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Is there a time limit of stay for whose who have stayed in Thailand for above 100 days consecutively?


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On 8/20/2018 at 10:43 PM, elviajero said:

Immigration will take the total of each separate entry into account.

 

An METV is a multiple entry visa designed for people that live outside of Thailand and want to visit frequently during the 6 months it’s valid for. It is not meant to be used to live in the country. If it were they would have created a visa giving a 6 month stay.

 

IMO Immigration consider anyone that has spent months in the country as living in the country. Spending an hour over the border every couple of months doesn’t reset the clock on the time you have continuously lived in the country.

So you are able to do it but shouldn't? Interesting.Why don't they state that? I wasn't told that. 

So you could do everything according to the visa rules and be wrong! OMG!

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2 hours ago, Scottjouro said:

The simple fact is they dont need rules...if their is any doubt as to the reason for your visit, you can be denied entry to a country not just Thailand, and in some cases/ countries they dont even need to give you a reason...

 

If you tell an IO you are a tourist, he/she believes you entering a country for reasons other than being a tourist, he can deny you entry...as simple as that...

In some countries, yes, that is true.  In Thailand, there are a specific set of reasons (only) for which denial can occur. 

 

Given the questions asked to those denied at problem-checkpoints (not at most entry-points) often have no relation to the official-reason for denial stamped in their passports, it appears that the IOs involved are not carrying out their duties honestly with respect to the law.  They are not executing Thai law, but rather, their own law, under the guise of Thai law.

 

2 hours ago, Scottjouro said:

if some idiot as a "tourist" is going to try an get cute quoting paragraphs from immigration law/rules to an IO, its only going to end badly for the person trying to get in.

Yes, that is the case in lawless areas, where it's not what the law reads, but what some individual or group, who puts themselves above the law, decides to do.  This problem is not unique to Thailand and, fortunately,  these areas can be avoided when entering Thailand.

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On 8/20/2018 at 3:45 PM, Scottjouro said:

Lets be practical and logical, staying in any country 6 months or over on short term visas, visa waivers etc is eventually going to raise questions as to what exactly are you up to in that country...some countries do in fact have rule which basically says 180 days a year in country and your not allowed back in for 180 days...

Only some countries have a problem with this - usually applying only to cases where people are entering from lower-wage nations to take jobs from locals at sub-standard wages. 

 

Just in this region, The Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam are choices where longer stays by Westerners are no issue at all.   Most Latin American nations also have no problem with longer-stay visitors from higher-wage nations.  This policy exists because, when people from higher-wage nations stay in lower-wage nations, it is all upside for the latter's economy - foreign-capital flows in.   The message is, "Spending your income here?  Wonderful - welcome!!"

 

When the reverse happens, the higher-wage nation is dragged-down towards the wages / living-standards of the lowest-common-denominator nation's standards.  Therefore, popular sentiment (of working-class people, vs the media, owned and run by the very wealthy) opposes this activity.

 

Where the negative-consequences immigration dynamic would apply to Thailand, is when people from poorer-than-Thailand nations enter the country to take jobs.  Because the powerful in Thailand like cheap labor (as is the case in many nations), this harmful activity is facilitated by special visas given to low-wage foreign workers.  The usual excuse "Locals don't want those jobs..." is often proffered, but always leaving out the rest of the sentence, "... for the sub-standard wage we prefer, so we can keep the savings from undermining the growth of the middle-class for ourselves."

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On 8/20/2018 at 10:43 PM, elviajero said:

Immigration will take the total of each separate entry into account.

 

An METV is a multiple entry visa designed for people that live outside of Thailand and want to visit frequently during the 6 months it’s valid for. It is not meant to be used to live in the country. If it were they would have created a visa giving a 6 month stay.

 

IMO Immigration consider anyone that has spent months in the country as living in the country. Spending an hour over the border every couple of months doesn’t reset the clock on the time you have continuously lived in the country.

100 % correct

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5 hours ago, BritTim said:

In regard to adherence to the Immigration Act (at least as far as Westerners is concerned) Thailand has regressed. 15 years ago, the rules were followed as laid out in the Immigration Act and related Police/Ministerial Orders.

The complete opposite is true. 15 years ago immigration were more relaxed in enforcing the Immigration Act/regulations/rules. These days they enforce more in line with the Act/regs/rules.

 

An Immigration Officers power goes beyond what you see written in the Immigration Act. 

 

The increase of enforcement is mainly down to the increased number of visitors now compared to 15 years ago.

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6 hours ago, elgenon said:

So you are able to do it but shouldn't? Interesting.Why don't they state that? I wasn't told that. 

The question should be where is it stated anywhere that this tourist visa is meant to be used to live in the country for 6 months! The fact that it is a ME entry visa tells you all you need to know. It was primarily aimed at the Asian market to make it easier for them to come and go.

 

6 hours ago, elgenon said:

So you could do everything according to the visa rules and be wrong! OMG!

As long as you don't stay longer than your permission to stay allows you aren't doing anything wrong. Immigration are not stopping people using this visa to stay 6/9 months. That does not change the fact that the METV is designed for people living outside of the country that want to visit frequently, and not for people to live in the country.

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6 hours ago, JackThompson said:

In some countries, yes, that is true.  In Thailand, there are a specific set of reasons (only) for which denial can occur. 

That is not true. There are specific reasons listed in the Immigration Act, but the IO's can be given power via the Immigration Act to deny entry to any person or group if authorised from above, and they don't need to publish it.

 

What happens - that you don't like - is that discretionary powers are given to IO's to judge entrants on a case by case basis. That is the best way for all concerned rather than having fixed rules that affect everyone.

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6 hours ago, JackThompson said:

Yes, that is the case in lawless areas, where it's not what the law reads, but what some individual or group, who puts themselves above the law, decides to do. 

How you can consider BKK airport a "lawless area" is beyond me, or that IO's aren't working to orders!

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1 hour ago, elviajero said:

That does not change the fact that the METV is designed for people living outside of the country that want to visit frequently, and not for people to live in the country. 

Which fact? That's just your personal opinion.

In my opinion they just wanted to unify the different visas, so they changed from double and triple to multiple. Now then non-immigrant visas and the tourist visa have a single entry type and a multiple entry type. Before this unification the tourist visa was "strange"

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1 hour ago, elviajero said:

That is not true. There are specific reasons listed in the Immigration Act, but the IO's can be given power via the Immigration Act to deny entry to any person or group if authorised from above, and they don't need to publish it.

 

What happens - that you don't like - is that discretionary powers are given to IO's to judge entrants on a case by case basis. That is the best way for all concerned rather than having fixed rules that affect everyone.

Correct again

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1 hour ago, jackdd said:
3 hours ago, elviajero said:

That does not change the fact that the METV is designed for people living outside of the country that want to visit frequently, and not for people to live in the country. 

Which fact? That's just your personal opinion.

In my opinion they just wanted to unify the different visas, so they changed from double and triple to multiple. Now then non-immigrant visas and the tourist visa have a single entry type and a multiple entry type. Before this unification the tourist visa was "strange"

My opinion doesn't come in to it. Fact; it is a MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA. You don't need a ME visa unless you live outside the country.

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2 hours ago, elviajero said:

That is not true. There are specific reasons listed in the Immigration Act, but the IO's can be given power via the Immigration Act to deny entry to any person or group if authorised from above, and they don't need to publish it.

 

What happens - that you don't like - is that discretionary powers are given to IO's to judge entrants on a case by case basis. That is the best way for all concerned rather than having fixed rules that affect everyone.

There is no evidence such orders are legitimate.  Reason would require at least logical explanation as to why secrecy in these cases would be in some way helpful to a credible goal or purpose.  I could imagine such a scenario in the case on espionage, terrorism, and such - where a "trap" could be useful to apprehend a suspect, without letting them know they are "wanted" beforehand - but this does not apply to the denials we are discussing in this context. 

 

In the case of "non-criminal aliens willingly presenting themselves to an IO at a checkpoint," what could possibly be the point of secret orders?  Why go to all that trouble - for all parties - when a published ministerial-order could have avoided the entire exercise?  Such an official order could include any needed flexibility (leniency for hi-sos, etc).  Example:

"Aliens who have been in the country for longer than X within Y period may be asked to show Z in order to be admitted to the country.  This requirement can be waived at the discretion of the senior official at the checkpoint."

 

With that, most of the "Will I have problems if I came before ..." questions posted on this forum and elsewhere would be solved, and any fear/uncertainty removed with: "You are under X:Y so no," OR "You are over X:Y so you may need to produce Z.  Vietnam, is nice this time of year, if you don't have Z."   With that, the wait at the checkpoint just got shorter for everyone, the IO's job is less stressful, and no one had their plans ruined.  Everyone wins.

 

2 hours ago, elviajero said:

How you can consider BKK airport a "lawless area" is beyond me, or that IO's aren't working to orders!

Orders from whom would be the question.  Certainly, someone gives orders that lower-level IOs must obey - but at what level to they originate?  Based on what delegation of authority are these persons able to create secret orders?   These are orders they are not only unwilling to make public, but are refusing to document in the stamped-reason for denial-of-entry, implying they don't want to provide a paper-trail of their actions. 

 

A big red-flag regarding this activity, is that these orders are not universally applied everywhere - not even to an entire immigration-division.  This implies they are coming from a lower-level.  As a result, such orders are effective primarily against the most-likely innocent - those who do not actively-research Thailand's arbitrary immigration policies. 

 

As an example, all the "visa run" services now skip Poipet for Ban Laem or Ban Packard; no one who knows the score is unable to enter as a result, so no goal was accomplished.  If there were a legitimate concern about the class of aliens being denied-entry, it stands to reason the order would be universally applied everywhere, as published orders are  - such as the 2x land-border Visa Exempt rule. 

 

To those with experience with some less-than-honest immigration office personnel, it seems much more probable that this is yet another shenanigan, run by a clique within an organization where oversight is minimal to non-existent.  

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7 minutes ago, elviajero said:

My opinion doesn't come in to it. Fact; it is a MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA. You don't need a ME visa unless you live outside the country. 

For a non immigrant visa what you say is right, the multiple varients are only required if you live outside and visit occasionally (i'm aware that people use the multiple variants for other reasons as well)

But somebody who comes here on a single entry tourist visa doesn't have the option of endless extensions like the non immigrant fraction.

So if you want to spend more than 3 months in Thailand without applying for a visa in between (or relying on visa exempts) you "need" the multiple entry visa.

When they came up with the idea for the METV i'm quite sure they were aware that people would use it to spend nearly 9 months in Thailand, if they didn't want this they could have added a clause like "This visa can only be used for a total stay of 90 days in Thailand" or something similar. So we can assume that the people who designed the METV didn't design it only for people who hop in and out many times, but also for people who want to spend longer periods in Thailand.

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4 hours ago, wobalt said:

You need a multiple entry visa if you live in Thailand but work outside the country.

No you don’t. If you live in the country you use a re-entry pernit. That’s what they’re for.

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17 hours ago, jackdd said:

When they came up with the idea for the METV i'm quite sure they were aware that people would use it to spend nearly 9 months in Thailand, if they didn't want this they could have added a clause like "This visa can only be used for a total stay of 90 days in Thailand" or something similar. So we can assume that the people who designed the METV didn't design it only for people who hop in and out many times, but also for people who want to spend longer periods in Thailand.

I would agree in part, but not with your conclusion.

 

Of course they knew some people would use it to stay 6/9 months, which is why they introduced the financial requirements. But, again, just because it is possible for people to use the METV to stay 6/9 months doesn't change the fact that it is designed for frequent short term visits. The reason they ask for proof of employment/business in the home country is to demonstrate a need to go home and not live long term in country.

 

Here is the original MFA announcement:

MFA Press Release:

Thailand is launching the “Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV)” scheme. This new type of visa is an addition to the already existing 60 days tourist visa, and will be effective from 13 November 2015 onwards.

The METV is applicable to tourists of all nationalities wishing to travel to the Kingdom. Applicants can apply for the METV at all Royal Thai Embassies, Consulates-General and Honorary Consulates worldwide. The application fee is 5,000 THB with a visa validity of 6 months and the duration of stay of up to 60 days per visit.

The METV scheme aims to boost Thailand’s tourism industry and Thailand’s readiness for the ASEAN Community at the end of this year.

 

At the end of the day unless you can accept the simple fact that tourist visas are meant for short term tourism, and not as a way for people to live in the country, it's a pointless discussion. And to think a visa that only provides a 60 day stay is in anyway meant as a way to live in the country is bizarre. I am not against people using the system/METV to their full advantage. I used the system for years, and will continue to help others to do the same. I simply point out the bleeding obvious.

 

Clearly the authorities aren't bothered by someone spending 6/9 months in the country using the METV, but again that doesn't change the intention of the visas use. And if too many people start using these things back to back for years on end another loophole will get closed for sure. At the moment I doubt many of these visas are being used/sold.

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18 hours ago, JackThompson said:

There is no evidence such orders are legitimate.

These IO's are working at the countries main international airport. Do you not think that is legitimacy in itself? These IO's gain nothing from denying entry, or giving long term tourists a hard time, so what is their motive if they aren't under "legitimate" orders. 

 

18 hours ago, JackThompson said:

Reason would require at least logical explanation as to why secrecy in these cases would be in some way helpful to a credible goal or purpose

The credible goal has been obvious by immigrations actions over the last 12 years. To reduce the number of long term tourists, and to make it very difficult and financially unviable for low paid 'western' workers to be able to stay long term working illegally.

 

18 hours ago, JackThompson said:

Orders from whom would be the question.  Certainly, someone gives orders that lower-level IOs must obey - but at what level to they originate?

So you accept that they are under orders, but without knowing where they originate you believe IO's are acting unlawfully.

 

18 hours ago, JackThompson said:

Based on what delegation of authority are these persons able to create secret orders?   These are orders they are not only unwilling to make public, but are refusing to document in the stamped-reason for denial-of-entry, implying they don't want to provide a paper-trail of their actions. 

When the authorities issue orders like limiting the number of VE entries by land they get published because they are black and white set in stone orders.

 

However, the ongoing campaign to reduce/deter long term tourists is clearly trying to avoid setting limits etc. in stone. Instead the powers that be have given discretionary power to the IO to make a decision on a case by case basis. I think that is the best way for all concerned and don't understand why you would want them to do the alternative and set announced limits.

 

The authority comes from the Immigration Act, and the Immigration Act is not a secret.

 

 

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I know that but if you stay only in thailand on weekly base over the year why I should deal with the requirements for the EoS and the reentry permitMy clients are in Asia, so I am using Thailand as a hub to reduce costs for instance fortraveling from Europe to Asia.


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On 8/22/2018 at 6:13 PM, elviajero said:

The question should be where is it stated anywhere that this tourist visa is meant to be used to live in the country for 6 months! The fact that it is a ME entry visa tells you all you need to know. It was primarily aimed at the Asian market to make it easier for them to come and go.

 

As long as you don't stay longer than your permission to stay allows you aren't doing anything wrong. Immigration are not stopping people using this visa to stay 6/9 months. That does not change the fact that the METV is designed for people living outside of the country that want to visit frequently, and not for people to live in the country.

So I could be in trouble in the future I did it? It does seem if you take short side trips to Laos, Cambo it would be in the spirit of the visa and you would be OK in the future. Not true? Obviously you can't stay that long continuously.

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3 hours ago, elgenon said:

So I could be in trouble in the future I did it? It does seem if you take short side trips to Laos, Cambo it would be in the spirit of the visa and you would be OK in the future. Not true? Obviously you can't stay that long continuously.

Whether or not staying the full term and doing same day out/in border runs is within the "spirit of the visa" is debatable, as is how long you should stay out to bring it within the spirit. BUT as long as you leave when you are meant to I don't think you'll have any problems re-entering (avoid Aranya/Poipet) for the duration of the visa.

 

I've only heard of a few cases of people with METV's getting questioned about their long term tourism, but I don't think anyone has been denied entry with a valid METV, and I don't see that happening anytime soon. IMO if lots of people start getting back to back METV's they will control the use via the Embassies/Consulates, but once you've got it, at least for now, you shouldn't have any problems coming/going as you please. The worst case is likely to be warning to get an appropriate visa.

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21 hours ago, elviajero said:
On 8/22/2018 at 10:32 PM, JackThompson said:

There is no evidence such orders are legitimate.

These IO's are working at the countries main international airport. Do you not think that is legitimacy in itself? These IO's gain nothing from denying entry, or giving long term tourists a hard time, so what is their motive if they aren't under "legitimate" orders. 

Limited oversight within the department is evidenced not only by this arbitrary behavior, which occurs at only a few checkpoints, but also by the reported experiences of many persons at immigration offices (including myself).

 

Most motivations would revolve around money in brown-envelopes.  There could also be a "tit for tat" / "reciprocity" motivation, based on the policies of Western immigration.  The comparison is apples/oranges, but this type of reaction would not need a logical foundation - similar to when Brazil began fingerprinting arriving Americans, as if they were flooding in to overstay their visas, disappear into the country, and take under-the-table jobs, as was occurring with a significant percentage of travelers heading in the other direction. 

 

I can think of many who would find benefit from this behavior, but do not have access to information as to which ones are involved.  A few good "nightmare story" pieces in Western press might generate a backlash, at which point some of the players might be exposed - but I'm not holding my breath.

 

21 hours ago, elviajero said:
On 8/22/2018 at 10:32 PM, JackThompson said:

Reason would require at least logical explanation as to why secrecy in these cases would be in some way helpful to a credible goal or purpose

The credible goal has been obvious by immigrations actions over the last 12 years. To reduce the number of long term tourists, and to make it very difficult and financially unviable for low paid 'western' workers to be able to stay long term working illegally.

That explains the published policies, such as the 2x-land-border Visa-Exempt rule.  I agree that lower-income long-stay Westerners are being targeted, but not only the fraction working under-the-table Thai jobs.  I am sure you have seen the old "hippie characteristic" signs (posted here) - and this would follow along the pattern of "keeping the riff-raff out" (can't say I blame them, in some cases).


None of this explains why secrecy in such orders would serve any purpose, however.

 

21 hours ago, elviajero said:

 

On 8/22/2018 at 10:32 PM, JackThompson said:

Orders from whom would be the question.  Certainly, someone gives orders that lower-level IOs must obey - but at what level to they originate?

So you accept that they are under orders, but without knowing where they originate you believe IO's are acting unlawfully. 

Reports indicate that the immediate-supervisors of the lowest-level IOs are complicit in these actions.  But if they were lawful actions, they would not hide their motives behind misleading "reason for denial" stamps applied to the victims' passports  - reasons for which the victims were not questioned and/or offered an opportunity to provide input to the contrary.

 

21 hours ago, elviajero said:

However, the ongoing campaign to reduce/deter long term tourists is clearly trying to avoid setting limits etc. in stone. Instead the powers that be have given discretionary power to the IO to make a decision on a case by case basis. I think that is the best way for all concerned and don't understand why you would want them to do the alternative and set announced limits. 

Announced limits could be good for the country or bad, depending on how the rules are written.  Good written limits, such as I suggested above, would be a vast improvement over the current game.  Flexibility to bypass the restriction could be preserved, the ability to deny entry to "undesirables" (as defined) would be clearly enforceable, while accountability of IOs and local-supervisors to a defined-standard would protect travelers from arbitrary "rogue" behavior.

 

As long as the existing problem is limited to a few checkpoints, at least there is a workaround - but I still feel sad for those who fly-in unaware, and get shafted based on lies.

 

21 hours ago, elviajero said:

The authority comes from the Immigration Act, and the Immigration Act is not a secret.

 

In the Immigration Act, I find this ability to limit persons or groups:

Quote

 

Section 16. If, in the interests of the country or for reason of public order, good morals or culture, or for the happiness of the people, the Minister considers that any alien or group of aliens should not be permitted to enter the Kingdom, the Minister shall have power to not permit such alien or group of aliens to enter the Kingdom.

 

Which would be indicated by a stamp of Section 12 / 10:

Quote

(10) Being prohibited from entering the Kingdom by the Minister under
Section 16;

But this stamp has not been reported as given to those denied entry.  If and when we see this stamp being applied to those who have "stayed too long," it could indicate that the Minister has given a legitimate order(s) regarding this behavior. 

 

Thus far, the questioning is reported as "There is a law .. only so many days."  Asking "What law?" generates angry responses and/or threats.  Then, an unrelated stamp is given implying unknowable awareness of a foreigners financial-status.  This stamp is being used to cover up the IO's stated-reason for denial.

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No you don’t. If you live in the country you use a re-entry pernit. That’s what they’re for.

Even if you work in Thailand a multiple entry visa could be a better option as you would have to leave the country within days when your contract is ending ,regardless how many years you are already in the country .


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45 minutes ago, wobalt said:
On 23 August 2018 at 7:44 AM, elviajero said:
No you don’t. If you live in the country you use a re-entry pernit. That’s what they’re for.

Even if you work in Thailand a multiple entry visa could be a better option as you would have to leave the country within days when your contract is ending ,regardless how many years you are already in the country .

I agree that it could be a better option for the foreigner, but if you are living and working in the country you should have an extension of stay, and you don't need a ME visa.

 

ME non 'B' visas are meant for people living outside that need to regularly visit Thailand to conduct business or work in Thailand.

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Would agree, but as long Thailand doesn’t really value residency for people living long term in the country and with strong bonds to the society, it doesn’t matter if you use the extension of stay or the ME way.
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On 8/24/2018 at 3:21 PM, elviajero said:

Whether or not staying the full term and doing same day out/in border runs is within the "spirit of the visa" is debatable, as is how long you should stay out to bring it within the spirit. BUT as long as you leave when you are meant to I don't think you'll have any problems re-entering (avoid Aranya/Poipet) for the duration of the visa.

 

I've only heard of a few cases of people with METV's getting questioned about their long term tourism, but I don't think anyone has been denied entry with a valid METV, and I don't see that happening anytime soon. IMO if lots of people start getting back to back METV's they will control the use via the Embassies/Consulates, but once you've got it, at least for now, you shouldn't have any problems coming/going as you please. The worst case is likely to be warning to get an appropriate visa.

Thanks. The last time I used one it was for 2 trips 3 months apart. But I am willing to pay the money so if a buddy wants to go to another country for a few days I have the possibility. May want to stay the max in the future.

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