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  • Crackdown on tourist visas sees dozens turned away

    Crackdown on tourist visas sees dozens turned away per month at Phuket's main portal to Malaysia
    July 14, 2014

    PHUKET: Tourists unable to prove the legitimacy of their trip to Thailand are being turned away despite having tourist visas issued by Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed Lt Col Banphot Kittivira, deputy superintendent of the Immigration checkpoint at Sadao.

    The Sadao checkpoint, the portal for Phuket visa runners bound for Malaysia, sees about 100 foreigners denied entry into the Kingdom per month, Col Banphot noted.

    "If tourists can't provide us with details about their trip to Thailand, we will refuse them entry," said Col Banphot.

    "We are being very strict about this because some foreigners are using a tourist visa to enter the country and work - this is the wrong type of visa for this.

    "Foreigners who are using many tourist visas to enter Thailand multiple times for nearly a year or more are very suspicious."

    Col Banphot explained that legitimate tourists need to clarify what activities they plan on participating in while in Thailand. Additionally, proof of hotel reservations will help them gain entry.

    "I think between 60 and 90 days is enough for most people to travel in Thailand," Col Banphot said.

    nationmultimedia.com
    http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

  • #2
    That is certainly inviting! Land of Smiles it is not!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mid View Post
      ....need to clarify what activities they plan on participating in while in Thailand. Additionally, proof of hotel reservations will help them gain entry.....

      Could be a nice little side job: provide these 'tourists' with impressive looking fake itineraries and hotel reservations... anyone?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mid View Post
        "If tourists can't provide us with details about their trip to Thailand, we will refuse them entry," said Col Banphot.
        Yup, now you can be denied entry even if a Thai Embassy has given you a visa.

        "Unseen Thailand" may indeed be the new cynical motto for TAT once a few genuine tourists are refused entry.

        Best book with a tour group..Kuoni, Thompson, etc. for the coming season.

        Comment


        • #5
          They are going to end up with no tourists which will mean empty hotels, buses, cabs, trains and planes. It will also hurt tour companies. Lay offs are on the horizon. It will ruin the already floundering Thai economy.

          Comment


          • #6
            They are going to end up with no tourists which will mean empty hotels, buses, cabs, trains and planes. It will also hurt tour companies. Lay offs are on the horizon. It will ruin the already floundering Thai economy.
            Most people don't need visas for their 2-3 week holiday . . . it's the ones with ten, fifteen visas with two or three days in Malaysia/Vietnam, Cambo etc... in between who need to worry

            Thailand will still have 20 million legitimate tourists, give or take

            Comment


            • #7
              ^
              I think it will put a dent, or at least a dink, in the tourist industry. Some independent travellers unsure of the new rules, and not wishing to take a risk, will go elsewhere. How many? 1%, 2%? along with the 1% or 2% who don't like the idea of a military coup and others whose friends have just been expelled. Even a loss of 100,000 tourists adds up to a few Billion Baht and the jobs that money would have sustained.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm really not sure about even that . . .

                "about 100 foreigners denied entry into the Kingdom per month, Col Banphot noted"

                . . . 1200 out of 20.000.000 . . .

                Sure, that number may increase, but as I said, 'real' tourists won't have heard about this - all they know is that they don't need visas to enter Thailand.

                "Foreigners who are using many tourist visas to enter Thailand multiple times for nearly a year or more are very suspicious."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thormaturge View Post
                  ^
                  along with the 1% or 2% who don't like the idea of a military coup and others whose friends have just been expelled. Even a loss of 100,000 tourists adds up to a few Billion Baht and the jobs that money would have sustained.
                  I think this, as well as all the past troubles have a far greater bearing on declining - or slower increasing - tourist numbers.
                  Thailand is lucky to not to have to battle too hard for tourists and still gets very large numbers despite the problems.
                  The few 'tourists' who do several trips back to back are the targets - and their numbers are quite small in the greater scheme of things.

                  The authorities have kept a blind eye on this for many, many years - and I'd be hard-pressed to find many other countries which have had such an open-door policy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The authorities have kept a blind eye on this for many, many years - and I'd be hard-pressed to find many other countries which have had such an open-door policy ]
                    True.

                    But I don't know of many other countries in the region with so limited options of longstay visas for the unmarried under 50s.
                    “Don’t get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ^
                      Arranged a meeting this week with a client flying in from Dubai. Just passing through on a tourist visa as he does four or five times every year. Stays at the Sheraton and blows ThB 5k+ on each visit. Clothes, gifts, meals, he loves it.

                      Whilst he thinks he would be OK he doesn't see the point in risking a flight here only to have some jumped-up clerk at immigration look at his passport and fail to "exercise his discretion". So in future it's one trip here and the rest to Hong Kong or Singapore in future.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        exactly what is to be expected when one size fits all is the modus operandi
                        http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by serrollt View Post
                          True.

                          But I don't know of many other countries in the region with so limited options of longstay visas for the unmarried under 50s.
                          I'm quite certain that such long stay visas are rare as hens-teeth.

                          Singapore? Malaysia? Burma? Vietnam? Indonesia?

                          Not allowed - not sure about Cambo and the Phils or Laos

                          Perhaps the beneficiaries of the lax enforcement of existing regulations have become a bit entitled . . . but then I do sympathise as they have been led to believe this could go on forever and have built their lives in Thailand

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Thormaturge View Post
                            ^
                            Arranged a meeting this week with a client flying in from Dubai. Just passing through on a tourist visa as he does four or five times every year. Stays at the Sheraton and blows ThB 5k+ on each visit. Clothes, gifts, meals, he loves it.

                            Whilst he thinks he would be OK he doesn't see the point in risking a flight here only to have some jumped-up clerk at immigration look at his passport and fail to "exercise his discretion". So in future it's one trip here and the rest to Hong Kong or Singapore in future.
                            Of course this will happen, but to suggest that it will seriously affect the economy is a trifle absurd. Added to which this man stays few days and then flies off again - hardly the behaviour of someone who is trying to shaft the system by doing visa runs . . . that would be the other way around

                            I am not, by the way, suggesting that the new tough stance is a good thing, merely discussing the issue

                            Originally posted by Mid View Post
                            exactly what is to be expected when one size fits all is the modus operandi
                            Is there any country in the world that has a case-by-case tourism/immigration policy?

                            Quick answer: No

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              No more visa runs
                              Mayuree Sukyingcharoenwong,
                              Somchai Samart
                              July 15, 2014

                              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.

                              nationmultimedia.com
                              http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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