The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok has started issuing “Request Letter” addressed to Thailand’s local Immigration Office to help extend visas of Filipinos affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
This was explained by Consul Michael Garcia in a meeting with PinoyThaiyo Team on Monday afternoon. The said “Request Letter” falls under Criteria 2.28 of the Order of the Immigration Bureau No. 327/2557 dated 30 June 2014 which requires an Embassy certification or request.
Consul Garcia said that the Embassy has received 150 email requests for visa assistance and the Consular Section has been working to reply and issue all letters to Filipino nationals who requested for assistance. The letter is free of charge and will be sent through email.
The letter can be presented to the Immigration Officer when applying for the 30-day visa extension which costs 1,900 baht. According to Garcia, the Immigration in Bangkok is also accepting a soft copy of the letter given the present circumstances.
Thai borders in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia have been closed as preventive measures to the spread of COVID-19.
To request for a letter, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. After completing all the pending requests, the Embassy will be able to issue the “request letter” within two days.
Garcia also clarified that the Embassy is open to assist all Filipino nationals who have been affected by COVID-19. They only reduced some consular services to focus on emergency cases such as deaths, accidents and assistance on emergency travel documents.
For emergency cases, Garcia advised Filipinos to contact Assistance to Nationals (ATN) Section at +66-81-989-7116.