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

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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

Yes, and in the last year, I have flown on five different airlines (TG, EK, OZ, UA and SQ) to BKK out of the Middle East, Europe, North America and Asia. In each case, the airline check-in agent verified that I had a non-immigrant visa in my passport. Having that, I did not require an outward bound ticket. Without a visa, I would have. Airline agents have explained to me that although immigration may not check for the outward ticket, if they decide to check and find a passenger without a visa or outward ticket then deny entry, the airline is liable for the ticket out of Thailand, plus a fine.

I would imagine Air Asia now knows about their error in not checking in this case, and will now be vigilant.

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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.

"She clearly works illegally here." - where is the evidence of that? What do you base your comment on?

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Means of exit and pattern of travel.

flotsam and jetsam.

Self-evident.

Immigration control is not a court. Officers are expected to act. These officers did. Hopefully, more of those who abuse the system will be excluded . I know all about the bribes etc.... yadda yadda. Can't complain when the system works, can you? Well, lots do complain.

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This article does not explain why Maria was in Thailand. Was she here as a tourist ? Why the extended stay at the age of 26 ? It does not fully explain her circumstance. Was a friend paying her way ?

Why did Maria not go to an ATM and withdraw 20,000 THB ? This is not a lot of money in the world. It may be a lot of money in Thailand but it is only a little money relative to requirements in other countries.

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Like a few people on this forum, I work offshore (in Africa) on a 28 day rotational basis, returning to Bangkok every other month. I enter the country without any visa (Canadian citizen) and stay less than 30 days but return again a month later. Currently, I am offshore and returning again at the beginning of June and I am now concerned that the officials will take a look at my passport activity and deny me entry. Technically, I am not a visa runner but I do live in Thailand (earning my money elsewhere) and bank in Thailand.

Does anyone know if this "crackdown" will affect us offshore rats rotating in and out of the country?

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So basically she has been living in Thailand since October. So for the last 6 months she has been living in Thailand on multiple tourist visas. Did not have ability to <script type='text/javascript'>window.mod_pagespeed_start = Number(new Date());</script>

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???

You described her visa runs, does she look like a tourist to you? Last 6 months living in Thailand on multiple tourist visas. Sure technically she may have been doing what many others do but let's face facts, she was violating the spirit of the law. She says she had over 20,000 baht in what apparently was a Russian Bank (it was in Russian using her phone), didn't have a credit card to buy a ticket and a friend had to buy the ticket. If the immigration department would get tough on all the people like this there would be less problems in the tourist areas. I am not saying that she is of bad character but there are too many farangs breaking the rules and living on the edge in Thailand. The constant postings on TV of the happenings among farangs is simply amazing to me. Kind of shows the class of tourist Thailand is getting these days.

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Assistant Manager at Sea Bees Diving in Phuket, without a visa or work permit?

whistling.gif

http://th.linkedin.com/pub/mariia-sgibneva/94/710/530

Ahhhh... the power of the Internet. biggrin.png

And she doesn't cover her tracks very well, does she? No wait - she was returning to Thailand to attend a friend's wedding.

Good on Thai immigration. For the rest of us who spend so much time and money on visas and work permits and being legal, we should commend Thai immigration on seeing through this woman's lies.

Also makes me wonder if Sea Bees Diving might be receiving some official visitors today.

Edited by bubba
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LOL. There's your answer. Immigration is doing a good job!

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Like a few people on this forum, I work offshore (in Africa) on a 28 day rotational basis, returning to Bangkok every other month. I enter the country without any visa (Canadian citizen) and stay less than 30 days but return again a month later. Currently, I am offshore and returning again at the beginning of June and I am now concerned that the officials will take a look at my passport activity and deny me entry. Technically, I am not a visa runner but I do live in Thailand (earning my money elsewhere) and bank in Thailand.

Does anyone know if this "crackdown" will affect us offshore rats rotating in and out of the country?

Hard to tell, strictly speaking the rue is not intended for your case as you do not consinously live in Thailand. But how they will interpret the rule in practise we will have to see.

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Assistant Manager at Sea Bees Diving in Phuket, without a visa or work permit?

whistling.gif

http://th.linkedin.com/pub/mariia-sgibneva/94/710/530

Ahhhh... the power of the Internet. biggrin.png

And she doesn't cover her tracks very well, does she? No wait - she was returning to Thailand to attend a friend's wedding.

Good on Thai immigration. For the rest of us who spend so much time and money on visas and work permits and being legal, we should commend Thai immigration on seeing through this woman's lies.

Also makes me wonder if Sea Bees Diving might be receiving some official visitors today.

The sorry-assed thing is that they won't, despite the fact that her profile states that they employ forty people.

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Assistant Manager at Sea Bees Diving in Phuket, without a visa or work permit?

whistling.gif

http://th.linkedin.com/pub/mariia-sgibneva/94/710/530

Great find!

Lets see--scuba diver, bartender and professional dancer. Sounds like a fun girl ;-)

And one more link:

http://www.yatedo.com/p/Maria+Sgibneva/normal/9dc7a3d95fb69a9b08e6cc111b8fc286

Yet Sea Bees diving is complaining about corruption?

http://blog.sea-bees.com

Edited by bubba
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