The Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates in each location around the world have the right and obligation to monitor the COVID-19 situation in each of their respective locations for purposes of deciding whether to lift or tighten restrictions. Starting from the third week of August 2021, the Thai Embassies and Consulates in Bangladesh1, India2,3, Nepal4, and Pakistan5 have been resuming accepting applications for visas and Certificates of Entry (COEs) for Thai and non-Thai nationals in exceptional cases as follows:
1. Thai nationals;
2. Diplomats who have a reason to work in Thailand, along with their family members;
3. Businesspersons, experts, investors with visas and work permits valid in Thailand or those who are invited, requested, or approved by Thai governmental agencies to travel to Thailand;
4. Non-Thai nationals whose family members are residing in Thailand with proof of residency, namely certificate of residency and permit for temporary stay in Thailand (longer than 90 days); or
5. Spouses, children, and parents of Thai nationals who are travelling together or are returning to a family in Thailand.
WHY THIS MATTERS
In light of the evolving changes and travel restrictions, it is important for companies and their globally-mobile employees to keep apprised of this very fluid situation and plan accordingly.
With the suspension of activities, restrictions of mobility, and travel disruptions, employers are having to re-consider their personnel and work arrangements. Resuming the issuance of visas and COEs for foreign nationals and Thai nationals travelling from the aforementioned countries to Thailand provides some relief for employers that have employees temporarily stranded in these countries who cannot return to Thailand. The situation is evolving rapidly; employers/employees that qualify as exceptional cases in these countries should consider acting swiftly to make sure they are able to get into Thailand before any further changes take place.
On 1 May 2021, the Thai government cancelled and suspended the issuing of Certificates of Entry (COEs) and visas for foreign and Thai nationals who wish to enter Thailand from certain countries until further notice. Countries from which travellers are banned from entering Thailand included Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan (we covered this in GMS Flash Alert 2021-141, 12 May 2021).
Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Certain locations only process applications where applicants can demonstrate the necessity and urgency of their entry into Thailand. Details regarding processes and processing times will depend on the location where the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate is situated.
For those who qualify as exceptional cases, we at the KPMG International member firm in Thailand would highly recommend getting in touch with the Thai Embassy/Consulate in the respective location for more information in order to prepare the necessary documents for approval to enter Thailand.
Please keep in mind that all individuals arriving in Thailand are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period in Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ, a designated hotel quarantine).
1 Announcement from the Royal Thai Embassy, Dhaka, Bangladesh (click here).
2 Announcement from the Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi, Republic of India at: http://newdelhi.thaiembassy.org/en/2021/08/resumption-coe-visa-issuance-essentials-travelers/.
3 Announcement from the Royal Thai Consulate-General, Mumbai, India, at: https://mumbai.thaiembassy.org/en/content/announcement-resumption-of-coe-visa-issuance-f-2?cate=5d74ff3715e39c0a7c000fd7.
4 Announcement from the Royal Thai Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal, at: https://www.thaiembnepal.org.np/uploads/info/1629266287.pdf.
5 Announcement from the Royal Thai Embassy, Islamabad, Pakistan, at: https://islamabad.thaiembassy.org/en/content/resumption-of-visa-services-and-certificate-of-ent?cate=5d76078d15e39c4934002005.
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Thailand.
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