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Nearly 7,600 Russians Seek Visa Extension in Phuket

Published: March 2, 2023 at 6:59 pm

tourists and shoppers in phuket

In an effort to stay in Thailand, more than 7,000 Russians in Phuket have requested visa extensions. According to Thanet Sukchai, chief of local immigration, the beautiful weather is one reason why they want to extend their stay.

“Phuket is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit because of its delicious cuisine and great weather. As the word spreads about the island, an increasing number of Russian tourists continue to travel to the province.”

“A lot of people get visas so they can stay on the island for up to 90 days. There are also Russian entrepreneurs who have business visas.  Majority of Russians reside in tambon Rawai and tambon Chalong.”

About 7,596 Russians are trying to stay longer in Thailand. Most of them are in the districts of Muang, Thalang, and Kathu.

The number of tourists visiting the island on a monthly basis is on the rise, with an average of 300,000 tourists entering Phuket every month.

Russians are the most common tourists in Phuket. They are followed by people from India, Kazakhstan, England, and Australia. According to Thanet, 31,128 international tourists are seeking to extend their stay in Phuket.

He says that the immigration officers have started a program called “white accommodation” because there are more tourists from other countries. The program includes crime and drug-free accommodations to protect the safety of tourists and locals.

Thanawat Ongcharoen, vice president of the Phuket Tourism Association, said that the majority of Russian tourists stay in hotels. He said, though, that some of them rent houses, and Thai law says that the owners must report their presence to immigration officials.

According to Thailand’s Real Estate Information Centre (REIC), Russians own over 40% of foreign-owned condos in Phuket, with a total value of 880 million baht.  Furthermore, Russians have surpassed Chinese nationals as Phuket’s leading condominium buyers.

Reuters said that after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russians went to Thailand to find safety. As a result, the number of Russians in Thailand has surged, particularly in Phuket. From November 2022 to January 21 of this year, Phuket International Airport recorded 233,000 Russian arrivals.

SOURCE: Thaiger

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