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visa excemption--can I do this two times in a row?


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Hi guys! I had planned to go to Thailand for 2 month and hoped I would not need to organise a visa for the trip. The plan was to go to Laos after 30 days, (we are not too far from Nong Khai) return and stay another 30. Now I see on the website of a Thai consulate that for a 30 day stay a return ticket valid for inside that period must be produced on demand. Seems a bit strange as Thailand could be one of many countries that I visit one after the other by bus.....

Has anyone experience with this? How likely would I be denied entry if I only have a return ticket after 60 days ?  Or would I encounter difficulties when I cross into Laos and return for another 30 days? Thanks for advice in advance  Stefan

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Hi Stefan.

 

Actually Thai immigration will not have any problems with your plans.

The problem comes with your airline that can deny you bording without a visa or ticket out of Thailand within 30 days.

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Generally immigration aren’t interested in tickets for genuine/typical tourists, which you would appear to be. However, the airline that carry you to Thailand might want to see an onward flight (can be to anywhere) dated within 30 days.

 

The only reason immigrantion would ask to see an onward ticket would be if you’ve a long recent history of tourism, and they were considering denying entry.

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You don't need to go to Laos to get another 30 days you can go to Thai immigration and pay 1900 baht for a 30 extension of your visa exempt entry. Your airline may not let you board without seeing a ticket out of  Thailand within 30 days but you could simply search online for a cheap ticket to anywhere outside of  Thailand ( does not need to be to your home country) then throw it away after you get here.

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12 hours ago, sreiter said:

would I encounter difficulties when I cross into Laos and return for another 30 days?

No problems at all if you return by-land (over Friendship bridge to Nong Khai).  No ticket, etc needed for that. 

Per above, you can pay for a 30-day extension from an immigration office, instead.  But, if planning to do this, make sure where you are staying properly registers your presence via a "TM-30" form submission within 1-day of your arrival.  Some immigration offices refuse-service unless this has been done and/or a fine has been paid for filing the TM-30 late. 

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  • 2 months later...

Here is an update, I am in Thailand right now :

 

I purchased online a bus ticket from Nong Khai to Vientiane (any hotel) for rather little money. I thought tha would do.

On this trip I tried Finnair for the very first time. Nobody asked for proof of leaving Thailand in the first 30 days, also Immiration was not bothered. So, no problems here.

Helsinki airport is a different story alltogether- I arrived there 22 hours lokal time and found all shops closed. It was hard to find the one and only place that sold coffee....

After meeting up with my wife in Udon Thani we spent a few days in a guest house there and arrived Friday evening in our house. I assumed (rightly) that the immigration office would be closed during the weekend and we planned to go there on Monday. Bung Khan is about 50km away, and on Monday I learned that my wifes sister had to appear on Tuesday in the Bung Khan hospital for a post surgery check up. She is not able to go there alone. So we decided to go on Tuesday.

Immigration in Bueng Khan fined us 800 Baht. I did not quite get to the bottom of the reasoning- it was a mix of being delayed with registration this time and never having done it before (last time I was here two years ago and we simply did not know that this was required. I had always assumed that it is sufficient to declare the place of "stay" on your entry form). Anyway- they told us to feel lucky as previously they had fined others who had become angry with 8000 Baht +.

I inquired further and asked if I would stay away just for one night in a hotel and come back "home" would I have to register again and the answer was "yes".

It is not my intention to start a discussion on this, but the only other country where I did experience such strict rules for foreigners was Russia.

Upon my question they also said they would not be able to extend my 30 day stay by another 30 days and I would have to go to Laos via Nong Khai and come back. Again- reason for this is unknown to me. It is not such a big deal as we were contemplating anyway to go to Laos for a few days, but it would be nicer to know why or why not certain services are declared as "not being possible" by the officer in charge.

Immigration in Bueng Khan has  moved, since I was there last, to new offices under the blue water tower further to the west. Needless to say- there is no sign on the old offices pointing you to the new location.

Just thought I add all this to the "knowledge base".  Cheerio!!!

 

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