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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsLong Stay Tourists Issued Warning Stamps on Visas to Thailand

Long Stay Tourists Issued Warning Stamps on Visas to Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing those individuals who are looking to remain in the Kingdom for prolonged periods of time maintaining tourist visa status.  

I had heard anecdotally that there were various Consulates especially in the region, and Immigration checkpoints for that matter, that have been putting notations on people's entry stamps or on people's tourist visas and those notations were basically being created in order to possibly preclude future travel but I think also to note further downstream for the Immigration apparatus that the individual in question has maintained prolonged period of presence in the Kingdom within a period of time in tourist visa status. 

Now it's worth noting, I am not talking here about people who are in the Kingdom illegally or on overstay or have had multiple or one overstay, I am not talking about those folks, I am simply talking about people who are trying to maintain long-term status with a tourist visa or multiple tourist visas. As we have gone into in other videos on this channel, Thai Immigration Authorities are becoming increasingly stringent about imposing rules with respect to those who stay in the Kingdom for a prolonged period of time. Basically, their overarching concern is that those who are in the Kingdom in Tourist Visa status are in fact tourists; they have tourist intent, they plan on leaving.  They are not simply using tourist visas pretextually or  pretensively in order to maintain their status and basically live in the Kingdom. 

So I recently came across a posting in a forum: Thai Visa Advice on Facebook that I thought was interesting and it really speaks to this whole issue. So to quote directly from the posting: "Just got my single-entry tourist visa from Penang. Wanted to let you know I had all my documents ready. I have no overstays or any Visa rejection on my passport but I was questioned why I was in Thailand for a long time and I explained to them my reasons. Today when I went back to pick it up I was asked to wait. I could tell something was wrong. Then I was asked to show a ticket back to my home country if I wanted to get the visa. There is a van waiting in the front. Someone there told me he can help with the ticket right there but he has 70 ringgit service fee. Anyways, I wasn't interested in that. I was walking away to find a taxi and go back to my hotel and handle the flight ticket issue. Then a security guy called me back. When I went inside they said let us ask again maybe they can help so you don't need to go back to the hotel. So I waited and finally got my Visa. Thank you Thailand. But my passport was marked as in the photo." We are going to go ahead and put that photo up on screen so you can see it. "So my question is, do you think this would affect my future trips?"  To preface this before I actually read what's in the photo. Yes I do think it would affect future trips on a tourist visa. What it actually says in this stamp and you can see it as we post it up here, and this is under a Visa. So there is a Visa sticker here, a bunch of it has been redacted. There is a Visa sticker here and then at the bottom of the Visa sticker, this additional stamp. 

Remark: This person has been staying in Thailand for a long period which may result in the refusal of Visa in the future.

So I think it's pretty safe to say yet again they are implementing further protocols to deter folks from trying to live in Thailand in tourist visa status. 

So the thing to take away from this video is: yes genuine tourists you don't have anything to worry about, but if you are looking to live in Thailand or spend a great deal of time in Thailand during a calendar year it is probably a good idea to look into other visa options beyond the tourist visa. Again we are not talking about people who are trying to do things illegally. It is just Thailand has certain policy, basically policy paradigms, associated with the various visa categories and with tourist visas they are not supposed to be used for the living in the Kingdom so for that reason they are not really particularly keen to go ahead and issue a bunch of tourist visas to someone whom they believe is using them to live in the Kingdom.