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How Many Times Can I Visit Thailand in One Year?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are going to be discussing entry and exit into the Kingdom of Thailand. 

What are we talking about specifically? Well I get a question that comes up every couple of months, routinely, somebody asks me what "how many times can I visit Thailand in a given year?" and my response is oftentimes, "what is your definition of visit?" that's the first question.  Because there are restrictions on how long one can remain in a given calendar year using 30-day Visa exemption stamps or tourist visas.  The general rule of thumb is 6 months total out of a given calendar year can one remain in the Kingdom in what is ostensibly or could only be described as  "tourist" status; so either a tourist visa or a visa exemption stamp depending on the country of one’s nationality.  That being said, much more than that, there is a very good possibility of being stopped at an Immigration checkpoint and turned away for spending too much time in the Kingdom; effectively utilizing tourist type visas to live here and that is a major concern for Thai Immigration here, recently especially. It is very similar to the concerns many Immigration Officers in the United States have with respect to those who are using a tourist visa to live in the United States and many of those individuals will be turned away and sometimes even put through expedited removal, expedited deportation, basically on the basis that they are an intending Immigrant without proper documentation.

Thailand takes a very similar approach with respect to those who are using tourist like visas to live here and for this reason I think a good rule of thumb is well, ”Why are you asking this question? Are you asking it because you want to live in Thailand and you’re essentially trying to game the system to do that in some sort of tourist visa status, or you simply worried because you do travel in and out a lot?"  I know a lot of people who work offshore and they do spend a significant amount of time in Thailand and they do a lot of entry and exits and unfortunately for those individuals, it can prove problematic because Immigration starts looking at then saying "you are spending a lot of time here. Why is that?" Well they don't live here.  They do spend a lot of time here, but they don't live here in the true sense of the word. They just come when they have time off. There are other people that like a long holiday and I think that that is the reason that the multi-entry 6-month tourist visa was created, was to allow people into Thailand in order to stay fairly long term.  

But that being said, if one is really just asking a question in order to figure out a way to live in Thailand without obtaining a non-immigrant visa such as a non-immigrant O Visa based on marriage, a non-immigrant B visa for business purposes or a non-immigrant OA retirement visa to allow someone over 50 to retire in the Kingdom, if you are simply trying to circumvent the need for one of those visas, then I think the answer that question is "you are probably going to get stopped at some point if you're trying to live in Thailand utilizing a tourist visa or 30 day stamps” 

There is no hard fast rule as to what point at which Immigration is going to turn those individuals away but that being said I think it is safe to say that the reason somebody's asking this question probably goes to the heart of the risk of whether or not that individual is going to be turned away at an Immigration checkpoint here in the Kingdom of Thailand.