Expats May Need To Take COVID-19 Test In Order To Renew Extensions Of Stay: Richard Barrow


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Expats in Thailand may soon be required to take a COVID-19 test in order to extend their extensions of stay or so called retirement or marriage visas, according to Richard Barrow.

Posting on Twitter on Saturday evening, popular travel blogger Richard shared a document published in the Royal Gazette that said foreigners are required to take a COVID-19 not only to visit Thailand but also extend their stay.


You can read Richard’s Twitter thread below:


“This document was published in the Royal Gazette on 25th December. The part that is underlined says it will become law 30 days later. So on 25th January. As usual, not everything is clear and to be transparent here, there has been no announcement by Immigration yet”, read the Tweet by Richard.


“From what I understand, this is for everyone who is entering Thailand and for everyone already here and need to extend their stay. It is also needed for those people who are applying for residency. The document doesn’t say how far in advance you need to get the COVID test done.


“I will of course post more information here once Immigration make an official announcement with the details. But as we all know, that will probably come the day before. I’m sure you have many questions. So do immigration officials I spoke to. We all have to wait for head office”, Richard added.


Richard’s Twitter thread comes as Thai news site Thansettakij on Thursday reported that “Coronavirus 2019 or COVID-19” had been added to the list of “prohibited diseases” for foreigners entering Thailand or those who apply for residency. It does not explicitly say those applying for an extension of stay.


At this stage, it is worth noting the other “prohibited diseases” listed:


1. Leprosy

2. Tuberculosis

3. Lymphatic filariasis

4. Disease, drug abuse

5. Syphilis of the third stage


Expats who have previously submitted an application for an extension of stay for either retirement, marriage or being a parent to a Thai child will note that there has never been a requirement to complete a test for any of the “prohibited diseases”.


A syphilis test may be required  when a foreigner applies for a work permit for the first time.


However, there has never been the same requirement for anyone applying for an extension of stay based on retirement or marriage.


Nor has there ever been a requirement for anyone entering Thailand to complete a test for any of the above diseases. (Can you imagine the repercussions if Thailand required the 40 million tourists it received pre-COVID to complete a Syphilis test before entering the country!)


(Source: – Thai Visa News)

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