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Free Visa on entry for Thailand question - Urgent!

Travel Forums Asia Free Visa on entry for Thailand question - Urgent!

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1. Posted by andyccfc (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

basically, im going to thailand soon. i was all ready to do the old visa run thing until i went home, getting the free 30 day one when i get there, leaving to go laos cambodia and vietnam, then back into thailand on another free 30 day visa. basically someone has told me that you can only get a free 30 day visa on entry if you have proof that you are leaving the country within that time, such as plain tickets etc. how true is this? as otherwise i will have to go to the embassy and buy one before i go.

any help on this please?

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1654 posts) 10y

Quoting andyccfc

basically, im going to thailand soon. i was all ready to do the old visa run thing until i went home, getting the free 30 day one when i get there, leaving to go laos cambodia and vietnam, then back into thailand on another free 30 day visa. basically someone has told me that you can only get a free 30 day visa on entry if you have proof that you are leaving the country within that time, such as plain tickets etc. how true is this? as otherwise i will have to go to the embassy and buy one before i go.

any help on this please?

*

I have entered Thailand lots of times and have never been asked to produce any plane ticket or other form of transportation proof.

Many travellers go to the Lao or Malaysian borders to get stamped out of Thailand and almost immediately turn around and get stamped back into Thailand with another free 30 days without any problem. I have never met anyone with whom the Thai immigration authorities had asked them for proof of exit travel.

The only possible exception that I can think of is contract workers who enter Thailand from mainland Communist China. The immigration authorities seem to take quite a bit more time checking those workers in compared to GB, USA, Canada or most European countries.

I don't think you will have a problem.

ok

3. Posted by andyccfc (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

thanks very much for that. you have convinced me to just go without a visa as you seem to know what your talking about!
cheers pal! ;)

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

Andy,
I have flown into Thailand at least 15 times over the years and have never shown an onward ticket. Of course at land crossings, they don't expect you to show anything. Relax and have a great time in SEA.

A word of warning to all TPers. If you have overstayed your visa, go immediately to the Thai Immigration office and turn yourself in. Pay the fine, everybody smiles and wishes you, 'bon voyage'. If you are stopped by the police for any reason and found to be an overstay, you will go straight to jail and be deported. The Thais take their drug and Immigration laws seriously, you should as well.

5. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 10y

I have flown into Thailand many times and every time I have filled in an arrival and departure card that states when I arrive and how and when I'm going to leave including the flight number. They look at this card every time before they stamp your visa and then clip it into your Passport.
I have also had a friend who flew in from Australia intending to sail back in a yacht, so without a reurn or onward ticket....this they did not like at all...the problem was sorted but it took a while.

I don't think they mind how you leave the country or where you go...just so long as you can convince them you ARE going!

It's worth baering in mind that you can get longer stay visas so long as you get them before you travel...go the the Thai consulate and ask about 60/90 day ones or non-immigrant "O" or "B".

6. Posted by andyccfc (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

hmm. seeing as im getting different responses from different people i rekon its probably best to just get a visa before i go. i think its only about £25 for a 60 day one so i should be alright with that. weird tho how some people get away with it and some people are made to show documents tho.

7. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 10y

Quoting andyccfc

hmm. seeing as im getting different responses from different people i rekon its probably best to just get a visa before i go. i think its only about £25 for a 60 day one so i should be alright with that. weird tho how some people get away with it and some people are made to show documents tho.

I'm not sure we're actually giving different responses just different angles...they may have overlooked that on the plane they were handed a landing card and told to fill it in, this happens to everyone. This card you then present to immigration/passport control and is clipped into your passport. On entering the country by land you will fill in a similar form, your old one having been removed on exiting the country.

What you write on this and how they check it is a mystery!

I still think your best plan is to get a 60 day or longer from the consulate. If you are planning to visit Thailand a lot, look into non-immigrant "O" or "B"...they cost but allow multiple entry of up to 90 days over one year.

Now I have to admit I'm a bit unclear on this BUT........pay attention to how the 60 day one works....I seem to remember it is 2 30 days joined together, so when you leave the country the first 30 days expire regardless of how many days you've actually been there. I think you can get up to 90 days this way, and that is the maximum you can stay in Thailand on a tourist visa in a one year period.

8. Posted by andyccfc (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

confusing stuff this visa lark isnt it. i will probably buy one before i go, either 30days or 60days. think its safer that way as can at least get into the country when i first get there! could not think of anything worse than being turned away, not that it would happen i wouldent have thought!

all help is much appreciated.

9. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1654 posts) 10y

[quote=wildfk]I have flown into Thailand many times and every time I have filled in an arrival and departure card that states when I arrive and how and when I'm going to leave including the flight number. They look at this card every time before they stamp your visa and then clip it into your Passport.
I have also had a friend who flew in from Australia intending to sail back in a yacht, so without a reurn or onward ticket....this they did not like at all...the problem was sorted but it took a while.

I don't think they mind how you leave the country or where you go...just so long as you can convince them you ARE going

Yes, you do fill out a combination Arrival/Departure card, either on the plane if they hand them out, or you pick one up at the counter in the terminal. After your passport is stamped in the clerk staples that half of the immigration information card to your passport.

I write my name and identification info on the departure part of the card BUT I don't fill in the type of transportation I will use to finally leave! I leave that part blank and have never filled in any particular type of departure transportation for at least the last 9 years. When I pass back through immigration to leave that clerk looks at my ticket and then enters the particular flight number on the form. No big deal! AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT OVERSTAY!

When you are leaving Thailand and passing back through immigration you will see other returning tourists that have lost or never had a departure card filled out the first time - filling one out in front of the immigration official.

Tourists often change their departure times, problems come up at home and have to leave earlier, or they decide to stay longer or want to leave by a different type of transportation. Stuff happens, plans change, etc.

I have heard of some tourists going as far as to have "dummy" itineraries and trip locator numbers available if needed.

Up to you!

10. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

Andy,
'Up to you' as the Thai hookers like to say, or used to.

'karazyal' is right. We are all on the same page. Everybody fills out an arrival/departure card, but you just put down you will stay 30 days, any hotel name and off you go. They know travellers may exit via Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, or fly out. The only thing that they are concerned with is that you do leave before your visa expires. Take the free 30 days, visit your other countries and come back in and get another 30 days. If you get a 60 day visa before you leave home, it is invalid as soon as you exit Thailand. Use the maximum out of it or it is not worth bothering with.

PM me if you have additional questions. Mike