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Thaivisa.com has been in touch with senior officials from Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates in Sweden, the UK and Australia in order to provide Thaivisa members and the wider expat community in Thailand with as much information as possible on the current visa crackdown.
One thing that has become apparent since news of the crackdown first broke is that it seems Thai Embassies and Consulates are still freely issuing tourist visas to individuals even if they have a history of back to back tourist visas or several visa exempt entries.
the point of view of the Embassies and Consulates it seems to be very much business as normal.
To avoid situations where individuals are being denied entry at the border, should the Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates now be actively refusing to issue tourists visas to the people with several previous visa exempt entries or back to back tourist visas?
A senior official at the Royal Thai Embassy in Stockholm, who asked not to be named, confirmed to Thaivisa.com that they have had no communication or guidance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the visa crackdown.A Consul-General in Australia confirmed that he has also not received any information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the crackdown.
The Royal Thai Embassy in Stockholm confirmed that it will continue to issue double and triple entry tourist visas, that is despite Immigration officials saying that “you are a tourist for 30 days, not more.”
“When a person applies for a tourist visa, and we believe that his purpose is tourism then we will issue a visa for him, and if he wants double or triple then it’s up to him, said the official at the Royal Thai Embassy in Stockholm.
“But if the immigration officer at the border does not believe that he is a tourist then the officer can deny entry.
“A visa is not a guarantee that you can enter the country, that decision is made by the immigration officer at border check-point. It’s the same with every country around the world.
“Even if a Swedish passport holder can stay in thailand for up to 30 days without a visa, an immigration officer can deny his entry or give him 7 days or 15 days. Or if a person have a 60 days visa and the officer decided to only give him 7 days, then it’s up to the officer, and the decision is case by case.
As long as your purpose is tourism and you can show that you can support yourself in the country, then you have nothing to worry about.”
Thaivisa also asked what the Embassy in Stockholm would recommend for a Swedish national, under the age of 50, not retired, not married to a Thai but who wants to stay in Thailand for a period of 6 months every year without being denied entry at the airport or border on his 2nd TR60 entry?
“We will recommend that they shall bring with them papers that shows how they support themselves while in Thailand during that time. And that they shall be prepared to answer the question from immigration about what they are doing in Thailand.”
This follows on from advice issued previously that ‘tourists’ should be able to provide evidence of hotel/accommodation bookings, a travel itinerary and have funds of 20,000 THB in cash.
It would not be advisable to show proof of property ownership or long term rental agreements on condos or houses as this would suggest that you are not a bona fide tourist and are planning to stay in Thailand long term.
Finally, the Royal Thai Embassy in Stockholm said it understands from the Immigration Bureau in Thailand, the new regulation is mainly for people who use tourist visas, but are in the country for other reasons than being an actual tourist.