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Refused entry for previous volunteer visa?


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Late last year when all the uncertainty about the covid extensions came around I bought a 15 month volunteer visa from a visa agent on the Southern Islands.

 

Needless to say that no volunteering has been done, but i've managed to stay in the country without any questions asked.

 

I'm now warned that I might face difficulties leaving Thailand and re-entering on a visa exemption (UK passport) due to having this volunteer visa in my passport. And that infact I might need to get a new passport before I can consider coming back to Thailand.

 

Would anyone have any corroborating reports on this? It seems really extreme but something that i'm a bit conscious of now, as I had planned to leave and return in order to get on the Elite visa.

Thanks

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1 minute ago, whizzergo said:

I'm now warned that I might face difficulties leaving Thailand and re-entering on a visa exemption (UK passport) due to having this volunteer visa in my passport. And that infact I might need to get a new passport before I can consider coming back to Thailand.

Warned by who?

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9 minutes ago, whizzergo said:

I had planned to leave and return in order to get on the Elite visa

Whats the details of your "warning".

Note your intending to obtain PE visa.

Discuss your concerns with them. 

Friend of mine obtained/applied for his PE while outside of Thailand.

Met at the airport by PE staff upon entry and the visa etc done there..

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14 minutes ago, JayClay said:

Warned by who?

By a member of the Elite staff actually.

"we have been informed that our applicants who obtained a volunteer visa and came back to Thailand with Tourist visa, they were denied to enter Thailand with Thai Immigration’ s reason"

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21 minutes ago, whizzergo said:

By a member of the Elite staff actually.

"we have been informed that our applicants who obtained a volunteer visa and came back to Thailand with Tourist visa, they were denied to enter Thailand with Thai Immigration’ s reason"

Someone else made a similar post recently. Apparently the organization that all the volunteer visas were being done under was busted in some form or another and the people who got one under them now have a so called "black mark" on their passport. Legally, the only thing that would prevent you from qualifying for an Elite Visa is an overstay in the past few years or a criminal record etc.. so if people were denied, it might have been at the discretion of the airport immigration officer(s) but I'd follow the advice of the Elite visa staff. If a new passport solves the issue then that's the way I'd go. 

Edited by Ohyesuare
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3 hours ago, Ohyesuare said:

Someone else made a similar post recently. Apparently the organization that all the volunteer visas were being done under was busted in some form or another and the people who got one under them now have a so called "black mark" on their passport. Legally, the only thing that would prevent you from qualifying for an Elite Visa is an overstay in the past few years or a criminal record etc.. so if people were denied, it might have been at the discretion of the airport immigration officer(s) but I'd follow the advice of the Elite visa staff. If a new passport solves the issue then that's the way I'd go. 

Yeh. It does seem bizarre that i've been able to continue on that same visa to expiry, and now change over to a covid extension and persist. But then as soon as I leave and try to return to the country, they're going to prevent me entering.

 

If that was to happen on arrival at Suvarnabhumi it'd be a real logistical headache too. Presumably meaning i'd need to book an immediate flight out.

 

It just seems so unlikely, but I suppose there's only one way to find out.

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4 hours ago, Ohyesuare said:

Yeah it was a ridiculous situation. A ton of people either left the country or scrambled to get Education/Volunteer visas and then people who just sat on their ass and were prepared to overstay got rewarded with a free amnesty for several months.

 

But this amnesty will not be forever so much better to get a valid visa

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Sounds like the best route for vol visa holders is a chance of passport then? If so I'll get on it pronto. If it doesn't matter great. I'm currently switched off my vol visa and back on a 2 month covid visa.

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8 hours ago, Ohyesuare said:

Apparently the organization that all the volunteer visas were being done under was busted

A friend tried to apply for a 'Foundation/Volunteer' visa last week. She was told that immigration no longer accept them.

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10 minutes ago, tonray said:

Your history shows up on the computer screen anyway....what's the point ?

Does it though?

 

I'm sure that immigration can do a check on linked-passports if they feel so inclined, but do we have any evidence that this is the default behaviour when a passport is initially scanned?

 

I'm not saying that I'm sure it doesn't happen. I'm just not entirely convinced it does, either.

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12 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

False and second hand info. Just a rumor in my opinion.

Immigration would have no reason to deny entry.

I agree that it's just second hand info and rumors but this is the second post I've seen about it. Immigration denies or used to deny entry on several occasions when technically they had no reason to like for back to back tourist visas, being in the country "too much". 

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28 minutes ago, JayClay said:

Does it though?

 

I'm sure that immigration can do a check on linked-passports if they feel so inclined, but do we have any evidence that this is the default behavior when a passport is initially scanned?

 

I'm not saying that I'm sure it doesn't happen. I'm just not entirely convinced it does, either.

They have facial recognition nowadays, and your name, DOB, country etc remain the same no matter how many new passports you get.

 

Scan a passport, the first thing that happens is the system looks for a match in the database, 99% of the time it will find a match with just a name, if by chance there are more than one with that name, it will match the birthday, photo etc.

 

With chipped passports, old passport number, name change etc is written onto the chip information

Edited by Peterw42
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16 minutes ago, tonray said:

Your biometrics/name bring up all your previous entries/records...not simply the 'new' passport number is used. Otherwise anyone could simply erase all previous history by simply getting a new passport

This is true but in the past, getting a new passport seemed to stop all the why you come to Thailand too much, are you working here questions upon arrival at airport immigration if you had tons of back to back tourist visas. Obviously a passport is their first line of inspection and determination of whether to allow you in or not but of course, the information is on the computer as well if they feel a need to go in and access that.

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22 minutes ago, Ohyesuare said:

I agree that it's just second hand info and rumors but this is the second post I've seen about it. Immigration denies or used to deny entry on several occasions when technically they had no reason to like for back to back tourist visas, being in the country "too much". 

That was before and it was group of rouge immigration officers at one of the 2 airports in Bangkok. I am sure those days are over now.

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25 minutes ago, Ohyesuare said:

I agree that it's just second hand info and rumors but this is the second post I've seen about it. Immigration denies or used to deny entry on several occasions when technically they had no reason to like for back to back tourist visas, being in the country "too much". 

But agent assisted extensions are what immigration wants people to do, this earns them money, so I don't see why they would make problems for these people.

The real reason why people who, in the IO's opinion, "stayed too long on tourist visas" did some times have problems was that IOs didn't earn any backhanders from them. Due to IOs giving them problems, these people might have decided to switch to agent assisted non-immigrant visas / extensions and the IOs get paid.

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1 minute ago, jackdd said:

But agent assisted extensions are what immigration wants people to do, this earns them money, so I don't see why they would make problems for these people.

The real reason why people who, in the IO's opinion, "stayed too long on tourist visas" did some times have problems was that IOs didn't earn any backhanders from them. Due to IOs giving them problems, these people might have decided to switch to agent assisted non-immigrant visas / extensions and the IOs get paid.

Were the IOs getting their piece of the action with the volunteer visas?  Was someone missed out of the loop that should have been getting a cut?

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4 minutes ago, BangkokReady said:

Were the IOs getting their piece of the action with the volunteer visas?  Was someone missed out of the loop that should have been getting a cut?

Maybe some dispute between the IOs and the agents, like not enough money forwarded or so.

 

Last year there was a news about a well known visa agent being arrested for using fake stamps etc.

After a while it turned out that everything was a "misunderstanding" 😉

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9 hours ago, tonray said:

Perhaps next time someone should warn all the corrupt IO's who are approving these no volunteer volunteer visa stamps for bribes instead of threatening the victims

Victims? those who are actively seeking out these visas and knowingly paying agents a fee when they know they are not and have no intention of volunteering.

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