Thailand: Work permit holder boost but no news for separated families

The Foreign Ministry has informed Thailand’s foreign chambers of commerce that foreigners who have work permits or permission from Thai government agencies will soon be allowed to enter the kingdom.

Currently, Thai nationals who wish to return to the country are being accommodated while some particular groups of foreigners such as diplomats or humanitarian workers are also allowed to enter.

Foreigners with work permits will be allowed to return once the aviation rules change although spouses and families are not included in the stipulation.

“It is for one group of non-Thai nationals, those with work permits. We understand that this has not included every group yet, but it’s one good development,” said Natapanu Nopakun, deputy spokesman of the ministry.

“We are going to implement step by step so please understand the measures that we have to take,” he said adding that the discussion about whether to allow other groups of foreigners, including tourists, is still going on.

Eligible foreign nationals are invited to submit applications at Thai embassies in their countries. They must have health insurance and a health certificate.

Upon entry into the kingdom, non-Thai nationals will be subjected to a 14-day state quarantine at a government-designated or alternative approved facility at their own expense, and obliged to comply with the government’s disease-prevention measures, according to information from the ministry.

In reaction to the announcement, a Twitter user wrote on Friday: “Pointless. By the time you have everything in order it would be mid-June and after quarantine July. Might as well just wait until July when likely there will be none of this nonsense.”

The ministry has sent a letter, signed on May 28, to foreign chambers of commerce in Thailand stating that a regulation issued under the said emergency decree also allows non-Thai nationals who either possess a valid work permit or have already been granted permission from a Thai government agency to work in the kingdom, to apply for permission to enter the country.

“It is, however, requested that only those who urgently need to enter the kingdom may submit an application for entry.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in consultation with the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Labour, will consider all requests for entry on a case by case basis, taking into account urgency and economic importance, among others,” the letter says.

Non-Thai nationals who wish to submit an application for entry are advised to contact the Royal Thai Embassy or the Royal Thai Consulate-General in their country of departure to apply for a “Certificate of Entry into the Kingdom of Thailand” at least 10 working days before the date of intended departure.

It also requires a valid health insurance policy covering all expenditures for medical treatment, including Covid-19 worth at least US$100,000 (3.2 million baht).

The Thai Embassy/Consulate- General will forward the application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok. If the application is approved, the Thai Embassy/Consulate-General will be instructed to issue the “Certificate of Entry into the Kingdom of Thailand” and an appropriate visa to the applicant, the letter says.

At the port of departure/embarkation, the approved applicant is required to present the certificate issued by the Royal Thai Embassy Consulate-General; a completed and signed “Declaration Form” obtained from the Embassy/Consulate-General; and a “Fit to Fly Health Certificate” issued no more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure.