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thedan663

Returning to Thailand after two years out...would there be any issues gaining entry?

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I stayed in Thailand from Oct 2016-May 2018. I had a rotation of SETV and non-B visas (I worked at 3 schools during that time, so I'd get a SETV when the school ended and convert to a non-B and extension for the new school). In total, I had 4 SETV and 3 non-B visas.

 

I've been home in the US since. I plan on taking a vacation next July 2020 during my summer break to Thailand and also hitting Seoul and then going back to the US. It'd be a total of over 25 months out of Thailand. I'd have a ticket out of Thailand to Seoul within 30 days and also a ticket from Seoul to the US, so reasonable proof of return. I also plan on including cash and accommodation proof.

 

It seems there's been more denials lately on long-term tourists or those staying a few months/year in Thailand. Would my history be classified as such, especially considering I'll have spent 2 years out of Thailand? I'm aware they IO's use a database, but I'm wondering if a new passport would help, as seeing extensive visa history might raise eyebrows when presented at the desk. I'm also wondering if I should pursue a SETV or if I'd be fine on a 30-day visa exempt.

 

It seems it's likely I'll get questioned, which won't be fun. Just want to know if over two years out of Thailand would allow me to enter with little difficulty or if I should prepare for the worst.

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After two years away, a short trip to Thailand will surely not be an issue, even in the current environment. Enjoy your holiday without worrying about it.

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You will have absolutely zero issues getting a visa exemption after being away for two years, even with your existing passport.

 

 

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A new passport would not help, because the history between them will be linked in the database. However, 2 years out. I can not see that you will have any problem entering Thaialnd, as long as you can show ticket out, 20k baht in cash and hotel booking for the first nights.

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3 hours ago, thedan663 said:

It seems it's likely I'll get questioned, which won't be fun. Just want to know if over two years out of Thailand would allow me to enter with little difficulty or if I should prepare for the worst.

It’s highly unlikely you’ll get questioned. Your history — shouldn’t — be an issue.

 

They are trying to stop/reduce people living in the country as ‘tourists’. You don’t currently fit that profile.

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4 minutes ago, elviajero said:

Visitors for tourism, like the OP, have nothing to worry about.

 

Visitors using tourist visas to live in the country do.

So how is tourism defined? 179 days? Consecutive? Non consecutive?

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2 minutes ago, Nyezhov said:

So how is tourism defined? 179 days? Consecutive? Non consecutive?

It will be a fine day when we nail that one down!

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3 minutes ago, Nyezhov said:

So how is tourism defined? 179 days? Consecutive? Non consecutive?

It isn’t. 

 

Typically a ‘tourist’ visits a for a short holiday and returns home. If you hang around in Thailand for months/years the suspicion is that you are working (most people have to) or up to no good.

 

There is an unofficial line in the sand of 180 days, but as it stands the power and decision is given to IO’s at the border to decide when enough is enough.

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7 hours ago, elviajero said:

Visitors for tourism, like the OP, have nothing to worry about.

 

Visitors using tourist visas to live in the country do.

Actually the Austrian Embassy warned me that recently there have been People denied that went there on a 2 week holiday for the first time. 

In this case because they didn't have 20k baht in cash, because they probably didn't know about it. 

So even if you are a genuine tourist, if something is wrong or the officer doesn't like you, you can be sure to fly back home ! 

Edited by Austrian26
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7 hours ago, elviajero said:

It’s highly unlikely you’ll get questioned. Your history — shouldn’t — be an issue.

 

They are trying to stop/reduce people living in the country as ‘tourists’. You don’t currently fit that profile.

Define living in the country as a tourist? Its subjective as its unclear how many days one can stay in Thailand in any calendar year or 12 month period. Some folks can afford several vactions a year, its not clear at all!

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Sounds like handcuffs and a ball gag to me along with KY jelly followed by a good water  boarding.

Just teasing.

 

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1 hour ago, Austrian26 said:

Actually the Austrian Embassy warned me that recently there have been People denied that went there on a 2 week holiday for the first time. 

In this case because they didn't have 20k baht in cash, because they probably didn't know about it. 

So even if you are a genuine tourist, if something is wrong or the officer doesn't like you, you can be sure to fly back home ! 

I am sure there was more to it than that. Millions enter the country every year without an issue.

 

Annoying as it is - at the end of the day the entry requirements are 10/20K and if you don't have it they can deny entry. Immigration only - as a general rule - ask for proof of onward flights and 10/20K baht cash if they are looking for something to justify denying entry. It's a big deal to deny entry at the airport and they are not going to deny entry to someone visiting for the first time, with the right visa, without reason. And it's not just down to the IO at passport control as a denied entry has to be signed off by the senior officer on duty.

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