Stranded expats with Thai wives and families to return soon

Stranded expats with Thai wives and families to return soon

Stranded expats with Thai wives and families to return soon

Expats married to Thais but stranded overseas are finally closer to returning to their Thailand homes.

Ever since the Thai government banned incoming flights, many expats with Thai wives and children have been stranded overseas with no idea when they’ll be able to return to their loved ones. Several English language news sites have received reports from those desperate to get back, with a number having been separated for over three months. Recent news that foreign nationals with work permits were to be allowed back has caused even more distress, with Thai embassies and consulates unable or unwilling to help.

However, the good news on Thursday morning was that foreigners married to Thais and the few who hold permanent residency visas are to be allowed special dispensations to re-enter Thailand and return to their family homes. Unfortunately, the article which announced the Thai government’s change of heart didn’t state when this would be allowed, saying just that specific details would be announced ‘at a later date’.

Expats with current work permits have already been allowed to return, albeit on a case by case basis, but the requirements are harsh, starting with private health insurance of at least 3 million baht covering the virus and continuing with a two-week mandatory quarantine period at their own cost. Should a private facility be used, the quoted charges are high enough to cause difficulties for stranded expats supporting their Thai wives and families. One forum thread on the subject quotes an amount of 50,000 (approx £1300) Thai baht for the two-week period.

Since the flight and entry ban took hold, expat forums in Thailand and on several new Facebook pages have documented the pain being felt by both the stranded expats and their Thai wives and families, some of whom have been separated for well over three months. Thailand isn’t the only country where expats have been prohibited from entry since March, but the government’s seeming lack of concern and tardy response to the issue is causing far more stress and pain for those concerned than seems necessary.

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