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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsRestrictions on Thai 1 Year Multi Entry B Visas Issued from Penang

Restrictions on Thai 1 Year Multi Entry B Visas Issued from Penang

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we will be discussing specifically one-year multi-entry non-immigrant “B” visas issued from the Thai Consulate in Penang.

Why specifically do we talk about Penang? Well it is a Consulate that is relatively near to the Kingdom  of Thailand geographically, it is especially near geographically to Phuket, and  Phuket sees a lot of folks basically make their "visa run" down to Penang because it is very close to do that and in fact I think it is drivable. So folks often will leave and take bus tours and go down to Penang and run back up but flying is often the case with respect to those coming out of Bangkok. In the past Penang was kind of a nice Consulate in so far as it would generally issue one-year multi-entry “B” visas to those who had long-term work permits. While this is still the case, there are new restrictions being placed upon this most notably the work permit holder apparently needs to be either a Director or substantial shareholder in the underlying business  entity in which they have been given work authorization on so while small business owners will be able to still avail in selves of the multiple-entry Business visa application in Penang, those folks who are simply working for an enterprise here in the Kingdom may not be able to use Penang to go ahead and get a multi-entry “B”  Visa. Why do I think this is occurring? Well as previously noted in another video on this channel Penang went ahead and capped the number of visa applications they would allow in a given day; I think that their volume is simply higher than their resources allow them to process. Another issue with respect to this is I think generally speaking, since the Inception of the "good guys in, bad guys out" program which is part of the immigration apparatus here, it is sort of part of their tightening of the regulations and the enforcement of the regulations associated with Thai Immigration matters, they basically want to scrutinize those individuals who are present in the Kingdom of Thailand and quite frankly there is not a lot of oversight associated with multi-entry “B”  visas.   The individual who has a multi-entry is only let in, will only be able to use the multi entry for a period of one year but upon each entry they are granted 90 days of status and it effectively allows for a so-called "border run" the individual can run to a Border, go over to the Border get back in and get another 90 days and this has happened with relative regularity pretty much for the last decade if not more. So in the past this was kind of a useful travel document especially for those who were not spending all of their waking moments here in the Kingdom of Thailand. There are a number of individuals working in the Kingdom that work regionally, so they are in Singapore, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Malaysia, Cambodia, various jurisdictions in this region, where one can be based in Bangkok, working for an organization here in Bangkok, but may spend as much as a hundred eighty days or more outside of the Kingdom. The multi-entry Visa was a nice fit for those kind folks because generally speaking they weren't really in the Kingdom for longer than 90 days at a stretch and it provided that benefit of not having to deal directly with Chaeng Wattana Immigration Office if based in Bangkok or dealing with the visa extension if based in Thailand, sort of Greater Thailand. The reason the visa extension can be rather cumbersome is, as explained in previous videos on this channel, the immigration apparatus, specifically the Business Unit at Chaeng Wattana, they have a heavy case load, they have a mandate to heavily scrutinize applications associated with a “B” visa extension and they are very serious about executing that mandate and for that reason we are seeing heightened scrutiny in applications. It tends to take a little while to get one processed through; it sometimes can take a whole day for somebody to be down to the Immigration Office to get their visa extended and for this reason some folks opted to just run down to Penang and go ahead and deal with the multi-entry visa. I am making this video basically just say, not only are they tightening things up with respect to overall volume of cases that they are going to process, but they are also making it abundantly clear that they are narrowing the scope of individuals who will even be eligible for a multi-entry non-immigrant B visa, notwithstanding the fact that they may actually be work authorized in the Kingdom.

So the thing to take away from this video is it may be wise to ascertain one's actual position with respect to the new regulations regarding issuance of multi-entry “B” visas in Penang before paying for and undertaking a trip down to Penang in order to save some time and resources.