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Immigration Woes

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I think that's the idea. Much of what makes LOS a fun stay is the "unofficial" under the table kind of stuff like cheap guesthouses, or cheap street food. But over time a million capitalist sharks have built up malls (with food courts typically costing 2 or 3 times more than a street vendor or much more than that), boutique guesthouses and hotels among other things. THEY pay taxes and observe regulations such as fire safety features and helping the junta track foreigners.  They're also backed by BIG money. 

Maybe eventually your only choice will be much higher priced "legit" guesthouses, or hotels and food courts or nice restaurants or approved outdoor food markets. Basically mostly tourists will visit and leave as they are told. It will cost ever more to do a long stay. I suppose a flood of millions of Chinese tourists might give them the idea this will work, but eventually those might become more trouble than the farang ever were. We will see. 

We live in interesting times eh?

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When I arrived here on 22 November I know this day would come around quickly enough and with my Tourist Visa good until next Sunday I reluctantly made my way to Soi 5 Jomtien this morning to get my 30 day extension.  I had my phone and iPad fully charged for what I told myself would be at worst a 3 hour wait and if in luck maybe an hour and a half.  So I was well prepared to kill time.

When I arrived at 13:17 ( I checked my watch as I took my place) there was a queue stretching about 3  metres back from the main door.  It moved fairly rapidly and I was at the counter where they give you a ticket in about 10 mins.  The girl checked my documents, told me I needed a second photocopy of my receipt from immigration (my apartment got it when they registered me online on the immigration database) and gave me ticket 198. 

Grand,  plenty of time to get the copy done next door and come back I thought.  There were a few people ahead of me and overall it took about 3 mins to get the copy done.  As I reentered the immigration building all set for my long wait I was quite surprised to hear number 198 being called to desk 1.  Really I thought, and sat down at desk 1 a bit flustered as it was all a bit of a rush.  The lady checked my copies, gave me the second set back (not sure why they wanted them done in the first place now) and said please wait 10 minutes.  

7 minutes later her colleague called my number and handed me back my passport, all done and dusted and roll on the rest of my trip.  I left the building at 13:37 the battery on my phone showing 100% charged and the iPad untouched in my bag.

So can’t fault the place on today’s experience.

 

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15 minutes ago, xyzzy said:

That is a miracle.

I am still a bit stunned myself.  When she handed me ticket 198 it didn’t even cross my mind to stick my head inside the office to see what number was coming next, I just presumed it would be around the 160 figure give or take 10 either side.  If I had seen it was coming close to 198 it may well have panicked me as I still had to get that photocopy done first.  Anyway all worked out fine, maybe a new Jomtien immigration record 555.

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8 hours ago, Pdoggg said:

Regarding TM30's

Absolute bullshit on the TM30. If your place of lodging has not registered your stay YOU will be fined 1600 baht if you do an extension not the landlord.

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On 4/1/2019 at 12:56 AM, xyzzy said:

Absolute bullshit on the TM30. If your place of lodging has not registered your stay YOU will be fined 1600 baht if you do an extension not the landlord.

No. This may not be so. Last year in Samut Prakan my condo owner was fined for not lodging my stay details - not me. As the interview said, the talk was with the Jomtien office only, and things in Phitsanulok are different again from Samut Prakan; so it does seem to vary from office to office (immigration officer to immigration officer).

What is important is to have that piece of paper in your passport, however it gets there.

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On 4/2/2019 at 10:23 AM, cobber32 said:

No. This may not be so. Last year in Samut Prakan my condo owner was fined for not lodging my stay details - not me. As the interview said, the talk was with the Jomtien office only, and things in Phitsanulok are different again from Samut Prakan; so it does seem to vary from office to office (immigration officer to immigration officer).

What is important is to have that piece of paper in your passport, however it gets there.

I will back track a bit and say all my experiences and knowledge are from Jomtien where the farang does get fined. But the video, made in Jomtien, apparently states something different than what really happens in Jomtien. And as you pointed out rules vary wildly from different immigration locations. Amazing Thailand...

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2 hours ago, xyzzy said:

 And as you pointed out rules vary wildly from different immigration locations. Amazing Thailand...

Yes indeed. Amazing Thailand. If only things were clear cut and consistent. (I was going to say black and white, but in this day and age .....). Oh well; the price we pay for our lifestyle, I guess.

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The General the Thai media call the Big Joke is no longer head of Immigration.  He has been transferred to an inactive post. Guess he ruffled some feathers.

Not sure if this is good or bad for farang.

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Here is the maximum number of Proof of Income Affadavits were issued by the British Embassy in Bangkok. A small number of affadavits issued were not Proof of Income hence the below numbers are the maximum.

2016: 2211
2017: 2679
2018: 3138
2019: 0

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This is rare but overstaying can lead to dire consequences.

 

Quote

A British dad jailed in Thailand for overstaying his visa has told of his horror after a fellow inmate died in his arms from a brutal beating.

Kai Isaacs, 35, from the Isle of Wight, was locked up in a filthy room with 150 other inmates including gangsters and suspected terrorists in the notorious IDC, International Detention Centre, in Bangkok.

Kai, a dad of two, told the Sunday People: “It was the worst three months of my life.

"In the IDC there were 150 people in the room, sleeping on the floor 10 in a row.

"It was hot, it stank, it was noisy, it was violent and scary.

“There were people from 47 different countries

"There were suspected ­terrorists. Their own countries didn’t want them back so they had been there for years. They ran the place.

“When this American lad, Rickey McDonald, came in they singled him out.

"They didn’t like the USA much. He’d only been there for four days when he died.

“They picked on him from the minute he walked in the room. They beat him and beat him and beat him.

“He was bullied to the point he couldn’t get water. They gave you a three-litre bottle to fill up but the water was only on for an hour a day. If he stood up they hit him.

“I ended up filling his bottle for him. There was one time I pushed them off when they attacked him.

"A few of them grabbed me and I was kicked. But I was never beaten badly.

“There was a bit more respect for me ­because I’d been in there for quite a long time, a lot longer than normal for Westerners.

“But the guy died in my arms in the ­morning. It was suspected heart failure. It was horrible and I was still in there for weeks after it happened.”

Now Kai has given a statement to the FBI, who are investigating the death of the Kentucky man on May 21.

Kai’s nightmare began after he travelled to Thailand in August last year on a one-way flight to visit his girlfriend.

Before setting off he transferred £2,000 via MoneyGram to collect when he arrived. But when he tried to claim his cash he was told someone had already withdrawn it.

He had a 30-day visa, as is standard for Brits travelling to Thailand, and had no money to book a flight home.

Kai admits he made a mistake by going to stay with Thai friends for several months before contacting the British embassy for help in March this year.

He said the embassy advised him to hand myself in at the Soi 9 police station in Pattaya, warning he would be arrested.

Kai said they told him he would be transferred to the IDC but should be flown home to the UK within a couple of weeks.


He said: “I was kept in a cell with around 50 Thai ­people in a cage for five days then taken to court.”

Kai was fined 4,500 baht – £115 – but couldn’t afford to pay. All his possessions, and what little money he had, went ­missing while he was in the police cell.

He was sentenced to nine days in Pattaya Nong Pla Lai jail where he spent his time in a room with around 150 Thai gangsters and murderers before being transferred to two police stations then going to the IDC.

Kai said: “It’s an inhumane place. There are guards but there is a hierarchy among the inmates. The bosses were Iranian ­gangsters and regularly gave severe beatings. Every moment in there was horrific. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

Kai was finally deported in June with the help of the embassy and has now been barred from returning to Thailand for five years.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Our consular staff ­supported a British man detained in Thailand and remained in close contact with the Thai authorities.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brit-tourist-tells-thai-prison-20896333

 

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5 hours ago, Pdoggg said:

Kai was finally deported in June with the help of the embassy and has now been barred from returning to Thailand for five years.

I doubt he'll feel any heartache in being barred for 5 years, he probably has absolutely no desire to ever set foot back in the Kingdom again after this experience.

This unfortunate tale should reinforce the severity and possible consequences of not being in possession of a valid visa. Even if just for one day. If caught outside the airport or other point of departure without a vlid visa then you are considered an alien and can end up sliding down a very slippery slope.

Besides that, not sure how he was allowed to board an inbound plane or allowed entry if he did not have a return ticket or a flight out.

A dreadful story.

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14 hours ago, dixon cox said:

Besides that, not sure how he was allowed to board an inbound plane or allowed entry if he did not have a return ticket or a flight out.

I have flown into Thailand without an outbound ticket. But it has been some time ago.

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The last two times I flew out with Etihad the check in staff have asked me if I had a visa once they saw how  I was planning to be away.  Two years again when I was going for just under a month there were no questions asked. 

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When coming here to stay for an undetermined period of time back in 2012 I was in possession of a one-way ticket to Bangkok from London Heathrow, flying with EVA Air. At the check-in counter they would not issue me with a boarding pass because I had no visa and no ongoing or return ticket.

I asked them what I needed to do in order to begin my journey to the biggest whore house in the world and she said "buy a ticket out of there to anywhere within 30 days".  She then looked up at me and raised a finger. No, not the middle one, but her index finger, and gestured upstairs to the internet cafe to get a ticket booked and gave me an email address for the desk to forward the confirmation to.

As I sat in the internet cafe on some crippled pentium III with its pathetic RAM count and barely any remaining disk space, I sighed as I watched it struggle to load my webpages. A youtube type progress bar, visible at all times, trundled along merrily as it ate through my £1 per 2 minutes for internet time. Finally a flight to Phnom Penh was booked within the 30 day range of my pending visa waiver and the necessary confirmation forwarded to the EVA address provided earlier. As the final seconds of credit ticked away I managed to clear the cache and all personal data from the sludge-ridden hard drive, to the best of my ability.

On returning downstairs I was gestured over to the desk of the same lady, cutting past fellow mongers in the process, some of whom were accompanied by their Thai prostitute girlfriends fresh from their farangland trips.

The EVA check-in lady was appreciative of how I hadn't got upset or made a fuss and just got on with it, she told me so, then promptly upgraded me from a cheap whoremonger seat in cattle class to premium economy. I was a premium monger - Yes!

Every cloud etc..

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I went into Bangkok on a one way ticket in October of 2017. Went home from there in May of 2018.  Do not recall but I MIGHT have had my flight to KL booked before I headed out.  But that was in December so likely I did 2 months in Thailand (get the extension on the month stay).  This last time in December of last year I got TONS of shit from some no joke minion about how I was not using "proper way of staying".  He had gone back 4 or more years in the passport and looked at all the stamps and decided this based on current regs.  I was the LAST ONE from my plane to get away.  My suitcase sat on the floor next to the baggage carousel, alone with no one near the area. Was NOT happy about this.  Near as I can tell they do NOT want people using the FREE month on entry if they can hassle them into getting visa before they come (which the guy heavily implied was the only "proper" way).  No telling if crap like this led to flak that led to no joke being removed.  I would hope so, but probably not.  We'll see what the crap quotient is next time I fly in. 

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17 hours ago, JustSumGai said:

Near as I can tell they do NOT want people using the FREE month on entry if they can hassle them into getting visa before they come (which the guy heavily implied was the only "proper" way). 

  You can find a number of stories over on thaivisa.com about guys who got hassled at Swampy because they have *many* 30 day stamps and no visas. Although they usually don't hassle guys much that only spend a few months here each year. Blow US$40 on a tourist visa and save the hassle. It costs 1900 baht (~US$63) to get a 30 day stamp extended for another 30 days.

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I work a mining roster in Australia and often spend time in Thailand on my time off.  This might be a stay of three weeks or so or just a few days here and there as I often fly on to other places via Bangkok but stopover for a few days in Thailand.  I have always felt a bit paranoid about having so many Thai visa waiver stamps but I have two passports so I have alternated between them to lessen the impact.  I have had no troubles so far and never been asked to show 20kB or a return ticket although I always have both to hand.  However the new fingerprint scanners are a downer as this time they asked me if I have another passport so they have finally been able to catch me out on the two passport thing.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.  I think I will probably be OK as my trips clearly match the pattern of someone who is just visiting and not working or gaming the visa waiver system.  The one potential problem could be the 180 day rule as if I actually spent all my time off in Thailand I would spend over 180 days a year there.  I was looking at that as an option - renting out my place in Oz and renting somewhere in Thai and in effect living there on my breaks.  I guess that is not an option until I hit 50 now.  TBH it is no great drama as I am happy to spend the time visiting other places too.

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I do three to four trips a year and spend two weeks at a time and have never been asked any questions . But as my house is hopefully sold here in Aus it will be a permanent 

move to Thailand by Feb next year. 

  Then the fun starts with the 90 day reports and shit like that. 

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I think what set em off was about 5 yrs ago I'd met this ladyboy online and we planned to meet. NOW...not knowing if it would work out well or not I did my usual (since 2007) thing of popping out and back in for another 30 as it was going well. Only this time I popped back in on the same day, obvious waiver reset.  Now they did not hand me shit then. I was withing regs for the time.  But this joker attempted to apply CURRENT regs to that old situation and make inferences.  Even asked if I had a Thai wife.

We have a consulate here, but it's honorary and that means (with a new, which of course means restricting rule change) I can no longer send in my passport and form and check and get my visa in my passport mailed back to me.  Must do a 7 or 8 hour round trip haul to do the application in person. It IS then sent back to me but it's a pain in the butt (as usual for their new pronouncements).  Then too, I usually leave Thailand for a month or two stay in Cambodia.  I am wondering if this ridiculous scrutiny was as a result of fear of the new NO JOKE boss that had happened near the time I went.  Plus this might have been a new guy. 

In fact I broke no laws and stayed within the ruling of the time each year.   The general trend leads me to believe they are trying to curb the number of Chang singlet tribe that cause problems and chase girls (which I'm sure the elites do NOT like). You just KNOW they would like it if ONLY tourist types came, dropped a lotta dough and left soon there after. Luckily the ladyboy I've been seeing for the last 6 yrs is cooling off and with changes in Bkk (their war on the street sellers, food and other things, which I used to find every so handy and fun, I got some neat stuff before this).  Don't really need to spend 30 hours in planes and airports only to get hassled upon landing, then hit higher prices everywhere as I make my way to Udon to listen to non stop roosters crowing and sit in a tiny village surrounded by rice and sugarcane fields where the big activities are going shopping for food n stuff and hitting the night markets.

I suspect their scheme will fail to some extent as the more "quality" tourists they want will only draw MORE scammers to tourist areas. To me this is a nasty little attempt to punish the "buffalo" for not staying in their place (rural farm areas) and causing red shirt trouble.  All these dynamics in play create a place where only those with no knowledge of Thailand can enjoy it. (Or guys with fat bank accounts and great retirement packages I suppose). But more and more I think these tourists will run into the messy side of visiting  Thailand (scams, REMARKABLY bad service, prices near what they have at home, etc.) 

Mexico and Central America is 5 hours flight away.

When you take ladyboys and regular drinking out of the picture, Thailand really drops way down the list.

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14 hours ago, JustSumGai said:

We have a consulate here, but it's honorary and that means (with a new, which of course means restricting rule change) I can no longer send in my passport and form and check and get my visa in my passport mailed back to me. 

You are in the US? I will almost guarantee if you send the Portland, Oregon consulate a tourist visa application, your passport, two photos, $40 and a return envelope they will give you a visa. I have a consulate 70 miles away and have still used Portland successfully. 

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An Austrian was recently arrested on a one day overstay.  However there were extenuating circumstances. He ate and drank at a hotel restaurant and did not pay the bill.  It seems the guy ran out of money.  If not arrested perhaps he'd be living with the Bush Bunnies near the Austrian Embassy on Wongamat Beach.   

austrian.jpg

Quote

8 December 2019 under the direction of Police Colonel Naren Amusement Equipment, Deputy General Manager of Chonburi Province, Police Colonel Karon Somkhan, Deputy Director of Police Sergeant General, Chonburi Province, Police Colonel Police Lieutenant Colonel Suthirath Theerasawat, Deputy Governor of Chonburi Province, on December 17, 2019, investigated the Immigration Bureau in Chonburi Province, arresting Mr William Vogarca, age 60. Year Nationality Austria Persons under the arrest warrant of the Pattaya District Court at 219/2562 dated December 9, 2019 for the offense of "ordering and consuming food Or beverages Or staying in a hotel By knowing that he cannot pay for food Drink fee Or the hotel price And is an alien residing in the Kingdom with an end license "or over a stay of 1 day, including control of the carrier Pattaya police station To proceed


Police Colonel Naren revealed that the said surveillance and arrest In accordance with the policies and orders of Pol.Lt.Gen. Somphong Chingduad, Immigration Commissioner Commander (Immigration Bureau), Pol.Gen. Achayon Kraithong, Immigration Commander 3 Section 3) which instructs to tighten the offense of aliens in the area of responsibility In which, if the people have a clue of the offense in the area of Chonburi province, can notify the Immigration Bureau 1178 hotline or notify the Chonburi immigration immediately at every point

#Interface - data Col. Col. Pakpong Saibol, Deputy Director of Immigration Division 1 (special advisor, press release - public relations Chonburi Province)

https://www.naewna.com/local/461159

 

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I am in the processof appling for my OA visa , the embasy said I need private health insurance before I apply and was told when going through immigration to show the insurance document on arrival or I will be down graded to a tourist visa .She then told me that all expats will have to show an up to date health policy when renewing the AO visa or you will be kicked out of the Kingdom and reapply in you home country. 

    I was going to apply for insurance when I got to the Kingdom but was told the document is part of the visa application process and the minimum requirements are 400,000 baht inpatients and 40,000 for out patients , the policy I have gone for is with Pacific Prime for 31,000 baht per year , the fees are determined by your age .

  So a warning for you guys that don't have it that are on the AO and planning on staying in the  Kingdom. 

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