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BritTim

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Everything posted by BritTim

  1. It will probably be possible, but difficult, to stay nine months in Thailand in the first year if you have very limited previous history of visits to Thailand. I doubt you would be successful in the second year. There has been a major crackdown on people using tourist visas for extended stays in Thailand. I personally do not see it getting easier. You will have two issues: getting the visas, and entering Thailand, For the visa, it would be best if you can get a multiple entry tourist visa from your home country. If not, you will need to select where you go for single entry tourist visas carefully. Once you have racked up about six months in Thailand in a rolling 12 month period, you risk Immigration deciding not to honour your visa and denying you entry. This does not happen (currently) at all entry points. However, if you will be flying from the UK, I would expect you to plan flying in to one of the Bangkok airports or possibly Phuket. None of those airports is a safe entry point once you have spent extended periods in Thailand as a tourist. There is no official rule limiting the time you can spend in Thailand, but unofficial rules are being used (against the spirit of the current Immigration Act). If you are financially secure, look into the Thailand Elite visa. This is your safe way of spending long periods in the country.
  2. Personally, I do not think worrying about what will happen in 20 years makes much sense. Anyone who believes they can predict the immigration rules in Thailand 20 years out is deluding themselves. Even predicting what the world will be like then is trying to channel Nostradamus. If you can afford the 20-year Thailand Elite membership, go for it. Even if the program changes drastically or even collapses, it is nearly certain that the visa privileges will be honoured. Worry about what you will do at the end of 20 years in 18 years' time when you will be able to form a clearer impression of your options.
  3. The O-X visa is just an extended version of the O-A visa, with higher financial requirements but giving a much longer stay. The Thailand Elite visa is something completely different. It does not require insurance, and likely never will. You do not apply for it at a Thai embassy. See https://www.thailandelite.com/?locate=en. Most likely, the Easy Access membership will be the one of most interest to you.
  4. Was that a single entry Non O for retirement, or for visiting Thai spouse/children?
  5. On entry, you receive 60 days including your entry date and the last day (so 59 nights). Entering on 15 April, your last day in Thailand (without an extension) is 13 June. As already explained, the 30-day extension (best applied for some days before your permission to stay ends) is added to the end of your permission to stay, giving you a total of 90 days (89 nights). This will allow you to stay until 13 July.
  6. The intended meaning of Section 12 (2) when the Immigration Act was promulgated was that you would not be able to support yourself in an appropriate manner while in Thailand. Mainly, this referred to having the financial wherewithal without needing to resort to illegal or immoral activities. This is distinct from Section 12 (9) which simply lays out a minimum amount of cash you must have on entry. The intended meaning is irrelevant, as Immigration have chosen to reinterpret it to mean you were incorrectly issued a visa according to what we believe the criteria should be. Do not worry about Section 12 (11). Being denied entry is not the same as being deported.
  7. There are no official rules that limit the length of time allowed in Thailand as a tourist. Embassies/consulates have discretion to deny you a tourist visa if they do not regard you as a genuine tourist. They vary greatly in their tendency to do so, but have become steadily stricter over the last few years. Similarly, Immigration where you enter Thailand has discretion to deny visa exempt entry if they believe you are using the entry to stay longer in Thailand than required for tourism purposes. Immigration does not officially have the right to deny you entry with a visa, except according to the reasons specified in Section 12 of the Immigration Act (or police orders that effectively modify those conditions). At most land borders, you will have no problem entering with a visa, or using the two visa exempt entries by land allowed per calendar year. At some airports (including both the Bangkok airports) Immigration has seen fit to declare themselves the arbiter on whether your visa was validly issued, using their own unofficial rules to make this determination. One of the common rules they are applying is a maximum of 180 days per rolling 12-month period on tourist entries. That will not be the official reason stamped in your passport if they deny you entry. They will misapply one of the actual reasons in Section 12 of the Immigration Act, twisting it to mean something never intended.
  8. I am assuming that your friend had an extension of his permission to stay based on retirement. If, instead, he has an unexpired visa, he can still use that to enter the country and has no need of a reentry permit. If he is entitled to a visa exempt entry (what is his nationality?) he will receive 30 days on arrival, and can do a conversion to non immigrant entry, followed by the new one-year extension based on retirement at his local immigration office. If not entitled to a visa exempt entry, he will need to get a visa from an overseas consulate before returning to Thailand. Best would probably be a single entry Non O visa if that is possible where he is spending those three weeks outside Thailand.
  9. Swedish,I was coming to laos that way (first time by landborder) but the officer said that i have to go home or to another country but do you think i could have a visa on arrival at the border anyway (what is visa exempt entry)? As a Swedish national, you do not need a visa to enter Thailand as a tourist. You can enter without one. This is known as "visa exempt entry" or "visa exemption". Some airports may create problems for people trying to enter visa exempt after a long period in Thailand, but you will be OK entering via the Friendship Bridge to Nong Khai. Note that you are only entitled to two visa exempt entries by land in a calendar year, so do not rely on this as a way to spend a lot of time in Thailand in the future.
  10. What is your nationality? If you are eligible for visa exempt entry or visa on arrival, you should be able to do this safely via the Friendship Bridge from Vientiane to Nong Khai.
  11. I worry that Immigration was hinting that border bounces for a fresh 90-day stay was not the correct way of staying long term on a multiple Non O. There have been indications that the next immigration crackdown might be on people using multiple Non O visas to stay long term in Thailand. (Hopefully, I am just being a little paranoid.)
  12. Thank you for trying to add to our knowledge of Immigration policy at Suvarnabhumi. However, The visa exempt entry you received was for 30 days (29 nights). Your experience is meaningless without knowing your history of visits to Thailand, especially over the last year or two.
  13. As long as you have never had the 60-day extension to visit Thai spouse/child before, since your entry into Thailand, what you propose is allowed. Note that an entry using a reentry permit does not entitle you to the 60-day extension, only the initial entry before you had any extensions.
  14. It is irrelevant whether arriving by air or by land. The question is whether Immigration at that entry point wants to invent a rule that a multiple Non O is only for visits to Thailand, and not to spend long periods in the country. Fortunately, unlike with tourist visas where several airports also already reserve the right to abrogate the visas, Non O visas seem to be honoured everywhere except Poipet. I fear that the practice may spread in the future. Once the principle is established that Immigration can refuse to accept one type of visa when they feel like it, extending that practice to other kinds of visa becomes quite likely. I can foresee a time when Immigration will only accept long stay visas (Elite, O-A, O-X) with other types of visas only honoured for periodic short visits. Immigration endorsed extensions may be insisted upon for other classes of visitors.
  15. I think he was validly (but harshly) denied under Section 12.1. The numeral is not a 9, but the Thai numeral for one. Immigration has the discretion to deny visa exempt entry as a means of staying long periods in Thailand, and seem to have somewhat abused that discretion here. Interesting that this happened at Sadao which has been problematic in the past, but seemed better in the last couple of years. Hopefully, this was just a blip.
  16. Do not try for a visa exempt entry by air. At most land crossings, you will be OK. I am assuming that you do not plan to return to Thailand for quite a while after your last visa exempt entry in January. Otherwise, you need to be planning your entry strategies more carefully.
  17. Trat is pretty much on the way to the main pier for Koh Chang. It is possible to reach some of the other islands from Khlong Yai, but services are infrequent.
  18. If you were recently blacklisted, it is very unlikely anyone can help you (at least without paying huge bribes). If you have Thai kids, a good lawyer might be able to get the blacklisting cancelled after two years on humanitarian grounds. That will depend on the reason for the blacklisting.
  19. If your plan is to spend a lot of time in Thailand, stop using those land based visa exempt entries except in an emergency. As it becomes harder and harder to enter Thailand in other ways, these land based entries become your insurance policy. Incidentally, having been in Thailand as a tourist since September almost certainly means you will not get a tourist visa in Savannakhet, and might not in Vientiane (though you have a better chance there).
  20. "Emergency passport" and "emergency travel document" basically mean the same thing. Some countries will only issue one to return you your home country. Where your embassy is more flexible, they typically are only valid for a few countries that you can demonstrate an urgent need to visit. Contact the embassy, describing your situation and plans. They usually have some discretion, but will not want to give you an emergency passport with any more flexibility than absolutely necessary as it is not subject to the normal security safeguards you get with a full passport. Thailand will accept an emergency passport/travel document, provided it states that it is valid to use in Thailand.
  21. If you are staying in a regular hotel, you do not need to worry about this. If you are staying in an apartment/condo or private house, the TM30 will likely be needed. This is a notification by the "possessor" of the property that a foreign person has arrived in the property. It is supposed to be filed by the owner/lessor/renter within 24 hours of your arrival. If they do not do it, Immigration will likely refuse to provide you with any service (including an extension) until you arrange for the possessor to do his duty, including payment of a fine for the delayed notification of somewhere between 800 and 2,000 baht. If you think this system is absurd, you are not alone.
  22. Penang has long been a favoured consulate for a Non B visa. As far as I know, it is still good for a single entry Non B with the correct documentation. You can enter Malaysia visa free, and will just get the regular Malaysian entry and exit stamps. According to recent reports, Hong Kong which puts no stamps at all in your passport, is no longer an option for Thai visas.
  23. I believe you can still apply at the honorary consulates without a confirmed flight, but the "e-visa" system (used to apply through the London embassy) requires you to have one.
  24. You will need to pass through immigration before connecting to a domestic flight. If connecting to an international flight, you may or may not need to clear immigration depending on the airport and airline.
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