If you are looking for information on the new regulations regarding Thailand visa runs then read on.
The Kingdom of Thailand has long been known to have a rather lax policy when it comes to border crossing & visa runs that tourists have been taking advantage of for years to stay, visa-free, in the country.
Those days are over.
From the 10th of May 2014 Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has now instituted a policy whereby “tourists” can only do one border bounce and no more. Failure to adhere and you will simply find yourself stranded at the border, unable to enter.
Does this affect me?
If you have read this far, probably.
If you are on holiday in Thailand for a few weeks and leave before your thirty days are up then no. You are safe.
If however you have taken a liking to Thailand like many others have and find yourself in need of a few more days then what this means is that you are now limited to one border bounce and no more. Depending on your passport this border bounce will get either 15 or 30 more days in the Kingdom.
Who this law really affects is those people who stay in Thailand on a long term basis without a visa. There are many people that have been milking the system for years on end and are doing these border bounces every thirty days to avoid visa.
The thing is though, that these border bounces can end up quite costly so it is actually cheaper to just go to neighbouring countries Royal Thai Embassy and apply for a, 90 day or more, visa.
To be fair there are a host of reasons one might find themselves in urgent need of a quick border trip so we urge you guys to equip yourselves ahead of time.
For now the new restriction is only limited to land border crossing so you will be able to carry on doing border bounces by air should you choose (even more costly.) But even this will change on the 12th of August says the Immigration Bureau when they apply further restrictions.
A border bounce (sometimes also referred to as a visa-run) is what many people do when they get to the end of their initial visa-free 30 days in Thailand. It is the process of driving to the nearest border post, walking out of Thailand, checking into the next country and then checking out of that country before walking back to Thailand and checking in again.
Depending on where you live this can take the entire day to do, if not longer. So we advise anyone that is planning to stay in Thailand long-term, to get the appropriate visa either at the Royal Thai Embassy in your own country or at a neighbouring country once your thirty days run dry.
Many mini-bus companies (who I suspect are now peeved) have been built around the border bounce process and offer services to get you there and back in a day.
More on the new Thailand visa rules at thaivisa.com