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KL consulate tightens up B visa rules

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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KL consulate tightens up B visa rules | The Thaiger

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Thai Consulate in Kuala Lumpur has joined its counterpart in Penang in making it a great deal more difficult for foreigners working in Thailand to obtain a Non-Immigrant ‘B’ visa. A memorandum, dated May 21 and handed out to applicants on their arrival at the consulate, lists 10 documents – including confidential company papers – that must be supplied in support of a visa application by a company employee. The list appears to pertain to all visa applications, whether for a three-month, six-month or 12-month visa, and whether for a specified number of entries into Thailand or for multiple entries. The 10 items listed in the memorandum are: – Copy of passport and two recent photographs; – Copy of academic degree(s) or curriculum vitae; – Original letter from the ‘inviting company/employer’ indicating the reason for employment, position, and salary; – Copy of the inviting company’s registration document, certified by authorized director(s); – Copy of list of shareholders of the inviting company (if any); – Copy of inviting company’s latest income tax statement (Por Ngor Dor 50 and 30); – Copy of inviting company’s registration for Value-Added Tax (VAT) (Por Phor 20); – Copy of inviting company’s latest balance sheet; – List of all foreign employees employed by the inviting company (specified by name, nationality and position); – When the inviting company is export-oriented, latest bill of lading or bank statement(s) indicating export transactions. Those wanting a visa simply to come to Thailand on business [not for employment] must provide: – Copy of passport and two recent photographs; – Letter from applicant’s company indicating reason for visit; – If self-employed, financial statement of the applicant; – Letter of invitation from the inviting company in Thailand, indicating reason for visit; – Copy of the inviting company’s registration document, certified by authorized director(s); – Copy of list of shareholders of inviting company (if any); – Copy of inviting company’s latest balance sheet. Closer to Phuket, the consulate in Kota Bahru continues to require minimal paperwork to support visa applications. A consular officer told the Gazette today that all that is required is the applicant’s passport, a photocopy of his work permit, a supporting letter from his employer, and two photographs. However, the maximum validity of a B visa issued in Kota Bahru is six months, and the maximum number of entries into Thailand is two. The officer said this was because “This is just a small consulate.” The good news from the Singapore consulate is that it will issue 12-month multiple-entry B visas. The bad news is that the applicant must produce a work permit with an expiry (or renewal) date at least three months beyond the date of the visa application. This effectively rules out most businesspeople and employees in Phuket, whose work permits are tied to their Immigration entry stamp and are therefore valid for a maximum of 90 days. For these people, the Singapore consulate will issue three-month, single-entry visas only. With consulates south of the border ruled out for all practical purposes, the Gazette checked this afternoon with consulates in other neighboring countries. The consulates in Laos – in Vientiane and Savannakhet – issue visas with a maximum validity of three months. The same is true of the consulate in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The one bright spot appears to be the consulate in Yangon, Myanmar. A spokesman told the Gazette, “We usually give 12-month multiple-entry visas.” The decision, he added, is entirely up to the consul. Applicants, he said, are required to present their passport; two photographs; a copy of their work permit; a letter of support from their employer; a copy of the employing company’s registration document, including the list of shareholders; and a recent statement of the applicant’s personal bank account. The Gazette wishes to point out that the requirements listed above are valid today. Their validity tomorrow is not assured. Readers wishing to obtain a new visa are urged to contact the relevant consulate before going there. Contact details for all Thai consulates worldwide are available from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at https://www.mfa.go.th

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Drugs

Early morning drug busts in Phuket yield 9 arrests

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Early morning drug busts in Phuket yield 9 arrests | The Thaiger

An early morning drug bust in Rawai, Phuket has yielded 9 arrests. The first raid yesterday consisted of 30 task force members who raided a sea gypsy shack near the beachfront in Rawai.

43 year old Saroch Homhuan, and 34 year old Juree Bangjak, were arrested and charged with posession of a Category I drug with the intent to sell, after police found 9 pills of methamphetamine, or yaba in Thai, over 6 grams of crystal meth, or ya ice in Thai, and 3 other “items of evidence.”

31 year old Suriyan Na Takuathung, and 29 year old Prathip Areerop, were arrested and charged with possession of a Category 1 drug with intent to sell, and possession of a Category 5 drug respectively. Police say they found 20 pills of methamphetamine, 0.92 grams of dried marijuana and 5 items of drug paraphernalia.

Police also raided 2 houses in Moo 2, arresting 5 suspects, named as 21 year old Vikrom Kongwiriyakul, 32 year old Narunat Chanthamuwong, 18 year old Chanchai Damrongkaset, a woman named Chantha Hansaithong, and 21 year old Warut Rodphan.

Warut was allegedly found with a bottle containing 500 millilitres of kratom juice. Police also say they seized 150 grams of kratom leaf dregs which are used to boil leaves in order to make the juice. Police charged him with posession of a Category 5 drug.

Police say they confiscated a total of 13 litres of kratom juice from 4 other suspects, which was contained in 10 bottles along with other ingredients and equipment to produce the drug cocktail called ‘4×100.’

All 9 suspects were taken to the Chalong Police Station in which only 1 agreed to undergo drug rehabilitation.

The raids come after the Phuket Provincial Government ordered officers of the Muang District Office to target villages where drugs are prevalent. A spokesman for the government said police will continue to remove drug traffickers from the community while working to improve the quality of local people’s lives so they don’t have to use drugs anymore.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Thailand to introduce “area quarantine” for international visitors from April

Maya Taylor

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Thailand to introduce “area quarantine” for international visitors from April | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Andreas M on Unsplash

From next month, foreign visitors to the Kingdom will be able to experience the delights of “area quarantine”, after the government confirmed the scheme for 5 provinces. Following a meeting with the Public Health Ministry, the Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn confirmed that Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Surat Thani (Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan) have been chosen to pilot the scheme.

Foreign tourists opting for area quarantine will be required to remain in their hotel rooms for the first 3 days of their stay. They will be tested for Covid-19 and, if negative after 3 days, will be allowed to leave their room and roam freely around the resort for the remainder of their 14-day quarantine. At the end of the 14-day period, they will once again be tested for the virus and, if negative, allowed to travel around the quarantine area.

In order to avail of the scheme, tourists will still need to fulfil the other requirements for travel, including obtaining a Certificate of Entry, a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to travel, and adequate health insurance. Nation Thailand reports that the area quarantine plan will be run by 29 travel agencies, under TAT supervision.

The area quarantine scheme comes as the TAT hails the success of the first “golf quarantine” scheme, which operates in a similar manner. Travellers from countries considered “low-risk” for Covid-19 can come to Thailand for a golf holiday at approved golf resorts in the Kingdom. Conditions are similar to those attached to area quarantine, with the golfers having to spend the first 3 days in their room, test negative for the virus, and then enjoy free rein of the resort, with a few rounds of golf thrown in.

Thailand’s economy has been decimated by the fallout from the pandemic, in particular the loss of international tourism. The current mandatory 14-day quarantine period is seen as the biggest hurdle to overcome in order to re-ignite the sector. In 2019, international tourism contributed 2 trillion baht out of a total 3.01 trillion baht tourism trade. In the same year, tourism made up 17% of Thailand’s GDP.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

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

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

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

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