Connect with us


Crackdown banning ‘walk-in visa runs’ to begin August 13

Legacy Phuket Gazette




PHUKET: Foreigners will be allowed to continue to re-enter Thailand on three consecutive “walk-in” visas until August 12, Ranong Immigration Superintendent Ekkorn Bussababordin assured the Phuket Gazette today.

The news follows the appearance of a formal notice posted on Bangkok Immigration’s website on May 8 stating that any persons who exit Thailand after completing a stay in the Kingdom on tourist-visa exemption status* are to be refused re-entry to Thailand.

The order, posted in Thai (click here), states that the new rule is to come into effect at all immigration checkpoints – including airports – after August 12.

“We will continue to allow foreigners to enter Thailand on visa exemption status, but only if they have not done so three times before,” Col Ekkorn told the Gazette.

After completing three consecutive stays on visa exemption status, foreigners must obtain a visa from a Royal Thai Embassy or consulate to be able to re-enter Thailand, he said.

“However, from August 13, our officers will refuse any foreigners attempting to re-enter Thailand if they have just completed a visa-exemption stay,” Col Ekkorn said.

Foreigners refused entry at the Ranong Immigration checkpoint risk stranding themselves in Myanmar, an officer at Ranong Immigration told the Gazette last week (story here), as there is no Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in Kauthaung, the town across the Kraburi Strait from Ranong.

The notice posted last Thursday explained that any foreigner who completed even one “visa run” in order to re-enter the country on visa-exemption status was to have his passport stamped “O-I”, indicting they had already been “out and in” from/to Thailand.

Any foreigner attempting to re-enter Thailand after August 12 with a passport stamped “O-I” is to be refused re-entry, the notice warned.

The notice also explained that Immigration officials were targeting specific nationalities “such as Koreans”.

Only in special cases will people be permitted to re-enter Thailand on consecutive trips on visa-exemption status, the notice read.

Immigration officers seeking clarification on the new rule are to contact Immigration Bureau Deputy Commissioners Maj Gen Natthorn Prosunthorn or Maj Gen Chissanu Yuktatat.

No contact details for the generals were provided in the notice.

However, the Gazette notes that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), which is the Royal Thai Government administrative division responsible for issuing visas, does not clarify the number of visa-exemption entries a person may make.

The MFA currently states on its website (click here):

“Nationals of the United States of America and 41 other countries are eligible to travel to Thailand, for tourism purpose, with the exemption of visa and are permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a period not exceeding 30 days. Therefore, you do not need a visa.

“However, please make sure that you are in possession of a passport valid for at least six months, a round-trip air ticket, and adequate finances equivalent to at least 10,000 baht per person or 20,000 baht per family. Otherwise, you may be inconvenienced upon entry into the country.

“Furthermore, foreigners who enter the Kingdom under this Tourist Visa Exemption Scheme may re-enter and stay in Thailand for a cumulative duration of stay not exceeding 90 days within any 6-month period from the date of first entry.”

* For a full list of nationalities granted visa-exemption status, click here.

— Saran Mitrarat


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Media5 hours ago

No sex please, we’re Thai

Events6 hours ago

An aquatic meal with Olga Belka – taking art to new depths

Transport9 hours ago

Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Train Station) – History and future | VIDEO

Sponsored3 days ago

CBRE recommends top 5 luxury condominiums in Phuket with fantastic locations

Thailand9 hours ago

Bug-eating challenge with Natty, feat. Mark Abbott | VIDEO

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

UPDATE: Israel bans ALL foreign entry over Omicron

Thailand13 hours ago

New variant could dampen Thailand’s reopening enthusiasm

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

UPDATE: Latest news on Omicron – what we know

Tourism1 day ago

Songkhla prepares for tourism across the Southern land border

Thailand1 day ago

French expat being denied re-entry to Thailand over repeated criticism of the Thai monarchy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 6,073 infections, 32 deaths, provincial data

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Omicron causing concern, Thai authorities ban travellers from 8 countries

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Thailand’s nightlife venues and bars told to keep closed until January 16

Protests1 day ago

Amnesty International under investigation for defending activists

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

New Covid-19 strain named “Omicron” and a variant of concern

Thailand2 days ago

Entertainment venues will not open before January 16

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11