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No more Thai visa runs: Immigration will not let visa runners return after Aug 12


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I feel bad for the people that came to Thailand to start a life because they where told.... don't worry about proper visas or permits in Thailand, there's lots of ways around it and they are really lax on enforcement. However it seems to me that they are only enforcing rules and regulations that have always been in place.

With the proper visas and permits other than periodic visits to immigration ( UGH!) no worries.

If i was wanting to stay in Thailand i would stay for 90 days on tourist visa with extension and leave for one to two months to a neighbouring country and come back on tourist visa. If you hurry back too quickly they can only assume you are being exploited by an unscrupulous employer.
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condos will be selling for peanuts soon

You hope that families are split up?? You are a dreadful person. What about the kids losing their father.... their fault as well eh???? Your bitterness is unique and I m glad I don't think I have h

Did anybody read this line in the story: "Visa runners are those who leave Thailand and return immediately for the purpose of extending their stay." Seems pretty clear to me.

Looks like a lot of foreigners are either leaving or will have to get married, have a child or get a retirement visa.

condos will be selling for peanuts soon

Prices are down already. I rent a one bedroom in Bangkok for 15k that used to be rented out between 20 to 25k

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I applied for a ED Visa (with Walen), that should be ready in like 2 weeks I guess.

I am flying to Suvanburmi around 5 of August. I am planning to take the 30 day visa waiver, get the documents from the school in Bangkok, then go to Laos change this visa and enjoy my 1 year hassle-free.

My concern is that I'm a bit worried that they deny me entry, since I have a fair amount of stamps already.

Since Apr12,

1 visa waiver (1month),

1 tourist visa (3 months)

Gap ~8 months

1 tourist visa (3 months)

5 days gap

4 in and outs

I left the kingdom the 20th of April.

How likely is it that they don't let me in? If they do, can I explain my situation (applied for ED visa etc)

If I get denied, can I somehow buy a ticket to Laos and go there directly?

If I want to avoid those risk I could apply for ED visa in my home country but it would cost me a fortune and make me waste a lot of time (I live far from any embassy)

Thank for your help

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This strikes me as one of those "We'll know it when we see it" type scenarios. If you are scouring Thai visa trying to find the bare minimum stay across a border to re-enter...then guess what, you are one of the I/O people they don't want back.

Something tells me flip flops and a beer Chang tank top walking across the Bridge in Nong Kai will get you an I/O stamp alot faster than arriving on a Lufthansa flight from Germany. I bet the immigration desks at Swampy won't even have the I/O stamps on hand.

What's an I/O stamp? Do you mean visa exempt stamp?

Of course immigration will have this stamp. The vast majority of incoming tourists use visa exempt entry. What these legitimate tourists don't do is visa runs. They go back home and stay there for the remainder of the year after their holiday in Thailand has finished.

These are not the people immigration are targeting. The target are people that do visa runs.

Edited by KarenBravo
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So....what's with the people that tried to come in from Malaysia with a 2 month Tourist visa and got sent back?!

How about genuine tourists that want to visit Luang Prabang, Angkor Vat and KL with Thailand as a base?

I think there are easier ways to stop the so called visa runners. If they had fully endorsed the 3 times and no

more rule this problem would not even exist. Now genuine tourists will suffer. Not good for the country.

How do you define a "genuine tourist" ?

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I assume the Out/In that takes place on a double or triple entry tourist visa will not fit the criteria for refusal

Well yes if its back to back usage ??

there is no indication that will be the case.

@AYJAYDEE I presume you are correct. People here seem to be confusing back to back visas with back to back entries. They are not targeting back to back entries as best I know.

You are making several entries on one legitimate visa, rather than trying to stack up visas back to back. My guess is that you are correct that it would not fit the criteria, all other things being equal (such as no history of back to back visas or other situations that they may be targeting).

TL

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For the record.

Please don't put too much faith in AYJAYDEE and his incessant attempts to try to convince people that they will be OK if they are coming in on a second entry of a double visa.

he has no more clue about this than anyone else.

The Nation last night quotes an immigration chief as saying that all foreigners to be denied entry if they have multiple tourist visas in their passport.

Simple as that.

No mention in any report anywhere to say that a new unused visa has less credibility than a second entry on an existing visa.

But logic must dictate that an entry is an entry no matter what status of your tourist visa.

The officer also went on to say that anyone with tourist visas covering 'up to a year or over' is very suspicious and if that is present in their passport, then no matter what, they have to provide good reasons and proof of hotel bookings to gain entry.

So I will re-iterate..... if you have multiple tourist entries in a short amount of time, you better have a good story because the fact you are on a second entry is NOT going to make any difference.

It can't be any simpler.

Edited by george
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Looks like a lot of foreigners are either leaving or will have to get married, have a child or get a retirement visa.

Getting married or getting some bargirl pregnant will not guarantee you a "continued stay" visa in The Land of Smiles. The One-Year Retirement Visa will.

Your talking about 2 entirely different actions !

Getting married will not guarantee you a "continued stay visa" (if that's what you want to call it) but neither will being retired !

For a start there's no such thing as a "one year retirement visa" ! but if your talking about a "1 year extension based on being retired" yes that is guaranteed the same as a "1 year extension based on being married" is guaranteed.

Edited by alfieconn
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Looks like a lot of foreigners are either leaving or will have to get married, have a child or get a retirement visa.

condos will be selling for peanuts soon

That's all they are worth anyway

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Looks like a lot of foreigners are either leaving or will have to get married, have a child or get a retirement visa.

condos will be selling for peanuts soon

Doubt this will have any affect on condo sales. I'm guessing, most of the people affected by this don't have the money to buy a condo.

Maybe, but as someone said earlier, there might be a whole lot of rentals available. Either way, good for those of us looking for a place this fall.

Yea there might be a few falling from their condos.

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Can anyone say whether or not doing a border run is still acceptable if you have a proper non B visa? If not traveling home the the states i often like to cross the border just as a day trip and spend some time in chiang rai. Beats the hell out of chiang mai immigration. It sounds like this is about tourist visa abuse, but still leaves lots of uncertainty? Non immigration B still able to in and out?? Thanks to anyone who can answer.

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Non-immigrant visa holders are not mentioned in the directive.

Sorry if I missed it, but where can we read this "directive" ?

<order image>

Thanks "PoorSucker" smile.png

Interesting, yes, but looks like

Tourist Visa are not mentioned in this directive either

Only "visa exemption scheme"...?

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Oh dear, not good news for many people I'm sure.

I think this is far too much too quickly. I guess if you are working illegally and using back to back tourist visas, well you're not paying tax and it is illegal so the writing was on the wall anyway. If you are however using back to back visas and living on your own money and not working this is unfortunate.

Maybe there will be a sudden increase in student visa applications, not sure, but one thing is for sure a lot of people are going home.

I'm in the second group. My partner and I are nomads, and we support ourselves quite comfortably on the royalties of several novels I published back when I could be bothered to work. We're perpetual tourists, and have no interest in anything other than a life of leisure in whatever warm and pleasant country will have us. Unfortunately, if you were to look at our passports the pattern of tourist visas could easily be mistaken for that of the folk who come here to work illegally.

In the three years we've been coming to Thailand we've usually stayed no more than two or three months at a time before taking a break elsewhere (we've probably only had one actual back-to-back visa in that time, and one same day in-out exemption, if memory serves). We were here for the first few months of 2013, spent two months in Mongolia before coming back to Bangkok for another month, then went to tour Europe for seven months before coming back here for the last three. In two weeks we head back to Mongolia for August, and our plan (which is looking shakier by the day as reports of problems emerge) is to return to Thailand at the start of September for a long stay. I'm guessing our best option would be to enrol in a Thai language course and get an ED visa, but as those will become much more popular as a way for illegal workers to stay in-country I'm concerned they'll start cracking down on those soon enough (and I don't really care to learn another language right now).

Of course it's the prerogative of Thailand to tighten up visa rules, but it's a shame people like me will probably get caught in the dragnet. I don't believe it's the intention of the authorities to oust non-working, cash-rich layabouts, but that will be the effect. I just wish I hadn't recently signed a 12 month lease on an apartment. It'd be much easier if we could bail out and spend a little time elsewhere without losing a hefty deposit.

P.S. I also wish the gloating TV fools on long term visas would give the schadenfreude a rest. The new state of affairs may get rid of a few undesirables, but it will also hurt a lot of honest people who are a positive force for the Thai economy.

With your book royalties you can purchase a Thai Airways return ticket from a neighbouring country,

a triple entry tourist visa should get you almost 270 days. is that long enough stay?

A triple entry would be more than enough, but my concern is whether it would be issued and honoured at the border. We've already spent three months in Thailand this year on a double entry tourist visa (we've used one entry and its extension - the second entry will be void by the time we return, unfortunately). A three month stay followed by a one month break before returning doesn't really fit the profile of a legitimate tourist, so I'd expect we'd have an issue either at a consulate or the border, especially in the near future while the guys at the border are a little more zealous than usual.

I think if you're only 6 months a year in Thailand, no problems. You're worrying too much.
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Oh dear, not good news for many people I'm sure.

I think this is far too much too quickly. I guess if you are working illegally and using back to back tourist visas, well you're not paying tax and it is illegal so the writing was on the wall anyway. If you are however using back to back visas and living on your own money and not working this is unfortunate.

Maybe there will be a sudden increase in student visa applications, not sure, but one thing is for sure a lot of people are going home.

I'm in the second group. My partner and I are nomads, and we support ourselves quite comfortably on the royalties of several novels I published back when I could be bothered to work. We're perpetual tourists, and have no interest in anything other than a life of leisure in whatever warm and pleasant country will have us. Unfortunately, if you were to look at our passports the pattern of tourist visas could easily be mistaken for that of the folk who come here to work illegally.

In the three years we've been coming to Thailand we've usually stayed no more than two or three months at a time before taking a break elsewhere (we've probably only had one actual back-to-back visa in that time, and one same day in-out exemption, if memory serves). We were here for the first few months of 2013, spent two months in Mongolia before coming back to Bangkok for another month, then went to tour Europe for seven months before coming back here for the last three. In two weeks we head back to Mongolia for August, and our plan (which is looking shakier by the day as reports of problems emerge) is to return to Thailand at the start of September for a long stay. I'm guessing our best option would be to enrol in a Thai language course and get an ED visa, but as those will become much more popular as a way for illegal workers to stay in-country I'm concerned they'll start cracking down on those soon enough (and I don't really care to learn another language right now).

Of course it's the prerogative of Thailand to tighten up visa rules, but it's a shame people like me will probably get caught in the dragnet. I don't believe it's the intention of the authorities to oust non-working, cash-rich layabouts, but that will be the effect. I just wish I hadn't recently signed a 12 month lease on an apartment. It'd be much easier if we could bail out and spend a little time elsewhere without losing a hefty deposit.

P.S. I also wish the gloating TV fools on long term visas would give the schadenfreude a rest. The new state of affairs may get rid of a few undesirables, but it will also hurt a lot of honest people who are a positive force for the Thai economy.

a triple entry tourist visa should get you almost 270 days. is that long enough stay?

A triple entry would be more than enough, but my concern is whether it would be issued and honoured at the border. We've already spent three months in Thailand this year on a double entry tourist visa (we've used one entry and its extension - the second entry will be void by the time we return, unfortunately). A three month stay followed by a one month break before returning doesn't really fit the profile of a legitimate tourist, so I'd expect we'd have an issue either at a consulate or the border, especially in the near future while the guys at the border are a little more zealous than usual.

well of course no one knows but a month exit sounds sufficient to me but what do i know?

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It is quite understandable the authorities want, and maybe need, to do something about the visaruns.

What is not understandable is that authorities give visa's and the holder of those visa's cannot enter the country.

Ik would have been better for the image of Thailand and more honest for the visarunners if at arrival they were warned "no more".

I am afraid this changing of the rules while the game is running will not be beneficial for tourism.

All this gives possible tourists the idea a visa for a longer stay in Thailand is not worth.

And go somewhere else.

Also, I guess the loss of investment and jobs for Thai people will be huge.

It would have been better, for all, if the whole thing was better thought over.

Exactly. I for one, think it's a good and right thing to do something about it. But you have to give people a chance to collect bags or belongings from their condo etc. You can't have a consulate issuing visas and immigration then saying no. The logical thing would be for both parties to work together and as you say if someone already has a visa, a warning of no more is appropriate.

On the plus side - There are too many of us here now and too many taking the pi$$, those with proper visas, non proper visas or visas purchased through under the table means. Places like lower end Sukhumvit, Pattaya and so on look horrible with the amount of farang about.

On the negative side - This will impact Thailand, especially for English teaching, you will be left with a huge shortage and a lot of bad teachers who only happen to have a degree but no teaching experience or know how to teach. It will also impact some tourist spots or expat spots with many Thais losing their jobs and girls losing their boyfriends left with no money to pay the bills. I will stand by that some of the worst people I've met here were a group of 25 somethings all with degrees (not in education) living the high life here, on good teaching salary, partying each night, doing coke and didn't give a monkey's about their job; while other teachers work hard, are passionate and good at their job, but some don't have the degree requirement. Get's my goat.

They need to look at this a bit more logical and look at the future and end game and what is best for their country and their future. Otherwise, a few months down the line all these new rules will be relaxed again.

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This is so frustrating. I have a girl (not married) and we have a little boy. I am the sole provider for both, I am here on a year long multiple entry visa and usually just do a visa run every 3 months and then after the 12 months go back to Australia and get another year long multiple entry visa. This is going to make things very difficult for me, I just want the best for my little boy..

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It gonna be very quiet in pattaya and other popular places.

Do you have any stats about who is concerned?

I live in Pattaya, and seems to me that most people are :

- people living here (most of time) and having some non-Imm visa or 1-year extensions

- people here as tourist for 2 months max

- people here every other month (offshore workers)

- people here for 3-4 months during strong winter in their country

I don't know any Farang who live here on tourist visa

but would like to know if there are really a noticeable group of people ?

probably too late for this but take yourself to a land border for a day and count how many mini buses arrive and how many falangs go out and instantly in again - there are thousands every day - some may be genuine tourists on 2x entry tourist visa but a considerable amount will have been in Thailand longer than a year and already done this multiple times.

Then there are those that require renewal of their expired tourist visas who may stay in the neighboring country for up to two weeks while they apply at a Thai consulate - these people will be scrutinised (probably while exiting Thailand) and told they will not be allowed re-entry on another tourist visa - this it seems will also apply to those that fly doing the same thing come August 12th

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This is so frustrating. I have a girl (not married) and we have a little boy. I am the sole provider for both, I am here on a year long multiple entry visa and usually just do a visa run every 3 months and then after the 12 months go back to Australia and get another year long multiple entry visa. This is going to make things very difficult for me, I just want the best for my little boy..

ive seen nothing that suggests it will affect you

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The other thing I dont understand is under what grounds wouldnt I be allowed in if I have a year long multiple entry visa.. I have a valid visa and they can still refuse entry? Just the wild west out here, seems they can do what they want, which is something I am pretty much getting use to in thailand

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This is going to make things very difficult for me, I just want the best for my little boy..

Why? You are not concerned by this change: you use a non-Imm visa.

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This is so frustrating. I have a girl (not married) and we have a little boy. I am the sole provider for both, I am here on a year long multiple entry visa and usually just do a visa run every 3 months and then after the 12 months go back to Australia and get another year long multiple entry visa. This is going to make things very difficult for me, I just want the best for my little boy..

ive seen nothing that suggests it will affect you

Hope so, lets see what happens on my next visa run (sept 1st) ... never know with these thai officials.

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The other thing I dont understand is under what grounds wouldnt I be allowed in if I have a year long multiple entry visa.. I have a valid visa and they can still refuse entry? Just the wild west out here, seems they can do what they want, which is something I am pretty much getting use to in thailand

they can but in your case they wont

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Can anyone say whether or not doing a border run is still acceptable if you have a proper non B visa? If not traveling home the the states i often like to cross the border just as a day trip and spend some time in chiang rai. Beats the hell out of chiang mai immigration. It sounds like this is about tourist visa abuse, but still leaves lots of uncertainty? Non immigration B still able to in and out?? Thanks to anyone who can answer.

The OP is referring to back to back in-out visa exempt and tourist visa entries.
"Non immigration B still able to in and out?"
Yes. The non immigrant visa category is not affected.
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I applied for a ED Visa (with Walen), that should be ready in like 2 weeks I guess.

I am flying to Suvanburmi around 5 of August. I am planning to take the 30 day visa waiver, get the documents from the school in Bangkok, then go to Laos change this visa and enjoy my 1 year hassle-free.

My concern is that I'm a bit worried that they deny me entry, since I have a fair amount of stamps already.

Since Apr12,

1 visa waiver (1month),

1 tourist visa (3 months)

Gap ~8 months

1 tourist visa (3 months)

5 days gap

4 in and outs

I left the kingdom the 20th of April.

How likely is it that they don't let me in? If they do, can I explain my situation (applied for ED visa etc)

If I get denied, can I somehow buy a ticket to Laos and go there directly?

If I want to avoid those risk I could apply for ED visa in my home country but it would cost me a fortune and make me waste a lot of time (I live far from any embassy)

Thank for your help

see you in penang mate *;)
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Why do so many people get so upset when a Thai Government decides to reinforce existing legislation?. Good to hear this and hopefully it will get rid of a lot of the riff-raf, many of them purporting to be English teachers, who end up in Thailand. One poster refers to his employer not wishing to go to the expense of obtaining a work permit for him. I cannot imagine any one wanting to work for such an employer. I have met many of the so called English teachers employed here and quite frankly they can hardly hold an intelligent conversation in English, yet alone teach it. I have seen many adverts placed in Thai visa by English teachers and the standard of English displayed should obviate any possibility of that person obtaining any clients.

I see no real reason why condo sales in Pattaya should be affected. Visa runners and illegal workers do not purchase condos and only rent at the low end of the market.

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how would one stay in thailand full time on a one year Non O A?

O-A visa holder gets 1 year at each entry.

But also have to leave the country every 90 days, right? I never did it, but know a lot of people that have built houses here, live here full time, cross the border every 90 days and go somewhere like back home or to Singapore or somewhere to get a new O-A every year.

I

O-A do not do visa runs only Multiple Type O

IN fact an O-A can last up to 2x years if my memory serves (too lazy to go check)

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If you're not living and working in Thailand illegally while pretending to be a tourist then there's nothing to worry about. If you're a genuine tourist you have nothing to worry about. If you're a lifestyle tourist, ie have an income from a home based business but choose to live in Thailand on a tourist visa you could have problems and will need to apply for the expensive elite card to prove your wealth. This is no different to Australia, EU, USA immigration policy and theres been enough lead in time for people to get their visas sorted in time for August 12th, or sell up and move on. Sure it's going to be a hardship for those that flout the rules but that's exactly why there's a clampdown, to stop people taking the piss.

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Wonder what will happen to all those foreigners that are married, have children, but don't have enough money to get a Non-Imm visa based on marriage.

Will Immigration start splitting up families?

i am in this situation, and we have 3 yrs old daughter...let´s see..

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It does seem likely foreign teachers with a proper visa will be able to ask for higher salaries because of the old rule of supply and demand. When supply is short, the price paid for a product or service increases. Good news for teachers on a proper visa.

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