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Immigration Bureau Clarifies 90-day Rule Change

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Thai Immigration Clarifies 90-day Rule Change

PHUKET: -- Following a spate of complaints from confused foreigners entering Thailand on “visa exemptions”, Pol Capt Krissarat Nuesen of the Phuket Provincial Immigration Office has made a statement to clarify the 90-day rule and how it was changed, effective April 1.

Visa exemptions, commonly referred to as “visas on arrival”, allow tourists from certain countries who arrive at the border without a visa to have permits-to-stay, typically for a period of 30 days, issued by Immigration officials.

“People who enter Thailand on a ‘visa exemption’ are permitted to stay only 90 days in a six-month period,” he said, adding that the six months is calculated as a 180-day period starting from the first day that the foreigner enters Thailand on a visa exemption.

“From October 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007, we counted all the days from the foreigner’s first day regardless whether the foreigner was actually in Thailand or not.

“Also, foreigners were not permitted to stay in Thailand after their 180-day period had expired [counted from the foreigner’s first day], regardless whether the foreigner had stayed a full 90 days in Thailand or not,” Capt Krissarat said.

“However, the rule has been changed. From April 1, we now count only the days the foreigner has stayed in Thailand – and foreigners are now allowed to stay past the 180-day period,” he said.

The number of consecutive visa exemptions allowed is no longer limited to three, he added.

As for foreigners who complain about discrepancies in the counting of days, K. Krissarat reminded those who choose to enter on multiple visa exemptions that it is up to the discretion of the Immigration officer on duty how many days to grant the new arrival, provided it is 30 days or fewer.

Capt Krissarat stressed that the 90-day rule does not affect people who have been issued a visa from the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate.

“If you want to stay longer, then apply for a visa from a Royal Thai Embassy outside Thailand. That way the rule will not apply to you,” he said.

Regarding parents bringing children into Thailand to attend school, Capt Krissarat said, “Foreign parents whose children will study in Thailand can apply for non-immigrant ED visas for their children at any Royal Thai Embassy outside Thailand.

“The parents can apply for non-immigrant O visas for themselves so they can enter the country and care for their children here, and then they can apply for permits to stay at the Immigration office after entering the country.

“Alternatively, if the parents are not going to be staying in the country long, they can get a tourist visa from an embassy or enter on a visa exemption,” he said.

“Many international schools in Thailand help parents prepare applications for permits to stay,” Capt Krissarat said, adding that children under 14 years old are not fined for overstay.

-- Phuket Gazette 2007-04-28

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“From October 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007, we counted all the days from the foreigner’s first day regardless whether the foreigner was actually in Thailand or not.

“Also, foreigners were not permitted to stay in Thailand after their 180-day period had expired [counted from the foreigner’s first day], regardless whether the foreigner had stayed a full 90 days in Thailand or not,” Capt Krissarat said.

“However, the rule has been changed. From April 1, we now count only the days the foreigner has stayed in Thailand – and foreigners are now allowed to stay past the 180-day period,” he said.

I don't understand these three paragraphs at all. Would somebody be so kind as to clarify this clarification for me? :o

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Hi,

I have one question:

How many tourist visas (2months and 1month extension) I can get in a row from Malaysia or Laos? Is it limited?

Thanks in advance!

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“From October 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007, we counted all the days from the foreigner’s first day regardless whether the foreigner was actually in Thailand or not.

“Also, foreigners were not permitted to stay in Thailand after their 180-day period had expired [counted from the foreigner’s first day], regardless whether the foreigner had stayed a full 90 days in Thailand or not,” Capt Krissarat said.

“However, the rule has been changed. From April 1, we now count only the days the foreigner has stayed in Thailand – and foreigners are now allowed to stay past the 180-day period,” he said.

I don't understand these three paragraphs at all. Would somebody be so kind as to clarify this clarification for me? :o

this is just my read, and in NO way official. it seems to be saying:

within a 180 day period, you may be granted 90 days on 30 day stamps. it is still at the discretion of the officer, but you can come and go as you please, the total won't exceed 90 days granted. he also explicitly says that if you haven't used up your 90 days, the immo officer CAN grant you a full 30 days even if it takes you beyond 180.

in other words, you've been in thailand 60 days on stamps, you show up at immo, day 179. the immo officer likes your face, can give you 30 days. BUT as always, and as it was before the rule change, it's up to the discretion of the officer.

hopefully i haven't confused things further, but that's my take.

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I am trying to logically understand these same paragraphs but cannot. When I think I understand what is being written the next sentence goes another way. Can you rewrite the same thing in a different order?

Thanks.

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hopefully i haven't confused things further, but that's my take.

Thanks, re-examining what the Captain said, I can buy into that interpretation. The wording from the article is very awkward though.

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Hi,

I have one question:

How many tourist visas (2months and 1month extension) I can get in a row from Malaysia or Laos? Is it limited?

Thanks in advance!

Good question, and one I've never seen properly answered.

I came to Thailand on a 4-entry tourist visa, extended the final entry to 90 days, then got myself a 1-entry tourist visa from Laos when it expired, and extended that too. Never had a problem (I'm on a non-imm B now).

I have met people with stamps in their passports that effectively say "This person has had too many TOURIST VISAs, and might not get one next time", but never heard of anyone actually being denied.

I think that as long as you're paying the Thai Govt for a visa, they're happy to have you. It's the freebies they're trying to stamp out.

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this is just my read, and in NO way official. it seems to be saying:

within a 180 day period, you may be granted 90 days on 30 day stamps. it is still at the discretion of the officer, but you can come and go as you please, the total won't exceed 90 days granted. he also explicitly says that if you haven't used up your 90 days, the immo officer CAN grant you a full 30 days even if it takes you beyond 180.

in other words, you've been in thailand 60 days on stamps, you show up at immo, day 179. the immo officer likes your face, can give you 30 days. BUT as always, and as it was before the rule change, it's up to the discretion of the officer.

hopefully i haven't confused things further, but that's my take.

Sat 28 Apr 07, 8:17 p.m.

Zeusbheld,

When this discussion began last year, I paid close attention and tried to understand it as best as I could. I "thought" that I finally got the gist of it. My interpretation back in October was exactly what you have just posted here. I have not heard much news since then. However, I have not been keeping up; I don't find visa discussions intrinsically very interesting unless there is real news. However, this explanation form Pol Capt Krissarat Nuesen, suggests that I was completely wrong back in October, and that lots of people may have been arbitrarily granted various lengths of stay, numbers of days and numbers of entries based upon gawd knows what!

Ah, sigh! TIT!

Aloha,

Rex

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Not a very useful story as it only addresses the situation at Phuket. What is still lacking is a coherent national directive which will be equally applied at all points of entry.

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“From October 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007, we counted all the days from the foreigner’s first day regardless whether the foreigner was actually in Thailand or not.

“Also, foreigners were not permitted to stay in Thailand after their 180-day period had expired [counted from the foreigner’s first day], regardless whether the foreigner had stayed a full 90 days in Thailand or not,” Capt Krissarat said.

“However, the rule has been changed. From April 1, we now count only the days the foreigner has stayed in Thailand – and foreigners are now allowed to stay past the 180-day period,” he said.

I don't understand these three paragraphs at all. Would somebody be so kind as to clarify this clarification for me? :o

I agree.

It sounds like (in English) he was saying that after your first day of entry, you would not be allowed back in after 90 days even if you hadn't stayed for a consectutive 90 dyas, that doesn't make sense. Example, Enter October 1 and leave October 2, you only stayed for 2 days. After Dec 31 or the 90 day mark, you can not come back untill March 31 or the end of the 180 days cycle even though you only spent 2 days here. That is BS and does not make sense because that was not how it worked.

If these guys can't speak English they need to keep their gobs shut! Instead of making things clearer he has just talked a hole lot of rubbish that does not make sense and is not true. He claims we don't understand and complain, but after statements like this, what does he expect.......

"from April 1, we now count only the days the foreigner has stayed in Thailand"

<deleted>! It has always been like that.............

Edited by aussiestyle1983

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More gobbledegook. Time for them to think before rushing out another set of "rules".

Why do people state that some consulates outside Thailand are stamping something like "one visa only" when people made applications for tourist visas ?

Why are entensions to 60 day tourist visas being counted as part of the 90 days in some instances ?

Why are 7 day extensions being counted ?

Why are extensions due to illness being counted ?

Why cannot you get a non immigrant visa in SE Asia ?

Why does Thailand "give" Cambodia $20 for each person who makes a visa run ? Why not let that person sign on at the immigration office for a similar fee ?

Why do people with multiple entry non immigrant visas have to leave the country every 90 days ?

Why not make some decent, sensible and comprehensible rules ?

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this is just my read, and in NO way official. it seems to be saying:

within a 180 day period, you may be granted 90 days on 30 day stamps. it is still at the discretion of the officer, but you can come and go as you please, the total won't exceed 90 days granted. he also explicitly says that if you haven't used up your 90 days, the immo officer CAN grant you a full 30 days even if it takes you beyond 180.

in other words, you've been in thailand 60 days on stamps, you show up at immo, day 179. the immo officer likes your face, can give you 30 days. BUT as always, and as it was before the rule change, it's up to the discretion of the officer.

hopefully i haven't confused things further, but that's my take.

I would agree with this interpretation.

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I'm still thick headed. I don't even know how to use the reply button.

Are you saying that the 180 begins on Oct. 1 and ends on March 30 for one 180 day period and then another begins on April 1 through Sept. 30?

Or does the 180 begin on your first arrival at any time during the year?

For example:

I arrive Dec. 24, 2006 and stay for 22 days. I come back on April 6, 2007 and stay for 14 days. A total of 36 days in a 4 month period. Does my 180 days run from Dec. 24 through June 24? And then begin a new cycle on June 25th through Dec. 23rd?

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I'm still thick headed. I don't even know how to use the reply button.

Are you saying that the 180 begins on Oct. 1 and ends on March 30 for one 180 day period and then another begins on April 1 through Sept. 30?

Or does the 180 begin on your first arrival at any time during the year?

For example:

I arrive Dec. 24, 2006 and stay for 22 days. I come back on April 6, 2007 and stay for 14 days. A total of 36 days in a 4 month period. Does my 180 days run from Dec. 24 through June 24? And then begin a new cycle on June 25th through Dec. 23rd?

The period should begin on your first entry after Oct 1, 2006. So if your first entry was Dec 24, your period begins then. Your 6 month period should reset on or around June 24.

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