Final crackdown for border runners

Soupdragon

Active member
There has been talk about restricting land entries to three but according to this article it is only one....

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.
Final crackdown for border runners - New strict Immigration regulation in force from today - Thai visas, residency and work permits - Thailand Forum
 

Hatari

Active member
This is quite a significant change - apart from the foreigners it impacts upon, the whole industry of lunatic minivan drivers doing daily border runs, out of a job. Loss of revenue for duty-free and casinos at many border crossings too.

I've done a few there-and-back trips in recent years when I've needed an extra week or two (at end of valid Visa due to expire) - and from OP appears this is still legit, easy as in Chanthaburi less than an hour to Cambo border, arrive mid-morning and there'll be 6-10 minivans from Pattaya at Ban Laem/Ban Pakkard crossing points, more arriving as I left - easy estimate I'd say at least 100 people per day there, every day; there'd be many more I'd say doing these runs from Bangkok to the Aranyaprathet/PoiPet border point.

I don't believe this is the 'Final crackdown' though . . .
Next? - A similar restriction on fly-out-fly-in people, and yes I've done those too, KL etc for a few days then back, booking well ahead on discount Air Asia fares.

This tightening-up has been coming for a long time though - early 2013 I got a 2 x Tourist Visa in Vientiane, Laos - no problem for me as hadn't had a Tourist Visa for ages (and also had a new passport), but there were others there who had applied for double Tourist Visas who were either given one Tourist Visa and a passport stamp 'no more' and some also who were refused altogether by the Consulate and just got 15 days when they returned across the border to Thailand.
 
M

meese

Guest
seems they are making things harder and harder for you expats....any one know why..someone must be driving it
 

Soupdragon

Active member
^^^Previously visa restrictions came into play when a story hit the international news that Thailand was the No 1 bolt hole for criminals on the run. Rather than addressing the problem and catching them in country they introduced restrictions on getting visas in neighbouring countries. The thinking was we will force people to go to their home countries to get a visa, if they can do this they must be clean.

The story in another newspaper is stating that now many people are coming to Thailand to stay and commuting crimes whilst they are here, ATM fraud being one of the most popular, as one gang stated, Thailands banking security is very poor and they are an easy target.
 

Soupdragon

Active member
Hatari;153835 said:
This is quite a significant change - apart from the foreigners it impacts upon, the whole industry of lunatic minivan drivers doing daily border runs, out of a job. Loss of revenue for duty-free and casinos at many border crossings too.

I've done a few there-and-back trips in recent years when I've needed an extra week or two (at end of valid Visa due to expire) - and from OP appears this is still legit, easy as in Chanthaburi less than an hour to Cambo border, arrive mid-morning and there'll be 6-10 minivans from Pattaya at Ban Laem/Ban Pakkard crossing points, more arriving as I left - easy estimate I'd say at least 100 people per day there, every day; there'd be many more I'd say doing these runs from Bangkok to the Aranyaprathet/PoiPet border point.

I don't believe this is the 'Final crackdown' though . . .
Next? - A similar restriction on fly-out-fly-in people, and yes I've done those too, KL etc for a few days then back, booking well ahead on discount Air Asia fares.

This tightening-up has been coming for a long time though - early 2013 I got a 2 x Tourist Visa in Vientiane, Laos - no problem for me as hadn't had a Tourist Visa for ages (and also had a new passport), but there were others there who had applied for double Tourist Visas who were either given one Tourist Visa and a passport stamp 'no more' and some also who were refused altogether by the Consulate and just got 15 days when they returned across the border to Thailand.
Before I was eligible for a retirement visa I was a bit stuck as to how I could stay in Thailand. I got 3 back to back tourist visas and was told no more, so I did a few runs to Ranong and then re-applied for a TV and got it. The thing is there seems to be no hard and fast rules that you can research and comply to, every office has it's own interpretation.. On more than one occasion I have asked at Phuket Immigration and been told one thing but then at an Embassy outside of Thailand been told something else. It would help a lot if they got there heads together thought the matter through thoroughly and made one set of rules and stuck to them for more than a couple of months.
 

Mr. Smiley

Active member
Hatari;153835 said:
Next? - A similar restriction on fly-out-fly-in people, and yes I've done those too, KL etc for a few days then back, booking well ahead on discount Air Asia fares.
If I've read the chatter correctly on Facebook, that comes into effect on August 12th.

Must be across the board with immigration because they are tightening up the ed visas (photo of students at school, photos of the students residence), work permit language is getting scrutinized (especially for the dive instructors).
 

MarcTwoSix

Well-known member
To be honest I think it is a world wide tightening up.
Countries are more and more wanting to keep jobs for their own citizens and all the visas are effected
Canada is getting so more strict with WP and I may just squeeze by this time even though I bring millions in revenue into the country and Canadians are directly compensated from the revenue I bring in
I guarantee I won't get another WP past this new one and this one is a struggle

Same with Thailand...They looked at the WP, Ed visas and decided to try and clean up all the loop holes

Back to Canada real quick. I think it is ridiculous some of the sectors they are going after. A big one is the fast food industry just because politicians are making a stink.
They still have to pay them the 10.25 min wage so they arent trying to get cheap labor and those places would rather hire a Canadian over a foreigner but Canadians won't do the job
 

PeteGill

Well-known member
Same here, immigration laws have been tightened up. Especially with regards to marriage. In an effort to stop foreigners getting in to sham marriages to get residency.
A favourite scam with Nigerians.
 

Hatari

Active member
From Bangkok Post:

Thai immigration clamps down on visa runs
Published: 12 May 2014

Immigration police have announced they are clamping down on tourists who remain illegally in Thailand by exploiting permission given to many foreigners to enter Thailand without a visa and remain up to 30 days at a time.

The clampdown does not affect holders of non-immigrant visas or holders of tourist visas who still have remaining entries permitted on their legal visas.

The crackdown aims at foreign visitors, particularly westerners, who do not hold a visa, but who exit and then immediately return to Thailand every 15 or 30 days to receive another stamp to extend their stay. A loophole aimed at helping short-term visitors allows foreigners from many countries to enter Thailand for between 15 and 30 days without a visa.

Effectively immediately, immigration officers at the borders may bar foreigners without a visa when they leave the country, usually at a land border point, and then immediately try to re-enter Thailand. The law permits immigration officers to give such travellers permission to re-enter for 15 to 30 days, or to deny them permission to enter.

Under the new rules, visitors who leave and then try to come back immediately may be stopped, and told they must first obtain a proper tourist or non-immigrant visa, and then return.

As of now, "visa runs", as many foreigners call them even though no visas are actually involved, will end for those using land borders. They will also be restricted or ended by air as of Aug 12.

more
 

Moo Uaon

Well-known member
Hatari;154669 said:
As of now, "visa runs", as many foreigners call them even though no visas are actually involved, will end for those using land borders. They will also be restricted or ended by air as of Aug 12.
Probably been mentioned elsewhere but there's going to be plenty of vans,mini buses and their drivers laying idle with this coming into effect.
It might make the roads to the popular border crossings a little safer though :)
 
P

pinecone

Guest
I'm of two minds about this issue.

I know a few people that 'live' here for about half the year and go back to Canada to work. A nice life to have, if you can stack it up properly. This change will have a negative impact on their life style, I feel for them as I too would like to set something up like this.

The scond lot are the f*&kups, criminals, cons and other lowlifes, I meet here, that have screwed up back at home one way or another, and have run off to 'candyland' to live in as close to oblivion as they can. I have little to no sympathy for this group. I see this change will have a catastrophic affect on their lifestyle, and with luck maybe force (more than) a few of them to f**koff and go home.

Another reason why this maybe happening, is the near open secret that western outlaw organizations are 'buying in' to the entertainment districts in a big way apparently. Clamping down on repeated visa-less land entries may be the first step in trying to push these types out.
 

do ron

Active member
pinecone;155454 said:
I'm of two minds about this issue.

I know a few people that 'live' here for about half the year and go back to Canada to work. A nice life to have, if you can stack it up properly. This change will have a negative impact on their life style, I feel for them as I too would like to set something up like this.

The scond lot are the f*&kups, criminals, cons and other lowlifes, I meet here, that have screwed up back at home one way or another, and have run off to 'candyland' to live in as close to oblivion as they can. I have little to no sympathy for this group. I see this change will have a catastrophic affect on their lifestyle, and with luck maybe force (more than) a few of them to f**koff and go home.

Another reason why this maybe happening, is the near open secret that western outlaw organizations are 'buying in' to the entertainment districts in a big way apparently. Clamping down on repeated visa-less land entries may be the first step in trying to push these types out.
my theory is that Thailand has come under international pressure from more powerful nations e.g. USA to tighten up as some as of the hijackers of the missing Malaysian flight had Thai passports??? :$
 

Moo Uaon

Well-known member
^ a Govt official mentioned that the crack down had come about from the international outcry re the sale of PP's in LOS exposed by the disappearance of flight MH 370.

Nobody knows if that plane was hijacked by passengers.
 

Hatari

Active member
Phuket Visa Runs to Ranong End: Immigration Crackdown Drops Tourist Renewals to a Trickle
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
PHUKET: Once a busy place for visa runners, the number of tourists extending their trips to Thailand by visiting the border port of Ranong has dwindled by 90 percent to five or six people a day, an Immigration official said today.
The officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that no companies now do visa runs to Ranong from Phuket.
Real tourists extending their stay in Thailand continue to be welcome - but they need to carry 20,000 baht in cash and their return ticket out of Thailand to prove they are genuine.

The Nation: No more visa runs
15 July 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.
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.
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.

I like this cartoon (again) from The Nation today
 
M

meese

Guest
might not be a popular view here but im with the thais on this one....its about time that loop hole was closed....i dont think we would accept it in our own country's....
 
P

pinecone

Guest
As I queried a few months ago, I wonder how much this has to do with O&I visa runs, criminals, and other undesirables. I hope those with warrants get nasty surprises in unpleasant places. Too bad this will affect a number of decent people that just want to live in the sun for the winters. This has probably thrown a vast swath of low income retirees into quite a spin. Has the Junta made any serious "at the top" changes to the immigration dept? I am curious to know as the timing of the initial announcement then the coup and then the implementation seems a little fast (but what do I know about the average speed of " normal" Thai bureaucratic operations eh?), efficient even.
 
N

Nit Noi

Guest
We spend a lot of time in Bangkok lived very close to Sukhumvit for many years,you get to recognise faces i do often wonder how the foreign prostitutes that ply their trade around that area get their work permits.
Or maybe they are exempt from the rules because they are not hard to find.
 

Mr. Smiley

Active member
Hatari;172258 said:
Real tourists extending their stay in Thailand continue to be welcome - but they need to carry 20,000 baht in cash and their return ticket out of Thailand to prove they are genuine.
If they have to carry that much might as well spend an extra 5000 - 10000 baht and get a year long ED visa... I can imagine that's where the missing 90% of Ranong border hopping traffic has gone and done, 5555
 

MarcTwoSix

Well-known member
pinecone;172261 said:
As I queried a few months ago, I wonder how much this has to do with O&I visa runs, criminals, and other undesirables. I hope those with warrants get nasty surprises in unpleasant places. Too bad this will affect a number of decent people that just want to live in the sun for the winters. This has probably thrown a vast swath of low income retirees into quite a spin. Has the Junta made any serious "at the top" changes to the immigration dept? I am curious to know as the timing of the initial announcement then the coup and then the implementation seems a little fast (but what do I know about the average speed of " normal" Thai bureaucratic operations eh?), efficient even.
IMO
If you are "retired" before the age and on a low income.........you shouldn't be living in another country
The purpose of immigration anywhere is to allow "qualified" people into the country
 
P

pinecone

Guest
MarcTwoSix;172308 said:
IMO
If you are "retired" before the age and on a low income.........you shouldn't be living in another country
The purpose of immigration anywhere is to allow "qualified" people into the country
I'm glad its only your opinion.
 
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