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Report to Immigration, foreigners told



Report to Immigration, foreigners told | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Immigration Office has renewed its warning that foreigners holding any type of one-year extension-of-stay must visit an Immigration office every 90 days to confirm their identity and address, or face a 2,000 baht fine. More stringent application of the rules – along with random visits by officers to check passports in areas where foreigners gather – will begin in May. However, foreigners who report late, but before the end of April, may escape penalty, officials told the Gazette. The checks are part of intensified security to prevent terrorism. While the initial warning in November to foreigners about 90-day reporting followed the capture in Ayudhya of alleged Jamaah Islamiyah terrorist Hambali, concern has been mounting more recently about trouble in Thailand’s deep south. The US, Britain, Australia and Denmark this week issued travel advisories suggesting that their citizens exercise caution and avoid the five deep-south provinces where bombings, arson and random attacks have occurred in the past few months. The advisories from Australia and Denmark also mentioned Phuket and Pattaya. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday that the warnings were “understandable and common.” He added, “We have to admit that the southern violence has affected tourism because the problems are still going on.” In Phuket, Immigration Pol Capt Krissarat Nuesen told the Gazette that the initial announcement in November about 90-day reporting had dramatically improved Immigration officers’ knowledge of the number of foreigners in Phuket and their whereabouts. He reminded foreigners who reported as a result of the first notification that they need to report not just once, but every 90 days. He noted that the response had been good from Americans, Britons and Australians, but not so good among continental Europeans and people from the Indian sub-continent. In addition to the 2,000 baht fine, failure to report could affect long-term visa holders in other ways, Capt Krissarat warned. “If stamps in a passport show that the passport holder has not consistently contacted Immigration as the rules prescribe, this may affect his or her next application for an extension-of-stay or visa,” he explained.


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