Bangkok Post

VISA RULE IS OUT­RA­GEOUS

- Travel · Visa International Service Association · Bangkok · Germany · Thailand · Malaysia · Pattaya

A re­cent news re­port said 150,000 for­eign­ers have to have their tourist visas re­newed by to­day or face a charge of over­stay­ing or even jail. It also men­tioned au­thor­i­ties are con­cerned some stranded tourists might not turn up to re­quest visa re­newals.

I went to the im­mi­gra­tion of­fice in Jom­tien al­most a month ago to ask for their re­quire­ments for a visa re­newal. I had all the nec­es­sary doc­u­ments with me, but was told the main re­quire­ment “is a let­ter from your em­bassy”.

I con­tacted the Ger­man em­bassy in Bangkok three weeks ago about a let­ter, but they are not is­su­ing them. I tried on Wed­nes­day at the Ger­man Con­sulate in Pat­taya — same re­sult.

I left Ger­many 15 years ago. I have noth­ing left in my coun­try of birth, and I am also afraid of catch­ing Covid-19 there, as the pan­demic is sky­rock­et­ing in Europe again.

I have been to many visa agen­cies lately. They of­fer med­i­cal visas from 20,000-25,000 baht for three months; ed­u­ca­tion visas and vol­un­teer visas for a year, go for 60,000-70,000 baht.

I just want to ex­tend my tourist visa for as long as I can, un­til the cri­sis is over and Thai­land’s bor­ders are open again, so I will be able con­tinue my trav­els to Malaysia. Pay­ing 1,900 baht for a one-month ex­ten­sion is OK, but it should be avail­able for all stranded tourists.

That would mean 5,700 baht for three months’ ex­ten­sion the le­gal way, so 14,300 baht more to spend in the lo­cal econ­omy, and even 18,000 baht more if the im­mi­gra­tion would use some com­mon sense and give all stranded tourists the new 2,000 baht visa for 90 days.

In this case of a global pan­demic, it would make more sense to is­sue three­month visas, as the gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to give for new tourists af­ter 15 nights in quar­an­tine.

All stranded for­eign­ers here are coro­n­avirus free, as we have been since March, so no tests are needed.

Stranded Tourist from Ger­many

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