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Thai visa runs

Any thoughts on the Thai immigration announcement on the end of visa runs beginning in August. I know people who have stayed in the kingdom for years doing border runs. Wondering how long foreigners will be required to be out of the country before they will be allowed back in.

by Christopher Brown at 2014-07-15 11:08:53 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

As I understand it if you get a regular ‘visa on arrival’ at the airport or a border crossing (after paying your 500 Baht penalty supposedly to cover potentially unpaid medical bills) – however long that covers you for (used to be 30 days I think) you can seemingly exit Thailand and return three times in a row max. If that is correct, and these things do change quite often with no particula logic, that would give you theoretically three times 30 days which is probably max in any one 12 month period. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Other types of visa are also available for longer stays but usually need to be applied for in your home country and do not allow ins and outs. These include, or used to, something called a ‘retirement’ or ‘retreat’ visa – presunmably in case you want to become a tempoary monk – which was good for a year in Thailand – but no in and out.
Mostly these ever shifting visa restrictions are aimed at making life difficult for foreigners who come in on tourist visas and then work, for example such as yoga teachers and baristas. Of course, slave labour involving poverty stricken Burmees and other SE Asians in the shrimp business goes on, as one might expect. However, interestingly during my time in the ajacent Lao capital, Vientiane, working western expats, which included the likes of World Bank and UN emplyees as well as other NGOs and lowly ESL teachers, were always eager to spend their weekends in Bangkok. Then the Thais, as now, suddenly decided to change the visa rules restricting the number of times you could come and go a tourist visa. This apparently brought about an official complaint from the afore mentioned institutions in Vientiane and low and behold things quickly went back to normal. So it often depends on who you are. Nevertheless, generally visas in Asia, and unfortunately elsewhere too, are becoming more and more restrictive and expensive which really kills the entire notion of anything approaching real travel as we knew it It’s just a business..

by Nigel Amies | 17 Jul 2014 12:07 | | Report spam→
Well put Nigel. Obviously everything is in flux in Thailand right now and no one really sure how this will all play out but one thing is for certain it’s not going to be business as usual. For those of us who have been traveling to Thailand for some time whenever their was a change in policy we’d chalk it up to “it’s Thailand” and there were always ways around everything. Now I’m not so sure. I imagine things are getting much more difficult for the casual visitor as well as those who have been staying in the Kingdom for years without any long term visa. Especially for journalists. Both those who have worked there in the past on tourist visa’s and those credentialed officially .After the coup many of the former were denied re entry and have friend’s who are accredited who are worried their work visa will be denied when they re apply. I’ve been in Thailand for all or parts of the past seven years but this fall when I go back to SE Asia will stay in Cambodia instead.Who would have imagined just a few years ago it would come down to this choice.

by Christopher Brown | 17 Jul 2014 13:07 | Cape Cod, United States | | Report spam→
Asian Correspondent ran a good article with links to various sources here: http://asiancorrespondent.com/124798/visa-enforcement-tightens-for-tourists-and-expats-in-thailand/

Seems that the crackdown starts mid-August and “back-to-back, 60-day tourist visas will be refused entry to Thailand”

@Christopher Brown, getting a non-immigrant M visa (journalist) is still possible. Let me know if you need any up-to-date info.

by Matthew Richards | 18 Jul 2014 09:07 (ed. Jul 18 2014) | Phimai, Thailand | | Report spam→

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Participants

Christopher Brown, photographer Christopher Brown
photographer
Cape Cod , United States
Nigel Amies, Photographer/writer Nigel Amies
Photographer/writer
[undisclosed location].
Matthew Richards, Photojournalist Matthew Richards
Photojournalist
Nakhon Ratchasima , Thailand


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