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Reducing chances of re-entry rejection for long-stayers: TR vs Exempt


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Trying to minimize the chances of getting rejected at re-entry, since there were some reports of rejected long-stayers.  I just spent 5 months on Exempt + two 60d extensions, and now trying to go fly back to Suvarnabhumi in less than a month after departing.  Seems like some people on this board advise against getting a TR visa and going visa-exempt as your best bet to get past the immigration.  Does applying for a visa just creates an additional risk of being rejected by the embassy, and does not really improve the chances with the immigration at the border?


-    Do immigration officers make their own decision based on your stay history, or does having a TR visa improve your chances on arrival in any significant way?
-    Does applying for a TR in this situation create yet another risk of getting visa rejection by the embassy?  Just reading this recent post on this.  Do the embassy people actually look into your arrival/departure records to see your stay history as part of the visa approval, or is that history only used by the IOs on arrival?
 

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19 minutes ago, wn78 said:

Seems like some people on this board advise against getting a TR visa and going visa-exempt as your best bet to get past the immigration.

You got that upside down.

 

All else being equal, attempting to enter with an actual tourist visa is the safer option.

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7 hours ago, Caldera said:

You got that upside down.

 

All else being equal, attempting to enter with an actual tourist visa is the safer option.

That was my intention, but I got concerned reading a recent post of a failed visa application in a long stay situation. So just trying to get opinions on a possibility of being rejected for a visa, and if taking that risk is justified compared to the benefits the visa would give me at the border....  If the embassy people have the ability to check the recent stay history and extensions given by the immigration, then I have some risk of being rejected, otherwise I should definitely go for the visa.

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It is worth trying to get a tourist visa. In most home countries, the chance of a rejection is low. (If you identify where you are planning to apply, someone might be able to tell you whether it is a difficult embassy.) With a visa, Immigration is only supposed to deny you entry pursuant to conditions specified in Section 12 of the Immigration Act (though officials at some places, including both Bangkok airports, have been known to manufacture reasons for rejection). Officials, reasonably, are empowered to decide if your request for a visa exempt entry meets their notion of "normal tourism", and no airport is completely safe. Visa exempt entry twice per calendar year is safe at almost all land crossings.

 

If you do run into problems, there are many land borders where you can enter without any worries. Also, I have never read a report of Chiang Mai airport Immigration denying entry improperly to those with visas.

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2 minutes ago, BritTim said:

(If you identify where you are planning to apply, someone might be able to tell you whether it is a difficult embassy.)

USA, sorry I forgot to mention that upfront.

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2 minutes ago, wn78 said:

USA, sorry I forgot to mention that upfront.

A denied tourist visa is unlikely. You apply using the e-visa site, and it is very convenient.

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I think we may well see a spate of cases of the 180 day rule / guideline being applied to people who have been in the country for longer periods because of the covid extensions. I know a lot of people consider it made up because it isn't written into law, but we know it has been used as a litmus test of whether someone is a genuine tourist in the past. If you find yourself in that situation it doesn't help to say there's no such rule or that it is just an excuse.

 

OP, how long have you spent in Thailand in the last 12 months?

 

Many people think that they reset the clock on 1 January, which by the sounds of it gives you four months.

 

In your shoes I would be thinking about the entry after this one, as by that point you will presumably have spent more than 6 months in Thailand during 2022.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, wn78 said:

but I'd like to be able stay a few months in a year

Staying few months in year is no problem. One TV allows three months of stay. Another from a neighboring country will make it up for 6 months. After that you can leave for 6 months and come back and repeat it again. There is no hard and fast rules it all depends on IOs at the entry and if they think you're a perpetual tourist they will reject it. At least a  month gap in your home country improves the situation. Nobody really knows any definitive answers to this all are speculations and hearsay only. 

Edited by Onerak
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2 hours ago, wn78 said:

That was my intention, but I got concerned reading a recent post of a failed visa application in a long stay situation. So just trying to get opinions on a possibility of being rejected for a visa, and if taking that risk is justified compared to the benefits the visa would give me at the border....  If the embassy people have the ability to check the recent stay history and extensions given by the immigration, then I have some risk of being rejected, otherwise I should definitely go for the visa.

Depending on your passport country there is no harm applying for a 60 Day Tourist Visa through the evisa system.

A few months a year would not cause any issues, the issue is those who have been using short term visas to stay 1+ year.

Most people get away with a warning, as long as they do not have a bad history, or don't have the 20,000 THB cash on hand. 

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...

4 hours ago, Badger18 said:

 

OP, how long have you spent in Thailand in the last 12 months?

 

 

4 hours ago, Pmbkk said:

 

So you've stayed 5 months + 2 months + 2 months.

 

NO.  Sorry I wasn't clear.  I spent under 5 month total so far this year.  1 month exempt + 2 month + 2 month extensions, and left early.

 

I want to enter one more time this year, and it's a completely reasonable expectation all things considered.

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40 minutes ago, wn78 said:

I want to enter one more time this year, and it's a completely reasonable expectation all things considered.

6 months plus in a year could hardly be called typical tourist behaviour.  I don't know if it would be allowed in the USA with a tourist visa or equivalent,  but certainly wouldn't in the UK.

 

It could be called reasonable if you deem it just a (very) long visit, but could just as easily be said to be unreasonable.  It's very subjective IMO and you're at the mercy of Thai Immigration.  Get a Tourist Visa to mitigate the risk.

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16 hours ago, wn78 said:

 Sorry I wasn't clear.  I spent under 5 month total so far this year.  1 month exempt + 2 month + 2 month extensions, and left early.

 

I want to enter one more time this year, and it's a completely reasonable expectation all things considered.

I got what you meant about the exempt entry plus covid extensions. What I'm not sure about is whether that was your only entry in 2021.

 

As others have said it's all educated guesswork and in the end we are always at the mercy of the IOs. You have been in Thailand less than 6 months this year but on the other hand if they let you in you are pretty much bound to go over that, plus you've only been out of the country for a short time. They won't be looking for reasons to turn people back atm and my feeling is you'll be fine (but wise to apply for a visa). If you want to come back in later in the year - or if you end up doing way over 6 months this year and then want to come in early next year - that's when I think you might have a problem. It's not that you're doomed if you go over 6 months but I think you may move yourself from green to amber by doing that.

 

My situation is not so different - I had a bit under 6 months in 2021 and will be coming in towards the end of next month having left early March. I'm not that worried but have only booked the first couple of nights accommodation just in case.

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23 hours ago, ThaiVisaCentre said:

Most people get away with a warning, as long as they do not have a bad history, or don't have the 20,000 THB cash on hand. 

Are you referring to a warning that immigration could give me on the arrival, while still letting me in?

 

So it sounds like applying for a visa has no additional risk, can only improve my chances.  In an unlikely case the embassy rejects me for a TR visa (on the grounds of requesting too much time this year, I don't see any other reasons I can be denied for), I assume it's not a permanent flag, and I can apply again later, or even try my luck with exempt entry, is that correct?

 

 

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An update -  I checked the e-visa application, and they require to upload passport pages with the last 12 months of travel.  So the embassy will see immediately how long you stayed in Thailand recently, and all the extension stamps are in the passport as well.  

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Badger18 said:

As others have said it's all educated guesswork and in the end we are always at the mercy of the IOs.

I always wondered about that. In my opinion do the IOs have almost as much leeway in their decisions as a Thai cop, which really makes immigration entry a 'grey area'.

Edited by StayinThailand2much
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2 hours ago, wn78 said:

So it sounds like applying for a visa has no additional risk, can only improve my chances.  In an unlikely case the embassy rejects me for a TR visa (on the grounds of requesting too much time this year, I don't see any other reasons I can be denied for), I assume it's not a permanent flag, and I can apply again later, or even try my luck with exempt entry, is that correct?

I have not read any reports where a TV visa is rejected in one's home country for staying too long in Thailand. Have read reports in nere by countries of TV rejection but not in home countries. 

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3 hours ago, wn78 said:

 

Are you referring to a warning that immigration could give me on the arrival, while still letting me in?

 

So it sounds like applying for a visa has no additional risk, can only improve my chances.  In an unlikely case the embassy rejects me for a TR visa (on the grounds of requesting too much time this year, I don't see any other reasons I can be denied for), I assume it's not a permanent flag, and I can apply again later, or even try my luck with exempt entry, is that correct?

 

We have never heard of anything like that happening.

Arriving with an actual visa will make things easier.

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On 5/22/2022 at 2:11 PM, Gottfrid said:

Seems strange to me. Your are talking about long stay in Thailand and exempts as well as tourist visas at the same time. 

 

If you do not want to worry are have any problems, please meet the requirements for long stay in Thailand. Here are the most talked about options:

 

  • Non 0 based on child, marriage
  • Business visa or allowed non 0 with work permit
  • Non 0 based on study
  • Elite Visa

 If the above options you have mentioned do not appeal to the gentleman, he could always just do visa runs,and why not? It's what people have been doing for a hell of a long time and with very little problems. 

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12 hours ago, wn78 said:

So it sounds like applying for a visa has no additional risk, can only improve my chances.  In an unlikely case the embassy rejects me for a TR visa (on the grounds of requesting too much time this year, I don't see any other reasons I can be denied for), I assume it's not a permanent flag, and I can apply again later, or even try my luck with exempt entry, is that correct?

When using the e-visa system, this is definitely true. It can be a little different if applying in a country like India where the e-visa system is not currently used, and where a rejected application (which is common and cannot be appealed) results in a very prominent cancelled visa in your passport.

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56 minutes ago, BritTim said:

When using the e-visa system, this is definitely true. It can be a little different if applying in a country like India where the e-visa system is not currently used, and where a rejected application (which is common and cannot be appealed) results in a very prominent cancelled visa in your passport.

If the application is rejected, then why would they need to put a stamp of cancelled visa in your passport. It was not approved to begin with, so should not even be there?

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30 minutes ago, audaciousnomad said:

If the application is rejected, then why would they need to put a stamp of cancelled visa in your passport. It was not approved to begin with, so should not even be there?

When applying for eg tourist visa at a Thai consulate if a visa application is rejected it's not uncommon to receive pp back with full page visa sticker and in red VOID stamped on the visa. 

 

This was common before covid at places such as Phnom Penh.

Seems it was for second repeat tourist visa applications at same consulate. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Daithi85 said:

 If the above options you have mentioned do not appeal to the gentleman, he could always just do visa runs,and why not? It's what people have been doing for a hell of a long time and with very little problems. 

Yeah, I know. However, my crystal ball has started to tell me the story of banned visa runs, no more repeated entries with visas that are not designed for the purpose. It paints an image of a clean and nice Thailand, where all that can meet up to the requirements are living in peace and harmony.

Edited by Gottfrid
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50 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

When applying for eg tourist visa at a Thai consulate if a visa application is rejected it's not uncommon to receive pp back with full page visa sticker and in red VOID stamped on the visa. 

 

This was common before covid at places such as Phnom Penh.

Seems it was for second repeat tourist visa applications at same consulate. 

In addition to the above, I understand that in India, for instance, denied visas always result in a voided sticker. This is because the application is not made direct to the embassy/consulate, but is made through VFS with the application fee not being refunded. The voided sticker is proof that an application was really forwarded to the embassy/consulate, and the VFS employee did not just pocket the money.

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On 5/23/2022 at 9:51 PM, BritTim said:

When using the e-visa system, this is definitely true. It can be a little different if applying in a country like India where the e-visa system is not currently used, and where a rejected application (which is common and cannot be appealed) results in a very prominent cancelled visa in your passport.

Yes I understand there will be no mark in my passport if the e-visa is rejected.  But the passport is of little concern, after all you can always replace it.  The question is if a rejected visa could result in a red flag in your record in their immigration database....and then the flag pops up at the border next time you try to enter visa-exempt.... I guess no way to tell exactly how they have it setup, but it is a possibility.

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