Extension-of-Stay and Special Tourist Visa for Foreigners

On September 30, 2020, the Ministry of Interior (“MOI”) had made two announcements in relation to permitting foreign nationals to remain in Thailand under special circumstances. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MOI will be permitting an extension-of-stay, as well as, granting Special Tourist Visa (“STV”) to foreigners.

1). Extension-of-Stay

Foreigner who has entered into Thailand under Section 35 of the Thai Immigration Act, B.E. 2522 (“IA”) and has been allowed to stay in Thailand on a temporary basis under Section 37(5) of the same (e.g. tourism, education or business purposes etc.) shall be allowed to remain in Thailand until October 31, 2020.

Furthermore, foreigner under this criterion whose residence report (i.e. the requirement to notify his/her residence to the immigration officer for every 90 days) has been overdue is now allowed to make such report to the immigration officer by October 31, 2020 without any fines.  

2). Special Tourist Visa (STV)

Foreigner may also enter and stay in Thailand under the Special Tourist VISA (“STV”) scheme. The STV scheme is primarily aim toward medical tourists and those who intend to traverse the terrain of Thailand on a long-stay basis.

The STV must be applied at the Thai Embassy of the applicant’s Country-of-origin. After grant, Foreigner with STV will be eligible for a 90-day stay. After the first 90-day stay period has ended, foreigner may apply at the local immigration office (with applicable fees) for another 90-day as the first extension, and another 90-day as the second extension. Overall, foreigner will be able to remain in Thailand for a total of 270 days. Nonetheless, foreigner must remain in Thailand at all times to be eligible for the mentioned extensions.

To be eligible for STV, foreigner must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be a foreign national who intends to stay in a long term;
  2. Must comply with Thailand’s COVID-19 public health policies and regulations;
  3. Must accept a mandatory 14-day quarantine in an Alternative Local State Quarantine (“ALSQ”) at their own personal expense;
  4. Must provide proof of payment for ALSQ;
  5. Must have a health and accident insurance policy covering the stay period with an OPD expense coverage not less that THB 40,000 and IPD expense coverage not less than THB 400,000 in total;
  6. Proof showing such foreigner’s accommodation after the 14-day quarantine, which could be one of the followings:
    • Proof of payment for an accommodation after the 14-day quarantine has ended;
    • A copy of a title deed for a condominium owned by the foreign visitor or relatives;
    • Proof of condominium or house rental;
    • Proof of down payment for buying or leasing a condominium or house.

Overall, foreign nationals are encouraged to stay up-to-date on the latest announcement to avoid any unnecessary fines and remain in compliance with the latest immigration rules. For further any assistance, please contact us at: law@ilct.co.th.  


Chart Chotiphol

Counsel/Business Development

Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration

In the past decade, Thailand has always been one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. During normal times, Thailand had welcomed foreign visitors from all around the world, up to nearly 40 million foreign arrivals in 2019. Overall, the tourism industry usually accounted for approximately 11% of the local GDP.

With COVID-19, the once buzzling tourist destinations such as: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket are now deserted, this effect has been felt across the country. As an effort to revive COVID-19 struck tourism industry, the Thai authorities has introduced a program called Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (“SHA”).

What is SHA?

Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration or SHA is a program spearheaded by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). The main objective of SHA is to elevate the health and safety standard of the local tourism business owners/operators, as well as, ensure confidence for visitors in the time of ‘New Normal’ by encouraging local businesses to put in place COVID-19 spread prevention measure and awarding them the SHA. SHA is applicable to the tourism related sectors, which are:

  • Restaurants;
  • Hotels and convention centres;
  • Tourist attraction spots;
  • Transport providers;
  • Travel agencies;
  • Spas and beauty salons;
  • Shopping centres and shopping malls;
  • Sport participation travels;
  • Theatres;
  • Souvenir shops and the like.

To obtain SHA certification, business owners and operators must ensure that their business places have adopted proper health monitoring and preventive measures. Each sector has different criteria that must be satisfied in order to be awarded with SHA logo. For Instance, hotels are required to minimize point-of-entry, set up health monitoring station (i.e. temperature check) and keep an orderly record of all staff and visitors.

Those who meet the criteria as stipulated by TAT and MOPH may apply for SHA. If approved, businesses will be awarded with SHA logo (see Fig. 1). Moreover, relevant authorities may also conduct post-audit as necessary, and withdraw SHA logo if the business fails to maintain the stipulated criteria.

How to apply?

Business owners and operators may apply SHA for free, this can be done via a direct TAT application or via an online website (SHA Website). Those who are successfully awarded with SHA certification will also be officially listed in the TAT’s database.

Fig. 1 – SHA logo that can be used to display that the business had passed the required criteria.

COVID-19 is merely one of the many challenges that we will face in this ever-changing world. Despite all the negative effects contributed by COVID-19, it also compelled positive changes as a whole. Overall, business owners/operators are encouraged to join the SHA program and adapt to the New Normal as a mean to revive the slumbering tourism industry.


Chart Chotiphol

Counsel/Business Development