Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

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yoursTruly
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Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

Post by yoursTruly » 10 May 2014 11:34

Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

PHUKET: Officials at Ranong Immigration today confirmed to the Phuket Gazette that they are turning away any foreigners attempting to enter Thailand after using three consecutive “walk-in” visas.

The news follows reports of immigration officers allegedly stopping Phuket expats on visa runs to Ranong from exiting the country. Ranong, nearly 400km north of Phuket, has for decades been a prime destination for foreigners conducting "visa runs".

“We began enforcing the rule from May 3 [Saturday] after receiving an order from Bangkok,” an officer at Ranong Immigration told the Gazette on condition of anonymity this morning.

“We have already spoken with several foreigners and strongly advised that they do not exit Thailand to arrive in Kauthaung [in Myanmar], as there is no Thai embassy or consulate there.

“We explained that if they went and tried to re-enter Thailand without first obtaining a visa from a Thai embassy or consulate, we would have to refuse them entry because they would have already entered Thailand three consecutive times on ‘visa exemption’ status.”


Any foreigners who ignore the advice risk being stranded in Myanmar, the officer warned.

The officer explained that the crackdown on the “three-visa-and-out rule” was aimed at catching foreign criminals staying in Thailand.

“This is just the first step in a crackdown on expats and tourists who keep renewing their visas so that they can live in Thailand for the wrong reasons,” he said.

“Some foreigners live here and form their own ‘networks’ to carry out illegal business. Some of the people we are targeting are known associates of international criminals.”

Visa run companies in Phuket have been notified of the situation, the officer assured.

“These companies can explain the rules to foreigners before they book them on a visa run,” he said. “This will help avoid any problems at the Ranong checkpoint.”

“As I said, this is just the first step as we attempt to root out foreign criminals. The next step might be tougher than this one, but law-abiding foreigners should be aware that we are not picking on any particular nationalities – criminals are the ones we want to catch.”


http://www.thephuketforum.net/General-N ... 346-n.html
"Don't take life too serious. It ain't no ways permanent."
-- Pogo, by Walt Kelly

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yoursTruly
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Re: Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

Post by yoursTruly » 11 May 2014 11:24

More shit today...article from Thaivisa.com

Final crackdown for border runners - New strict Immigration regulation in force from today

BANGKOK: -- From today, foreign nationals residing in Thailand will no longer be able to exit and then re-enter the kingdom via a land border crossing in order to gain another 30 or 15 day stay in Thailand.

Thaivisa has been in contact with the Immigration Bureau who confirm the new regulation starts from today Saturday May 10, 2014.

This latest news follows reports from earlier in the week of an Immigration crackdown at the land border checkpoint in Ranong.

Non-Immigrant Visa or Tourist visa holders with remaining entries on their visa can exit and enter Thailand as before.

However, these new measures are targeting foreign visitors without a visa who are regularly entering and exiting the kingdom every 15 or 30 days as a way of extending their stay in Thailand.

From today visitors can only enter into Thailand via a land border once, after that they will be refused entry to the Kingdom and are advised to fly out and return with a visa obtained from a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in a neighbouring country or overseas.

The Immigration Bureau has also confirmed to Thaivisa.com that further restrictions are to be enforced from August 12, 2014.

It is understood that the new regulation is to prohibit back-to-back border runners who stay for an extended time in the country without a proper visa from a Consulate or Embassy abroad or an extension of stay granted by the Immigration Bureau in Thailand.

With regards to the new restrictions on land border crossing, which as mentioned above are effective as of today, a number of Thaivisa members have confirmed to us that these restrictions are being enforced at the Mae Sai border crossing in Chiang Rai province, with some members commenting they are stranded at the border unable to enter Thailand.

Keep up to date with the very latest from Mae Sai here.

The reports from Mae Sai have also been confirmed to us by Khun Tony, Managing Director of Puchlee Travel Company in Chiang Mai, who is a minibus service operator from Chiang Mai to the Mae Sai border.
"Don't take life too serious. It ain't no ways permanent."
-- Pogo, by Walt Kelly

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buksida
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Re: Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

Post by buksida » 12 May 2014 12:10

There has been a lot of confusion over this crackdown so here is a bit more ...

http://www.thephuketnews.com/immigratio ... -46155.php

Mike Parker
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Re: Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

Post by Mike Parker » 12 May 2014 14:31

Lot of panic up here in CM as obviously a launching pad for Laos and Burma. The article hopefully clears up some mis understandings and rumours,then again TIT and don't take anything for granted

Mr Wu
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Re: Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

Post by Mr Wu » 13 May 2014 09:24

Thailand has been wanting to kick out the backpackers and visa-runners for years, with 20 million tourists per year now they can pick and choose - and they only want the rich ones.

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yoursTruly
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Re: Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

Post by yoursTruly » 14 May 2014 00:00

Here's an alleged reason from Immigration....

“The main reason is the lost Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.” Two people on that flight were carrying passports reported lost or stolen in Phuket.

“So Thailand is being watched by other countries because the passports went missing in Thailand. And Immigration [in Bangkok] felt they had to do something about this. Yes, we have to do it.”

http://www.thephuketnews.com/missing-mh ... -46232.php
"Don't take life too serious. It ain't no ways permanent."
-- Pogo, by Walt Kelly

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yoursTruly
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Re: Visa crackdown risks stranding expats in Myanmar

Post by yoursTruly » 18 May 2014 11:38

The Immigration Bureau's tough stance is mainly aimed at South Koreans, Russians and Vietnamese working in Thailand illegally, but could affect...

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/securit ... s-targeted
"Don't take life too serious. It ain't no ways permanent."
-- Pogo, by Walt Kelly

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