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Important information on Border Runs

 

Important information on Border Runs
Important information on Border Runs

There is no official information on the official websites yet (which is normal in Thailand), but it has become recently known from the reliable and trusted sources, that the Border runs practice is terminated starting from July 2, 2014, without waiting for the previously officially announced date - August 12, 2014. At the same time the agreement on visa-free entry between the 56 countries and Thailand is carried out as before, but from now on it is possible to enter the kingdom only once (the second consecutive entry is not allowed), for up to 30 days. The remaining details are being specified.

Starting from July 2, 2014 at the border crossing with Malaysia, which has previously been used by all the Border Run companies of Samui, Krabi and Phuket, it is now allowed to make an "exit-entry" for only those who need to activate the next part of their visa (ie activate the second entry on a double entry tourist visa, etc.). The others who have their authorized stay expired, will have only one option - departure from Thailand back home or to any of the neighboring with Thailand countries and from there apply for a visa at the Thai consulate. Otherwise you will get an overstay.

Speaking of overstay. 

We have already warned that such thing as an overstay in Thailand is not to be trifled with, and since recently it has all became even more strict. People are really getting  into Thai prison sentenced for one to two years and it is just for a little more than a month of overstay. So we strongly recommend you to apply for Thai visa in advance, if you are planning to stay in Thailand longer than it is permitted under the visa-free entry agreement.

And now a few words about how it all began

Since 8th of May 2014 according to the website of the Immigration Office of Thailand there has been an official notice of taking measures to curb the practice of Border Runs, which has been used by foreigners for years to prolong their stay in the country.

It was said in the notice that gradually, the border crossing offices will start warning nationals who commit such trips in order to prolong their stay in Thailand, about the inadmissibility of such actions in the future, and after a while close the opportunity completely.

And since August 12th at any border crossing, whether by land or by air, if the officer suspects you in making a Border Run, he will not only have the right to, no, he will simply be obliged to deny you entry into the country.

Most of those who made Border Run from Samui between the end of May to early June were asked to sign a paper (the text was for some reason in Thai), stating the aforementioned notice.

However, who of us would seriously take any warning written in Thai language? Therefore, people were shocked when on June 9, 2014 they really started getting turned back at the border. They were all sent back to Thailand to their nearest immigration office, where they could legally extend their current stay for 7 days, and in the following 7 days leave the country, or prepare all the required documents for obtaining a visa to Thailand.

We asked for clarification from the official sources (a telephone conversation with the Immigration Office in Bangkok), and were confirmed that - Border Run practice is being gradually shut down, and now it is turn for Samui and other regions that made Border Runs to the border with Malaysia (Kuan-Don). Regarding other border transitions there has been no information yet, but before August 12, they will all stop permitting "exit-entry" for the purpose of extension of visa-free stay in Thailand (multiple entry stamps in a row, with activation through the same "exit-entry", and not just by land but even by plane).

One possible solution of the problem is obtaining visas for the intended period of stay in Thailand. For short trips - obtaining tourist visas (not more than 180 days per year). For long-term residence - education, pension, work visas (see article on visas in Thailand).

According the agreement on visa-free entry, a tourist can make only one, the first entry. Then he will have to get back home, to their country, or if they you want to extend their holiday in Thailand - get a visa.

Be mindful about the new visa rules, and your holiday in Thailand will be as great as ever!


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