This week I started looking around the internet for things I need to prepare for my move to Thailand and I came across the following newsflash on Thai Visa’s:
CLAMP-DOWN ON VISA RUNNERS!!
Up until this point I hadn’t even thought about what sort of Visa to get to live in Thailand, as the norm has always been a fairly uneventful visa run to a neighbouring country every 30 days for most western expats, and so I didn’t think I’d have a problem. But the internet is now awash with announcements from the Thai Foreign Ministry that:
‘From 14th August 2014 there will be an official clamp down on foreign visitors, particularly westerners, who do not hold a visa, but who exit and then immediately return to Thailand every 30 days to receive another stamp to extend their stay’
…and with speculation from said expats on what it all means. If you’re interested on finding out more on this clamp down click here.
From what I can work out, this sort of thing has been threatened before with little follow up action, but since the Military Coup things seem to be changing so expats are understandably worried.
So, this left me wondering…how the hell am I going to live in Thailand if I can’t do visa runs??
Well, I started scouring the internet and apparently as a ‘digital nomad’ and therefore not earning money direct from Thailand or taking anyone’s job, I’m allowed to stay in Thailand on a triple entry 60 day (so 3 lots of 60 days in Thailand with a break from the country in between), Tourist Visa, at a cost of £75, that I apply for from the UK before I leave for Thailand. Then I’ll need to apply the following steps:
1. Once in Thailand and I’m getting to the end of the 1st 60 days, I’ll need to extend my Tourist Visa at the Embassy (at a cost of 1900 Baht or £36), giving me an additional 30 days on the 1st entry of my Tourist Visa (totalling 90 days in all)
2. After I’ve done a full 90 days on the 1st entry of my Tourist Visa, I will need to leave the country on a ‘holiday’ for about 7-14 days (to be safe) which will allow the 2nd entry of my Tourist Visa to kick in when i return
3. Repeat the first 2 steps again to then kick in the 3rd entry of my Tourist Visa
4. After a total of what will be 270 days in Thailand with 2x 7-14 day holidays in between, I’ll then need to make a trip home in order to start the process again with a fresh triple entry 60 day Tourist Visa.
Not hugely convenient, but if I’m going to make a success of this little blog of mine then I need to get out and see more places so It’s a good excuse…like I really needed one 😉 and I was planning on going home once a year anyway 🙂
Do you live in Thailand and have some information on this from the inside? Then please let me know your experience by commenting below