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Visas per year question

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Hi,

 

As of now I'm only planning to stay a few months in Thailand but after reading the forums extensively, I was curious about how the visas would work if I planned to stay longer.

 

Say, 3 months in Thailand, a few in Malaysia (or other neighboring places), 3 more in Thailand, and then returning home for 3 or 4 months to repeat the process and maintain VA appts, etc.

 

I don't want to be disrespectful to Thai immigration and the kingdom, nor will I need to work or be a digital nomad. I'd possibly want to study Thai and eastern philosophy (legitimately, I don't want to do this through loopholes or be disrespectful to the visa process).

 

I'm too young for a nonimm retirement visa but as a decade long Buddhist and someone with a steady flow of benefits, it would certainly be a dream to live out of Chiang mai and I was wondering if there were any foreseeable issues with getting two single entry visas and a bordering country visa per year?

 

Not looking to do exempt visa border runs. I want to respect Thai laws and do it properly

 

Thanks in advance.

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While there aren't any limits for tourist visas defined in law, when people run into problems - questioning at border, denial of entry etc. - it's always been when they exceed 6 months per year in Thailand. One can confidently say spending under 6 months per year on tourist visas is 0% risk, you aren't even classed as a tax resident etc. 

 

Over 6 months no one really knows, it just becomes guesswork. But the 8-9 months per year that you plan doesn't push it too far, you plan long breaks in between each stay, and will return home each year, so I'd say it's very low risk. You don't fit the profile of someone working illegally in Thailand.

 

To make it even lower risk you could enter by land border wherever possible (e.g. train from Malaysia) as they are less strict than airports, with the possible exception of the Poipet Cambodia border. Plus carry 20k baht cash as proof of funds whenever you enter.

 

Or just study Thai and get an Ed visa, there are lots of language schools in Chiang Mai. 

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You should have no problem with two single entry Tourist Visas per year.

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1 hour ago, jspill said:

While there aren't any limits for tourist visas defined in law, when people run into problems - questioning at border, denial of entry etc. - it's always been when they exceed 6 months per year in Thailand. One can confidently say spending under 6 months per year on tourist visas is 0% risk, you aren't even classed as a tax resident etc. 

 

Over 6 months no one really knows, it just becomes guesswork. But the 8-9 months per year that you plan doesn't push it too far, you plan long breaks in between each stay, and will return home each year, so I'd say it's very low risk. You don't fit the profile of someone working illegally in Thailand.

 

To make it even lower risk you could enter by land border wherever possible (e.g. train from Malaysia) as they are less strict than airports, with the possible exception of the Poipet Cambodia border. Plus carry 20k baht cash as proof of funds whenever you enter.

 

Or just study Thai and get an Ed visa, there are lots of language schools in Chiang Mai. 

"when people run into problems - questioning at border, denial of entry etc. - it's always been when they exceed 6 months per year in Thailand"

 

Totally incorrect, where did you get this info from?

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57 minutes ago, darrendsd said:

"when people run into problems - questioning at border, denial of entry etc. - it's always been when they exceed 6 months per year in Thailand"

 

Totally incorrect, where did you get this info from?

With Westerners, I actually think that has been true. For those from Africa and the Indian subcontinent, it is another matter.

 

It may not be fair, nut those from wealthy nations are generally treated better by Thai immigration than those from poorer countries.

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5 hours ago, BritTim said:

With Westerners, I actually think that has been true. For those from Africa and the Indian subcontinent, it is another matter.

 

It may not be fair, nut those from wealthy nations are generally treated better by Thai immigration than those from poorer countries.

People get questioned after 6 VE, actually less in some cases, these can be spread out over 2 or so years 

 

People that come in frequently but say only spend a week or 2 a time here get questioned

 

So it's certainly not the case that  "always been when they exceed 6 months per year in Thailand"

 

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2 hours ago, darrendsd said:

People get questioned after 6 VE, actually less in some cases, these can be spread out over 2 or so years

 

Getting questioned is not a big deal.

 

Do you know anybody who was denied entry?

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i spent 6-8 months a year in thailand during the period 2006-2016 (i turned 50 and am now on extension of stay based on retirement).  the first 5 yrs i used only visa exempt entries.  i was questioned about my frequent visits, passed the interview, and then used a combination of visa exempt entries and tourist visas for the next 5 yrs.  i was never questioned again.  for the last year or so of this, i carried the 20,000thb and proof of a flight out of thailand just in case i did get questioned.  i did a couple land border crossings early on but after that all my entries were at suvarnabhumi.

 

it has been debated a bit here on the forum, but i think returning to your home country for a number of months, and returning with a tourist visa from your home country, helps avoid the questioning process. 

 

what i found interesting is i did alot of visa exempt entries after my interview.  it is well known that they'll stop you after you've made 6 visa exempt entries.  but i was never stopped again, so it may be that when you pass the interview, you don't get stopped again.  

 

i tend to agree with jspill, if you are staying less than 6 months per year, you really have nothing to worry about as long as you use tourist visas.

 

 

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2 hours ago, helicondelta said:

 

Getting questioned is not a big deal.

 

Do you know anybody who was denied entry?

"Getting questioned is not a big deal."

 

It is if you are sat in a room for a hour being told you are not entering before the I/O changes his mind

 

"Do you know anybody who was denied entry?"

 

I guess you don't read this forum much? Plenty of stories and yes I have one friend who was denied last year

 

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14 hours ago, darrendsd said:

"when people run into problems - questioning at border, denial of entry etc. - it's always been when they exceed 6 months per year in Thailand"

 

Totally incorrect, where did you get this info from?

Several reports from people who have been detained at the Airport of entry. If you are intending spending  up to 9 months in Thailand you must be working here.  Or so the Immigration think.

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1 hour ago, William T said:

Several reports from people who have been detained at the Airport of entry. If you are intending spending  up to 9 months in Thailand you must be working here.  Or so the Immigration think.

I suggest you read my post above

 

 

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"For the last six years my Filipina GF and I have obtained two visas each year from the Manila embassy, and also had one additional visa free entry, never any problem at the embassy or Thai immigration.

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3 hours ago, William T said:

Several reports from people who have been detained at the Airport of entry. If you are intending spending  up to 9 months in Thailand you must be working here.  Or so the Immigration think.

I don't think they really think that some guy from Germany or Finland (I'm thinking of 2 specific cases) is here for an "under the table" no-visa job, but they will claim that's the reason, or not having enough money (since money in the bank doesn't count), and use this as an excuse to deny entry.

Edited by JackThompson

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BANGKOK 16 July 2018 23:27
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