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More than 100,000 foreigners staying illegally in Thailand


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@Georgehn

So I read this "Flash" story because it sounded like another instance of disguised humor. Quality Tourists? I am already smiling!

I was right. I started laughing when I came to them actually calling this a "scheme"! What public office in any government would call a tax bill a "scheme"? Of course the RTP is welcoming this "scheme"!

There are two completely different issues here. If a foreigner visits Thailand and overstays their visa, they know the rules. Pay up or keep hiding and claim ignorance when found. Others deliberately do this and know it. There are laws to go after them and fine them.

The second issue is that there are law abiding tourists that are the majority of foreigners visiting Thailand. Why punish them for the action of others? Let's see...probably because in 2012, there were about 23 million foreigners who visited. Uhm...23 million people versus one hundred thousand!

They know going after this small amount of absconders versus getting them from the get-go as they step of the airplane is far more profitable.

I hope the tourist industry promotes that foreigners ignore the request and threaten to cancel their trips or bring it up on talk shows in their countries. Let's see how long this "scheme" lasts.

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Nobody here said 100.000 European / American / Australian foreigners I dare say it will be mostly people from neighboring countries.

Yes...try Indians.. working on the pavements in Phuket... Buy a T-shirt mate.....clap2.gif

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Greedy little bastards!

500bath will attract quality tourists? ...your shitting me!

You want quality, then first look at your conditions! Quality my ass!

....ahhh, such stupidity gets me....

conditions said that there is no quality and you want quality, then pay for it. I don't see how the fee of 500baht can be so much of a different for the tourist who wants a good holiday. Do you notice road needs to be clean, rubbish needs to be taken away, public toilets needs to be clean and etc... who is paying for it? If you can't afford the 500 baht then stay home and don't go anywhere. dry.png

And you really think the collective 500 THB will go anywhere near to finding its way to solve these problems, nah its just a pure way of fleecing tourist for their own gain it will end up in some sweaty government officials/politician's pocket

Lastly I can afford 500THB, I don't mind spending it , I just don't want to give it away ...............................There's a big difference!

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I personally loathe when people abuse the VISA system by overstaying. It gives the government more ammo to put the screws to those who follow the rules.

Is there any hotline in place to report other foreigners who overstay?

That could help. It may make me a "rat" - but I would rather report violators than have the rules become more harsh on all of us who abide by them.

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Hey, don't feel bad. We have an estimated 11-million illegals residing in the USA right now. Less than 2% of them are here due to political asylum. The majority, 98%, are here illegally for purely economic reasons. Don't feel bad at all. And here, the illegals get free medical-care, free educations for their children and help with food, shelter and whatever else the programs have. Don't feel bad about a mere 100-K.

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What Thailand should remember is,todays backpackers are tomorrows quality tourists.So,if you discourage backpackers,when they become quality tourists,they will remember and go to another country

By the way,I dont know about Thailand being a tourist haven. In the UK we get twice as many tourists.

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"As well as boosting government funding, the money raised from the scheme will contribute to new measures that will ensure foreign visitors who enter Thailand will be unable to outstay their visa."

Don't they mean SCAM???

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This proposal for collecting fees is like the rice pledging scheme - designed with the specific aim to generate corruption but not solve the problem definitively. In fact the problem of unpaid medical fees at govt hospitals is tiny relative to the income from tourists and certainly pales in comparison with the technical bankruptcies the 30 baht healthcare scheme has plunged nearly all govt hospitals into. If the problem really needs to be addressed at all, there should be accountability and clear benefits that tourists can receive from such insurance. It is also unreasonable to charge the many tourists who already have travel and/or health insurance that is usuable in Thailand. I would think many tour operators will complain about the duplication of expenses, while the average crooked politician just think this is a good wheeze to soak a small amount from each tourist that won't be noticed and theycan't vote in Thailand, so they don't matter. It will fall down at the point that Immigration officers have to check every arrival's travel insurance in different formats. The queues will be out of control.

Re overstayers. They only have themselves to blame due to lax enforcement. Automatic blacklisting for overstaying more than 100 days without a medical certificate to prove complete inability to travel or renew visa due to coma or such like. Ten years for first offence and lifetime thereafter (in line with many Western countries) would make many people think twice. There is not much point in increasing the fine for those who can't pay or putting them in jail.

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I personally loathe when people abuse the VISA system by overstaying. It gives the government more ammo to put the screws to those who follow the rules.

Is there any hotline in place to report other foreigners who overstay?

That could help. It may make me a "rat" - but I would rather report violators than have the rules become more harsh on all of us who abide by them.

"rules" mai kow jai

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If they want rid of farang overstayers, declare an amnesty for 90 days, then after that make the daily fine unlimited. There's people here that are happy to pay the 20,000 baht on exit and overstay by years. They judge the risk of being caught against the aggro of getting visas. If the fine was unlimited, they'd leave. The sane one's would anyway.

So instead of a policy to deal with this problem, they'll punish all the honest people with a 500 baht charge.

Absurd

It is a sham, just like how they said before to levy money to pay for foreigners that stay in hospitals and don't pay their bill. So then the good guys ware paying for healthcare without entitlement to it. They are just looking for an excuse to rip the tourist even more off as already. Mind you there is already a departing tax in tickets before you had to pay that separate. So this is just an addition.

Yes - just another scam to collect more money from tourists/foreigners into the clan's coffers for re-distribution to "the boys". Another bright PTP idea. They think the whole world is as gullible as their own sheeple.

500 baht = quality tourists - and they think people believe bs like this. It's a small amount of money, but most Westerners hate the idea of being ripped off. This is just part of the descent into a tin pot dictatorship with ludicrous rules to enrich the clan. Hopefully it will be seen as that and TAT under pressure form the tour operators, hotels and other vested interests may try and stop it and bring some sanity to the asylum. If not, then at least it should make some negative comments on the holiday programs.

What next - a daily tax/charge for being here and benefiting from the dry, warm weather, nice scenery and fantastic amenities?

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This continued talk about 'quality tourists' is really disgusting, tasteless and reeks of stupidity. Forget about the Phuket jet-ski scams. At the rate things are going, the whole country will turn into nothing but one giant scam - so big it's featured on the world map as 'Thailand'. And they want the world to take them seriously?

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if they announced right now that all overstayers would get a mandatory 1 year jail term right now and offer them a period of 1 month to leave the country without being jailed we would soon see a mass exodus - not hard to start clamping down and enforcing the law

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This reads as a simplistic, evasive smear campaign. There may or may not be 100,000 overstaying foreigners, but don't panic, none of these people are a burden to Thailand. As with all farang in the Land of Smiles 98% are of positive benefit to the Kingdom, 1% are neutral, and 1% a problem (a small problem, in the overall scheme of things). Most of these overstayers are here for nominal 'offences': divorce/alimony, bankruptcy, or associated problems 'back home'. I know, to the good middle class folk, sitting in front of their flat screens watching Fox 'news', these people are scary evil doers, but they are not. Relax. These people live in the villages and towns, support a wife and kids (not his own), and at least provide a little cash and English language knowledge. No harm, no foul, no panic. Relax. The oldest trick in the political book, attack outsiders, but the foreigners are not your problem.

An 'extra' 500 baht—this will solve all of Thailand's problems. I am sure it will solve some peoples' problems, but maybe not those of the rice farmers and taxi drivers of the Kingdom. This story is an artificial, crafted disinformation campaign, designed to divert attention from the real problems of Thailand, which are not really problems to those who benefit from them. How about tackling appalling education standards, corruption, unsafe infrastructure—feel free to add more.

Speaking of 500 baht, how about charging politicians and senior bureaucrats 500 baht each time their Depts screw up? That might in fact result in meaningful change.

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What BS.

This is typical political speech lets throw out a number to justify a stealth tax on tourist.They have no practical idea of how it will work or who will be charged, Non Asean memeber nations will no doubt be waivered and they make up the largest group of illegals in the country.As for the justification of mediacl bills again BS when you pay insurance the premium covers uninsured travelers also.What the uninsured do is raise the price of premiums for those that buy insurance, hospitals can claim (once again this country being the country it is sometimes these claims are questioned)

They are correct in saying it is not a lot of money but that is not the point.People should be welcomed into your country when they are spending tourist dollars/pounds/euros and this is an issue of principal.The hoards arriving on holidays will feel yet another Thai spurious charge when they land.This before they have to run the gambit of taxis and peddlers before they reach their hotel.

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Seems like a very high estimeate to me. However if true, the Immigration and BIB should

work together to "round up these criminals" If just an error or simple mistake, 500 B per

day fine for lets say 1 or 2 weeks. If intentional snub at Thai Laws, and "don't give a

dam" attitude....100,000B fine, lock up in jail until they secure ticket home, and money for

the fine.

The fine to be used to fund medical treatment uninusred in Thailand.

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I have no problem in case the 500 Baht fee for tourist entering Thailand because I have a work permit but I am 100% against the idea of Mr Pradit Sintavanaron and everybody supporting him. But we hope that the tourism industry will oppose them because it means preventing tourist to come to Thailand. It will be a lost to them.

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who had all agreed on the idea, want to use the 500 Baht fee scheme to help attract ‘quality’ tourists to Thailand

Good to see the health insurance justification - charade - has been tossed and the real motive is unveiled ---- biggrin.png

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So blo**y what? How many Thais are staying in farang countries, taking our jobs in areas such as Accounting, Engineering etc and we are not allowed to complain because its legal. Thailand needs to wake up and be more open and welcome foreigners and you wouldnt have this problem otherwise stay a 3rd world developing country crawling on your hands and knees with all the money kept by an elite few.

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" the Minister for Public Health Mr Pradit Sintavanarong said "Now is the time for us to have quality tourists. " The Minister for Public Health has his hands in everything but health. Thailand should be calling for more quality ministers before they worry about any other quality.

Is this off topic ?, I don't think so.

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They don't see the benefits of having foreigners here in Thailand. Businesses get customers from foreigners. They cannot imagine, let's say MBK businesses if their customers are only Thai people.

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500 baht - not much per person. Do children get a reduction? If not family of 4 = 2,000 baht, 40 GBP, 65 USD. Starts to get more noticeable, especially if collected as a cash payment at the airport on arrival. (No receipts of course - the stamp means you've paid wink.png )

I guess they hope people won't really be too resistant to this - not big bucks, especially if you're the high roller high spending people they want to attract. Multiply it by the number of people arriving and entering and hey presto "a nice little earner" for the regime.

If this happens, and they get away with it, without too many adverse comments or impact on arrivals numbers, then I'm sure they've got some more "ideas" in the pipeline.

Anyone surprised ? Just remember who their thinker is - the creative one when it comes to scamming money.

If you live here and rely on visa runs, maybe buying the new supa dupa elite card would be a better option? Maybe that includes the 500 baht entry fee too............ or then again, maybe not.

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