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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On the 11 September 2009, Thai news reported a new crackdown on back-to-back Tourist visa applications under the form of an extended screening of visa applicants. Unfortunately I must say that this latest measure does not surprise me and is only one side of a new policy started by the immigration department around two years ago as part of a “spring house cleaning”.

Basically, Thai authorities have come to the conclusion that part of the foreign citizens living in Thailand have exceeded their welcome period and have decided to get rid of them or at least to make they feel as unwelcome as possible. Those who are saying that yellow and red shirt cannot agree on anything are wrong Pro Taksin or Democrat governments agree on this subject.

What is the issue?
In a nutshell there are foreign citizens who want to stay in Thailand for a longer period but do not qualify for any visas types that allows long stay period to foreign citizens. Those foreign citizens are the one that are doing the visas run by bus to Cambodia and/or Laos, but now that the visas run by land have been reduced to 15 days period of stay only they have been trying to extend the duration of their stay period by applying for tourist visas with various Thai embassies in the region.

What is the purpose of the latest crackdown on tourist visas application?
The latest crackdown simply means that Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates will practice an increased screening of tourist visa applicants. The motivation for the screening is according to the announcement “As there has been a number of visa applicants having entered Thailand via tourist visa and misused it to illegally seek employment during their stay and, upon its expiry, sought to re-apply their tourist visas at the Royal Thai Embassy or the Royal Thai Consulate in neighboring countries, requests for visa renewal by such applicants are subject to rejection as their applications are not based on tourism motive, but to continue their illegal employment, which is unlawful.

How will Thai Embassies do the screening?
Simple, they will consider that visiting Thailand for tourism purpose may only take so much time and will consider that a foreign citizen who is requesting many successive tourist visas may be abusing the system, meaning that he is not applying for a tourist visa for tourism purpose. Note that the lucky one that will still is able to obtain tourist visas with neighboring consulates or embassies are not yet home. Ultimately the power to let a foreign citizen entering Thailand ultimately belongs to the immigration officer at the port of arrival. And that an immigration officer has the power to refuse the entry to a foreign citizen who he believes to be abusing the system even in the case when said citizen has a valid visa delivered by a Thai embassy or consulate.

It is not my place as a foreign citizen to criticize Thai authorities’ immigration policies because in my own countries we have the same immigration issues than they have in Thailand. I’m more concerned by some of the measures taken by the immigration and the labor department’s recently which effect is to make the life of legitimate foreign investors more complicated and will ultimately affect foreign investment in Thailand.
 
G

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Nice, balanced summary - thanks.

One other effect we may see is an increased demand for non-immigrant visas - there are 'certain consulates' with a reputation for laxity in applying the rules for a multi-entry non-immigrant 'O' year visa, awarding them without too much hesitation for the alleged purpose of "visiting friends"!

As for the financial demands on the applicant (substantial sums in Thai bank and/or proof of income), they bypass this by asking for a self-certification letter, simply confirming that you have sufficient funds for your stay!

I don't know how long this will last - obviously consulates (or some official there) doing this sort of thing are onto a good earner (how very Thai;))

No names, no pack drill. PM me for more details.
 

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I personely do not have a problem with the requierments for long term visa's in Thailand.It is in my opinion a good policy to show that you have x amount of money to live in country.I do think that a 30 day visa is good.But a 90 day would be better for the tourist.But no visa runs!Get a long term visa if you wish to stay long term.The policy will "weed" out most of the "bad"people that wish to stay in Thailand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can invest 10MB into condominium and get investment visa for as long as you'll keep this property.

Mindaugas
 
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Yes - investment visas were discontinued a few years ago, though those already holding them can still renew them, I believe... (there was a 3MB version as well at some point).
 

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They keep changing the rules to make people like me feel more and more unwelcome. Iv'e never worked illegally in Thailand and I never will.
In my case though, I'm about to marry a thai national so it doesn't matter all that much. But for other young foreigners this is gonna sting.
I have many friends living (and not working) in Thailand surviving on the savings from a few months per year of work in their home country, that has not met a respective other or wishes to not marry.
If this gets any worse, I doubt they will risk getting rejected at the border and instead just take their money to somewhere else. But for those with thai girlfriends they can't just pick up and leave when they don't like the situation.
 
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