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kane666

Too many visa waiver entries?

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I have been coming to Thailand for the last 8+ years, ~ 7 times a year staying for 10-21 days at a time. I have never applied for a visa just come in on the 30 day waiver for Aus citizens.



In April I stayed 30 days and arrived on Thursday last week for another 30 days only to be refused entry. Never even 1 single day overstay ever.



After much arguing I was eventually let in but told I would have to apply for a visa in Australia next time if I wanted to come again. They told me the automatic 30 days for Aus citizens was only allowed 3 times a year. When I asked them how exactly I was supposed to know this before I arrived they laughed and said I should have asked them...



BTW this wasn't flagged by the immigration officer, he showed me the screen where the system had automatically flagged me.



If I am pushed to get a METV for $225 in future then so be it but as I never stay more than 30 days it seems pointless. My more immediate problem is I have to go to China for business for 3 days June 18-21 and then back to BKK which means another argument when I arrive. Is there actually any set limit on the number of times you can come in on a 30 day visa waiver? Is it published anywhere?



Thanks


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There is no written limit on the number of visa exempt entities you can do over any period of time.

Immigration gets an alert at 6 entries. The officer then should review your history to see if you have been doing in/out visa runs to live here on exempt entries.

Not sure where the office officer came up with the 3 entry limit.

They cannot deny you entry for having to many entries. They can only do it under section 12 of the immigration act. The most common reason is lack of financial proof and/or suspicion of working here. Having the equivalent of 20k baht in cash would take care of the financial proof. Some proof of income from outside the country would help for the other.

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Once you're flagged and in the system, expect to be pressed for evidence that you are NOT working in Thailand each time you enter. The OP is lucky in that the Immigration officer acquiesced and did show him that he was in the system and let him in. Less fortunate travelers only have to take the officers word for it. Since there is indeed nothing writ and it can be at the whim of the individual Immigration officer at any given time so follow ubonjoe's sage advice with cash in hand and proof of sustaining funds and stay cool and you should be fine. I would suggest that there's probably less chance of extra harassment entering at Don Meuang but a much higher chance of confrontation at Phuket. Avoid southern land border crossings.

If you can squeeze getting a visa somewhere in your travels, maybe better for the future.

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Immigration gets an alert at 6 entries.

Over what period of time? I am sure I have got that many since my first trip many years ago, but have never been asked a single question. Is there any 'out of county' time that resets the count? Perhaps a new passport gives a new life? Please clarify.

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Immigration gets an alert at 6 entries.

Over what period of time? I am sure I have got that many since my first trip many years ago, but have never been asked a single question. Is there any 'out of county' time that resets the count? Perhaps a new passport gives a new life? Please clarify.

Only immigration know over how long time nor what will reset it. No info from them about it.

A new passport will not help since the old and new one will be linked in immigration's data base.

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The application form in UK says only 3 visa exempts allowed, it doesn't state over what period but what ive been reading on here and another forum is people are regularly now getting warned they will not be allowed entrance without a visa.

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The application form in UK says only 3 visa exempts allowed, it doesn't state over what period but what ive been reading on here and another forum is people are regularly now getting warned they will not be allowed entrance without a visa.

Could you post a link to that application form.

I have seen the wrong info on the Thai embassy website that mentions the old 90 days in 6 months rule that ended in 2008.

Immigration can warn all they want but there is to no rule to support that warning.

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The application form in UK says only 3 visa exempts allowed, it doesn't state over what period but what ive been reading on here and another forum is people are regularly now getting warned they will not be allowed entrance without a visa.

Could you post a link to that application form.

I have seen the wrong info on the Thai embassy website that mentions the old 90 days in 6 months rule that ended in 2008.

Immigration can warn all they want but there is to no rule to support that warning.

See 2 below. I havent got a link as their website hasnt been updated.

c2f36a37788f65462416b30c1722c4ff.jpg

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There is no written limit on the number of visa exempt entities you can do over any period of time.

Immigration gets an alert at 6 entries. The officer then should review your history to see if you have been doing in/out visa runs to live here on exempt entries.

Not sure where the office officer came up with the 3 entry limit.

They cannot deny you entry for having to many entries. They can only do it under section 12 of the immigration act. The most common reason is lack of financial proof and/or suspicion of working here. Having the equivalent of 20k baht in cash would take care of the financial proof. Some proof of income from outside the country would help for the other.

As was said....there is no sure limit.

If you can afford it get at least one 60 day tourist visa in that mix.

two benefits of a tourist visa in between visa exempt entries are:

  • you can extend that 60 day Tourist visa entry for another 30 days at immigration for a 1900 Baht fee, giving you a total of 90 days legal stay in country.
  • If you enter on a 60 day Tourist visa, and you need to leave the country for a few days and then return....you can get a single exit re-entry permit for 1000 Baht which will keep your tourist visa valid during that short exit and re-entry period.

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The decisions on these matters are arbitrary and indiscriminate. If you like playing pot-luck, knock yourselves out.

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The above ties in with the statement on Thai Visa Service that Immigration can give 3 consecutive Visa exempt entries

http://www.thaivisaservice.com/

That is mostly intended for border crossings and does mention the alert. It also says they can ask you to get a tourist visa. It does not say you have to.

The info from the embassy is not really correct since it says you must get a tourist visa.

The OP was told that after many visa exempt entries. Not just three of them.

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The above ties in with the statement on Thai Visa Service that Immigration can give 3 consecutive Visa exempt entries

http://www.thaivisaservice.com/

That is mostly intended for border crossings and does mention the alert. It also says they can ask you to get a tourist visa. It does not say you have to.

The info from the embassy is not really correct since it says you must get a tourist visa.

The OP was told that after many visa exempt entries. Not just three of them.

Sorry Joe but it does say system alert, it also says they can ask you to come back with a valid visa, in my mind that reads you will be refused entry, the main words are come back

From the ThaiVisaService site

usually Thai Immigration can give 3 consecutive visa exempt stamp per passport or until System Alert. Valid for ASEAN, Westerners, Russian and Japanese. If System Alert than Thai Immigration will ask you to go to a Thai Embassy and come back with a proper visa.

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