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Final crackdown for border runners - New strict Immigration regulation in force from today


Eroticadventurer
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Breaking News on Thai Visa Forum as follows:

 

BANGKOK: -- From today, foreign nationals residing in Thailand will no longer be able to exit and then re-enter the kingdom via a land border crossing in order to gain another 30 or 15 day stay in Thailand.

 

Thaivisa has been in contact with the Immigration Bureau who confirm the new regulation starts from today Saturday May 10, 2014.

 

This latest news follows reports from earlier in the week of  an Immigration crackdown at the  land border checkpoint in Ranong.

 

Non-Immigrant Visa or Tourist visa holders with remaining entries on their visa can exit and enter Thailand as before.

 

However, these new measures are targeting foreign visitors without a visa who are regularly entering and exiting the kingdom every 15 or 30 days as a way of extending their stay in Thailand.

 

From today visitors can only enter into Thailand via a land border once, after that they will be refused entry to the Kingdom and are advised to fly out and return with a visa obtained from a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in a neighbouring country or overseas.

 

The Immigration Bureau has also confirmed to Thaivisa.com that further restrictions are to be enforced from August 12, 2014.

 

It is understood that the new regulation is to prohibit back-to-back border runners who stay for an extended time in the country without a proper visa from a Consulate or Embassy abroad or an extension of stay granted by the Immigration Bureau in Thailand.

 

With regards to the new restrictions on land border crossing, which as mentioned above are effective as of today, a number of Thaivisa members have confirmed to us that these restrictions are being enforced at the Mae Sai border crossing in Chiang Rai province, with some members commenting they are stranded at the border unable to enter Thailand.

 

The only visa run I have done is when my double entry visa tourist visa reached 90 days I flew to Phnom Phen and back.

But my impression is that this new law is going to play havoc with visa runs via land being big business for Travel Agents,Taxi and Mini Bus operators and of course people like many of our BM;s........what are your thoughts and advice?

 

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Off the top of my head, it sounds a sif they are referring to 30 day entry stamps (15 days day land crossings).

 

From what I am reading above this does not seem to affect guys who have actual visas.

 

I think the current system is horrible with guys having to take an unsafe van ride every 15 or 30 days.

 

Cambodia has an excellent system where you can stay ny paying approx 75 USD every three months.

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I agree pdogg it refers to the 15 or 30 day entry stamps and I suppose the in/out border runs were really just abusing the system.

However it had become big business and it's a no win situation financially for operators whose living now depended on it and the Thai Governments coffers.

It would appear that further restrictions iro people doing the same thing but by air will come into force on 12 August 2014.

Right now I have a friend with an American passport who went to Phnom Penh by land and has continued onto Vietnam.so will probably be out of Thailand for 7-10 days,will he be allowed back in???

How long would you have to be out of the country in order for them to consider giving you a 15/30 day entry stamp?

If you went out via land and re-enter by air before 12 August will you get in?

Generally going to be a bit of a F**k up and the luck of the draw.

Cambodia certainly is a different scenario with business visas also fairly easy to obtain I believe..know of any jobs going there???

But I do love the Thai LB's...............

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If you have a valid VISA you get back in.

It seems the current crackdown involves the 15 or 30 day tourist stamps which are not "visas".

EA, you mentioned a "double entry visa". I suppose this is what I heard referred to as back to back visas.

My understanding is that these back to back visas are separate visas that are obtained at the same time but activated at different times.

So a likely scenario is a guy obtains these two back to back visas which are each good for 60 days (but each visa can be extended for an extra 30 days by going to Immigration in Jomtien and elsewhere by paying a fee). He enters with the first one, good for 60 and then extends for an additional 30 days).

He must then leave Thailand and come back in using the second visa. He has a visa and can then come back by land or air.

Disclaimer: Since I have a different type of visa, I have no first hand knowledge of the above scenario.

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I'll use this opportunity to write a quick summary of my experience with multiple entry visas. Pdogg, I think we had a brief discussion about this last year, when we all met at Baby Boom, and I suggested I'll post about it. A year late but still, here it is.

 

A multiple entry visa is an efficient and a relatively low hassle way to buy yourself up to nine months in the kingdom. The length of stay is determined by the Number of Entries the visa allows and it's Expiration Date.

 

The short version is that every entry equals a maximum of ninety days in Thailand but you're final re-entry must be before the expiration date.

 

Here's how it works: I got a three entries visa back home with the expiration dated six month from the day it was issued on. Upon arrival to Thailand I was automatically granted a 60 days stay (each entry on a multiple entry visa buys you 60 days). When my sixty days were over I paid a quick visit to the immigration office in Jomtien and got a stamp for a 30 days extension. So on a single entry I ended up with 60+30=90 days with only one visit to the immigration office. Once this ninety day period was over I did a visa run and upon my return I was again granted a 60 days stay and again got the extension in Jomtien. By now I was staying in Thailand for almost 6 months (90 + 90 days) and just before my visa was about to expire I did another visa run and was good for one more block of 90 day. In total I stayed 9 months on a single visa with 2 visa runs.

 

But it's not over yet because you can even get them back to back. After my initial nine months I went across the border to Savannakhet and was issued a new multiple entry visa. Typically in Savannakhet they issue 2 entries with a 3 months validity (expiration) but I asked and got a 3 entries with 3 months expiration. The third entry was useless for extended stay (because the visa runs out after 3 months) but I wanted to visit Vietnam so I needed this extra entry.

 

That's 15 months on two Visas.

 

Cost wise it was $120 for the first one and 3,000baht for the second one (in Savannakhet). Each extension in Jomtien's immigration office costs 1,900 baht. In the EU it's 90 Euros

 

Note that not all consulates issue the 3 entries type (Laos for example). Research online before you choose which consulates or embassy you want to apply at.

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I'll use this opportunity to write a quick summary of my experience with multiple entry visas. Pdogg, I think we had a brief discussion about this last year, when we all met at Baby Boom, and I suggested I'll post about it. A year late but still, here it is.

 

A multiple entry visa is an efficient and a relatively low hassle way to buy yourself up to nine months in the kingdom. The length of stay is determined by the Number of Entries the visa allows and it's Expiration Date.

 

The short version is that every entry equals a maximum of ninety days in Thailand but you're final re-entry must be before the expiration date.

 

Here's how it works: I got a three entries visa back home with the expiration dated six month from the day it was issued on. Upon arrival to Thailand I was automatically granted a 60 days stay (each entry on a multiple entry visa buys you 60 days). When my sixty days were over I paid a quick visit to the immigration office in Jomtien and got a stamp for a 30 days extension. So on a single entry I ended up with 60+30=90 days with only one visit to the immigration office. Once this ninety day period was over I did a visa run and upon my return I was again granted a 60 days stay and again got the extension in Jomtien. By now I was staying in Thailand for almost 6 months (90 + 90 days) and just before my visa was about to expire I did another visa run and was good for one more block of 90 day. In total I stayed 9 months on a single visa with 2 visa runs.

 

But it's not over yet because you can even get them back to back. After my initial nine months I went across the border to Savannakhet and was issued a new multiple entry visa. Typically in Savannakhet they issue 2 entries with a 3 months validity (expiration) but I asked and got a 3 entries with 3 months expiration. The third entry was useless for extended stay (because the visa runs out after 3 months) but I wanted to visit Vietnam so I needed this extra entry.

 

That's 15 months on two Visas.

 

Cost wise it was $120 for the first one and 3,000baht for the second one (in Savannakhet). Each extension in Jomtien's immigration office costs 1,900 baht. In the EU it's 90 Euros

 

Note that not all consulates issue the 3 entries type (Laos for example). Research online before you choose which consulates or embassy you want to apply at.

I've been on a double entry tourist visa, a total of 6 months, with one run and two extensions, just as you described.

 

Its 12 months on 2 visas, no?

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My first Visa was triple entry and valid for six months which allowed me one more cycle than yours did.

When looking to get the next one I couldn't find any neighboring country that offered it. Laos was said to be the least conservative and they wouldn't issue multiple entry visas with an expiration of more than three months (=6 months in LOS).  I've heard that the Savannakhet office only grants up to three such visas in the lifetime of the passport. I'm not sure if that's true or not. 

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PHUKET: A Russian national was denied entry into Thailand by Phuket International Airport Immigration officers on April 21 and detained until she could be deported the next morning.

Officers denied entry to Mariia Sgibneva, 26, more than a week before the May 3 crackdown on the “three-visa-and-out rule” aimed at stymieing international crime.

“They stopped me at immigration, and ask me why I did so many visa runs. All my documents were okay. I returned from Russia in October,” Ms Sgibneva explained to the Phuket Gazette on Wednesday.

Ms Sgibneva planned to return to her rented room in Bang Tao after a friend’s wedding in Kuala Lumpur. Instead, she was told that she had to book a ticket out of Thailand.

“We checked Mariia’s information, it showed that she had frequently gone to Ranong for visa runs. This is often a sign of someone illegally working in Phuket,” Prapansak Prasansuk, chief of Immigration at the airport.

After arriving in Phuket in October, Ms Sgibneva left to get a three-month tourist visa in November. She then completed a visa run in February. Subsequently, she left the country on March 21 for a visa run, then again to visit friends in Kuala Lumpur on March 30 and April 18.

Ms Sgibneva explained to the Gazette that she planned to move from Phuket soon after she returned from the wedding, and decided against getting a three-month visa.

“That’s why I didn’t go to the Thai embassy,” she said.

“The first question they asked was if I had a departing ticket from Thailand – I didn’t. But not a big deal, I could buy one. I already knew when I was going to leave. I told them I could show them in 10 minutes, after I charged my phone to buy it.”

Ms Sgibneva was instead asked to prove financial stability for her stay in Thailand.

“They asked me to show them 20,000 baht in cash. I thought that by law I didn’t have to have the cash, it’s a lot of money. I thought I could show my bank account. They told me, ‘No it’s not possible.’ They wanted to see the cash,” she said.

After Ms Sgibneva asked to be shown the law, the officers became rude, she said.

“I have more than 20,000 baht in my bank account, but they told me they didn’t believe that it was my bank account. Because it was in Russian [whoen shown on her phone], they couldn’t understand,” she explained.

Ms Sgibneva offered to change her bank’s webpage to English. She also offered to have a friend come to the airport with 20,000 baht cash for her.

“They said, ‘No.’ They don’t believe me, and wanted to send me to Russia,” Ms Sgibneva said.

The officers allegedly offered to buy her ticket for her, but Ms Sgibneva still didn’t have enough cash to cover a ticket. She refused to return to Russia, instead opting to take the next flight to Malaysia.

Ms Sgibneva explained that she was able to have a friend buy the ticket for her.

“After I showed them the ticket, they sent me to a room for people waiting to be deported from the country,” Ms Sgibneva said.

However, Col Prapansak told the Gazette on Tuesday that his officers coordinated with the airline to take her back to Malaysia.

“We did not hold her, as she was waiting in an area prepared by the airline,” Col Prapansak said.

Ms Sgibneva reiterated to the Gazette that at about this time communication between herself and officers broke down, and that she was consistently dealt with rudely.

“They didn’t want to speak with me. I asked if it was possible to get my documents and medicine [not critical] from my room, because I really needed them. I had more than six hours to bring my stuff from my house, but they didn’t even want to talk to me and explain to me what had happened,” Ms Sgibneva said.

“Everybody is a human, maybe they hate me because I’m Russian, but it’s not a big question to answer: Can I bring my documents and medicine?”

By the time an AirAsia staffer arrived and informed Ms Sgibneva that she would be able to bring luggage aboard, assuming a friend brought it to the airport, it was too late.

“I think for some people who want to do a visa run, the biggest problem is that they can deport you without any reason. I can understand that there are many Russian tourists who cause problems with Thai police… but if you really want to find the people who work, find them at their workplace,” she said.

Col Prapansak told the Gazette that he was sure his officers had clearly explained to Ms Sgibneva why she had been denied entry.

Nonetheless, Ms Sgibneva said it was unclear to her until she reached Kuala Lumpur. Once in Malaysia she was told the official reason was “not clear reason to visit Phuket”.

Ms Sgibneva’s clothing was donated by friends to a local temple, as she continues to search for a reasonably priced way to get several small belongings and her documents to Malaysia.

“I was lucky that I have friends. Some people don’t have these kinds of possibilities. I don’t want to see someone else in this kind of story – Russian or non-Russian,” she said.

 

http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Russian-denied-entry-Phuket-International-Airport-visa/29391

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Here's how it works: I got a three entries visa back home with the expiration dated six month from the day it was issued on. Upon arrival to Thailand I was automatically granted a 60 days stay (each entry on a multiple entry visa buys you 60 days). When my sixty days were over I paid a quick visit to the immigration office in Jomtien and got a stamp for a 30 days extension.

 

  Unless the rules have changed you don't have to wait until the end of your 60 days to get a 30 day extension (60+30) and still get a full 90 days. You can get the extension earlier and you will still get the extra 30 days added onto the end of your 60 days. I got my first extension done by a visa service company as in years gone by the Jomtien immigration office was a mess (long waits, etc). The visa guy wanted to know why I waited so long to get the extension. I incorrectly thought the 30 days would start when I got the extension. So you don't have to wait until the last minute to get the extension.   

 

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Seems like we'll be fingerprinted on arrival.

 

At least it's not messy black ink! 

 

Also interesting that the Immigration cheif would single out two ethnic groups, Russians and South Koreans.

 

Apparently North Koreans do not present a problem.  :crazy:

 

 

PHUKET: Thai Immigration aims to begin scanning fingerprints of all foreigners arriving in the Kingdom by the end of the year under a project costing 342 million baht.

“The budget has yet to be approved, but we hope to introduce fingerprint-scanning machines by the end of 2014,” Immigration Commissioner Pharnu Kerdlarpphon confirmed to the Phuket Gazette yesterday.

The scanners, to be introduced at every immigration entry point in the country, are part of the bureau’s effort to prevent foreign criminals from entering Thailand, Lt Gen Pharnu explained.

Fingerprint scanners were chosen over biometric passport scanners as they are better able to identify criminals who have officially changed their names and have passports under their new identities, Gen Pharnu said.

“We are aware that some of our target groups, such as Russians and South Koreans, are issued biometric passports,” he explained. “But biometric passport scanners would not catch people travelling with new documents or those using fake passports.

“You can change your name or your appearance, but you can’t change your fingerprints.”

The general recognized that scanning fingerprints would not flag any inbound foreigners unless they had a criminal record in Thailand or were wanted by Interpol.

“But at least we will have a better system for collecting information on which foreigners enter Thailand, how often they enter and when,” he said.

"Immigration queues will get longer, but this needs to be done. They already do it in other countries, such as Japan.”

The scanners will force thousands of people to touch the same device. When asked about the possibility of transmitting diseases – such as MERS – the general said he was not worried.

“So many other countries use fingerprinting. We are not worried about disease transmission. As I said, it is something that needs to be done for the benefit of the whole country.”

The general’s announcement is in addition to a new policy to restrict foreigners from working in Thailand while on visa-exempt status.

http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Fingerprint-scans-debut-Immigration-catch-known-criminals/29444

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  Unless the rules have changed you don't have to wait until the end of your 60 days to get a 30 day extension (60+30) and still get a full 90 days. You can get the extension earlier and you will still get the extra 30 days added onto the end of your 60 days. I got my first extension done by a visa service company as in years gone by the Jomtien immigration office was a mess (long waits, etc). The visa guy wanted to know why I waited so long to get the extension. I incorrectly thought the 30 days would start when I got the extension. So you don't have to wait until the last minute to get the extension.   

 

I didn't know this. Thanks, XY.

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Now the same general who said the crackdown was due to the missing Malaysian Airline plane, says it has nothing to do with that.

 

And China and Vietnam are added to the countries they are closed watching. They had previously mentioned Russia and South Korea.

 

According to the article an Immigration officer who "suspects" that somebody is working illegally in Thailand can be deported and banned form re-entry for 5 years.

 

 

PHUKET: Tourists who can prove that they are genuinely staying only short-term while travelling in Thailand will be allowed to leave on “visa-runs” and re-enter the country, Immigration Commissioner Pharnu Kerdlarpphon confirmed to the Phuket Gazette.

“Genuine tourists are fine. All they have to do is prove to the immigration officer at the border checkpoint that they really are tourists by presenting evidence such as their travel itinerary, hotel booking, tour bookings and any other documents to prove their travel in Thailand is genuine,” Lt Gen Pharnu said on Wednesday.

“Then they will be allowed to re-enter the country.”

Gen Pharnu clarified the focus of the new immigration regulation, which allows most foreigners to enter the country only once using visa-exempt status.

“The crackdown is all about preventing foreigners from using visa-exemptions and tourist visas to stay in Thailand and work,” Gen Pharnu said.

“We should have done this a long time ago. We have let foreigners work illegally in Thailand on tourist visas for too long. It’s time to stop them.”

The new regulation has nothing to do with ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 and the passports from Phuket that were used to board the flight, the general added.

The immigration chief was clear that from August 13 any foreigners who fail to prove that they are tourists will not be allowed to re-enter the country on visa exemption status (story here), as explained in a formal notice posted on Bangkok Immigration’s website on May 8.

“From August 13, if we suspect any foreigner of working illegally in Thailand on a tourist visa, that person will be detained and deported, even if the foreigner has not previously completed even a single visa run,” he said.

“People who are deported will be banned from re-entering Thailand for five years, not forever. After that, the foreigner may appeal to re-enter the country.

“This is what we have been doing for years with foreigners who have been deported, and any foreigner who is added to our blacklist is issued a formal notice explaining what they have done wrong.”

Gen Pharnu noted that immigration officers were ordered to give special attention to Russians, South Koreans, Vietnamese and Chinese attempting to extend their stays by completing visa runs.

Ranong Immigration Superintendent Ekkorn Bussababordin confirmed to the Gazette on May 12 that foreigners will continue to be allowed to re-enter Thailand on three consecutive “walk-in” visas until August 12.

As reported in the Gazette last week, after August 12, such foreigners risk being stranded in Myanmar (story here).

The May 8 order, posted in Thai, stated that the new rule is to come into effect at all immigration checkpoints, including airports.

“Thailand is open to all tourists,” Gen Pharnu said, “but we will not allow illegal workers. If you want to work here please do the right thing. Apply for a business visa and live here legally.”

http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Tourist-visa-runs-not-dead-Immigration-boss/29460

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  • 1 month later...

It's been announced now that visa runs will no longer be accepted after Aug. 12, 2014 as reported in The Nation, July 15, 2014

 

 

No more visa runs

 

Mayuree Sukyingcharoenwong,
Somchai Samart
The Nation July 15, 2014 1:00 am

Immigration authorities will not let visa runners return after August 12

FOREIGNERS WHO do regular visa runs in order to extend their stay in Thailand have less than a month before a crackdown by the authorities to enforce immigration laws more strictly.

From August 13, people will not be able to re-enter the country, regardless of their choice of transport.

The Immigration Bureau has already instructed officials to deny entry to foreigners doing visa runs as a measure to stop the exploitation of tourist visas and visa exemptions to live or work here.

Visa runs have been common among foreigners in Thailand recently, given that a simple search on the Net turns up several companies offering "visa trips" for expatriates staying or working here.

Visa runners are those who leave Thailand and return immediately for the purpose of extending their stay. By exploiting 60-day tourist visas and 30-day visa exemptions, many foreigners can work illegally in language schools, or restaurants and other businesses. It is easier for some to get jobs this way, as some employers do not want to go through the complicated process of seeking work permits and like to avoid the expense if they can.

"I have done visa runs several times before, because my employers would not agree to seek a work permit until I passed their probation period. So, when you stop allowing visa runs, the lives of many foreigners in Thailand will be affected," a 46-year-old American said.

Meanwhile, the Immigration Bureau website says: "Leniency will be granted until August 12, but only for passengers arriving by air. Foreigners who come to Thailand must seek a proper visa in line with the purpose of their intended stay here."

Now, those on a visa run who are allowed back in will find an "O-I" (Out-In) mark next to their latest stamp marking entry. From August 13, nobody with an O-I sign on their passport will be allowed to re-enter Thailand if they cannot produce a proper visa.

The Immigration Bureau has instructed checkpoints on shared borders to stop visa runners from entering the Kingdom effective immediately.

Immigration Division 6 chief Pol Maj-General Tatchai Pitaneelabut, who oversees immigration affairs in the South, said visa runners come from several countries, including Vietnam, South Korea and Russia.

"They come here to work as tour guides, waiters, waitresses, etc," he said, pointing out that these visa-runners are often based in tourist centres such as Phuket and Songkhla.

However, he said the presence of the so-called "out-in" migrants in the South had been significantly reduced because immigration officials were already enforcing stricter laws.

Pol Lt-Colonel Weerawat Nilwat, an inspector at the Sungai Kolok border checkpoint in Narathiwat province, disclosed that immigration officials at his workplace had already barred more than 100 visa-runners from re-entering the Kingdom.

"We have to be strict because we have to uphold laws and properly control immigrants. Efficiency on this front will also reduce crime," he said.

Pol Colonel Thirachai Dedkhad, the superintendent at the Sa Kaew checkpoint, said officials under his supervision were not stopping visa runners from re-entering yet. "But we have been warning them to acquire a proper visa before they come to Thailand the next time."

He said immigration officials had also warned people departing that they must obtain a proper visa if they want to come back.

"We have made it clear that if they want to work in Thailand, they must seek a work permit and get the right type of visa," Thirachai said.

 

Sounds like this may be it - so for those who have been doing the visa run to stay in Thailand longer, watch out after Aug 12, you may not be able to get back into LOS.

 

 

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There have also been reports that even guys who have a valid tourist visa are currently being denied entry at some southern land crossings.

 

But a valid visa never "guarantees" that you can enter any country, it's up to the immigration oficer on duty.

 

I don't think will affect guys who "legitimate tourists" or sex tourists, lol.  

 

If there is lots of time between your latest exit and your newest re-entry there should not be a problem.

 

Some travel agents might be able to help you out getting special visas for a fee of course.

 

If you are 50+ it's a pretty straightforward process to get a "retirement visa".  You need to show either 800K baht in a Thai Bank account for a few months or have a notarized letter from your embassy staing you have 65K baht a month of retirement income.

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According to the Phuket News, in-out visa runs are now dead,

 

This goes for airports too.

 

There is no specific amount of time out of the country that makes one a legitimate tourist such as 5 days etc.  It is up to the discretion of the immigration officer.

 

So probably best not to wear a wifebeater or cause a scene when entering the LOS.

 

Guys who come here for a holiday should have no problems.

 

 

PHUKET: Pol Col Sanchai Chokkayaikij, Superintendent of the Phuket Immigration Office, this afternoon confirmed to The Phuket News that the multiple “Out-In” visa hop is now officially dead. -

“Every immigration post on land borders and at airports now has the same rules.

“If they are genuine tourists that's fine. But if we believe they are not tourists, they will not be readmitted into Thailand.

“We can see [from their passport stamps] if a foreigner has stayed in Thailand too long [on tourist visas]. We will not let them in.”

The impending clampdown has been a while coming, and has been applied in stages, with some Immigration posts ahead of others.

On May 13, the then-national head of Immigration, Lt Gen Pharnu Kerdlarpphon explained to The Phuket News, “Lots of nationalities come to Thailand on tourist visas but they come to work. I really want them to do the right thing, not to try to dodge around the law and evade taxes.”

Immigration has also begun to apply blacklisting to people who overstay their permits to stay in Thailand.

http://www.thephuketnews.com/out-in-visa-hoppers-now-being-barred-from-entry-to-thailand-47360.php

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It seems that Immigration is cracking down on those who are gaming the system, living in Thailand on Tourist Visas and doing continual visa runs. It does not seem that their intention is to crack down on tourists even those who spend their entire winters in Thailand.

 

As of August 29th one can extend the 30 day visa stamp entry for another 30 days which is more liberal than it was previously.

 

Here's an interesting video which despite the start is actually legit.

 

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^ I like his videos; he will actually call a spade a spade :)

On the one hand all countries are entitled to enforce their Immigration laws as they see fit. On the other, some guys younger than 50 don't have that many options to remain in Thailand long term. The ones I know of are:

1 Ed visa. But can you be a student forever?

2 Going back home and getting a 12 month Non Imm O. Good luck with that.

3 Thailand Advantage card. Very pricey, no thanks.

Yeah, some guys are working here illegally, but often in a field where they are not poaching jobs from the locals, such as a freelance architect, designing buildings in say Germany; day traders; authors, etc.

Many expats spend money and support the economy. Expat earns 100,000 per month, spends it all and pays 7,000 THB in VAT (7%). Some Chai earns 10,000 THB per month and pays 700 THB Vat.

Which guy supports the local econmy and government more?

Strange timing since over all tourism is down. I'd say we've worn out our welcome :)

You heard it first from Lance, 555!

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Yes, lance, agreed.  Sometimes I get the feeling that they can't see the wood for the trees. 

I live here now on a retirement visa, so less of a problem for me, (except I'm old 555) but a big percentage of my income is spent in Thailand.

Yes, any country is entitled to enforce their own rules, but when its a low season for tourism for so long, there ought to be more consideration for genuine tourists to encourage them to stay/come again, with less hassles.

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