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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawBorder Runs Are a Necessity on 1 Year Thai Multiple Entry Visas

Border Runs Are a Necessity on 1 Year Thai Multiple Entry Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai 1-year multiple entry visas. Now we may be talking about 1-year multi-entry O visas or 1 year multi-entry B visas for business, but basically what we're talking about is visas that are issued for 1 year, 1 year validity, and they are issued at Thai Embassies and Consulates abroad. They are issued with a 1-year expiry, they allow the Visa bearer to travel into the Kingdom as much as they want within that one year period, and upon admission they will be granted a 90 days stamp every time they're admitted into the Kingdom.  

The reason I bring this issue up is there was recently a couple of articles here in the Bangkok Post, bangkokpost.com, one of them entitled: “Foreigners Caught for Visa offenses. Investigation Extended”. Quoting directly: "Five foreigners were arrested for visa offenses during raids in Bangkok, Chiangmai, Surat Thani from December 26th through January 8th.  Back checking showed they had not entered or left the country as was indicated by the visa stamps found in their passport."

Another article, January 10th, 2019. The article's headline is: “Officer Suspended for Fake Reentry Stamps”.  Quoting directly, ”An Immigration Officer has been suspended for allegedly allowing foreign travelers to reenter Thailand without them having to actually leave the country. Samut Prakarn based Immigration Division 2 has filed a complaint over his wrongdoing with Don Muang Police. Investigators are looking further into the case and are looking for other people who may have colluded with the Officer in question." 

The reason I bring this up, although it is not specifically pertinent to multi entry visas per se, as I cannot say exactly what the visas were in the individuals who allegedly committed Immigration fraud here, the Foreigner specifically, I can't say specifically what the visa status was of those individuals, but there are circumstances involving multi-entry Thai visas where in the past, it was a fairly well-known practice that people would “depart” your passport for you by putting it on a bus or something and taking it to a border for example, and having it stamped out and then having it stamped back in. I mean it's been over a decade since that went on, that practice occurred, but it used to happen.  

So I thought that this recent article was a good way to highlight the fact and remind folks that those who are on multi-entry visas, you have to leave.  You are required to leave every 90 days from your date of the last entry. It is very similar to the 90-day report system. If one is here in the Kingdom on a visa extension, every 90 days one must report their address to Immigration Authorities because they want to maintain their records with respect to that issue. So the 90-day departure requirement is sort of a way of Immigration making sure that that individual is checking in with some Immigration body at some point. 

The thing to keep in mind is there is really no way around this.  As you can see, not only were the individuals in question here involved do they look like they're probably going to be deported and blacklisted, but it looks like there may be some criminal ramifications for the Immigration Officer who facilitated issuing stamps that made it look as though these individuals had left and come back in the country. 

So those who are on a multi-entry Visa for example, or O Visa, it is required that one depart each and every 90 days from the date of entry during the 1-year period in which that visa is valid.