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Thailand visa question

Travel Forums Asia Thailand visa question

1. Posted by Rob1981 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

I was wondering if anyone here who is familiar with the new thailand visa rules could help me. This spring I hope to do another trip to SE asia for just under 60 days arriving and leaving from bangkok. Along with spending some time in Thailand I want to go through Laos and Cambodia. Now in regards to a visa;I am thinking that I should get a 60 day visitors visa, however, I'm wondering if I'm going to have any trouble with the fact that I will be leaving and reentering thailand at least a couple times. I have heard that you can get multiple entry visa's for 40 dollars an entry, so does that mean that if I go out and in from thailand 3 times that I will have to pay 120 dollars for it? Could I just get a single entry visa and get a 30 day visa exception stamp for the other entries? I am looking forward to this trip and don't want anything to go wrong so I would really appreciate any advice that anyone has.

Thanks
Robin

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Robin,
I am guessing you have read Hien's post on Thailand's visa rules at the top of this forum. The problem: what is written and what is enforced are different, and changes at the whim of the Immigration officer. Thailand will not allow you to fly in on a one way ticket without paying for a visa. You are OK, you have a return ticket. They do check for a return ticket if you fly in using the free 30 day visa waiver entry permit. My friend flew into BKK Oct 1 and had a return flight in Dec. They gave him a free 30 day entry permit. The Immigration officer checked that he had a return ticket, but did not care that the date was more than 60 days away.

I am a member of the Pattaya Ex-pats Club and they have an informative page on visas. Robin, you have plenty of time before your trip. Contact the nearest Thai embassy and ask them what you should do. My recommendation is to fly in and accept the free 30 day visa waiver. Book a flight on Air Asia to Phnom Penh before your 30 days are up and have a copy of your flight info available. Tour Cambodia and either come back into Thailand via air or road. You are now legal to accept another free 30 day visa waiver because you are flying out within the 30 day window. Now enjoy Thailand and fly home on your return date. You have met all the Thai visa rules. You will have to pay $20 for the 30 day visa at Pochentong International Airport.

Send me a PM if you have any questions.

3. Posted by Rob1981 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Thanks Mike I appreciate your quick response. I will take your advice and contact the embassy to double check everything before I go. I think that I am getting paranoid but I just don't want to have any needless problems. So if I understand you correctly if I go ahead and buy a 2 month visa they don't really care when the return date of my ticket is? or alternatively I won't have a problem if I just use the 30 day visa excemption and make sure to book a flight out of the country before that 30 days is up that I can show them if they ask.

4. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 9y

It's a good bet the Consulate/Embassy will give you misleading info too as they often are unclear on the regs themselves.

Be very clear in what you ask them...my experience is they will listen to your question and then give an answer to a question they think is NEAR to the actual question you were asking.

On a non-immigrant "B" or "O" visa you can buy a re-entry visa for about 1000 baht.....a multiple re-entry visa costs about 1600 baht (approx)

youristI don't know if there is a similar exit visa available for the 60 day visa. You used to be able to get a couple or 3 of these visas stacked together so although it was cancelled on leaving you had another already in your passport for your next visit....

5. Posted by Rob1981 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

This is what's worrying me so much, if even the embassy themselves aren't clear on the regulations how can I be sure that I'm not going to have any problems. What I'm thinking about doing is buying an open jaw ticket... arriving in bangkok and departing from hanoi, as well as a 2 month visitor visa, together will a flight from thailand to vietnam... if I did all this would I be definitetly safe from even the most strict customs agent at the boarder?

6. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 9y

I'm not clear on the regs as they stand now....but.....no country can run a tourist industry insisting that EVERY visitor has a return or onward flight that coincides with their visa....the best they can hope for is adequate proof that the visitor is not intending to stay in the country.
It is not unusual for people to do a border run as their visa expires and thus get another 30 days etc.
I've yet to see a posting here from someone who themselves has actually had to get back on a plane because their visa and return flight did not coincide.
I would have thought that if you present your itinerary to any Thai official they would be able to give you a good idea wether it's OK or not.

7. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Quoting Rob1981

This is what's worrying me so much, if even the embassy themselves aren't clear on the regulations how can I be sure that I'm not going to have any problems. What I'm thinking about doing is buying an open jaw ticket... arriving in bangkok and departing from hanoi, as well as a 2 month visitor visa, together will a flight from thailand to vietnam... if I did all this would I be definitetly safe from even the most strict customs agent at the boarder?

Robin,
That plan should do it. But, I would check on the price difference between a R/T ticket into BKK versus your open jaw option. If you checked Air Asia, flights are fairly cheap between BKK-PNH or BKK-HAN. I would bet your open jaw option is far more than flying this leg into/out of BKK.

I really don't think you need to buy a visa for Thailand. With a ticket out in the first 30 day time period, you qualify for the free 30 day entry permit. Fly to either PNH or HAN, tour and come back into Thailand either via road or air. You will qualify for your second free 30 day entry permit as you intend to fly home within that 30 day time period.

I think you can relax and enjoy your holiday in SEA.

8. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 9y

Presumably with open jaw you can set your return to coincide with your visa and then change it in thailand?

9. Posted by Rob1981 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Quoting vegasmike6

Quoting Rob1981

This is what's worrying me so much, if even the embassy themselves aren't clear on the regulations how can I be sure that I'm not going to have any problems. What I'm thinking about doing is buying an open jaw ticket... arriving in bangkok and departing from hanoi, as well as a 2 month visitor visa, together will a flight from thailand to vietnam... if I did all this would I be definitetly safe from even the most strict customs agent at the boarder?

Robin,
That plan should do it. But, I would check on the price difference between a R/T ticket into BKK versus your open jaw option. If you checked Air Asia, flights are fairly cheap between BKK-PNH or BKK-HAN. I would bet your open jaw option is far more than flying this leg into/out of BKK.

I really don't think you need to buy a visa for Thailand. With a ticket out in the first 30 day time period, you qualify for the free 30 day entry permit. Fly to either PNH or HAN, tour and come back into Thailand either via road or air. You will qualify for your second free 30 day entry permit as you intend to fly home within that 30 day time period.

I think you can relax and enjoy your holiday in SEA.

Yah, I'll price out both options before I make my final decision. Thanks for bearing with me, you've helped put my fears at rest.

Cheers,
Robin