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Onward Air Tickets and New Thai Visa Rules

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing onward air tickets, Thai Visa rules. As discussed other videos, there is a lot going on in the Thai Immigration space. We are getting ready to see the rollout if you will of the Long Term Residence Visa so- called as we have discussed many, many times is not really resident Visa but kind of a long stay Visa. We are also looking at the possibility and it looks like it's pretty much happening, of a 45-day visa exemption stamp with the option to renew for another 45 day; we are also possibly looking at a situation where visas on arrival could go from 15 days to 30 days. So a lot going on.

I thought of making this video after reading a recent article from the Pattaya Mail,, the article is titled: Brits say they are confused by latest Thai Visa news. Quoting directly: "The news that from October 1 British Tourists will be Visa exempt and able to obtain for free 45 days on arrival without any paperwork is causing some scratching of heads. At present, they can obtain 30 days free on arrival, but can extend at local Thai immigration offices a further 30 days (total 60) on payment of 1,900 Baht or 5 Pounds. The new regulations don't specify how many days can be added to the 45 for longer stayers." This is me talking. They have discussed in other publications, that yeah it is going to be 45 and 45. Quoting further: "A further area of ambiguity is whether those arriving without a prior Visa must show evidence of an air ticket to the next destination." I will get to that in a minute. "Thai Immigration has an old standing rule that these tourists should show proof of their exit, although it is rarely enforced these days. However, some Airlines have been known to refuse boarding to Travellers without a Visa or to require them to purchase a new and separate ticket out of Thailand. Reports in Thai social media suggests that "what's your next destination?" rules have been collapsed as the pressure grows to maximize the number of visitors after the Covid pandemic. It is a classic bums-on-seats scenario."

Yeah interesting, kind of well put there too. I do think volume of tourists is probably driving overall policy far more than notions of Immigration enforcement at the moment. As noted in prior videos, especially in the lead up going into the first quarter of 2020, we noted many, many times especially with the advent of "Big Joke" taking over at Immigration and the crackdowns associated with that, Thai Immigration took very much more of an enforcement stance regarding Immigration again and going into about the first quarter of 2020. Now coming off of Covid where we have got our Tourism Sector has truly been decimated based on what we have discussed or what we have cited in other videos prior to this one, obviously Authorities here in Thailand want to get some Revenue in so the enforcement mechanisms may not be the priority. Another thing to bear in mind, biometrics have substantially, how do I put it sort of increased the leverage with which Immigration enforcement Officers have in determining if someone is illegal. I hesitate to say it makes it easier but it does allow it to happen much more quickly. Immigration Officers are actually pretty good about sussing out folks that may have had the issues, that may have had criminal issues here in Thailand but now that it is digitized, that enforcement function is almost sort of done before the issue ever even arises, it sort of comes up. 

Yeah with respect to evidence of air travel onward, generally a good idea to have that when you are dealing with a tourist situation although again that being said just at the present time, and I always hesitate to say, "it feels like", that is not really a very precise way of talking or speaking, but to me it kind of "feels like" the overall paradigm right now is "hey let's get tourists in, let's not really worry too much at this particular time about if they are moving onward or whatever". Now that said, you can get an Immigration Officer that may have an issue with that. It is going to be circumstantially dependent but for the moment it seems like the paradigm is more interested in bringing in as many tourists as we can get rather than worrying about ways to make them not come in.