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Russian denied entry at Phuket International Airport over 'visa' crackdown

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It appears her biggest crime was being 26 years of age, because Thai authorities believe someone who is 26 years of age could not possibly have enough money to live in Thailand for so many months, without working illegally, despite thousands of backpackers, for example, from all around the world, traveling all around South East Asia for 6 months.

I note the Immigration Officers didn't ask if she had a boyfriend. Maybe she was "sponsored" so to speak. Maybe she had a rich Russian guy paying her way.

If you are going to deport someone because you "think" they are working - should there at least be a little more burden of proof required? Maybe she was working, but a few stamps in a passport hardly proves that.

What will be interesting is, for the Russians that are working here illegally, why would they pay off police to turn a blind eye, if they are going to be caught on their visa runs? I can see a big drop in "tea money" for some departments on Phuket, and they will not be happy.

I have never once passed through Immigration with 20,000 baht cash - but carry ATM cards.

Sometimes I have an outbound ticket, but not always, because I am not sure when friends will be holidaying in a neighbouring country and I would like to co-ordinate my visa run to catch up with them.

I suppose this story makes me a criminal a well, despite never working a day in Thailand, being under 50 years of age and self funded.

This incident will be of particular interest to the fly in / fly out (FIFO) mine and rig workers.

Edited by NamKangMan
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she signed her photo "Photo: Mariia Sgibneva / Facbook ": This any hidden hint as to what her prolonged "holiday" looked like?

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<script type='text/javascript'>window.mod_pagespeed_start = Number(new Date());</script>

OK although things seem clear to me or as clear as possible in the LOS, I'm about to return to Phuket after 7 days back in Australia, I will be on my second 3 month tourist visa 60+30 days. I am about to apply for my visa in Perth tomorrow. I do not have a history of multiple entries using the 30 day visa exempt system.

I believe i will have no trouble entering Thailand, I Think?


She was not travelling on a tourist visa (hers had long since expired); ergo, your circumstances of travelling on a new tourist visa make your situation entirely different.

Your reward for following the rules?

Entry to LOS ;-)

Yep I'm doing it correctly too may others including the Russian lady are taking the piss, as stated in many posts above, no countries will tolerate this.

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I am surprised Air Asia even allowed her to board in KL when she had no exit ticket. I guess more will be denied from now on as the airlines are charged with taking them back plus a fine.

I was once given a hard time even when I had an e-ticket out of Thailand on the same airline (Malaysian) when checking in in Frankfurt for the outbound - they demanded a paper ticket, "So print me one." I said - "We can't here at the airport, only in town.", Fraport employee said - "Is that my fault?", I replied. This was in 2006.

Edited by mrdome

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Rules are rules. Pleased the system is trying to enforce rhem now. She clearly works illegally here. She has a nerve to complain. Nothing but bad news comes out of Russia. Vladivostok and the rule of law do not mix.

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If you are going to deport someone because you "think" they are working - should there at least be a little more burden of proof required? Maybe she was working, but a few stamps in a passport hardly proves that.

I doubt there is any such burden of proof incumbent upon immigrations at a port of entry. Nor did they deport her, they simply denied her entry to Thailand. Much "cleaner" from the Thai end of things, which I'm sure is exactly how the powers-that-be like it.

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If you are going to deport someone because you "think" they are working - should there at least be a little more burden of proof required? Maybe she was working, but a few stamps in a passport hardly proves that.

I doubt there is any such burden of proof incumbent upon immigrations at a port of entry. Nor did they deport her, they simply denied her entry to Thailand. Much "cleaner" from the Thai end of things, which I'm sure is exactly how the powers-that-be like it.

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“The first question they asked was if I had a departing ticket from Thailand – I didn’t. But not a big deal, I could buy one.

Not a big deal? So failing to comply with Thai immigration law is not a big deal? Proof of an onward ticket is a clear requirement of Thai immigration if the passenger does not possess a valid visa. I am surprised the airline allowed her to board, as check-in agents have checked this on every flight I have taken in the last five years. Also, by allowing such an occurrence, airlines (Air Asia in this case) are liable for the air fare back out and they can also be fined.

Singled out for being Russian? Sorry, but Thai immigration were following the letter of the law, and the outward bound ticket/sufficient funds requirements are both part of the law. If anything, it appeared that Immigration were willing to be lenient by asking her to prove sufficient funds when she could not produce an outward bound ticket. And I would not be surprised if this woman displayed a bit of attitude to the immigration officers and perhaps told them that it was "not a big deal" and went on whining about being singled out because she was Russian.

I'm with you on this one bubba. Here in Australia I nearly wasn't allowed on a flight to Thailand because I could not show an onward or return flight out of Thailand within the requirements of my visa... and I've got a Non imm Type 0 as the mother of a thai child, with multiple entry! Then they said that I was okay cause I had the 90day allowance on my visa and (multiple entries obv) but that my child couldn't board the plane because she didn't have a visa (in Thailand children don't need a visa until they are in about 15 or something like that... she is always signed off for the overstay each time we leave Thailand without fuss and without requiring payment... she just has her pic taken by immigration officials and the man signs her passport and that's it).

After much discussion, it was eventually proven that my daughter didn't need to have a visa, and therefore didn't require proof on an onward flight, so we were rushed to get on the plane.

My point being, that if airlines did their job properly, no one would be actually getting on a plane to fly to Thailand unless they had proof of their departure from Thailand within the time frame allowed by whatever visa they are relying on (30 day on arrival, 60 day tourist visa, 90 days, 12 months, whatever)... because it is CLEARLY stated in all the rules. It appears the officials on the Thai end in this case were just enforcing a rule that should have already been enforced by the airline. Perhaps it's less about Russians and more about Air Asia not doing its job properly?

I must say Jetstar are much bigger sticklers for this rule of having proof of departure from Thailand as compared to Air Asia... particularly from Sydney airport anyway. I have flown probably 10-15 times with Jetstar and more than 20 times with Air Asia. The former ALWAYS asks to see my return or onward flights, the latter RARELY asks (but does on occasion!).

Food for thought anyhoo

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Everybody is a human, maybe they hate me because Im Russian

Yep

cheesy.gifclap2.gif Straight to the point.

Yes, meanwhile people are being hated (& beaten) in Russia simply because of their sexual orientation.

Time to suck it up little Russian lady and next time, get a visa from an embassy/consulate OR at least comply with the rules for visa exempt arrival.

This is an example of Thai Immigration doing their job AND a job WELL DONE it was.

nothing wrong with beaten up in russia because of sexual oriantion if you look on the laws of some states of the united states. there you can go end up in a prison for your sexual orientation and got also beaten before clap2.gif

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I'm trying to understand her timeline of visa-runs:

After arriving in Phuket in October, Ms Sgibneva left to get a three-month tourist visa in November. She then completed a visa run in February. Subsequently, she left the country on March 21 for a visa run, then again to visit friends in Kuala Lumpur on March 30 and April 18.

- Arrives sometime in October, (presumably by air ==> 30 day visa exempt)

- Leaves within that 30 days to get a 3-month tourist visa

- 3 month tourist visa expires sometime in February and she does (I assume) a 15-day visa-run to Ranong

- Another Ranong visa-run on March 21st (so she must have been on overstay) - gets 15 days

- Leaves (assume by air) to visit friends in KL, not on overstay

- Returns from KL on unknown date, will get 30 days visa-exempt

- Goes again (assume by air) to KL to visit friends, not on overstay

Now unless immigration know something about her that we do not know (criminal etc), it looks like she did 2 visa-runs to Ranong, (one on overstay), and left Thailand well within the validity of her subsequent visa exempts.

So why was she denied entry at the airport???

That is easy! Immigration officials suspected she wasn't a real tourist based on her entry pattern and also she she didn't meet the Visa exempt entry requirements of being able to show 20,000THB in cash and a ticket out of the country within 30 days. Either of these are enough reason but together they very strong.

Her actions could suggest trying to get round the problem. They could be real equally they could be seen as a way to avoid the rules by someone who isn't a tourist Thai immigration viewed the latter to be the case and their view is the only one that is important

Edited by sometimewoodworker
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OK although things seem clear to me or as clear as possible in the LOS, I'm about to return to Phuket after 7 days back in Australia, I will be on my second 3 month tourist visa 60+30 days. I am about to apply for my visa in Perth tomorrow. I do not have a history of multiple entries using the 30 day visa exempt system.

I believe i will have no trouble entering Thailand, I Think?

I think you will be fine as you have pre-arranged your tourist visa each time, and have headed back to Australia in between. I'm and aussie and did this sort of thing many times before I was given my non-imm type 0 visa after I had my baby (half thai, six years ago now).

If you have your return flight to Australia, or a flight from Thailand to another country, you will especially be okay. If not, you can say you are going overland or whatever. I would think you don't have enough history of visa runs etc to make them even raise an eyelid, but I'm not expert.

Let us know how you get on and good luck!

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Sometimes I have an outbound ticket, but not always, because I am not sure when friends will be holidaying in a neighbouring country and I would like to co-ordinate my visa run to catch up with them.

I suppose this story makes me a criminal as well.....

Possibly.

Please clarify--are you in LOS with an actual VISA?

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They told me, No its not possible. They wanted to see the cash, she said.

I bet they did!

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