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Covid Extension / Visa Agent nightmare


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First of all thank you in advance for all the "som nam na" and "you're not stuck here" responses this post will no doubt generate.

 

My situation is this... I came in on a tourist visa and converted to non-O+work permit. Once the non-O was finished I decided not to renew my contract at work and ended up getting into a bit of a mess. Amongst a swathe of conflicting advice, I think I managed to ascertain that that in order to get a covid extension, I would have to cancel the non-O extension and work permit even they would both naturally expire.

 

I eventually went with an agent to do my covid extensions without cancelling the non-O/work permit.

 

The reasons for this decision were as follows:

 

  • I was/am living in a different city to where the work permit and non-O were issued(Bangkok) and I didn't want to travel, unvaxinated, if I could avoid it in the height of a covid pandemic.
  • I wasn't even sure if the information given was 100% correct - cancelling a document that would automatically expire sounds stupid, but this is Thailand so of course there's no reason why a stupid requirement wouldn't exist
  • If the information I was going with was be incorrect, there was every possibility that I'd be stuck in Bangkok with a cancelled visa and no valid covid extension

 

I found an agent based in Bangkok who claimed they could  get me a covid extension without cancelling the non-O for 6000bt. I sent my passport to them and a week or so later they had provided the extension. I then continued to use them for the next extension but this time all of a sudden the price has gone up to 8,500 which a) is getting pretty high for a 2 month extension of stay which normally costs 1,900bt and b) has me wondering if they'll just keep on turning the screw and increasing further and further as long as the extensions go on.

 

Hindsight is always 20/20 and obviously in retrospect I should have put more effort into sorting things out the 'legit' way. That wasn't the choice I made at the time, and I can't go back and change that.

 

So my questions are this:

 

Firstly, is there any way I can retrospectively fix my situation so I can get extensions without an agent. Can I still go to Bangkok and 'cancel' my work permit, and non-O visa even though they've long since expired, then extend naturally either at Bangkok or my local immigration office? This is the preferable route as it would obviously save a lot of money in the long term (assuming that any penalties are minimal and covid extensions continue for a while)

Failing that, does anybody know of a visa agent who will do the covid extensions for a more reasonable price than 8,500?

 

I am under 50.

Edited by OppsNowEyeFeelStupdi
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19 minutes ago, Peterw42 said:

Have you tried just going to immigration and asking for a covid extension ?

If your 0 extension is expired then its expired, and you qualify for a covid extension

You appear to be confusing cancel WP requirements with cancelling extension.

Not cancelling a WP impacts getting future WPs or future 0B visa/extension. I think you will find its nothing to do with getting a covid extension.

Yes I did. This is pretty much how the process went:

 

  • I went to a local agent for advice. They said that both the non-O and work permit had to be cancelled before I could get an extension. They advised me about a letter I needed from my employer confirming that my work would end on the date that my non O expires
  • I contacted my employer asking them for said letter and my work permit, which they were holding on my behalf
  • I went back to the same agent as before with the letter to confirm it was the correct one, and a different member of staff advised me that I didn't need to cancel my non-O if I just wanted to get a covid extension. They told me that I could just go to immigration and extend.
  • I went to immigration with all the documents prepared for a covid extension, and they handed the paperwork back told me that I had to go to Bangkok and cancel my non-O first. I did not even mention the work permit to them, so I can't see how they could have been talking about the work permit (unless they just assumed I had one based on the class of visa)

It was at that point I got fed up and took the "easy" way out of getting an agent to deal with it for me.

 

If I could just get a new TM30 filed, do a new change of address at immigration, and apply for a covid extension locally I would be over the moon. The trouble is, if I try that and fail, I may be out of time to go the agent-assisted route ????.

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When your agent obtained your first Covid extension, there should be an extra stamp that indicates that your extension based on working was canceled on that day. It's written in Thai, so you might want to double-check if you have it.

 

Assuming that you do have that stamp in your passport and just didn't need to provide paperwork to cancel the extension back then, you should be able to apply for another Covid extension elsewhere on your own.

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There doesn't appear to be any such stamp. Note the agent did offer to get me the extension "without cancelling your non-O". They didn't say that they would cancel the non-O for me (I guess that would prevent them being able to get repeat business?...)

 

(edit) I have found one stamp that may be it.... is this the one?

visawoes.png

Edited by OppsNowEyeFeelStupdi
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go into thai immigration and  ask  i do not see any problem but you have to take the initiative and talk to the gov immigration     you will get good info here but its the gov that decides  AND  covid ext may be coming to an end    usa is open thailand is open     i do not know just a hunch 

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