VISA RULE IS OUTRAGEOUS
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