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New Visa Rules for Border Entry to Thailand

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13 minutes ago, localexp said:

i will be getting a non-o as soon as i can, just not in the next few weeks

Can I ask why not?  You've obviously been in Thailand with the "wrong" visa status, are planning to repeat this but also want to avoid trouble at Immigration.  This would normally be done with a Non Imm O Visa so why not get one?

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4 hours ago, localexp said:

@BritTim

do you think it would be ok today or the next few days? i can show them my house book, birth certificate, id cards, lots of goodies justifying my situation, its one thing to be a packer, its a whole other to have had a house here for 10+ years.

 

and if donmuang is considered strict, where would you advise? i could book a flight to phuket easily, maybe chang mai, but would be open to any route that would return me quickly to my family.

 

Thank you.

If you have a dependant then get a non-o

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10 minutes ago, localexp said:

for the sake of devils advocate, is their any more or less safe way i could return on an exemption without going in for a tourist? i really have no qualms about being chewed on by immigration, so long as they dont say no or worse yet refuse me to visit my family for an extended time.

Sorry, but I don't have sufficient knowledge/experience to offer you sound advice on this matter, so I'll have to miss on this.

 

13 minutes ago, localexp said:

what i dont get is that, in the worse situation i have read so far, you are allowed 2 border exemptions and 3 flights in a 6 month period, under either consideration i have only been in and out three times this year and know multiple people who go in and out far more often.

You're correct that you are only allowed 2 EV through land boarder crossings in a year (Jan - Dec), however, there is no such restriction on the number of VE that you can have in a year when flying into the Kingdom. 

 

That said, what the Immigration Officer will be looking at is how long you have stayed in the Kingdom during the past 12 months.  Once again, many Immigration Officers work on the un-written rule that if someone has stayed 180 days or more during the past 12 months, they are not a tourist and this often results in a denied entry. 

 

If you've stayed in the Kingdom less that 180 days during the past 12 months, I suspect your chances of being given a VE are reasonable regardless of the number of previous entries.

 

29 minutes ago, localexp said:

and as far as how you are suppose to "act" are they looking for someone who fits the bill of "affluent tourist with money to throw away and leave" or something, what is considered the ideal foreigner nowadays?

As far as I'm aware Immigration Officers are not particularly worried about how you dress or appear. 

 

Once again, good luck.

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I've been a huge advocate for embracing a broader definition of "tourist" (and against the legally insignificant bickering over "living" in Thailand) so this is difficult for me. But you're really exploiting the system.

 

You're trying to be a de facto resident of Thailand. You have a home. You have a family. You seem to spend more time here than anywhere else, over a period of multiple years. You're not a tourist. You shouldn't be using visa exempt entries or tourist visas. 

 

You're not even an edge case.

 

In fact, it's cases like these that cause the edge cases to run into trouble. It causes local IO bosses to make up arbitrary rules about the number of days someone has spent in Thailand, the number of entries, and/or using one type of visa followed by another. It's cases like these that get IO's radar up, and the ones who are often caught out are not "living" in Thailand as you are. 

 

I don't write this with malice or a hope that you'll struggle to return to Thailand. In fact, I hope it works out for you. But you really need to be on another type of visa. And I think you know that.

 

 

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17 hours ago, scottiddled said:

I've been a huge advocate for embracing a broader definition of "tourist" (and against the legally insignificant bickering over "living" in Thailand) so this is difficult for me. But you're really exploiting the system.

 

You're trying to be a de facto resident of Thailand. You have a home. You have a family. You seem to spend more time here than anywhere else, over a period of multiple years. You're not a tourist. You shouldn't be using visa exempt entries or tourist visas. 

 

You're not even an edge case.

 

In fact, it's cases like these that cause the edge cases to run into trouble. It causes local IO bosses to make up arbitrary rules about the number of days someone has spent in Thailand, the number of entries, and/or using one type of visa followed by another. It's cases like these that get IO's radar up, and the ones who are often caught out are not "living" in Thailand as you are. 

 

I don't write this with malice or a hope that you'll struggle to return to Thailand. In fact, I hope it works out for you. But you really need to be on another type of visa. And I think you know that.

 

 

I agree.  I'm an "edge case."  It's almost certainly because of those who are flouting the system that the two border crossings per year rule was established.  That adversely affected thousands of foreigners who live in countries neighboring Thailand and who frequently cross into Thailand for their own local-country visas, for shopping, meetings, vacation, or whatever.  After Jan. 1, 2017, I was required to go to the local Thai consular office two days in every month, plus pay 1000 baht, just for one entry to Thailand, most of which involved crossing the border for some shopping and returning the same day.  I didn't dare use any of my "free entries," in case of some medical emergency or similar where I would need to be able to go quickly into Thailand and could not wait two business days for the issuance of a visa.

 

Thailand, perhaps, is losing considerable revenues in the commercial sector, as this rule has put a big hurdle in the way of access to Thai shopping for non-ASEAN citizens living next door to Thailand.  I was fortunate to have Thai dependents, and managed to fall between the cracks in the rules to get a non-O visa despite not living in Thailand.  Truly edge case--and I can have no assurance that the visa extensions will continue, but for as long as they do, it saves a ton of time in making regular appearances at the embassy, which must now be scheduled appointments.

 

Many of my friends are less fortunate, having no Thai family, and their access to Thailand is simply restricted.  Thailand has yet to create a reasonable option for foreigners living outside of Thailand yet within the ASEAN community.  As a travel hub for the region, Thailand's new restrictive rules make things more difficult for millions of people.

 

I do wish people would not try to flout the system, as this creates unfair pressure on the rest of us who have little choice in the results of it.

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On 11/20/2019 at 5:31 PM, localexp said:

@007 RED

 

up until very recently i was on an non-o visa, then the laws changed and the people i was trusting to help me, despite extensive credentials, never backed their words.

 

i will be getting a non-o as soon as i can, just not in the next few weeks

 

but yeah its insane that the officers can act independently of the law.

 

for the sake of devils advocate, is their any more or less safe way i could return on an exemption without going in for a tourist? i really have no qualms about being chewed on by immigration, so long as they dont say no or worse yet refuse me to visit my family for an extended time.

 

what i dont get is that, in the worse situation i have read so far, you are allowed 2 border exemptions and 3 flights in a 6 month period, under either consideration i have only been in and out three times this year and know multiple people who go in and out far more often.

 

this would not even be a concern up until very recently, but in light of what is going on and the warning i got last time, i still genuinely think going a 4th time would not clobber me, but i am none the less concerned.

 

and as far as how you are suppose to "act" are they looking for someone who fits the bill of "affluent tourist with money to throw away and leave" or something, what is considered the ideal foreigner nowadays?

 

Thank you.

 

Flight into Chiang Mai visa exempt is probably best entry via air without having a visa.

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On 11/20/2019 at 11:31 AM, localexp said:

but yeah its insane that the officers can act independently of the law.

 

Just for the record, so that you won't be tempted to get into an unhelpful argument with an immigration official, a denial of entry would be within the law, specifically within section 12 of the Immigration Act.

 

Even if you carry the equivalent of 10k or 20k Baht with you an official could suspect that you intend to enter Thailand for the purpose of working illegally.

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On 11/22/2019 at 4:13 PM, Maestro said:

 

Just for the record, so that you won't be tempted to get into an unhelpful argument with an immigration official, a denial of entry would be within the law, specifically within section 12 of the Immigration Act.

 

Even if you carry the equivalent of 10k or 20k Baht with you an official could suspect that you intend to enter Thailand for the purpose of working illegally.

I disagree.

 

Just because an officer cites legal grounds to deny entry does not mean the factual circumstances actually match those legal grounds. These Section 12 denials (especially the "means to support" denials) are not consistent with the law. It's a square peg in a round hole in order to address what immigration authorities believe to be a policy problem without an appopriate policy solution. 

 

While working in Thailand is illegal, there are no lawful grounds for an IO to deny entry to someone based on their unsubstantiated suspicion that they intend to work illegally in Thailand.

 

All that being said, I've been pretty harsh with the OP that he's exploiting the intent of the tourist visa program and that people like him are a major factor that so many legitimate tourists are facing problems. I won't lose too much sleep over his hypothetical denied entry, but I lose sleep over the fact that IOs are making up the law as they go along. 

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