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How difficult is Poipet for visa free entry


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On 12/27/2018 at 6:43 PM, BritTim said:

Since there is nothing in the Immigration Act that requires proof, they might just as well vary things sometimes by choosing another justification, such as 12 (4) or 12 (8). Section 12 (4) could be particularly useful as the Immigration Official is obviously not in a position to judge if the traveller has, say, leprosy, and it could theoretically be true.

I'm interested to know; how would you suggest that an IO proves someone is entering for work? Excluding those carrying a shovel or declaring they are entering to work.

 

The guidance issued to IO's in 2014 regarding 'visa runners', clearly demonstrates that proof of work is not required to deny entry.

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34 minutes ago, elviajero said:

The guidance issued to IO's in 2014 regarding 'visa runners', clearly demonstrates that proof of work is not required to deny entry.

I assume you are referring to the guidance on visa exempt entry. I have never disputed that, from the middle of 2014, officials have been delegated authority to deny visa exempt entry based on a suspicion that they are not genuine tourists. While this opened up scope for corruption, visa exempt entry has always been an exclusively immigration concern, and the Minister can reasonably decide that visa exempt entry be totally discretionary. Where I part company with you is your claim that the same discretion has been given over travellers entering with visas. I believe it would be against the spirit of the Immigration Act for the Minister to declare that officials could deny entry to those with visas any time they felt like it.

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5 minutes ago, BritTim said:
51 minutes ago, elviajero said:

The guidance issued to IO's in 2014 regarding 'visa runners', clearly demonstrates that proof of work is not required to deny entry.

I assume you are referring to the guidance on visa exempt entry. I have never disputed that, from the middle of 2014, officials have been delegated authority to deny visa exempt entry based on a suspicion that they are not genuine tourists.

You/others can't have it both ways. You/others argue that 'proof' of working is required to deny entry, but you clearly accept authority exists. I was using the 'visa runner' guidance as an example of where immigration (not the Minister through regulation) have given IO's authority to deny entry without proof of work when suspicion of work exists. A legit, published policy so everyone was clear, legal power.

 

I'm not 'claiming' that the same discretion has been given to IO's regarding tourist visa holders. I am pointing out, time and time again, that they clearly have the same power because they are, in a few cases, treating TR holders the same way as 'visa runners', which is evidenced by TVF member reports. If immigration can instruct IO's to deny entry to 'visa runners' using visa exempt, there is absolutely nothing stopping them legally doing so to a TR holder for the same reason. And they don't have to publish the fact or get ministerial authority by way of regulation. A tourist is a tourist. A tourist suspected of 'working' or that "is considered from the tourism point of view to be longer than necessary and not in line with the purpose permitted while entering country" can be denied entry under the same laws.

 

5 minutes ago, BritTim said:

While this opened up scope for corruption, visa exempt entry has always been an exclusively immigration concern, and the Minister can reasonably decide that visa exempt entry be totally discretionary.

Can you give a specific example, at each entry point that have denied 'visa runners', of the corruption caused by this clampdown? Or maybe explain what an IO gains by denying entry without attempting extortion.

 

All entries are exclusively immigration concern!?

 

5 minutes ago, BritTim said:

Where I part company with you is your claim that the same discretion has been given over travellers entering with visas. I believe it would be against the spirit of the Immigration Act for the Minister to declare that officials could deny entry to those with visas any time they felt like it.

The spirit of the immigration act is to police entry to the country, and ensure we are visiting with the right visa for the purpose and duration of their visit.

 

You and others have absolutely no way of knowing what official orders IO's are under that come just from TIB, or that are sanctioned by the Minister without the need for announcement or official regulation. Regulation from the Minister only seem to be necessary with policies like the 2 entry by land limit. 

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On 12/27/2018 at 4:32 PM, JackThompson said:

The guideline/announcement/order or whatever you wish to call it, states that it applies to Visa-Exempts.  It does not apply to Tourist Visa holders.

I didn't say it did.

 

On 12/27/2018 at 4:32 PM, JackThompson said:

If that is the case, then anyone on any visa should be denied entry under 12.2.  None have proven anything to immigration in-country to get their visas, immigration does not have to consider evidence at the entry-point, and immigration has determined the MFA's checks are irrelevant. 

Criteria for getting a visa, and entering the country are not necessarily the same. 

 

On 12/27/2018 at 4:32 PM, JackThompson said:

A claim of not having "appropriate means of living in the country" is essentially a "Vagrancy" charge, which is proven-false by those targeted being successful "repeat customers" - still spending money as evidenced by their presence in front of the IO following a trip out to purchase another Visa.

No it's not. APPROPRIATE means of living, not no means of living.

 

It's really is not hard to understand.

 

On 12/27/2018 at 4:32 PM, JackThompson said:

Nor is there anything in the law that says "suspicion without proof" is acceptable.  The burden of proof is on immigration, unless they specify what one needs to show them in-advance - thus shifting the burden with a reasonable request.

Based on the law; how would they prove someone is entering to work?

 

As usual you've got it arse about face. It is the visitors burden of proof. According to your theory no one cold be denied entry under 12.3 unless they confessed their intention to work.

 

On 12/27/2018 at 4:32 PM, JackThompson said:

No one using valid Tourist Visas is pushing any luck, unless violating the terms by working a Thai job, overstaying, or literally too poor to pay for food and a room.  Those who have a track-record of stays in Thailand without breaking the law should have more good-credit - not less. 

Fact: There are countless reports of IO's telling people they are staying too long as tourists, and that they should get an appreciate visa. And some are being denied entry.

 

Fact: Any long term tourist that ignores those warnings is pushing their luck because they could end up being one of those denied entry.

 

On 12/27/2018 at 4:32 PM, JackThompson said:

Anyone preventing law-abiding visitors use of their MFA-supplied Visa, by making false-claims about them, is the criminal in this scenario. 

Deciding whether or not we can enter is the very purpose of their job/existence, regardless of the visa being used to enter!

  • Living months/years in a country without an appropriate means of living like a job, cash in the bank, a proven income, and being denied for that reason seems reasonable to me.
  • Living months/years in a country without an appropriate means of living like a job, cash in the bank, a proven income, and being denied entry for suspicion of illegal work seems reasonable to me.
  • Entering the country without the required money in your pocket, and being denied for that reason seems reasonable to me. Although the law itself is ridiculous.

 

On 12/27/2018 at 4:32 PM, JackThompson said:

Amazing they were doing that manually.  Anyone with decent IT skills could write that - would not even need a team.  But keep in mind, that 90/180 rule was only for Visa Exempts - same as the "out/in" language.  If imposed, any new rule would need to state what types of entries it applied to.

I haven't seen the immigration system up close for a few years now, but as far as I'm aware it's still not possible. It is/was limited to just counting entry types, not duration.

 

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31 minutes ago, elviajero said:

Or maybe explain what an IO gains by denying entry without attempting extortion.

The scope for extortion is the whole point. When officials have total discretion on whether to admit you or deny entry, it becomes relatively easy to monetise that power (especially whenever the senior official at an entry point is complicit).

 

For the rest, we are not going to agree. You believe that there is an unwritten assumption that immigration officials should be ensuring visas are only used for the purpose they are designed to fill. It is my view that this is not the immigration official's job. The consulate issuing visas should ensure they are being used appropriately. (That is the key difference from visa exempt entry where it is immigration's job to make that determination.) It is immigration's job, with travellers holding visas, only to ensure conditions explicitly specified in the Immigration Act (as qualified by Ministerial Orders) are being satisfied.

Edited by BritTim
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13 minutes ago, BritTim said:
43 minutes ago, elviajero said:

Or maybe explain what an IO gains by denying entry without attempting extortion.

The scope for extortion is the whole point. When officials have total discretion on whether to admit you or deny entry, it becomes relatively easy to monetise that power (whenever the senior official at an entry point is complicit).

So where's the proof. I don't recall specific reports of an IO denying entry after first demanding payment.

 

Corruption and extortion undoubtedly exists within immigration, but I do not see any evidence that giving IO's discretional power to deny entry has increased that. In fact IMO this discretional power means more 'tourists' are able to stay long term than if there was a strict discretion-less limit.

Edited by elviajero
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9 minutes ago, BritTim said:

For the rest, we are not going to agree. You believe that there is an unwritten assumption that immigration officials should be ensuring visas are only used for the purpose they are designed to fill. It is my view that this is not the immigration official's job. The consulate issuing visas should ensure they are being used appropriately. (That is the key difference from visa exempt entry where it is immigration's job to make that determination.) It is immigration's job, with travellers holdings visas, only to ensure conditions explicitly specified in the Immigration Act (as qualified by Ministerial Orders) are being satisfied.

So someone with a new visa-less passport gets a tourist visa in Vientiane. They then rock up at Nong Khai and the IO see's they've entered the country 10 times using back to back tourist visas. Do you honestly believe the IO does not have the legit power to deny entry?

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5 hours ago, elviajero said:

So someone with a new visa-less passport gets a tourist visa in Vientiane. They then rock up at Nong Khai and the IO see's they've entered the country 10 times using back to back tourist visas. Do you honestly believe the IO does not have the legit power to deny entry?

After 23 years in Thailand, you're obviously unable to distinguish between "having power" and "using power in a legitimate way" anymore. That's why it's almost pointless to argue these matters with you.

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4 hours ago, elviajero said:

So someone with a new visa-less passport gets a tourist visa in Vientiane. They then rock up at Nong Khai and the IO see's they've entered the country 10 times using back to back tourist visas. Do you honestly believe the IO does not have the legit power to deny entry?

Based on what violation of the Immigration Act?  Not based on them having used Tourist Visas in the past, or having been in the country as a tourist for some number of days, since that is not a legal reason to deny-entry. 

 

They could ask to see 20K Baht, and deny-entry if it is not shown.  If there is evidence the visitor is working a Thai job, broke, or another specific infraction cited in the Immigration Act or a relevant police-order, they could deny-entry based on that valid reason.

 

5 hours ago, elviajero said:

So where's the proof. I don't recall specific reports of an IO denying entry after first demanding payment.

The reported rate (2 reports, I recall) at Poipet/Aranya is 20K Baht, arranged via agent-touts (immigration's preferred way of receiving extortion money).  A Singaporean using Visa-Exempts reported a 1000 Baht offer at a Bangkok airport.

 

Reports at offices are too many to mention, including a well-oiled (perhaps "greased") agent-system, so one goal would be to force people away from MFA Visas, and into the clutches of the offices. 

 

The vast majority of corruption-payments likely come from those who want to fill the agent-money pipeline and/or elite coffers and/or serve foreign-interests.  Consider how little money, from a govt-perspective, would be required to purchase policy to suit. 

 

The curious fact, is that illegal-policy enforcement is not being purchased from the top of the chain, but from largely-autonomous entry-point supervisors.  It would seem there are decent "white hat" people in the upper-ranks of the organization, and supervising most checkpoints, who are not willing to sell out their country.

On the lower-level, actions may be driven by a xenophobic-nationalism - injected to improve the "morale" of front-line enforcers who might otherwise balk at helping to destroy the earning-potential of their own countrymen by purging farangs.  Choice-quotes, as reported by some interrogated and/or denied, support this.  Some sharing of whatever loot as "bonuses" is likely used to sweeten the deal, provided certain quotas are met.

 

5 hours ago, elviajero said:

No it's not. APPROPRIATE means of living, not no means of living.

Where is that level defined, and how would any visitor on any visa-type counter this accusation to immigration at a checkpoint?

 

5 hours ago, elviajero said:

Based on the law; how would they prove someone is entering to work?

 

As usual you've got it arse about face. It is the visitors burden of proof. According to your theory no one cold be denied entry under 12.3 unless they confessed their intention to work.

Then no one can enter the country on a Visa, or even exempt, since no one can prove they might not be entering to work, as-is.  If the visitor must provide proof, then immigration must state exactly what needs to be shown/done to counter the accusation.  That could include something time-wise, such as "stay out a week to prove you aren't working" - at their option.  But whatever the rule, it must be published, clear, and anyone abiding by that rule not be molested.

 

So far, those interrogated and/or denied report immigration calls them "liars," often won't look at anything presented, and/or don't even ask/discuss things relevant to the "reason for refusal" stamped in their passport.

 

5 hours ago, elviajero said:

Fact: There are countless reports of IO's telling people they are staying too long as tourists, and that they should get an appreciate visa. And some are being denied entry.

For Visa-Exempt, that is published policy - but for Tourist Visas, it is not.  But in both cases, they stamp something unrelated in their passport, to cover up the fact they are breaking the law by denying-entry for this reason.  They resort to this, because the people buying this illegal policy cannot get the laws changed to their satisfaction.

 

5 hours ago, elviajero said:

Fact: Any long term tourist that ignores those warnings is pushing their luck because they could end up being one of those denied entry.

Agreed - but because the law is not followed.  This is very possible at checkpoints where "What I say goes," is the extent of the "law" being arbitrarily enforced.  Fortunately, most entry-points are staffed by decent, honest types, who don't break their nation's laws

 

5 hours ago, elviajero said:

Deciding whether or not we can enter is the very purpose of their job/existence, regardless of the visa being used to enter! 

  • Living months/years in a country without an appropriate means of living like a job, cash in the bank, a proven income, and being denied for that reason seems reasonable to me.
  • Living months/years in a country without an appropriate means of living like a job, cash in the bank, a proven income, and being denied entry for suspicion of illegal work seems reasonable to me.
  • Entering the country without the required money in your pocket, and being denied for that reason seems reasonable to me. Although the law itself is ridiculous.

It is not a question of what you or I think is reasonable.  It is a question of What The Law Says.  The law does not allow denying entry for any reason other than those stated.  And if one of the legal-reasons can be asserted without any evidence/procedure for the accused to disprove the accusation, then the law is meaningless.

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7 hours ago, BritTim said:

The scope for extortion is the whole point. When officials have total discretion on whether to admit you or deny entry, it becomes relatively easy to monetise that power (especially whenever the senior official at an entry point is complicit).

 

For the rest, we are not going to agree. You believe that there is an unwritten assumption that immigration officials should be ensuring visas are only used for the purpose they are designed to fill. It is my view that this is not the immigration official's job. The consulate issuing visas should ensure they are being used appropriately. (That is the key difference from visa exempt entry where it is immigration's job to make that determination.) It is immigration's job, with travellers holding visas, only to ensure conditions explicitly specified in the Immigration Act (as qualified by Ministerial Orders) are being satisfied.

Does the IO power to inspect and approve an alien entry into the kingdom derive from section 18 of the immigration act

In addition is there not a requirement under the criminal code to ensure no misuse of valid visa/seal

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36 minutes ago, cleopatra2 said:

Does the IO power to inspect and approve an alien entry into the kingdom derive from section 18 of the immigration act

The "approve" is related to the "list of items", so an IO has to approve this list, it's not about approving the alien himself. Section 18 gives the IO just the right to inspect an alien, not to approve/deny him.

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10 hours ago, elviajero said:

So someone with a new visa-less passport gets a tourist visa in Vientiane. They then rock up at Nong Khai and the IO see's they've entered the country 10 times using back to back tourist visas. Do you honestly believe the IO does not have the legit power to deny entry?

Correct. I appreciate that some immigration officials believe they should have that power, but the Immigration Act does not give it to them.

 

Similarly, while this has sometimes occurred in the past, I do not think someone entering Thailand with a Non O visa based on marriage can be denied entry by the immigration official because they do not have their marriage certificate on them. I can be wrong, but I believe the Immigration Act means what it says, and officials cannot modify Section 12 (2) or Section 12 (3) to add "or too many days in Thailand" or "did not carry marriage certificate" to those subsections.

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3 hours ago, cleopatra2 said:

Does the IO power to inspect and approve an alien entry into the kingdom derive from section 18 of the immigration act

Let's review what Section 18 states:

Quote

The competent official shall have power to inspect persons entering into or leaving the Kingdom, In light of this provision, persons entering into or departing from the Kingdom must submit a list of items as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations, and must be inspected and approval by the competent official assigned to the Immigration check point.

It does not give the immigration officials the right to invent their own reasons to deny entry. It only gives them the power, for instance, to insist that the traveller hand over their passport for inspection, and shows the 20,000 baht (as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation) if requested.

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10 hours ago, JackThompson said:
16 hours ago, elviajero said:

So where's the proof. I don't recall specific reports of an IO denying entry after first demanding payment.

The reported rate (2 reports, I recall) at Poipet/Aranya is 20K Baht, arranged via agent-touts (immigration's preferred way of receiving extortion money).  A Singaporean using Visa-Exempts reported a 1000 Baht offer at a Bangkok airport.

I believe the 20K was on the Cambodian side by Cambodians claiming they could get the person straight back even though they were told they couldn't do a 'visa run'. They were not extorted by the IO in Thailand on the way out/in.

 

One uncorroborated report, that I frankly don't believe. Even if true it's hardly evidence of widespread corruption off the back of discretionary powers to deny long term tourists entry.

 

Corruption exists, but IO's denying entry for staying too long in the country as a tourist do not seem to be profiting.

Edited by elviajero
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10 hours ago, JackThompson said:

 

16 hours ago, elviajero said:

No it's not. APPROPRIATE means of living, not no means of living.

Where is that level defined, and how would any visitor on any visa-type counter this accusation to immigration at a checkpoint?

Tourists can't. Why would they need to?

 

The word "appropriate" appears in the immigration act, the denial letter and stamp in the passport when denying under 12.2. Why?

 

As I've tried to explain. You need to think of it in terms of others that are given permission to stay long term. Appropriate means of living is having a job, cash in the bank, or an income; proven by the methods laid out by immigration. No one has the facility to prove their financial standing at the border, why should tourists? 

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11 hours ago, JackThompson said:
17 hours ago, elviajero said:

Based on the law; how would they prove someone is entering to work?

 

As usual you've got it arse about face. It is the visitors burden of proof. According to your theory no one cold be denied entry under 12.3 unless they confessed their intention to work.

Then no one can enter the country on a Visa, or even exempt, since no one can prove they might not be entering to work, as-is.  If the visitor must provide proof, then immigration must state exactly what needs to be shown/done to counter the accusation.  That could include something time-wise, such as "stay out a week to prove you aren't working" - at their option.  But whatever the rule, it must be published, clear, and anyone abiding by that rule not be molested.

A tourist that has stayed long term is suspected of working because most people need to work to provide a living. Simple as that IMO. They can then lawfully be denied under 12.2 or 12.3 (because they can't prove otherwise). 

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10 minutes ago, elviajero said:

A tourist that has stayed long term is suspected of working because most people need to work to provide a living. Simple as that IMO. They can then lawfully be denied under 12.2 or 12.3 (because they can't prove otherwise). 

Nobody can prove otherwise, regardless of the type of visa they hold. Indeed, even those with work permits might not have enough money to support their lifestyle in Thailand. That would depend on their spending habits. Effectively, you imply that any traveller can be denied entry to Thailand just because the immigration official feels like it.

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16 minutes ago, BritTim said:
29 minutes ago, elviajero said:

A tourist that has stayed long term is suspected of working because most people need to work to provide a living. Simple as that IMO. They can then lawfully be denied under 12.2 or 12.3 (because they can't prove otherwise). 

Nobody can prove otherwise, regardless of the type of visa they hold. Indeed, even those with work permits might not have enough money to support their lifestyle in Thailand. That would depend on their spending habits. Effectively, you imply that any traveller can be denied entry to Thailand just because the immigration official feels like it.

We are specifically discussing problems experienced by long term tourists being denied specifically because they've stayed to long as a tourist and/or are suspected of working.

 

Someone working has a job which is considered an appropriate means of living so they couldn't be denied under 12.2 or 12.3.

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11 hours ago, elviajero said:

A tourist that has stayed long term is suspected of working because most people need to work to provide a living. Simple as that IMO. They can then lawfully be denied under 12.2 or 12.3 (because they can't prove otherwise).  

Then so can all others. 

 

10 hours ago, elviajero said:
11 hours ago, BritTim said:
11 hours ago, elviajero said:

A tourist that has stayed long term is suspected of working because most people need to work to provide a living. Simple as that IMO. They can then lawfully be denied under 12.2 or 12.3 (because they can't prove otherwise). 

Nobody can prove otherwise, regardless of the type of visa they hold. Indeed, even those with work permits might not have enough money to support their lifestyle in Thailand. That would depend on their spending habits. Effectively, you imply that any traveller can be denied entry to Thailand just because the immigration official feels like it.

We are specifically discussing problems experienced by long term tourists being denied specifically because they've stayed to long as a tourist and/or are suspected of working.

 

Someone working has a job which is considered an appropriate means of living so they couldn't be denied under 12.2 or 12.3.

But those on a Non-B Visa (not extension) have not shown immigration they have an "appropriate means of living," so could be denied on that basis.  Even setting aside Non-B - no one can trust entering at lawless checkpoints with any other visa either -  Non-O, Non-OA, Non-ED, Elite, etc -  because no evidence is needed to reject-entry, and none can be presented at the checkpoint.  They could just spin a wheel to decide which reason-for-rejection to write on the stamp, since their choice is meaningless without a known process of evaluation to which a visitor can comply.

 

The lawless actions by immigration at bad checkpoints are actively destroying faith in safety and certainty to those who follow the rules.  No one knows where the green, yellow, or red lines are.  They even break their own made-up / illegal "180-day" rule, when it suits them.  It's just a question of what group they decide to arbitrarily target next.  But given this clique wants all farangs out, they are taking the correct action to achieve that result - threatening everyone's security, by making it clear that "rule of law" doesn't exist at all in their domain, so anyone could be next on the chopping-block. 

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16 hours ago, JackThompson said:
On 12/29/2018 at 2:22 PM, elviajero said:

A tourist that has stayed long term is suspected of working because most people need to work to provide a living. Simple as that IMO. They can then lawfully be denied under 12.2 or 12.3 (because they can't prove otherwise).  

Then so can all others

Not all. And there is no reason for 'others' to be denied. For the millionth time the underlying reason is that the 'visitor' has stayed to long in the country for the reason of tourism.

 

Would it satisfy you if the TIB made a public announcement that they had given their officers instructions to deny long term tourists - at their discretion?

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16 hours ago, JackThompson said:

But those on a Non-B Visa (not extension) have not shown immigration they have an "appropriate means of living," so could be denied on that basis. 

ME Non 'B' holders that couldn't show a work permit have been given a hard time at the border in the past.

 

16 hours ago, JackThompson said:

Even setting aside Non-B - no one can trust entering at lawless checkpoints with any other visa either -  Non-O, Non-OA, Non-ED, Elite, etc -  because no evidence is needed to reject-entry, and none can be presented at the checkpoint.  They could just spin a wheel to decide which reason-for-rejection to write on the stamp, since their choice is meaningless without a known process of evaluation to which a visitor can comply.

Ultimately, yes, anyone could potentially be denied. BUT, the problem exists for long term tourists because, as we all know, they are not supposed to live in the country for months/years as a tourist. All the visas you list are for - or can lead to - official long term stays. 

 

16 hours ago, JackThompson said:

The lawless actions by immigration at bad checkpoints are actively destroying faith in safety and certainty to those who follow the rules.  No one knows where the green, yellow, or red lines are.  They even break their own made-up / illegal "180-day" rule, when it suits them.  It's just a question of what group they decide to arbitrarily target next.  But given this clique wants all farangs out, they are taking the correct action to achieve that result - threatening everyone's security, by making it clear that "rule of law" doesn't exist at all in their domain, so anyone could be next on the chopping-block. 

Complete off the charts paranoia. Very few tourists - that aren't really tourists - get denied entry, and a typical/genuine tourist has absolutely nothing to worry about. It is a non issue.

 

The "180 rule" has been quoted at several entry points over several years and is clearly an unofficial line - from the top brass - at which point the tourist is supposed to receive extra scrutiny. Hence the 6 visa exempt flag (6x30 =180). As we are considered resident (a tax payer) after 180 days it's a reasonable line. And probably the official line if you get your way and they set limits to mess it up for everyone.

 

Everything they have done since 2006 is to reduce and discourage long term tourism. The alternative to their softly, softly approach is hard limits, which help no one. Anyone staying long term as a tourist needs to accept they could at anytime be pulled for it and denied entry. There's no point bleating about it or claiming BKK is a "lawless checkpoint". We just have to make the most of the options left and play the system as we've always done.

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On 12/29/2018 at 2:34 PM, BritTim said:

Nobody can prove otherwise, regardless of the type of visa they hold. Indeed, even those with work permits might not have enough money to support their lifestyle in Thailand. That would depend on their spending habits. Effectively, you imply that any traveller can be denied entry to Thailand just because the immigration official feels like it.

12.2 is about someone having an appropriate means of living. Lifestyle doesn't come in to it!

 

Any visitor can be denied entry by an IO and supervisor with just cause (long term tourism) using - in the absence of that specific reason in the immigration act or having a hard limit set by regulation - whatever laws they can.

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10 hours ago, elviajero said:

Would it satisfy you if the TIB made a public announcement that they had given their officers instructions to deny long term tourists - at their discretion?

If individual officials have been given that power (which I regard as against the spirit of the Immigration Act) then I think announcing this publicly is highly desirable. Further, denied entries should be under Section 12 (10). The current impression that officials are arbitrarily denying entry without having the legal authority to do so is very damaging to Thailand's image.

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On 12/31/2018 at 1:51 AM, elviajero said:

Not all. And there is no reason for 'others' to be denied. For the millionth time the underlying reason is that the 'visitor' has stayed to long in the country for the reason of tourism.

There is nothing in the law about "too long" relating to Tourist Visas with a time specified, so this is arbitrary, capricious, and illegal. 

 

On 12/31/2018 at 2:17 AM, elviajero said:

Ultimately, yes, anyone could potentially be denied. BUT, the problem exists for long term tourists because, as we all know, they are not supposed to live in the country for months/years as a tourist.

They don't.  One gets 60-days, which can be extended for 30-days - so you can only "live in the country" for a maximum of 90-days at a time.  Each stay is atomic - wholly unrelated to any other, because the law makes no indication otherwise. 

This "as we all know" routine is tiresome.  We don't know that at all.  The law says nothing of the sort.

 

Where did you arrive at this strange idea, in reading the law pertinent to Tourist Visas, or reviewing the history of their use in Thailand for decades, that one could not return on a new Tourist Visa after a previous stay?  Where is it specified how long one must stay-out between them, or that there was any sort of "cumulative time" factor?

 

On 12/31/2018 at 2:17 AM, elviajero said:

Complete off the charts paranoia. Very few tourists - that aren't really tourists - get denied entry, and a typical/genuine tourist has absolutely nothing to worry about. It is a non issue.

We have no idea what a "typical/genuine" tourist is in the minds of the lawbreaking IOs - and certainly not in the law.  We have reports of snowbirds and others - gone for over 6 mo being harassed and/or denied-entry.  It's arbitrary anarchy and chaos where these law-breaking supervisors have been bribed or otherwise encouraged to break the law.

 

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The "180 rule" has been quoted at several entry points over several years and is clearly an unofficial line - from the top brass - at which point the tourist is supposed to receive extra scrutiny. Hence the 6 visa exempt flag (6x30 =180).

No idea if it is "top brass" - and if it were, we would have rejections at land-borders all over, just like the airports - vs "one" difficult land border, and no others based on this supposed "rule" that doesn't exist.

 

Immigration have issued an order/rule/statement about limiting Visa Exempts, which are issued at their discretion.  It is unfortunate they were not more clear about it, but is another can of worms. 

 

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As we are considered resident (a tax payer) after 180 days it's a reasonable line. And probably the official line if you get your way and they set limits to mess it up for everyone. 

Everyone is messed-up now - arriving with no idea what will happen.  The only safety is entering where the Actual Laws are followed.  If the guys running the airports were in control, there would be strict rules applied everywhere.  

 

And, it will absolutely not be my doing, if they decide on terrible rules that further impoverish their own citizens, as the Bangkok Airport and Poipet immigration are doing, currently.  Obviously, they don't care about the well being of their fellow-citizens, only whoever is likely lining their pockets to get them to break the law by instilling fear in anyone who visits more than a couple weeks as a tourist. 

 

An IO was quoted as stating "tourists stay 1 or 2 weeks," so looks like their desired "new rules" would be 15 days with or w/o a Tourist Visa - maybe twice a year 6 mo apart.  That would put countless Thais out of good jobs and into poverty, but the ones doing it can pocket money from whoever is pushing this agenda, so I suppose they won't care.

 

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Everything they have done since 2006 is to reduce and discourage long term tourism. The alternative to their softly, softly approach is hard limits, which help no one. Anyone staying long term as a tourist needs to accept they could at anytime be pulled for it and denied entry. There's no point bleating about it or claiming BKK is a "lawless checkpoint". We just have to make the most of the options left and play the system as we've always done.

Again, you use terms like "long term" which are are undefined, and don't even make since for a 60-day entry-stamp. 

 

Anyone can be beaten and robbed by a mugger - but that doesn't make it legal.  It is the lawbreakers running those checkpoints who are "playing the system" - not good people following the law, who are being denied-entry.

 

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Would it satisfy you if the TIB made a public announcement that they had given their officers instructions to deny long term tourists - at their discretion?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would need to issue a new Ministerial Order specifying how long in Thailand before

 

is "completely tolerated", vs where discretional-rejection and/or absolute rejection is authorized, as well as what specific conditions must be met during any discretional time-frame. 

 

This would be similar to the 2x-Land-Border Ministerial Order for Visa Exempt entries - but, in this case, from the MFA, and introducing a completely new idea relating to Tourist Visas which differs from existing law and decades of practice.

 

This would be posted at all Thai Consulate offices, so that everyone applying for a Tourist Visa could do the math, check for any required documents (if necessary), and make an informed decision with Sure And Specific Knowledge of where they will stand when arriving at a Thai checkpoint. 

Edited by JackThompson
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9 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

<snip>

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would need to issue a new Ministerial Order specifying

<snip2>

This would be posted at all Thai Consulate offices, so that everyone applying for a Tourist Visa could do the math, check for any required documents (if necessary), and make an informed decision with Sure And Specific Knowledge of where they will stand when arriving at a Thai checkpoint. 

So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should issue a new Ministerial Order as to what RTP Immigration can or cannot do when someone attempts to enter the Kingdom with a visa duly issued by the MoFA.

 

And when could RTP Immigration in kind issue a new Ministerial Order as to what MoFA can or cannot do?

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1 hour ago, JLCrab said:

So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should issue a new Ministerial Order as to what RTP Immigration can or cannot do when someone attempts to enter the Kingdom with a visa duly issued by the MoFA.

 

And when could RTP Immigration in kind issue a new Ministerial Order as to what MoFA can or cannot do?

I'm quite sure that he implied that these two ministries would talk with each other and agree on a common point before new rules are made. But this is probably wishful thinking

Edited by jackdd
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10 minutes ago, jackdd said:

I'm quite sure that he implied that these two ministries would talk with each other

So would that be a first?

 

But that's OK -- whenever I read Jack's stuff I hum to myself "If I Were the King of the Forest" from the 1939 Wizard of Oz.

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1 hour ago, JLCrab said:

So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should issue a new Ministerial Order as to what RTP Immigration can or cannot do when someone attempts to enter the Kingdom with a visa duly issued by the MoFA.

 

And when could RTP Immigration in kind issue a new Ministerial Order as to what MoFA can or cannot do?

There are a few ways it could be done.  Adding another "reason for rejection" to the Immigration Act could work.  The Minister of Immigration could add a "group" to a list of prohibited persons, where that group is defined by some new standard.  Or, the MFA could issue an order, in coordination with immigration (the poster I was responding-to indicated he believes that immigration writes the MFA's visa-rules).

 

A published rule would not necessarily have to block their desire to achieve whatever agenda.  The same "flexibility" (i.e. "arbitrary") allowing-in / blocking of some fraction who cross whatever new lines are drawn could still be permitted.  People wanting to "try their luck" with immigration-roulette (or ignorant of the new rule) could try their luck, and "results" in terms of denied-entries could be shown to those funding the agenda, in exchange for fresh brown-envelopes.

 

But, as the goal should ideally be to reverse the damage done by previous unofficial (illegal) policies, and to maximize income for Thais from visitor-spending, the best solution would be to issue a statement from the Minister apologizing for lawless-abuse by IOs in the past, first and foremost - affirming that this will not be tolerated any longer, and those violating the laws will be punished.  Anyone being denied-entry could call a hotline, appeal-forms would be provided and this option explained, they would be processed quickly, etc.  Not holding my breath.

 

But, the issue you point to is likely correct - the reason none of this has happened - a lack of functional oversight and jurisdictional issues.  There seems to be a difference of opinion on what should or should not be permitted - not only between ministries, but within immigration, itself - as evidenced by their often very different treatment of visitors from one office or entry-point to the next. 

 

50 minutes ago, jackdd said:

I'm quite sure that he implied that these two ministries would talk with each other and agree on a common point before new rules are made. But this is probably wishful thinking

Yes, expecting sanity and adherence to the published laws and regulations seems to be a bridge to far, under current conditions.

 

The "Golden Goose" for the country is the flow of self-funded tourists - many of whom now avoid the country, out of fear of arbitrary immigration policies. 

 

The "Golden Goose" for immigration is a set of interests who supply brown-envelopes - who see "Tourist Visa Entries" as a problem and/or competitor.

 

Opposing goals / conflict and semi-anarchy are the result.

Edited by JackThompson
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Well that's OK -- you ain't the only one on here (I won't name some of the others) who knows how to run the Kingdom better than those who run the Kingdom.

Edited by JLCrab
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22 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

The Minister of Immigration could add a "group" to a list of prohibited persons, where that group is defined by some new standard

There is no minister of immigration. Ministerial regulations and orders for immigration is the responsibility of the Interior Minister.

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