Will the current crackdown on out/in visa runs also affect back-to-back tourist visa applicants and foreign visitors holding valid tourist visas? In slightly sensational manner, AsianCorrespondent.com reported on July 16: “Even those on valid tourist visas may be denied entry if immigration officials suspect feel they are spending too long in the country or working illegally.” Ajarn.com even anticipated that “from [August 12th], apparently no one will be allowed to use back-to-back 60-day tourist visas to enter Thailand. You can use one 60-day tourist visa to enter the country [one time], but forget about using a second one.”
We immediately thought that this interpretation was slightly exaggerated.
Indeed, an immigration official in Chiang Mai has now confirmed that “there is no limit to the number of tourist visas you can apply for, nor is there a minimum time limit between each one.” He also reaffirmed that a multiple-entry tourist visa will “allow you to exit and enter Thailand however many times you have been granted.” In other words, tourist visa holders/applicants will not be affected by the ongoing “crackdown” on visa runners: You can apply for an unlimited number of tourist visas consecutively, and you won’t have to stay outside the country for an unspecified period of time before applying for a new one; or so it seems.
In any case, tourist visa applicants should always be prepared to prove that they are in fact tourists and, if necessary, be able to produce a confirmed airline ticket, hotel booking etc. Alternatively, foreigners who plan to stay in Thailand for an extended period of time can also apply for an appropriate long-stay visa.