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Final crackdown for border runners - New strict Immigration regulation in force from today


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I predict a huge problem come Aug 12 when they begin cracking down on tourists arriving on flights too. I know MANY people who live in other countries in the region who come to Thailand periodically, maybe 2 to 6 times a year, for various reasons (leisure, visa run for their country, business, etc). If they actually start denying entry to these casual travelers, who have no interest in living in Thailand, there's gonna be major fallout.

These people are not affected, it is the people using back to back 30 day visa exempt entry that are going to be affected, ie those living in Thailand and crossing the border every 30 days.

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Someone requested a translation of the Thai text include in the article. My (unofficial) translation follows as a public service.

แนวทางปฏิบัติของ สตม.ในการตรวจคนเข้าเมืองของบุคคลสัญชาติเป้าหมาย เช่น เกาหลี ฯลฯ มีดังนี้

In practice, the Office of Immigration, in checking persons entering the country, for persons nationalities such as Korean, etc., shall be thus:

1.ห้ามมิให้ด่านชายแดนมีการอนุญาต Out-In ในลักษณะของ Visa run เพื่อให้ได้รับสิทธิในการอยู่ในราชอาณาจักรต่อเนื่องที่มิใช่เหตุผลเพื่อการ ท่องเที่ยว

1. Immigration stations are not allowed to permit Visa run-type Out-Ins that are intended to get the right to live in the Kingdom continuously, that are not for purposes of tourism.

2.กรณีเดินทางโดยอากาศยานหากตรวจพบว่าอาจเป็นการ Out-In ในลักษณะของ Visa run ให้ว่ากล่าวและแนะนำให้ผู้นั้นดำเนินการขอ Visa ให้ถูกต้องตามวัตถุประสงค์ของการเข้ามาในราชอาณาจักร แล้วอนุโลมให้เข้า ตั้งแต่บัดนี้จนถึงวันที่ 12 ส.ค.57 โดยทำเครื่องหมาย O-I ไว้บริเวณรอยตราประทับ และหลังจากวันที่ 12 ส.ค.57 เป็นต้นไป หากเจ้าหน้าที่ตรวจพบเป็นการ Out-In ให้ปฏิเสธการเข้าเมืองผู้นั้น

2. In the case of travel through airports, if the agent discovers that it might be a Visa run-type Out-In, the agent shall comment and advise the traveler to request a visa by the proper procedure to enter the Kingdom, then allow the traveler to enter. From the present until 12 Aug 2557, issue seal type O-I in the traveler's passport. After 12 Aug 2557, if the agent discovers Out-In, deny entry to the traveler.

หมายเหตุ หากผู้ปฏิบัติมีข้อสงสัยหรือพบปัญหาติดต่อ พล.ต.ต.ชิษณุพงศ์ ยุกตะทัต หรือ พล.ต.ต.ณัฐธร เพราะสุนทร รอง ผบช.สตม. แล้วแต่กรณี

Comment: If the practicing agent has questions or encounters problems, contact Police General Chisanuphong Yooktatat or Police General Natatorn Phrawsoonthorn, commanders of Immigration, depending on the case.

I realise no-one really knows the answer to this, but I wonder how many days you would need to stay out to be allowed back in on a Visa Exempt entry?

Would staying out for 2 weeks work? as little as one week?

If you were refused entry does that mean no more visa exempt entries until you come back with a new passport? Or are you then reduced to only being allowed entry with a visa and visa exemptions are not allowed for you at all?

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Do not understand these milking the system comments, do they mean abusing the system. I have never come across anything that could be milked in Thailand apart from the cows that is.

I once saw a ladyboy in Patong milking herself. Nearly hit a few people in the eye.

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I predict a huge problem come Aug 12 when they begin cracking down on tourists arriving on flights too. I know MANY people who live in other countries in the region who come to Thailand periodically, maybe 2 to 6 times a year, for various reasons (leisure, visa run for their country, business, etc). If they actually start denying entry to these casual travelers, who have no interest in living in Thailand, there's gonna be major fallout.

These people are not affected, it is the people using back to back 30 day visa exempt entry that are going to be affected, ie those living in Thailand and crossing the border every 30 days.

It is not one nor the other. Many fly in and perhaps later wish to do border runs (previously allowed) and then return home. They are not all moving to Thailand. Many are students, skipping a year of college to be on the road. Many do not wish to apply for Visa's because their plans are adjusted from day to day.

All previously acceptable. Basically, what you have here, is the baby being thrown out with the bath water.

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Hello, I don't really understand the milking the system comments either seems a bit of a generalisation. I am booked to fly in next week and planned on staying my 30 days then traveling by land to Cambodia staying there for a month then returning via land for my last month!

If i'm correct in my understanding of what I read this will not be possible sadly! Could somebody please advise me of what my best and reasonably priced options are. Thanks

You will not have a problem because you will flying in and then leaving overland for a month and then you will be entering by land.

The way the translation reads they don't count air and land entries as being the same. Plus they will be looking for those leaving and entering the same day,

Is that a dead cert as I cant afford to leave the country and be denied entry as I obviously need to return for my flight. If thats so I presume it will be 15 days coming back in then! Also is it possible to do this more than once? Thanks for your reply Joe

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Can some kind soul advise what to do please, and/or, what are my options. I have only just learned about this bombshell, thanks to TV.

This is my third year of living here for ten months of the year. (I am one of those who find it far more pleasurable and easier living here than back home on a pension). I have an income of 40K+ a month but not enough capital to deposit for a Retirement visa. I have been coming on a 6 month Tourist visa in Sept/Oct then Mai Sai visa runs until July then back home to see people and get a new visa and start again. I have always stayed within the system; no overstays, no working, everything in order, I just love living here.

My most recent visa run stamp expires 26th May but my flight is not until 10th July and for various reasons I don’t want to have to go back before then.

For next year I have the options of a retirement visa of a (new?) type that apparently requires no hefty bank balance just a statement of pension income that somebody has told me about (anyone have experience of this), or, failing that, an (genuine student) ED visa. (Welcome PMs from reputable schools)

So, my immediate problem is what I should/can/have to do on 26th May, please? ps I live in Chiang Mai.

Thankyou …

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From my understanding this applies to land crossings, what about air? If one was to fly out /in, does same apply?

I doubt it applies to air, because people are flying are spending more money, and they're paying the "good" people. It's all about money. They really don't give a damn about whether people are "milking" the system or not. This comes at a time when an effort is being made to take down a government. Recall the last time such a move was made in tightening the borders was just after the 2006 coup.

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Well go and get a 60 day tourist visa then if you plan to stay whilst waiting on paperwork. you can extend that whilst in country if you need more time. not rocket science is it.

You say that with all the unctuousness of someone who is unaffected by the situation and has no sympathy for genuine travellers whose plans will be seriously disrupted by this move.

My wife and I will be travelling to Thailand in December. The plan is to stay 8-10 weeks, as she has to have an operation which she wishes to have done in a Thai clinic. So how do I extend my stay beyond 30 days now? We will be in Ubon Ratchathani, and the plan was to pop over to Pakse once or twice, which is an easy trip. Now I will have to fly to Viengchang or Penang or Phnom Penh (two flights each way) with no idea how long it will take me to get a tourist visa when I get there. With the changes in the situation, I would imagine it will be bedlam at those embassies, with hordes of visa applicants.

"Oh", I hear you say, "get a tourist visa before you leave".

Well I live on a Greek island, and to get a visa from the Thai Embassy in Athens will entail a flight to Athens, plus at least one night in a hotel there, plus other expenses (local transport, eating etc) of being away in a city. I wouldn't see much (if any) change out of 500 just to get a tourist visa. And that's if I went to Athens on my own and left my wife at home.

not rocket science is it

I'm sure your attitude would be somewhat different if you were in my shoes...

You and your wife are not genuine tourists as your sole intention is to come to Thailand to take advantage of the cheaper medical procedures than can be had here.

Get the visa or do not come. not rocket science is it. It might cost you 500 more to do so but how much are you saving by coming to Thailand for the medical procedure ?

Edited by Spoonman
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More rules are not better...just confusing.

Immigration always had the power to deny entry.....

I am hoping that Immigration would at least settle for 2 consecutive border ones instead of just one.

Darn it.... The consulate in Vientiane is already crowded......

Ridiculous to apply for a visa if you plan on leaving Thailand a few weeks later than planned, and have already done a recent visit to a neighboring country. Darn it.

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Well am a big fat oil and gas worker, I was suppose to be doing a 30 day,er.....

but due to problems in Libya ive already extended once for 30 days,

and just done it again today for another 30 days.

Been reading this thread all day whilst I have been doing the visa run from Patta to Cambo, 2500bths all inclusive...

Anyway, nice policeman remembered me from last month.....had my fav Chelsea top on again....

told the nice policeman I hope to see him next month..

Don't want to advertise the company, but its in soi 6......555+

Anyway, its bacon egg and chips time, hate thai grub.....

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I have read 10 pages of this already and it is getting late w00t.gif

I have yet to see a definition of "back-to-back".

Are we talking same day?

Next day?

A week?

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I've worked here in Thailand for nearly seven years and these border runs have saved my bacon several times due to the incompetence of agencies and schools trying to process work permits and teacher's license. The ones that will be most affected by this dumb rule enforcement are those who are trying to work here legit. What about those who are fired by their school for whatever reason? What recourse do these teachers have other than packing up their bags and going back to their home country? I just love the double standards that Thais employ against foreigners and I love their apologists. Fortunately, I am going back to America next week.

The problem is than with the agencies and schools if they don't do the paperwork on time. So it has nothing to do with double standards. Have a good trip back to the usa.


Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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You and your wife are not genuine tourists as your sole intention is to come to Thailand to take advantage of the cheaper medical procedures than can be had here.

Get the visa or do not come. not rocket science is it. It might cost you 500 more to do so but how much are you saving by coming to Thailand for the medical procedure ?

Medical tourism is perfectly genuine tourism and actually quite big business here in Thailand. It seems like nisakiman is one of the few real tourists who will be affected by this.

What you (nisakiman) could do is get a tourist visa from Pakse or elsewhere in Laos on your first trip there. Would also be a bit of hassle but not as much as the round trip to Athens I doubt.

Also have you looked into the possibility of doing it by mail in Greece? Could be worth investigating.

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Can some kind soul advise what to do please, and/or, what are my options. I have only just learned about this bombshell, thanks to TV.

This is my third year of living here for ten months of the year. (I am one of those who find it far more pleasurable and easier living here than back home on a pension). I have an income of 40K+ a month but not enough capital to deposit for a Retirement visa. I have been coming on a 6 month Tourist visa in Sept/Oct then Mai Sai visa runs until July then back home to see people and get a new visa and start again. I have always stayed within the system; no overstays, no working, everything in order, I just love living here.

My most recent visa run stamp expires 26th May but my flight is not until 10th July and for various reasons I don’t want to have to go back before then.

For next year I have the options of a retirement visa of a (new?) type that apparently requires no hefty bank balance just a statement of pension income that somebody has told me about (anyone have experience of this), or, failing that, an (genuine student) ED visa. (Welcome PMs from reputable schools)

So, my immediate problem is what I should/can/have to do on 26th May, please? ps I live in Chiang Mai.

Thankyou …

Joining Walen School will certainly solve your visa problems. We have lots of happy customers in Chiang Mai.

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I have read 10 pages of this already and it is getting late w00t.gif

I have yet to see a definition of "back-to-back".

Are we talking same day?

Next day?

A week?

most are speculating

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Can some kind soul advise what to do please, and/or, what are my options. I have only just learned about this bombshell, thanks to TV.

This is my third year of living here for ten months of the year. (I am one of those who find it far more pleasurable and easier living here than back home on a pension). I have an income of 40K+ a month but not enough capital to deposit for a Retirement visa. I have been coming on a 6 month Tourist visa in Sept/Oct then Mai Sai visa runs until July then back home to see people and get a new visa and start again. I have always stayed within the system; no overstays, no working, everything in order, I just love living here.

My most recent visa run stamp expires 26th May but my flight is not until 10th July and for various reasons I don’t want to have to go back before then.

For next year I have the options of a retirement visa of a (new?) type that apparently requires no hefty bank balance just a statement of pension income that somebody has told me about (anyone have experience of this), or, failing that, an (genuine student) ED visa. (Welcome PMs from reputable schools)

So, my immediate problem is what I should/can/have to do on 26th May, please? ps I live in Chiang Mai.

Thankyou …

You should make a tripe to Vientiane Laos for a single entry non-o visa for being over 50 that will give you a 90 day entry that costs 2000 baht. Or a single entry tourist visa (1000 baht) that will give a 60 day entry that you can extend for 30 days (1900 baht).

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Thankyou Walen and I will consider you, but that does not solve my immediate problem I think.

My manager in Chiang Mai, her name is Cindy, is a superstar and she will find a solution for you.

Walen School - a name you can trust

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Don't understand the problem as such. People are getting upset because they can no longer take advantage of lax immigration control. Welcome to the real world.

Sent from my GT-I9500 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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This will be short lived because it will affect long stay tourism and businesses relying on them. Flip flopping policies is a way of life in Thailand

Hopefully they will at least go back to 3 entries that they were doing previously at some borders. That was fairly reasonable.

I too kind of fail to understand why they had to settle on the ONE visa-exempt land-entry approach, as reported in the OP.

I understand their goal, for better or worse, of trying to stop those perpetually gaming the system.

But it seems to me they could have equally well accomplished that goal -- without making life difficult for everyone else who sometimes needs to do border runs -- by a policy of something like no more than two or three back to back, or no more than two or three visa exempt land entries per six months or per year. Something like that, that at least would have given some flexibility.

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Hmmm.... Interesting. I am one that has been flying in and out every 30 days or so, usually with a short stopover in Singapore (sometimes just courier run) and spend a night out with a friend there.... then returning here. I am under 50 -- work developing software (currently 0 revenue; 0 work for the Thai market) and spend an average of 100,000 baht a month on condo, high-speed internet etc. Looks like I might have to slow down development a little and actually take a paying job (many offers for consulting from major firms) if I want to stay here..... will have to think about it a little more.... The problem with the crackdown - is it is not likely to hit those that are "undesirable" since they don't tend to follow the letter or the spirit of the law anyways.... and they will just pay off who is needed to keep their illegal operations going.

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I wonder how many arrivals will disappear from the TAT roles after August.... It would be funny if they have to stop publishing arrivals because it is decreasing and therefore an embarrassment :P

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From my understanding this applies to land crossings, what about air? If one was to fly out /in, does same apply?

I doubt it applies to air, because people are flying are spending more money, and they're paying the "good" people. It's all about money. They really don't give a damn about whether people are "milking" the system or not. This comes at a time when an effort is being made to take down a government. Recall the last time such a move was made in tightening the borders was just after the 2006 coup.

It does not yet applies to air. As of 12 August it will also apply to entries by air.

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If you go in and out of Thailand every month for say a period of a year - the only purpose being to get 30 days at the border, then I am sorry but you are not a tourist.

Go and fill out all the reams and reams of paperwork and jump through all the hoops like the rest of us had to be able to say here legally long term.

Incorrect in many cases. I have seen many tourists (college aged) doing border runs.

Who told you there is a one year limit for being a tourist?

I never read that anywhere. I have been traveling around for more than a year...with no particular residence.

Nobody abused anything. Border runs were legit for everyone. Now they are not. No arrests are being made, and nobody is accused of wrong doing. I was told 3 or 4 was not problem...then get a visa. So what? Now it is once.

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changes nothing. I have friends who have been here years and have never once crossed any boarder for any visa extension.This is Thailand-have money- do as you please.This will only make those visa fixers a little more money and many local Thai vendors/businesses a little less.

This has nothing to do with visa extensions but is all about those who do not have a visa and are doing border runs every 15/30 days to get another visa exempt entry. the time has come to sort their ........... and get a proper visa.

Lets face it. doing a border run every 15/30 days is costly, why not fly to a neighboring country for 2 days and get a proper tourist visa.

Visas are also limited too. For example, if you have an ED or other Non-Imm visa, then you get 2 Tour visas; you can't get anymore Tour Visas (at least in Vientiane). You'll either have to go back to a full 1 year non-imm visa (which is expensive), or have to leave. It's all about money.

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Retirement visa age is also supposed to be increased to 55. That will make things even worse!

Do you have a reliable source for this piece of information?

I can't find anything on google that supports your comment.

just wishfull thinking for him!!

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You say that with all the unctuousness of someone who is unaffected by the situation and has no sympathy for genuine travellers whose plans will be seriously disrupted by this move.

My wife and I will be travelling to Thailand in December. The plan is to stay 8-10 weeks, as she has to have an operation which she wishes to have done in a Thai clinic. So how do I extend my stay beyond 30 days now? We will be in Ubon Ratchathani, and the plan was to pop over to Pakse once or twice, which is an easy trip. Now I will have to fly to Viengchang or Penang or Phnom Penh (two flights each way) with no idea how long it will take me to get a tourist visa when I get there. With the changes in the situation, I would imagine it will be bedlam at those embassies, with hordes of visa applicants.

"Oh", I hear you say, "get a tourist visa before you leave".

Well I live on a Greek island, and to get a visa from the Thai Embassy in Athens will entail a flight to Athens, plus at least one night in a hotel there, plus other expenses (local transport, eating etc) of being away in a city. I wouldn't see much (if any) change out of €500 just to get a tourist visa. And that's if I went to Athens on my own and left my wife at home.

You should be able to apply for your visas by mail. You may be able to qualify for non immigrant o visas based upon getting medical care.

I could give you more info but the embassy website http://www.thaiembassy.org/athens/en/home is down until late Tuesday here because it runs on the MFA servers that are down until then.

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