Connect with us

Phuket

On-arrival visas: 90 days and you’re out!

Published

 on 

On-arrival visas: 90 days and you’re out! | Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket’s Immigration Chief has confirmed that Thailand will crack down on foreigners working illegally in the country by ending its policy of issuing an unlimited number of consecutive “visas on arrival” – tourist visas that allow the holder to stay a maximum of 15 or 30 days.

The crackdown is intended to stop foreigners – typically bar owners and other small businessmen without work permits – from using the visas to stay in the country indefinitely while working illegally.

Pol Col Bunphot Kongkrachan, Acting Superintendent of the Phuket Immigration Office, told the Gazette that from October 1 onward, Immigration checkpoints around the country will limit to three the number of consecutive visas on arrival they will grant a single visitor.

After the third consecutive visa on arrival has expired, the passport holder must leave the country and wait 90 days before being allowed back into Thailand on that type of visa.

The move effectively limits the length of stay for those entering the country with this visa class to 45 or 90 days.

The 41 countries whose citizens qualify for visas on arrival include Thailand’s top sources of tourists – almost all Western European countries, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore and many more.

Col Bunphot said that all Immigration chiefs nationwide have been ordered to attend a meeting at Immigration headquarters in Bangkok on September 15, during which the new, stricter regulations will be explained in detail.

“I will make a more detailed statement about the new situation within a week of returning from the meeting,” he said.

Suwalai Pinpradab, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s South Region 4 Office in Phuket, downplayed the potential impact of the new rule on Phuket’s all-important tourism industry.

“I don’t think it will affect tourism revenue in Phuket very much because foreign businessmen holding work permits will still be able to work. The only ones who will be affected will be people who are working illegally and prolonging their stays by making visa run after visa run,” she said.

“My concern is the coming high season. I sympathize with Immigration, which has too few officers. I am afraid that they will be swamped with work and that there will be a slowdown in service [at Immigration checkpoints],” she said.

Executive Visa Run conducts runs to Ranong and recently started a service to Penang in Malaysia. A representative there, who requested anonymity, told the Gazette that word of the new regulations had created a great deal of confusion.

“Immigration here in Phuket doesn’t know what’s going on because they’ve not received any guidelines yet from Bangkok. Yesterday, when we made inquiries, nobody there could tell us anything,” he said.

When asked if there were a lot of people making “visa hops” to get new visas on arrival, he said, “Oh, there’s a lot. Really. It’s unbelievable, the amount.”

He added, “I think it will have a huge impact. You listen to all this about how they only want the rich people to stay here. There are a lot of people who stay here on low incomes – and they cause no problems. They just get on with their lives,” he said.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

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:

Thailand58 seconds ago

Driving licence point deductions starting next year in Thailand | GMT

Board of Investment6 mins ago

Thailand’s Board of Investment unveils transformation plans

Hot News46 mins ago

Pattaya Walking Street shooter surrenders claiming it was a “friendly fire”

Sponsored23 hours ago

Go global with Upbit Thailand: Worldwide digital asset market in your hands

Cultural Activities1 hour ago

Part two: the most haunted places in Bangkok

China1 hour ago

China’s great firewall breached as zero-Covid policy protesters access Twitter, Telegram

Hot News2 hours ago

Driving licence point deductions starting next year in Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Hot News3 hours ago

US singer Kanye West sparks outrage after saying he loves Nazis and admires Hitler

Video16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Actress Forex 3D scammer released on bail after 3 months behind bars

Crime16 hours ago

Big Joke seizes Tuhao’s private jet in Hua Hin

Phuket16 hours ago

Phuket officials once again report finding no human trafficking on fishing boats

Thailand16 hours ago

South Korea increases quota of Thai workers next year

Tourism16 hours ago

Indian pervs arrested after harassing tourist in Mumbai

Vietnam17 hours ago

Province in Vietnam boosting tourism with its rich culture

Thailand17 hours ago

Teen girl’s ID card request denied as she doesn’t look like her mother

Crime17 hours ago

Body of missing woman found tied to water pump in western Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending