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Some tourist visa holders being asked to show 20,000 baht in CASH when entering Thailand


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Some tourist visa holders being asked to show 20,000 baht in CASH when entering Thailand

 

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BANGKOK: -- If you are entering Thailand on a tourist visa, you may be required to show immigration officials 20,000 baht in CASH.

 

Thaivisa has learnt that immigration officials at a number border checkpoints across Thailand are asking some people entering the country on a tourist visa to show 20,000 baht in cash.

 

Thaivisa understands the increased scrutiny being placed on tourist visa holders is to crackdown on foreigners who officials suspect are not genuine tourists and who may be working in Thailand illegally.

 

People trying to enter with history of tourist visa entries appear to be the ones under the most amount of scrutiny. ED visa holders also are also the subject of similar scrutiny.

 

Since Thaivisa became aware of the increase in checks on tourist visa holders, reports have surfaced on social media of foreigners being refused entry for not having 20,000 baht in cash when entering Thailand.

 

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One person even claimed that they could show proof of hotel bookings, details of an onward flight and bank statements showing funds, but was still refused entry.

 

Thaivisa has also received a report that immigration officials at Padang Besar on Friday were pulling tourist visa holders to one side and asking them to show 20,000 baht in cash. Those who could not show the cash were taken for questioning by officials.

 

Last week, a Thaivisa member was held in an immigration detention centre at Suvarnabhumi having been refused entry on the grounds that he could be working illegally.

 

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Thaivisa member 'Kohhanganlover' posting from the immigration detention centre after being refused entry to Thailand

 

During the same time, another Thaivisa member in possession of an ED visa was also being held at Suvarnabhumi after he was asked to show 20,000 baht in cash.

 

He was only able to show 8,000 baht in cash. The member said he previously had four tourist visas and a 30 day stamp on arrival.

 

A British national in Hua Hin who has three previous tourist visa entries in his passport told Thaivisa on Monday that he was also asked to show 20,000 baht in cash when trying to enter the country at Don Mueang airport last Wednesday [12 July] and was questioned about whether he works in Thailand and how he can financially support his stay in the country.

 

Thaivisa has spoken to an immigration officer at a local immigration office who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity as they said they are not authorised to speak publicly on immigration matters. The officer could only confirm that people entering Thailand on tourist visas should be able to show they can support their stay in the kingdom.

 

Whenever anyone tries to enter Thailand it is at the discretion of the immigration officer.

 

If the immigration officer suspects that the individual may not be a genuine tourist or may be working in Thailand illegally or has some other doubts regarding their motives for entering Thailand it is normal procedure to ask for more information from the individual.

 

Thaivisa has been unable to confirm if the 20,000 baht in cash is a requirement nationwide or if only at the border checkpoints mentioned above. 

 
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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-07-17
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Shouldn't be showing proof of funds when applying for the actual visa be enough? Instead of cluttering up immigration queues with baffled tourists wondering why they should have 20k in cash on them.

 

Every time me and my missus fly back to England, they never ask her to show them cash. That's because that's ridiculous, she's already shown her money when applying for the visa, and this is 2017 where people use debit and credit cards and don't usually carry round large amounts of loseable cash. 

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I see nothing onerous about this whatsoever.

I mean just based on living a very modest lifestyle without any extravagance- I still can't see how any genuine tourist can make 20,000 baht last for more than a couple of weeks?:blink:

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" People trying to enter with history of tourist visa entries appear to be the ones under the most amount of scrutiny. ED visa holders also are also the subject of similar scrutiny."

Hardly surprising is it?

That is what Type O and B Non Immigrant visas are for.

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Asking tourists to show they have the means to support themselves is fair enough. I have read of reports though when a person without the cash has been refused the opportunity to go to the ATM to withdraw the required monies. That is utterly wrong.

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This law has always been on the books but has rarely been used.   This is all part of The Big Pumpkins drive to chase us all away as the Bogeymen of Thailand.   Xenophobic attitude of this man is all consuming as he is terrified of Foreigners.

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On a shopping trip to Tatchilek about 3 years ago, the person in front of me when re entering Thailand was asked to show 20 K and he could not, so was whisked off to the back of immigration. There is nothing new in this law, it's just being rather strongly applied of late.

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2 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

Asking tourists to show they have the means to support themselves is fair enough. I have read of reports though when a person without the cash has been refused the opportunity to go to the ATM to withdraw the required monies. That is utterly wrong.

As I understand it there is no ATM air-side of immigration.  If you pass immigration to get to an ATM you have in fact entered the Kingdom and the only way to remove you is deportation - at least it is not as simple as being refused entry.

 

Another problem in respect of producing a bank book is that it is only accurate as at the date is was last updated. Even showing a credit card only shows you have a credit card; it does not show whether you are over limit etc.

 

Demanding to see cash is the simple way out for immigration. Having said that I am sure there is room for some leeway in handling this situation.

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14 minutes ago, midas said:

I see nothing onerous about this whatsoever.

I mean just based on living a very modest lifestyle without any extravagance- I still can't see how any genuine tourist can make 20,000 baht last for more than a couple of weeks?:blink:

The point is that having to have it in cash is a bit much.
If one can show the funds in a bank book, ATM statement, etc., it should be good enough for any thinking person.

 

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2 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

Asking tourists to show they have the means to support themselves is fair enough. I have read of reports though when a person without the cash has been refused the opportunity to go to the ATM to withdraw the required monies. That is utterly wrong.

 

As I understand it,the people who are asked to show the cash are those who have a long history of tourist visas and 30 day entries. Normal tourists don't seem to be affected by this ruling. Hardly surprising as they are genuine tourists.

 

There have been warnings for over a year now that Immigration will be cracking down on border trips and if anyone bothers to read the Immigration website rules and regulations, the information is listed there. It has been posted numerous times on this forum and probably every other forum as well.

 

There are NO ATMs on the airside and I have read it here many times even though there are on the ground side. However to get to the ground side you have to get past immigration and if you don't have the cash it is not the responsibility of Immigration to stamp you into the country just so that you can draw the money from the ATM.

 

You have the choice of taking it with you when you go out or drawing the equivalent from an ATM in the country that you have visited. The choice is yours.

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3 minutes ago, trainman34014 said:

This law has always been on the books but has rarely been used.   This is all part of The Big Pumpkins drive to chase us all away as the Bogeymen of Thailand.   Xenophobic attitude of this man is all consuming as he is terrified of Foreigners.

 

What a load of rubbish.

 

The great majority of farangs in Thailand follow the laws and have NO problems year upon year.

 

The minorty of people who don't follow the law take their chances on being caught.

 

It is nothing to do with xenophobia and all to do with following the rules.

 

If you stick to the rules there is no problem.

 

If you don't, and you get caught then the problem is yours and nobody elses.

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18 minutes ago, midas said:

I see nothing onerous about this whatsoever.

I mean just based on living a very modest lifestyle without any extravagance- I still can't see how any genuine tourist can make 20,000 baht last for more than a couple of weeks?:blink:

The money will be especially ephemeral if the individual generously (albeit unwittingly) provides for the needs of the homeless pickpocket who accompanies them on the bus and who especially needs the funds in cash.  Thailand likes to support the local folk any way possible, whether they be rice farmers or beggars or upstanding business owners.

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12 minutes ago, action said:

Having 20k cash in your pocket is clear, irrefutable evidence that you are not working illegally.  Nice job Immigration!  

Yes, the mental disconnect on those two things -- having cash in the pocket as being proof you're not working locally --  is startling.  But then, making correct mental connections is rarely a big attribute of those in authority here.

 

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30 minutes ago, midas said:

I see nothing onerous about this whatsoever.

I mean just based on living a very modest lifestyle without any extravagance- I still can't see how any genuine tourist can make 20,000 baht last for more than a couple of weeks?:blink:

Agreed, 20,000 is small beer, though I think it's pants if one produces proof of funds in Thailand in excess of that and is still refused entry.

However, I have always had that much, or more, on entry in cash and I believe it has always been a requirement, though previously unenforced.

 

It's at times like this that the "modern" traveler that relies on a CC is becoming a casualty of their distain for the old fashioned way of having real money.

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32 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

Asking tourists to show they have the means to support themselves is fair enough. I have read of reports though when a person without the cash has been refused the opportunity to go to the ATM to withdraw the required monies. That is utterly wrong.

They were denied that opportunity because, as mentioned in the article, the real reason was not 'lack of funds', but suspicion of working in Thailand.

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39 minutes ago, midas said:

I see nothing onerous about this whatsoever.

I mean just based on living a very modest lifestyle without any extravagance- I still can't see how any genuine tourist can make 20,000 baht last for more than a couple of weeks?

 

What's onerous isn't the fact that they're doing it.  It's the fact that they have changed what they're doing without adequate notice.  

 

Has the new criteria been given to airlines so they can start checking people before they get on a 12 hour flight, only to risk being turned away when they arrive?  Are the airlines responsible for the cost of repatriating people who shouldn't have been allowed on the plane (in addition to substantial fines to the airline)?

 

Given adequate notice, I'm sure a lot of folks would hit the ATM before they get on the plane.

 

And it all begs the question, what are they going to change next that may see me getting turned around, wasting thousands of $$$ of my money and days of my precious holiday time?

 

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20 minutes ago, CRUNCHER said:

As I understand it there is no ATM air-side of immigration.  If you pass immigration to get to an ATM you have in fact entered the Kingdom and the only way to remove you is deportation - at least it is not as simple as being refused entry.

 

Another problem in respect of producing a bank book is that it is only accurate as at the date is was last updated. Even showing a credit card only shows you have a credit card; it does not show whether you are over limit etc.

 

Demanding to see cash is the simple way out for immigration. Having said that I am sure there is room for some leeway in handling this situation.

Try getting money without using a bank book! Besides, not many genuine tourists would have Thai bank accounts. That one would have one and only tourist visa entries would, IMO, be suspicious in itself.

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6 years ago I was asked to show 20.000 baht in an non o visa at the sadao border. At that time they only asked it to certain nationals. Now it's everyone. Stop whining and get 20k. Remember Farang are WALKING ATMS in Thailand

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I visit Thailand probably 3 or 4 times a year on average and usually stay around 3 weeks of so each visit...
I usually have a few thousand Baht left over from my last visit...say , 5000 to 10,000 Baht...
I also being Aussie dollars to exchange in Thailand as the exchange rate is always better in Thailand...
My question is ...
Is foreign cash equivalent to 20k Baht accepted?
I assume it is but it's not specifically stated in the article..
Clarification would be nice

Sent from my SM-A520F using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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2 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

What's onerous isn't the fact that they're doing it.  It's the fact that they have changed what they're doing without adequate notice.  

 

Has the new criteria been given to airlines so they can start checking people before they get on a 12 hour flight, only to risk being turned away when they arrive?  Are the airlines responsible for the cost of repatriating people who shouldn't have been allowed on the plane (in addition to substantial fines to the airline)?

 

Given adequate notice, I'm sure a lot of folks would hit the ATM before they get on the plane.

 

And it all begs the question, what are they going to change next that may see me getting turned around, wasting thousands of my money and days of my precious holiday time?

 

If the airlines charged for that $600 (20,000 Baht)…I guess Thailand would have proof of their money as it flew away, with nary a penny of it to benefit their economy.  One would think that Thailand's attractiveness to tourists will be diminished on account of their money-hungry antics.

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27 minutes ago, Bill Miller said:

The point is that having to have it in cash is a bit much.
If one can show the funds in a bank book, ATM statement, etc., it should be good enough for any thinking person.

 

The interesting thing is that when getting a tourist visa at a nearby country, they want to see 20,000 baht .... not in cash but in a bank account (or a flight out)... then when entering they want to see the 20,000 in cash -- not in a bank book or statement from a bank.... hmmm.....  interesting...

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And after you show your 20,000 baht how much will you be putting back in your pocket when you've cleared immigration?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

What's onerous isn't the fact that they're doing it.  It's the fact that they have changed what they're doing without adequate notice.  

 

Has the new criteria been given to airlines so they can start checking people before they get on a 12 hour flight, only to risk being turned away when they arrive?  Are the airlines responsible for the cost of repatriating people who shouldn't have been allowed on the plane (in addition to substantial fines to the airline)?

 

Given adequate notice, I'm sure a lot of folks would hit the ATM before they get on the plane.

 

And it all begs the question, what are they going to change next that may see me getting turned around, wasting thousands of $$$ of my money and days of my precious holiday time?

 

You are using logic and that is irrelevant in LOS.

The requirement has been there for many years, and is published. I knew about it years ago. If one knows about something and does not conform, one probably should not complain, however infuriating.

It's like the people that say it's not necessary to ensure a TM 30 is done within 24 hours of arrival because it never used to be enforced.

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Just curious, as I can't remember - are there ATMs at Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi after you get off the plan and before immigration, so one can hit up the ATM before getting in the immigration queue if you feel the need or for peace of mind?

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