Thailand Bans Border Runs, Strengthens Borders

by admin on July 21, 2014

Foreigners on visa runs to extend their stay in Thailand will not be allowed to reenter the Kingdom after August 12, when the Immigration Bureau will strictly enforce border control laws.

The Bureau first announced this visa run crackdown in May, with a statement on its website saying the land border checkpoints would begin turning away people without proper visas in line with their intended stay.

The Bureau’s leniency will end after August 12, when the ban on out/in border trips will be applied to all entry points including land, air, and sea.

Since May, immigration officers have been instructed to put an “O-I” (Out/In) mark in passports of travelers leaving the country and immediately seeking reentry. According to The Nation, beginning August 13 anyone with an O-I sign will not be allowed to reenter Thailand before providing the right visa.

Employment law in Thailand dictates that non-Thai nationals who work in Thailand must have a valid a work permit and either a business visa or other relevant long term visa to stay in Thailand for an extended period of time.

“Every immigration post on land borders and at airports now has the same rules,” said Pol Col Sanchai Chokkayaikij, Superintendent of the Phuket Immigration Office, to The Phuket News. “If they are genuine tourists that’s fine. But if we believe they are not tourists, they will not be readmitted into Thailand. We can see [from their passport stamps] if a foreigner has stayed in Thailand too long [on tourist visas]. We will not let them in.”

Read the full story here.

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