immigration office at Chaeng Wattana has been inundated with foreigners desperately trying to extend their visas due to travel restrictions in place following the outbreak of COVID-19.

 

The immigraiton office, located at Government Complex in Bangkok, is well known for its long queues, with foreigners often forced to wait for hours on end to renew their permission to remain in Thailand, inform immigration of a change of address or to carry out the required 90 day report.

 

However, after many neighbouring countries closed their borders and airlines started cancelling flights to and from Thailand, thousands of tourists have been left stranded in the country with their visas either close to or having already expired.

 

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Thai Immigration has stated that foreigners whose travel plans have been disrupted by COVID-19 can obtain a 30 day extension, providing they obtain a letter from their embassy.

 

This has resulted in many immigration offices in Thailand being packed with foreigners in recent days - at a time when there is huge importance on members of the public practicing social distancing in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

Photos shared to Twitter showed scores of foreigners waiting at Chaeng Wattana on Tuesday, while many people were seen wearing masks, no social distancing measures were in place. 

 

And it was a similar scene on Wednesday, according to blogger Richard Barrow, who shared images of throngs of people queing at Chaeng Wattana at 5.30am.

 

 

A report posted on Thaivisa on Monday described the scenes at Chaeng Wattana as “chaotic”.

 

A British tourist also told Thaivisa on Wednesday that the Phetchaburi immigration office in Tha Yang was equally as busy. 

 

The news comes as immigration on Tuesday announced new measures that would help ensure to keep people one metre apart when inside the Government Complex. 

 

 

 

*post updated to include the ^ tweet directly above

 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-03-25

 

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This is why I made a last minute visa run on Saturday. Long queues at CW, paperwork and putting my fate in the hands of a Thai immigration officer were the last things I wanted. 

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Were they not arrested for being part of a large gathering? 

 

 

Lighten the immigration laws during this emergency, so foreigners here can self isolate or practice social distancing, thus lessening infection rates, or make them gather together in their thousands for hours on end.

 

 

Thailand's decision:

 

90622955_10159543076383012_4597749017055

 

 

Well done Thailand, great decision. :handclap: 

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Im alwys one to advocate following the rules, but under these circs, If I was still in Thailand, Id take any penalties for overstay and hunker down. Thats under MY particular circumstances.

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Having to deal and chase all kinds of permits and visa in my 30+ years in this country it is apparent that it is not within the powers that be to have compassion or understanding of a dire situations and the sights of suffering foreigners due to circumstances beyond their control  doesn't seems to invoke any special considerations....

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Thereby creating a virus epicentre. These bombs will be exploding all around Thailand.

 

Why not just forget about the money and announce an extension for all? The cost of spread will wipe out any revenue gains.

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Why are the Embassies not making protests to the Thai government on this serious matter?

 

Instead they are merely scuttling around to provide Immigration requested paperwork, rather than firing back at yet another example of completely unnecessary red tape.

 

Yes, I am looking at you, the British and US Embassy.  Once again you are failing your fellow citizens. 

 

 

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Why not give the local police station the power to do 90 day reports, after all they are all part of the same organisation. 

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Letters are not required for V.O.A or tourist visa just go and apply.pay the fee.Non immigrate visa,i think may need letter? but not required to renew yearly N.I.O retirement visa.90 DAY reports you can do online,i have done all mine online for past 3yrs with very few problems.

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A deadly disgrace.

we are living in 2020 and still this kind of stuff cannot be done with any kind of certainty online. 
 

the online reporting is hit and miss at best. Anyone claiming otherwise is a bare faced liar. All these visa stuff should be done online, especially in the midst of a crisis like we are in now. 
 

its backward if you ask me!
 

 

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This was not the situation yesterday 24th March - between 0730 am and 1030 am when I was there. Had a long queue to enter immigration which stretched a long way. People were made to stand in lines , similar to car lines waiting to board a ferry, at least 1 metre apart and every other chair inside had a notice placed saying NO on the seat. Immigration staff regularly walked down the waiting lines enforcing the 1 metre apart distancing. I appreciate 2 metres is recommended but in my view they were doing their best in difficult circumstances. I cannot speak for nearer lunchtime and at 1pm when immigration reopens.

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I live in a Karen village on Doi Inthanon. My husband is Thai. I have not left our area since mid Jan. The village is now closed with a gate to outsiders to keep people here safe. I’m on a Non-O Multi entry visa valid until Oct. I find it unfathomable that I’m required to risk my health, my husbands & the safety of the village to go get a new stamp when the government is telling us all to stay home & practice social distancing. This must change if they are serious about fighting Covid-19 & saving lives of their citizens. If I come down with it...so will my husband. I have a 20yr record of no overstays here.  It’s time under these unprecedented circumstances to give everyone who is already here automatic extensions until the borders reopen, please PM Prayuth, don’t make this more difficult than it already is.  🙏🏻

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5 minutes ago, sweatalot said:

What if  a super spreader is in this crowd (or behind the counter) making the infection rate in Thailand explode. Will they then blame te foreigners ?

Unfortunately they will blame anyone except the Chinese.

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1 hour ago, Happy Grumpy said:

Were they not arrested for being part of a large gathering? 

 

 

Lighten the immigration laws during this emergency, so foreigners here can self isolate or practice social distancing, thus lessening infection rates, or make them gather together in their thousands for hours on end.

 

 

Thailand's decision:

 

90622955_10159543076383012_4597749017055

 

 

Well done Thailand, great decision. :handclap: 

what an absolute cluster kcuf

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Bewildering when you think about it .

During the time of a deadly contagious virus, they are making people from all over the World and various parts of Thailand and spend hours congregated together and some will most probably contract the virus and then giving them permission to stay in the country and then for them to go to their homes and spread the virus to all parts of Thailand  , just so they can get a stamp in their passport .

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16 minutes ago, Happy Grumpy said:

The foreign media, press, and governments should be contacted.

 

 

Foreigners forced to gather together in thousands for hours on end as Thai government refuses to lax their immigration laws. 

Absolutely stupid bar stewards, just give everyone an automatic 3 month extension on their current permission to stay date.

 

No need to attend immigration just an accepted policy across the board, could simply close immigration.

 

Why are they so brain dead in an emergency situation.

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The Thai government should simply issue an order that automatically extends everyone's visa by 30 days.  If they are concerned about losing money, require everyone to pay after the fact when they next have to report to their immigration office.  Something similar should be done for 90 day reports.  Extend the report date by 30 days and hopefully the virus situation will be much improved in 30 days.  Such actions would not only help foreigners, but would help Thais as well by not increasing the risk of spreading the virus due to people being jam packed together.

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13 minutes ago, sweatalot said:

What if  a super spreader is in this crowd (or behind the counter) making the infection rate in Thailand explode. Will they then blame te foreigners ?

No worries. Haven't you heard: the virus cannot spread during the day- only at night. A nighttime curfew will save us all....

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This is absurd and it increases the odds for spreading COVID19.

Look at all those people X 1900 Baht.

Are we counting eggs? 

I still have no idea what letter they're talking about. 

 

As far as US Citizens are concerned, I can't seem find any reference to getting the letter for permission.

https://th.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/

 

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6 minutes ago, sanemax said:

Bewildering when you think about it .

During the time of a deadly contagious virus, they are making people from all over the World and various parts of Thailand and spend hours congregated together and some will most probably contract the virus and then giving them permission to stay in the country and then for them to go to their homes and spread the virus to all parts of Thailand  , just so they can get a stamp in their passport .

Have more faith. "Team Thailand" has this...

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