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keysersoze276

Warned at DMK on my 4th entry- 2 SETV's and 2nd Visa exempt by air

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Just wanted to let you guys know what happened earlier this week...I've seen similar posts but not one for only 4 entries.  I have one SETV from Cambodia (extended), one SETV from Hong Kong (extended), one Visa Exempt Entry by air (arriving in Don Muang airport from Phnom Penh, extended), and had just arrived to get a second Visa Exempt (arriving at Don Muang from Hanoi).  

 

I know that there is no limit on Visa Exempt entries by air, but also understand it is at the Immigration officer's discretion.  I just wanted to report back to you guys because I have seen an increasing number of these posts, especially from Don Muang.  Sometimes followed by comments asking about nationality, tattoos, clothing, etc.  I am early 40's American (white), no visible tattoos, I was totally clean shaven, wearing a long sleeve button down collared designer shirt, long pants and closed shoes.  Polite and friendly the entire time.  So nothing I can imagine to cause any alarm.  One small detail though- A female officer directed me to go to the Chinese Passport lane as there was only one person in queue, which I mentioned to the male officer behind the counter.

 

He looked at my Passport and said "This is very bad.  You come here four times already."  I explained that I tried to get a tourist visa in Vietnam, but was unable to due to the TET festival (Vietnamese New Year- embassy closed all week).  This was true and I had my bank statement showing just under 100k in a Thai bank, and Medical certificates for upcoming hospital appointments including a scheduled surgery in Thailand.  I have some new inquiries on that now, but will stay on topic here.  I was pulled aside to talk to a supervisor.  He was smiling, friendly, and polite to me and my Thai gf who had been with me on the trip to Hanoi.  But he warned me that I probably won't get another tourist visa or be able to make another entry at all.  When I pointed out I have this upcoming surgery, he advised I get the surgery first and then try to get another visa after the surgery (I won't be able to walk for about 3 months...metal plate in my ankle is to be removed...initial surgery was also in Thailand).

 

I keep reading Thailand is promoting itself as a medical hub.  And four entries is too many?  Good guys in, bad guys out?  How am I a bad guy?  Could this just be a case of an immigration officer having a bad day?  Should I be worried?  I think I will avoid DMK even though I live 10 minutes away, about an hour or much more with traffic from Swampy.  Just a head's up and any thoughts or advice are welcome.

 

P.S.  No check was done on any computer (I've seen inquiries and speculation on that) and nothing was written or stamped in my passport.

 

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Mmm -- I had 2 plates and screws removed from my ankle and was walking with the aid of crutches the day after surgery.

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22 minutes ago, keysersoze276 said:

And four entries is too many?  Good guys in, bad guys out?  How am I a bad guy? 

You aren't.  That is one of several bad entry points where they pretend there is a legal reason to deny entry to those who have "been here too much before" - even if their prior stays were 100% lawful.

 

22 minutes ago, keysersoze276 said:

Could this just be a case of an immigration officer having a bad day? 

No, it is policy at that entry-point to deny-entry for non-legal reasons.  They usually hide their unlawful-actions by using a rejection-stamp which claims you don't have the money to afford your stay (even if you have plenty, can show a bank-book proving it, etc).

 

22 minutes ago, keysersoze276 said:

Should I be worried? 

Only if you plan to enter by-air or at the Poipet/Aranyaprathet entry point in the future.  All other land-border entry points are reported to follow the published laws/rules.  We don't have bad reports from Chiang Mai - but if denied by air, you are probably put in detention until the next flight back where you just came from.  In the case of Vietnam, with no entry-permission pre-arranged, that could lead to another bounce elsewhere (some report being sent to their passport-country, others to Phnom Penh).

 

22 minutes ago, keysersoze276 said:

I think I will avoid DMK even though I live 10 minutes away, about an hour or much more with traffic from Swampy.  Just a head's up and any thoughts or advice are welcome.

We have many similar reports from Swampy.

 

Using land-borders which follow the actual laws is the only known workaround for entry with valid tourist visas, after you have some history here.  I used to fly to Penang, then train into Thailand, then fly onward from Hat Yai.  Others fly into Vientiane, cross over the bridge, then fly onward from Udon Thanni.

 

In the short run, regarding getting through your surgery / recovery-time, UJ's post explains what is needed. 

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OP, yes we seem to be reading more reports as per yours. Bit off topic, but if was not able to obtain retirement extensions (ie under 50), I would just love a set of rules...so many days per year....x visa exempt per year...etc, etc. Travelers would know exactly where they stood.

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3 minutes ago, Neeranam said:

Do you live here?

He is on tourist-entries, so cannot be staying more than 60 or 90 days per entry.

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1 hour ago, Neeranam said:

Do you live here?

 

 

Yes. 

 

1 hour ago, Christophers200 said:

He admits to having a Thai bank account which the vast majority of genuine tourist do not have. 

Thanks for answering for me Christopher.  Yes, I live here.  I "admit" I am guilty of having a Thai bank account.  I was previously working here legally with a proper visa and work permit, which is how I opened a bank account.  Just before the above mentioned visas I was on a non-immigrant "O" visa based on medical, not marriage.  My Thai gf and I are planning to get married later this year and apply for a non-immigrant "O" based on marriage.  I would rather get this surgery and other things taken care before I do that.  I am currently not working and at the moment I am a "genuine" tourist for medical wellness.  

 

1 hour ago, Christophers200 said:

Mmm -- I had 2 plates and screws removed from my ankle and was walking with the aid of crutches the day after surgery.

So you didn't walk the next day. You used crutches to move around your hospital room on one leg.  Were you in good enough shape to pack up and go shopping around for a new home?  What about the pain, keeping your leg elevated, and having the incision professionally cleaned every other day? Did you travel the next day?  I would have appreciated some better info on getting these things out.  Thanks anyway.

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39 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

The OP didn't specify the time relations between his various entries -- whether they were all back-to-back, or whether he had any extended time away/back in his home country or otherwise outside Thailand.

 

If they were all back to back or in close proximity, I'd imagine the IO was simply presuming the OP was using visa exempt entries and tourist visas to basically live in Thailand -- which obviously isn't the purpose of those kinds of entries.

 

If he had done 4 visa exempt entries in a year, each separated by a month or two or more back in his home country, I'm guessing the odds of a problem with Immigration would have been less.

 

 

No extended time away.  From Non-O to the 2 SETV's and VE's stated in the OP

 

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12 minutes ago, Tomtomtom69 said:

That means nothing. Not sure why you think "genuine tourists" don't have a Thai bank account or wouldn't want one; some have previously lived/worked in Thailand and therefore have a bank account, others might come regularly and want to have a place to store their funds securely when visiting. There are many good reasons for having a Thai bank account and I have never heard of an immigration officer in Thailand finding this suspicious or it influencing their decision to grant or deny entry. In fact, if anything it should be helpful, because it can be used to show you have enough "pocket money" to support your stay.

 

I think you're using "western logic" here in the sense that I have heard immigration officials in western countries sometimes being suspicious towards travelers who possess bank accounts in their countries (like Australia, the USA, the UK etc.) which to them might indicate they are coming to work illegally as tourists. However, the fact a traveler possesses a local bank account alone has never been a reason to deny entry; ultimately incriminating documents like CVs and phone messages between a traveler and a potential employer were used as proof to make a decision.

Exactly.  I was previously working in Thailand.

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