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 land border crossing can now do so only twice per calendar year. Entries through international airports are not affected by this new regulation, only so-called border runs.
Those who seek to enter Thailand without a visa via a land border checkpoint for a third time in a calendar year may be denied entry and asked to apply for a regular visa first.
But there were also some good news.
While eligible foreigners who enter Thailand under the “visa exemption” scheme would previously get 30 days exclusively at international airports but only 15 days at border crossings, this rule has now been relaxed and all will receive 30-day entry stamps also at land border checkpoints.
Previously, only nationals of G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and Russians were exempt from this rule and would get 30-day entry stamps at border crossings.
To give an example, if you’re Swedish or Dutch, you would previously get 30 days at an international airport checkpoint but only 15 days at a land border crossing. Now all eligible foreigners who may enter the kingdom without a visa (“visa exemption”) will get 30 days also at land border checkpoints.
The following announcement was published by Thaivisa.com two days ago. The new rules went into effect on December 31, 2016.