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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsA "Hard Out" on the Thai Special Tourist Visa?

A "Hard Out" on the Thai Special Tourist Visa?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Special Tourist Visas and what I call the "hard out". Often times you will see this, especially now with podcasting, I have noticed this a lot. People will be doing interviews especially long form interviews and you will hear someone say "oh well, so and so has a "hard out". It is apparently kind of Hollywood speak for "this person has to leave". That is the point at which they can stay no longer and apparently they make these deals when they interview people that look there is a point in time at which I have to be gone. Because generally speaking they have something else they have to get to. 

In a recent comment on our channel, on our YouTube channel, quoting directly: "If the new STV, Special Tourist Visa, has staying power, maybe it is a better alternative to a Retirement Visa if you don't mind spending 3 months of the year in your home country or any other country for that matter?" What this person is bringing up, and it is notable is Yeah I can see this Special Tourist Visa perhaps being an alternative to the Retirement Visa in the future in the sense that there was a time and there probably will be again, where you would see a lot of folks who would be over here in Thailand for a prolonged period of time but they wouldn't necessarily have a long-term Non-Immigrant Visa. What those folks generally did, it was at least my experience, they would use a Border Run. They would hop over a border and come back in to Thailand; they would get on a plane, fly out, spend a few days somewhere, come back in and restart their visa status. That currently isn't possible. I suspect that is not going to be something that is going to be overly feasible for at least the next year; I think probably Border Runs aren't going to be a real feasible thing for at least another year, in minimum I think. 

That said the Special Tourist Visa in and of itself sort of takes care of that because if you use it right you can end up with 9 months of status. That said, and it is sort of implied in this quote but the STV has a "hard out". It means you have to leave after 9 months. As we made other videos on this channel, you cannot convert an STV so if you come into Thailand and you try to change your status to for example a Retirement Visa or something, it is impossible. The Immigration Authorities are affirmatively precluded by law, by regulation from doing that. So again, the STV is great for 9 months but if you are looking to come to Thailand more full time, it is not overly feasible. 

So the thing to take away from this video and to understand is the STV is 9 months but it is a hard 9 months; you have got to leave. If you are coming to Thailand on a Special Tourist Visa, you have got 9 months and then you have got to figure it out. You may go home. As the saying says "you don't have to go home but you can't stay here!" That is basically what you are stuck with at the end of 9 months in Thailand.