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Utilize Tourist Visa Or Not


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I entered Thailand last month with a 2 entry tourist visa in my Passport. I was only going to stay a week before going to Laos, so I asked the immigration guy at Suvarnabumi if I could NOT utilize my tourist visa yet, and just get a 30 day stamp instead. I was totally surprised when he said "Sure, the tourist can choose." He gave me 30 days and left my tourist visa intact. I asked a little more if this was a well known rule and all immigrations officers would do the same (his English was good). He said sure, it's the rule.

I went to Laos and came back by land and they used the first entry on my visa and left me one more remaining. So all is in order.

I still can't believe how easy that was to get them to NOT utilize a visa in my passport. This could really help me in the future as sometimes I come for long trips and sometimes short, sometimes by air and sometimes by land. Anyone else have experience with this? Have you entered with a tourist visa and had them let you NOT utilize it? Seems too good to be true.

Thanks, Drew

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I don't recall even one report here of a person asking for them not to use a visa where they refused. I did this myself with an O visa. The method I suggest is to be sure NOT to write the visa number on the landing form AND speak to the officer BEFORE handing over your passport explaining you do have a visa, but wish for a 30 day stamp. Otherwise, he may be quick on the draw to USE the visa.

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I don't recall even one report here of a person asking for them not to use a visa where they refused. I did this myself with an O visa. The method I suggest is to be sure NOT to write the visa number on the landing form AND speak to the officer BEFORE handing over your passport explaining you do have a visa, but wish for a 30 day stamp. Otherwise, he may be quick on the draw to USE the visa.

All you have to do is to tell the guy that you "DO NOT WANT TO USE YOUR VISA" before giving him your PP and its not a problem.

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I entered Thailand last month with a 2 entry tourist visa in my Passport. I was only going to stay a week before going to Laos, so I asked the immigration guy at Suvarnabumi if I could NOT utilize my tourist visa yet, and just get a 30 day stamp instead. I was totally surprised when he said "Sure, the tourist can choose." He gave me 30 days and left my tourist visa intact. I asked a little more if this was a well known rule and all immigrations officers would do the same (his English was good). He said sure, it's the rule.

I went to Laos and came back by land and they used the first entry on my visa and left me one more remaining. So all is in order.

I still can't believe how easy that was to get them to NOT utilize a visa in my passport. This could really help me in the future as sometimes I come for long trips and sometimes short, sometimes by air and sometimes by land. Anyone else have experience with this? Have you entered with a tourist visa and had them let you NOT utilize it? Seems too good to be true.

Thanks, Drew

Thanks for the info Drew. I'll need to do this myself when I arrive tomorrow evening.

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I had the same experience, when I came to the Immigration counter at Suvarnab. Airport I told the officer,

I want to save the Touristvisa for a later entry.

This was, I think in the opening year of the Airport.

At that time, he called a second officer and they brought me to an Immigration office nearby, there I had to sign a paper, which stated, that it was my own will not to use my Tourist Visa.

No big deal.

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