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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawDo Tourists Need To Have 20,000 Baht When Arriving in Thailand?

Do Tourists Need To Have 20,000 Baht When Arriving in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we’re going to be discussing recent announcements that Thailand has been turning away those with tourist visas entering the country, those individuals who do not have 20,000 Baht in cash on them at the time of entry. It’s been circulating on the internet in the past week as of the time of this filming so by the time this is viewed, I suspect it has been a couple weeks that this has been going on or at least rumors of this issue.

But basically, what’s been happening or what’s been reported to be happening via certain websites such as ThaiVisa, Thai Travel blogs, other such sites as well as certain news organizations are reporting the same. That individuals trying to enter Thailand either through land border, I believe even in air checkpoint here at airports that immigration officers were essentially asking for 20,000 Baht in cash to verify that the individual has enough cash in order to enter the country.

Let’s be clear. It appears that this is not happening to everyone at least as of now. One of the main things that seem to be a commonality throughout all the threads I’ve read was it looks like these were individuals who have entered on multiple tourist visas. So more multiple 30-day stamps, extensions followed by multiple tourist visas, etc. And in furtherance to previous videos that we’ve done on this channel and previous talks we’ve done with respect to this topic, the overarching themes that should be taken from these developments is the fact that Thai immigration is no longer interested in accommodating long-term tourists who cannot pay to be here.

That seems to be the underlying policy thinking with respect to these actions and basically, what you’re looking at is first of all, all the individuals I’ve read about or at least majority of them, seem to be not first time tourists, not “okay I have a clean passport, I’ve never been to Thailand before, I’m coming in for the first time, I want a tourist visa.” That does not appear to be individuals who’s being targeted by this request. Instead, it is individuals who had been in Thailand on multiple separate occasions over the course of the preceding year on tourist visas, multiple tourist visas, again multiple visa exemptions, 30-day stamps.

So it looks as though Thai policy hasn’t particularly changed on this topic. It just appears enforcement is becoming more stringent and they’re basically asking at the border “Hey, do you have enough money to be here?” Those who can’t provide this immediate proof and I think there’s a two-prong side to this. There’s a genuine “can you show us money?” because you want to be here for a significant period of time, because you’re stamped on a tourist visa, you tend to be stamped in on a 60-day period. And the presumption is with the visa extension, that you’re to be here on a very, very short term so showing money under those circumstances will be a little bit unethical for the whole thinking of the visa.

That being said, with respect to tourist visas, this appears to be happening in cases involving multiple tourist visas, individuals who have had multiple tourist visas and essentially the immigration officer saying in so many words by asking or explicitly saying “Look, you need to go ahead and show us that you can afford to be here if you’re such a long-term tourist.” And basically the best way to do that is show them 20,000 Baht right now. They’re not asking to take 20,000 Baht, they just want to see it. And the other thing is it appears to be an effort to forestall those using tourist visas to work illegally here as being able to show a significant amount of money would thereby presumptively negate the need to work in Thailand.