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george

Confirmed: Visa run crackdown effective from August 12, 2014: Thai Foreign Ministry

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I live in Laos where it is quite legal to get unlimited back to back 30 day tourists visa, I cross the bridge into Thailand at Nong Khai once a month on a visa exemption. Often I will stay one or two days, rarely more, to do some shopping or visit friends. On my last visa run the Thai side gave me funny looks and for the first time I had to explain I actually lived in Laos and would only be doing some shopping.

The Laos expats are more nervous about what the new back to back visa exemption rule is going to mean for them when it is strictly enforced on the 12 Aug..

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So, no more double-entry tourist visas?

No, you can still apply for a double or triple entry tourist visa, but once it's used up,

you probably wouldn't be issued another one soon after.

That's not what the OP says - it says to be restrictive in back to back visas.

It couldn't be any clearer.

TAT's newest campaign to promote and achieve those super-high tourist numbers by the end of 2015 as indicated yesterday in "TAT says it will reach its huge tourism goal by next year" Seems like the new global government double-speak a negative means a positive.

Edited by connda

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This is about visa exempt entries but 75% of the posts are talking about visa's. It's not about visas at all. Totally separate issue.

This remains to be seen. Plan for the worst outcome but hope for the best.

The Op clearly states "back to back visa"

Visa exemption is not a visa.

It's in the wording...exemption...

They also talk of identifying 'visa runner cases'.

Do you think people who've been living here for several years on back to back tourist visas will be allowed to continue doing so ?

If that's the case then why have they started scrutinising passengers who arrive with a tourist visa in their passport ? I'm sure things will become much clearer in about 6 weeks time.

As I posted earlier in the thread I "think" people will need notable time between visa applications (how long, who knows) & back to back exemption stamps will be near impossible.

Like you say, all will become clearer with time.

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For example - Joe arrives in Thailand on a tourist visa for 30 days, visits immigration and extends for another 60 days since he is visiting his spouse and children. At the end of this period, Joe must leave Thailand by air to a neighbouring country - and then returning the next day, would then re-enter Thailand on another 30 day tourist visa. Thus - Joe begins the cycle again...


Why even have a stay limit if this is allowed? Just to screw 'Joe' around?

He'll be told to book the next flight out and not try again for x months. In fact once it happens often enough and airlines get sick of whinging 'Joes' asking for refunds they'll probably check their passports and tell them not to bother trying a re-entry.

Thats what worries me , the decision is going to be passed to a check in clerk , in my case probably an Air Asia one at Penang. The reliance on the decision of one of these people to allow me to see my kids for the weekend or not does not fill me with confidence about the result.

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The airlines check the rules from a database that can be queried by anyone. I remember the Emirates website had a search for it.

I think it's this one: http://www.emirates.com/english/plan_book/essential_information/visa_passport_information/find_visa_requirements/find_visa_requirements.aspx

Edited by DrTuner

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It's obvious by all the comment questions here, that this article poses many more questions than it answers.

The phrase "visa run" is used several times but that word means various things to various people. What, according to the Foreign Ministry is a "visa run"?

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The phrase "visa run" is used several times but that word means various things to various people. What, according to the Foreign Ministry is a "visa run"?

Presumably is means leaving the country for the sole purpose of obtaining a visa exempt entry or tourist visa.

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I don't think anyone on this thread really honestly knows fully what they are talking about. If they DO know - It would be great if you could actually point us plebs to a specific thread (NOT the vague brown-nosing letter issued by the government at the start of this thread) that clearly explains the rules for this new Crapdown.

I for one travel regularly all around the world and support my family here in Thailand. It may be that my error has been in not applying for a Non Immigrant O Visa, but the immigration dept has been very good at supplying me with a spousal visa whenever I have needed it here in Thailand. What REALLY makes me laugh is that the TAT is expecting to make Trillions next year from tourism. Given the current climate politically and now this obfuscating new crackdown, I fail to understand how they are aiming to attract tourists at all. I have just got back from a week in Hua Hin, and I have never in 13 years seen it as dead as it was this last week. It was practically a ghost town. Residents and shop/bar/restaurant owners have been saying it's a crisis situation.

BUT - HALLELUJAH!! TAT have a great plan that is going to bring the tourists running back in to the country in a torrential FLOOD - the money will be pouring into the coffers and the hotels will be bursting at the seams. Why? Because they are so confident - they have placed their confidence in a burgeoning economy, a peaceful and secure political and social structure, of clean streets and dependable police force, fairness and justice for all - understanding for people married to their own for years with dependants, and families that pay taxes. I can see why they are so confident, and so, therefore, am I. Viva La Thailande!!

You are not a tourist. Get yourself a non immigrant multiple 'O' visa and then you are in the right category. Then you can stay 90 days and either leave and return or get into the staying long term showing money way.

Genuine tourists will still be catered for as normal and they probably spend more than visa runners. Note supporting Thai family does not feed money into hotels and those that make a living from tourism.

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I live in Laos where it is quite legal to get unlimited back to back 30 day tourists visa, I cross the bridge into Thailand at Nong Khai once a month on a visa exemption. Often I will stay one or two days, rarely more, to do some shopping or visit friends. On my last visa run the Thai side gave me funny looks and for the first time I had to explain I actually lived in Laos and would only be doing some shopping.

The Laos expats are more nervous about what the new back to back visa exemption rule is going to mean for them when it is strictly enforced on the 12 Aug..

Business visa...

Maybe they'll start to sort out residence marriage visa soon enough.

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Obviously, if you bought a vehicle and/or signed a lease/purchased a condo...then you should not be thinking about Tourist Visas anymore.

It would be great if Immigration would come out with an "Amnesty" agreement. In other words, a residency card for law abiding, foreigners who have no record of criminal activity and who have good income. Perhaps some references from some upstanding Thai business people as well.

Clearly...I can see a need for an indefinite "Residency Card". I had one for the Philippines for quite some time. No need for annual O Visas and extensions of stays. All other means (Tourist Visas/Visa exempts) are no longer an options...it appears. At best, I can see a lot of nervous people trying to dance the "two-step" while Immigration throws out a series of questions every time you return to Thailand. That would always be a negative.

A nice followup to these Crackdowns would be an announcement of such a residency card. Perhaps just an annual reporting in would also free up Immigration to better deal with overstayers/abusers of Visas ...especially those who are committing crimes or working illegally.

Hope to read something about this in the future....and am hoping for the best

Edited by slipperylobster
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Guess I am going to be a guinea pig for the new system as I fly in and out of Thailand August 5th to August 14th

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Guess I am going to be a guinea pig for the new system as I fly in and out of Thailand August 5th to August 14th

I had 3 back to back land border runs...then went ahead and got a double entry tourist visa. The consulate wrote in english on my visa that I must provide proof of income and residency the next time I get a visa. That was enough to tell me I no longer should be getting a tourist visa. I leave several months a year, and only had 3 tourist visas (not back to back) in two years. I did, however, have 3 back to back Visa exempt border runs, previously, to this double entry.

Well, I have a round trip ticket to Kuala Lumpur for mid-July, to see the sights, dine, shop and enjoy 2 days of tourism. I will then re-enter Thailand for sixty days of Tourist delight, on my second entry ( Chiang Mai). I will have in my possession, proof of income and a letter from the Condotel (one month lease). I have a ticket to Manila for Onward travel in sixty days as well.

Twenty one days before my second entry expires, I will apply for conversion of the tourist visa to a 90 day Non Immigrant O...in Bangkok. (I heard this is possible). Then I will do a one year extension.

Does anyone see a possible stumbling block? Or am I doing it right...???

Edited by slipperylobster

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Far as I can tell this is not new news, it's a reminder of the announcement a month ago that visa runs hopping over land borders and re-entering with visa on arrival would be stopped and that the measure would extend to airport arrivals from August. I believe the period between visa on arrivals is 6 months or 90 days, so if you leave the country and return within that period expecting a visa on arrival you'll be denied.

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Sorry if this appears multiple times, my connection keeps crashing

But I think the OP has misread the letter. It is addressed to ALL diplomatic consulates and other agencies IN THAILAND and not to Thai embassies WORLDWIDE as the OP says in his introduction.

As others have already pointed out it also only mentions the VISA EXEMPTION system. That is the 14 day stamp you get when you cross the border. It makes no mention of the 30 or 60 day tourist visa which you have to get from a Thai embassy outside the country.

So panic over, problem solved.

When was the last time you 'crossed the border' ? I'll admit I havent done a Cambo visa run for some years, but its my understanding that many of us have been eligible for a 30-day stamp for quite some time and those are the 'arrivals' that I believe this crackdown is aimed at. An hour or two in a casino isnt the same as spending several nights in another country then coming back - even the Malaysians arent that easygoing from my conversations with Bule living in Malaysia and making the 90-day shopping trip to Bangkok or Sillypore.

As for 'problem solved', I dont know that we can make that call until after August 12.

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