The honeymoon seems to be over. Anyone relying on the Thailand’s easy boarder run policy to stay in the country for an extended period of time will not be able to from 13th August.
The one day visa runs to the neighboring countries borders to gain an additional 15 – 30 days has been a very popular and cheap way for many long term residents in Thailand to extend their stay here without the need of long stay visas, but this is about to change.
Anyone wishing to stay longer must now leave the country in order to apply for a visa at consulates and embassies in other countries, something many are complaining is very inconvenient.
The Immigration Bureau have already told the officials to refuse entry to foreigners on visa runs as a measure to stop the exploitation of tourist visas and visa exemptions to live or work here.
Tourists wishing to extend their stay in Thailand must now need to exit the country and apply for a proper tourist visa or they will need to fly out of the country every thirty days to obtain a new stamp. However, the ‘fly in – fly out’ option will not last for very long as visa runs by air will be prohibited from August 13th.
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.”
These moves have come about to prevent people from simply coming in and out of the country without having to apply, and pay for, the proper visa required to stay in the country. This means that tourists will now have to secure a visa from a consulate outside of Thailand whether that is in their own country before they travel or in nearby countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos or Singapore.
The issuing of visas from nearby countries is down to the discretion of the consulate used and the rules regarding the issue of tourist visas change on a monthly basis. Those who have already had several tourist visas may find their application is refused or they may receive a single rather than a double entry visa.
Pol Colonel Thirachai Dedkhad said: “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.”