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According to a report in the Phuket News Immigration will soon be bringing in a new rule to discourage visitors who enter Thailand on a visa on arrival extending their stay by doing visa runs to Thailand’s boarders.
A the moment visitors from a list of nationalities able to arrive in Thailand with no visa, and gain 30 day entry at Thai immigration points, have been known to hop in and out of the country every 30 days in order to negate the need for a visa. Immigration have announced that anybody entering the country for the first time by land will be entitled to a 30 day on arrival stamp, but on subsequent visits their passport will only be stamped for a further fifteen days. The number of back to back visa runs may also be limited.
Immigration has attempted before to discourage visa hoppers. The most recent attempt was when it was announced that no one would be able to spend more than 90 days total in Thailand on multiple visa runs. This has apparently been applied selectively, and will continue to be used this way, along with the new 15-day rule, in cases of people recognised as serial visa-hoppers.
A Phuket Immigration officer told The Phuket News they knew about the new rule, but that it is not yet being applied, and they are not sure just when it will be.