Tourist Visa Holders Without 20k Baht in Cash May Be Refused Entry

thai-cambodian border

According to a number of reports that have surfaced on social media recently, tourist visa holders may now be required to show at least 20,000 Baht in cash to immigration officials at the border when entering Thailand. This is apparently to kind of prove that you can financially support your stay in the kingdom.
While this obviously sounds somewhat antiquated in the agre of credit cards and online banking there is a more unsettling catch in it: If you don’t carry enough cash on you may be thoroughly questioned and/or entry may be denied – ironically despite the fact that there’s a freshly issued tourist visa sticker in your passport.
Increased scrutiny is obviously being placed on tourist visa holders under 50 that immigration may suspect of working illegally in Thailand and with “too many” visa stickers in their passport.

While some may argue that a “genuine tourist” should easily be able to produce such an amount (otherwise how would he or she be able to cover their holiday expenses in Thailand?) it’s obviously also an unwelcome sign that the ongoing clampdown on tourist visa holders has recently only been intensifying.

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More Visa Hassles for Long-Stay Tourists Under 50

Staying in Thailand longer than just a couple of months or maybe half a year has never been easy for “professional” tourists under 50 who neither legally work in Thailand or are married to Thai girl.
The problem is there isn’t really an affordable long-term visa option available for foreigners under 50.
Since the beginning of the year the visa situation has only become more difficult, with some saying that the good old days when you could practically live in Thailand on tourist visa or 30-day border runs have basically come to an end.

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New Crackdown on “Too Many” Tourist Visa Applications

View from Vientiane across the Mekhong river to Thailand

Staying in Thailand for an extended period of time, or perhaps even living here more or less permanently, has never been easy for Farangs aged under 50 years old who neither legally work in Thailand or are legally married to a Thai citizen.
Granted, you could treat yourself to a so-called Thailand “elite card”? Fees start at something like 500,000 Baht for a five-year multiple-entry visa. Or if you find that too dear then how about learning some Thai and applying for a good old ED (education) visa? But that’s not as hassle-free and cheap as it used to be either anymore since new rules took effect in 2014.
So most long-term tourists under 50 would stick to back-to-back tourist visa (SETV), go on a visa run to Laos or elsewhere in the region every couple of months and so try to bypass a system of rules that have been getting increasingly tight.

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Free Tourist Visa Scheme Extended Until August 2017 (Update)

The Thai Cabinet has agreed on Tuesday to extend the free tourist visa scheme for visitors from all countries for another six months until the end of August 2017. The free visa promotion was initially launched on December 1 in order to increase the number of foreign visitors during the peak season and specifically aimed… Continue Reading

Visa-Exempt Entries Now 30 Days at Land Border Crossings

The “border run” rules and the “visa exemption” scheme, which allows nationals of more than 40 countries to temporarily visit Thailand without a visa, have recently been substantially clarified and standardized. On one hand, they’ve become considerably stricter. A few weeks ago only, we reported that foreigners who enter Thailand without a visa via a… Continue Reading

Only Two Visa-Exempt Entries at Border Crossings Per Calendar Year

Thai immigration have been kind of clamping down on “visa runners”/”border hoppers” for a while now. An English friend of your webmaster was actually stuck behind the Cambodian border for a couple of days this year as he had “too many” visa-exempt entry stamps in his passport and immigration wouldn’t let him back in. In… Continue Reading

Stay Where You Have Registered or Face Hefty Fines

There have been several reports over the past few months where foreigners were fined by immigration for not staying at their registered address in Thailand, e.g. here and here. Likewise, guesthouse and condo owners have been fined for failing to register their guests with the local immigration office within 24 hours of arrival as is… Continue Reading

Thailand Waives Visa Fee for Chinese, Indians (and a few others)

The Thai tourism industry, one of the few bright spots in the kingdom’s economy, has recently been suffering from the government’s crackdown on so-called “zero-dollar tours” from China. In fact, the Russians are now back in force and have replaced the hordes of Chinese tour groups in many parts of the country. From a revenue… Continue Reading

Thai Gov’t Approves New 10-Year Visa for Foreigners Over 50

The Thai government has in principle approved a new 10-year visa on Tuesday which will “soon” be available to well-to-do foreigners over 50. According to a government spokesman, the new visa type will come in two installments of five years each. While it appears that visa holders won’t have to leave the country and do… Continue Reading

No More Multiple-Entry Non-Immigrant Visa at Honorary Consulates

As of August 15, 2016, it seems that Thai honorary consulates in a number of countries across the world will no longer issue multiple-entry Non-Immigrant visa but only single-entry visa that are good for just one 90-day visit to Thailand. If you want a multiple-entry Non-Immigrant visa that is valid for a full year, yes… Continue Reading

New Foreigner “Information Form” Arrives at Pattaya Immigration

Two months ago we reported about a controversial new immigration form that foreigners seeking to extend their visa, do a 90-day report, apply for a re-entry permit etc. had to fill at the immigration bureau in Bangkok. The detailed information required by Thai immigration – all in the name of “national security” – included their… Continue Reading

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