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How do you know if two Passports are Linked

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5 hours ago, 007 RED said:

When I read your comment that when Immigration printed out your entries only your UK passport history was available, particularly given your extensive history of TV and ED visas during the past 6 years (which can be derived from reading your earlier posts). I was somewhat puzzled as to how you have managed to escape further scrutiny.


I first came to Thailand 29 years ago using my good old hardbacked British passport as shown below.




Since my first entry back in 1991, I have entered the Kingdom over 160 times using both UK and my other EU passport.  In fact, during those 29 years I have had 3 replacement UK and 3 replacement other EU country passports.


Not once during those 29 years have I ever declared to immigration that I have more than one passport, nor have I ever been asked if I hold dual nationality, and yet my compete entry/exit history showing the details of all my entries/exits, and which passports were used on each occasion, are available to the Immigration Officer to see through their history screen which I have seen on several occasions.


Yesterday I needed to go to Bangkok Bank HQ on Silom Road.  After concluding my business at the bank, I met up with a family friend who happens to be a senior Immigration Officer (Colonel) based at Immigration HQ office just around the corner.  During lunch I mentioned your comments concerning the printout of your history only showing data from one passport.  My friend was as perplexed as me, so after lunch I went back with them to their office and we did a few tests.


My friend entered my UK passport number into the computer and after being presented with my biographical details (as shown on my photo page) they ‘drilled down’ several layers to the ‘history’ facility. 


There, low and behold, was my complete entry/exit history going back to 1991.  The screen display showed every date of arrival/departure, passport number and country code, visa code/type plus quite a lot of other coded information.  On scrolling down from the latest entry, there must have been about 6 or 7 screen pages of data and it clearly included entries/exits using both my UK and my other EU passport.


My friend called up the print facility and was presented with a very comprehensive display of printing options which could be selected by clicking the appropriate ‘radio button’ on the screen.  These included: B&W, colour, greyscale, all pages or specific pages, single or double sided, portrait or landscape.  But most importantly there was a pulldown facility which allowed the Officer to select from several filter options e.g. all details or other specific details such as dates, entry and or exit only, passport numbers, passport country code etc.


The default setting was B&W, all pages, single sided, portrait, all details.  On hitting the print button, the printer spewed out all the pages of my history which included the details of all the passports (numbers) I had used to enter/exit the Kingdom during the past 29 years.


My friend then requested a second print out, but this time by selecting the specific passport filter option.  When this option was selected, my UK passport number (which had been entered at the start of this experiment) was automatically displayed in the filter box.  On Hitting the print button, the printout only showed my entry/exit history when I used my UK passport.


My friend repeated the test using my other EU country passport.  This time it was necessary to physically over type my UK passport number which appeared automatically when the passport filter was selected.  Again, the printout only provided entry/exit data relating to my other EU passport.


It was noted that when a new print request was made, the printer options always reverted back to the default settings.


My friend contacted the IT support team and described your scenario to them e.g. the printout only showing your UK passport entry/exit history.  They (IT support) advised that several years ago there was a bug within the print module which did not reset the default settings once a print had been executed.  They indicated that if someone else request a print on the same computer and did not check the pull-down filter setting they would end up with possibly the same filtered printout e.g. using the passport number that was entered at the beginning of the enquiry.  Apparently this bug has been fixed by the software supplier several years ago and hence the reason why we could not replicate the same result as you described.


From your description, I would suspect that this occurred before the print bug was rectified and whoever had requested a printout previously used the filter facility and the Officer checking your details did not notice the filter setting was set to current passport number only.  Hence, when the Officer having entered your UK passport number to start of his/her the enquiry then requested your history printout, the printer only showed your entry/exit history relating to your UK passport.


As I said in my previous post, the Immigration system is not dumb and is very capable of linking passports together.  This is a very basic requirement within the Immigration community throughout the world.  If a linking facility did not exist within the system that would mean a person who was banned from entering a country for whatever reason would only needs to get a new passport to be able to re-enter without being detected.  That just does not happen.


FYI.... The system used by Thai Immigration is currently used by over 40 other countries throughout the world.


I’m extremely confident that your two passports are linked, and I’m sorry to say that it will only be a matter of time before you are faced with further questioning as to why your spending so much time in the Kingdom.  That said, “a millionaire (£)” like yourself should have no problem explaining it to the IO.


Best of luck.

007 Red thanks for posting such a comprehensive reply. Maybe your right. Maybe I've got lucky and the gig may finally be up. If that's the case, I feel lucky I've had 6 great years here and enjoyed every minute. Its also not so important to me anymore, as I turn 50 later this year, so I know I can just go back to London for a while, spend time with family and focus on my property business untill I'm eligible for a Non 0 later in the year.

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12 hours ago, London Boy said:

I never undertsand posts like this. I've just told you I've lived here for 6 years, during an period of elevated IO scrutiny, and was even pulled aside and had my entires printed. Yet you insistent on qouting theory, rather then listening to real life. If my passports were matched, they would be matched. 6 years is a long time. So many contributors on this forum cant accept anyones opinion but their own.

What you are seeing being printed is just part of your history. Everything is in there, it just depends on what is printed.

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5 hours ago, 007 RED said:

In these cases the system uses what is called a fuzzy match, that is to say if the first couple of letters are the same it suggests that this may be a match.  It is not always correct and that is why when the possibilities are shown to the Immigration Officer, it is his/her decision (with the photo of the holder) to link the passports.

Apparently, once a match is (or isn't) confirmed by the first IO you encounter entering with a new passport, that is final. I could see an enterprising point of entry selling NOT matching passports as a feature, but maybe nowadays a positive fingerprint match obsoletes such a manual decision?


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14 hours ago, 007 RED said:

Depends upon what level of authority the Officer has.  Some IOs can only do a limited number of tasks on the system whereas other are able to access a lot more facilities.  My understanding is that most Officers will need to go into 2 screen to be able to access the history facility. 


Access to the facilities within the system is obtained in the same way as you, or I, do when were using say MS Internet Explorer e.g. by pull down menus.


I assume by biometric scanners that you are referring to the fingerprinting facilities at Immigration arrival/departures.


If you do not put your fingers flat onto the scanner the IO will instruct you to do so.  They see an image of the scan on their screen and can reject it if it is not done properly.

I would assume that all IO's at any immigration airport arrivals would have the level of authority to get to that history facility showing all the entries/exits into the country. Just depends on if they decide to do the 2 clicks on the pulldown menu to get 2 screens in to view the history.


Yes, the fingerprint scanners. How does is the IO able to determine if someone scans their fingers flat or the tips of their fingers? Someone can lightly scan their fingers flatly or just use their tips and I think the IO just would see fingerprints on their screen without knowing if it's the bottom part done flat or just the fingertips. 

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1 hour ago, bbi1 said:

Yes, the fingerprint scanners. How does is the IO able to determine if someone scans their fingers flat or the tips of their fingers? Someone can lightly scan their fingers flatly or just use their tips and I think the IO just would see fingerprints on their screen without knowing if it's the bottom part done flat or just the fingertips. 

The scanner instrument determines if you have entered a complete fingerprint. My phone has facial recognition. You don't think the scanner software can recognize a complete fingerprint? 

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