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sbaker8688

Visa Problems

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I bought a 3 entry tourist visa from the Consulate in the U.S. before coming to Thailand. I paid for three entries, and the visa stamp on my passport says "three (3)."

After 60 days, I got a 30 day extension. The 30 days passed, and I have just completed a Cambodia border run. Upon reentry to Thailand, the clerk who was examining my passport acted strangely. She got up and went to find her supervisor. The supervisor came and asked me how many entries I paid for. I said 3. He asked me for a receipt. I said "Receipt? I don't have a receipt - the visa was bought in the U.S. 3 months ago. You think I would walk around with a receipt for 3 months? What's the problem?" He pointed to my visa and said it was for 2 entries, not three (even though it says 3 entries). The clerk then wrote a "2" at the top of the visa and circled it, and then wrote a "1" at the top of the 2, and circled it.

I looked at my passport and visa stamp carefully, trying to figure out the source of the problem. While the visa stamp clearly says "three (3)," the numeral 3 has a little curly-q at the bottom of the number, almost like the visa clerk who issued it wrote a 2 first, and then corrected it to a 3. At least, this *could* be the problem (I'm just grasping at straws here). Regardless, it sincerely looks like a 3 that was not modified by anyone, and it clearly says "three" in writing. There should be no problem here, but Thais, I have come to learn, are extremely paranoid by anything that looks even remotely suspicious about anything. Case in point - I have a $100 bill that I have been trying to change since the day I came to Thailand over 3 months ago. It's a nice, fresh, crisp $100 bill, which looks no different than any other $100 bill that I carry (in fact, it was given to me by my bank before I made the trip), except that someone has taken a magic marker and made a smiley face on Benjamin Franklin's face. Therefore, no Thai will touch it with a 10-foot pole. It's as if the bill has leprosy or something. In fact, the other day I went to a bank teller, and handed them 4 $100 bills, one of which was this "smily face" bill. The teller not only did not accept that particular bill, but she gave me *ALL* of my bills back, and told me they were counterfeit. I simply laughed, walked out, and went to the teller down the street, making sure not to include the smiley face this time. I got my exchange no problem. Thais are paranoid, but I digress.

At any rate, I believe that they "took away" one of my entries, but since this is the first time I have used a visa, I have some questions so that I can try to figure this out. My first question is: When you "use up" an entry, do they write a number at the top of the visa and circle it, telling how many entries are left? If so, then they indeed took away one of my entries, by first circling a 2, then a 1 on top of that.

My second question is: How can I deal with this? Preferably, I would like my entry back (if it was indeed taken away). Should I contact the consulate? Try to procure a receipt? Would the consulate even know what visa they issued me, and how many entries it had?

Third question: If everything else fails (as it probably will), is there any chance I can get some money back from the consulate?

My thoughts are that I am probably screwed, as if they indeed took away my entry, there is probably no way for me to prove to the next person I talk to that I did not actually use the visa that was taken away. Also, there are probably no formal procedures for "giving back" an entry that was "taken away" in the first place, but I'm just guessing. At any rate, any advice is much appreciated.

A course of action, please?

Thanks.

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Hmm, interesting one, maybe the border chaps thought you had modified your visa stamp :o

Your first port of call should be the immigration department in BKK (assume you are in Bangkok).

They have a special desk for fixing border / airport screw-ups, they will point you in the right direction. Immigration don't bite, things have changed a lot recently, it is no longer the 'department of intimidation' and fair English is spoken.

If you have the receipt or can get a copy so much the better. The consulate will certainly have a record of the visa they issued, but I expect immigration will contact them direct.

It is easy for them to tell how many entries you have used, you will have an entry stamp for each entry made during the period of the visa.

The visa actually has the word 'three' written not just the numeric?? If 'three' is written there can be no argument.

Let us know how you get on.

Edited by Crossy

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You can never get a refund for anything in thailand, ever. trust me on that one, my man

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Hi

Don’t know if this is relevant to your case. I have been a tourist in the LOS for some time and use an agent in Penang and though it costs a bit extra worth it as I’m too lazy to do it myself.

I always get a “double” (2) entry Tourist visa. This gives me 60 days plus 30 days extension then with the second entry get the same again with a total of 180 days or six months in all.

Now the agency guy told me I could get a “triple” (3) entry 3x60 days but it would have to be “used up” within the 180 days (six months). So as I understand it if you get an extension you are exceeding the 180 days and loose the extension days. You only get the 180 days no extensions.

That’s how I understand it – I’d be interested to know if my take on this right as a triple entry with extensions would suit me fine.

As to the other question yes they mark the visa with a circle and No. 1 or 2 and or date stamp then when you use your second or third entry big lines with finished or whatever they feel like right across the visa.

Hope this helps.

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Hi

Don’t know if this is relevant to your case. I have been a tourist in the LOS for some time and use an agent in Penang and though it costs a bit extra worth it as I’m too lazy to do it myself.

I always get a “double” (2) entry Tourist visa. This gives me 60 days plus 30 days extension then with the second entry get the same again with a total of 180 days or six months in all.

Now the agency guy told me I could get a “triple” (3) entry 3x60 days but it would have to be “used up” within the 180 days (six months). So as I understand it if you get an extension you are exceeding the 180 days and loose the extension days. You only get the 180 days no extensions.

That’s how I understand it – I’d be interested to know if my take on this right as a triple entry with extensions would suit me fine.

As to the other question yes they mark the visa with a circle and No. 1 or 2 and or date stamp then when you use your second or third entry big lines with finished or whatever they feel like right across the visa.

Hope this helps.

An extension is of your stay - not your visa. You do not need a valid visa to obtain an extension of stay. So yes, the 3 entry would suit you fine. But be aware a recent posting stated Penang may be only allowing three month validity for 3 entry visa (it may have been a miscommunication but look forward to someone with recent experience to post); so be sure.

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