Connect with us


Phuket Immigration clarifies new visa rules

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket Immigration clarifies new visa rules | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET CITY: At a press conference held late yesterday, Phuket Immigration confirmed that foreigners arriving without visas at any of Thailand’s non-airport immigration checkpoints will be granted permits-to-stay of only 15 days, half the former number.

The conference was led by Phuket Immigration Superintendent Chanatpol Yongbunjerd, who also confirmed that the former rule limiting foreigners entering on “visa exemptions” from staying more than 90 days over a 180-day period was no longer in effect.

As a result, foreigners from any of the 40 countries eligible for “visa exemptions” can now legally reside in Thailand year-round, provided they don’t mind making a “visa run” every 15 days (30 days if by air) and abide by all other laws and regulations.

The new 15-day rule is now in effect at all 54 land border checkpoints, including the seaport checkpoint at Ranong, popular with Phuket-based foreigners doing visa runs to Burma.

The new order, issued on November 25, is intended as a way of stopping foreigners from working illegally in the country in industries such as real estate, Col Chanatpol said.

Col Chadpol said he was working closely with Thai Dive Association (TDA) President Ronnachai Chindapol to find ways to improve the diving industry’s compliance with Thai immigration and labor laws, recognizing the role that foreign dive instructors play in the industry.

On the issue of migrant workers from neighboring countries such as Burma, Col Chanatpol said he personally thought their number might be in the range of 70,000 to 80,000. Of these, as many as 50,000 might be unregistered, he estimated.

Col Chanatpol said he was in favor of raising the quota on such workers, as doing so would have many advantages. These would include stemming the spread of dangerous diseases such as dengue fever through mandatory health checks, and increasing government revenue through collection of work permit fees.

However, the previous Cabinet’s plan to raise quotas early in 2009 will now have to be put on hold until a new Cabinet is formed and decides on the issue, he said.

Col Chanatpol also used the meeting to introduce two new Immigration Inspectors recently assigned to his office: Lt Col Kanya “Taen” Petchpairoj, who will be in charge of visa issues and administrative matters, and Lt Col Suparerk Pankosol, who recently transferred from Samut Prakan and will be in charge of investigations.

During the press conference, Pol Capt Napat Noosen released figures for permit-to-stay extension applications received by Phuket Immigration in 2007. The list revealed the United Kingdom as the single greatest source of applicants, with 2,560 (1,207 on tourist visas, 1,353 for non-immigrant visas).

Rounding out the top ten were: 2. Sweden (total 1,411); 3. Germany (1,196); 4. France (1,174); 5. US (1,136); 6. Italy (1,135); 7. Switzerland (745); 8. Philippines (715); 9. Australia (671) and Burma (609).

Capt Napat implored people with non-immigrant visas planning to apply for permit-to-stay extensions to submit their applications no fewer than two weeks before their current permit is set to expire.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Phuket officials visit Kamala restaurant after customer charged 6,750 baht

Maya Taylor



Phuket officials visit Kamala restaurant after customer charged 6,750 baht | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ Lalita Chaiyasit

A seafood restaurant in Kamala, a west coast town in Phuket, has received strong criticism on social media after trying to charge a customer 6,750 baht for a takeaway meal. 3,000 baht of the bill was a “cooking fee”. Lalita Chaiyasit took to social media to vent her disbelief after receiving the bill. She says she was on holiday with her family in Phuket and wanted to order some food for delivery to their hotel. At the recommendation of their tour guide, she chose the Nanork Restaurant in Kamala, sending the tour guide to pick up the food. A report […]

Continue Reading


Phuket’s Lard Yai Sunday night market springs back to life

The Thaiger



Phuket’s Lard Yai Sunday night market springs back to life | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Lard Yai springs back to life - Phuket People's Voice

The Lard Yai Sunday night walking street along Thalang Road Old Phuket Town has reopened to the delight of vendors, locals and a few expats. It has been closed for 3 months after lockdowns were applied to community markets. New Provincial Governor Narong Woonchiew says he welcomes people back to the popular market. “The province and the private sector have worked hard to make sure Lardyai walking street is safe and complies with social distancing practices to regain tourists’ confidence.” Lard Yai, a fairly recent addition to Phuket’s vibrant market scene (about 4 years ago), became an instant success in […]

Continue Reading


Two years ago – remembering Phuket’s Phoenix boat tragedy

The Thaiger



Two years ago – remembering Phuket’s Phoenix boat tragedy | The Thaiger

“There were 13 children that died in this disaster. Many were later found dead, floating face down, not far from their deceased parents.” On an otherwise ordinary afternoon, two tour boats, Phoenix and Serenata, were heading back to Phuket after a half day tour of snorkelling near Koh Racha. The weather forecast was for seasonal monsoonal SW winds and waves, about the usual for that time of the year. But there was also a weather warning for a storm later in the afternoon of July 5, 2018. For whatever reasons the captains of the two vessels started heading back to […]

Continue Reading