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Latest Crackdown - Details


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Hi All,


I decided to post this separately to the 'Tourist Visa' thread, as it may impact those who arent applying for the 60-day visa itself. I wanted to simply pass on this email, without comment, and you can make of it what you will.


(KS - all of this is published in black and white on the thaivisaservice website, but if you feel that I've posted something I shouldnt have, or this reads like an ad for these guys, please mod/delete as you see fit).




Dear friends, with so many rumors and recent changes I would like to inform you about current situation.


In case you have any further questions, please contact me directly.


Thank you




UNLIMITED DAY TRIPS to Ban Laem, we meet now 7am and depart 7.30AM in order to beat the traffic and to come back earlier, you can still go unlimited times to border to do either a 15day stamp or activate another entry of your visa. The border is open 365days.


VIENTIANE/LAOS, for Tourist Visa and Non Immigrant Visa application we still go twice a week to Vientiane/Laos, Sunday and Wednesday night at 7.30PM and depart 8.00PM from parking lot of Tesco/Lotus ON NUT, next to BTS Station ON NUT, just besides the KFC. The Royal Thai Embassy has become very strict and might refuse tourist visa or give single entry tourist visa in the event that you simple had a number of previous Thai Tourist Visa in your current passport. However for a newcomer there is no additional requirement to show to Thai Embassy in Vientiane/Laos.


The consular staff will review the passport and check of how many Thai visas in total you had, regardless of what kind of visa, when or where the visas were issued. There is no fix rule, but it appears the maximum is 2 or 3 previous visas.


For Non Immigrant Visa B and ED application they now enforce the rule that you have to present the WP3letter from Ministry of Labor or Education, however even you got many previous tourist visas or even have the red stamp, you can still apply for a Non Immigrant Visa.


PHNOM PENH/CAMBODIA, we shall restart at of 1st November again.


Initially only once a week, planned schedule in November:1, 14, 21 and 28. In December:6, 12 ,19 and 26. The Embassy will check your passport and if you have 3 or less previous sticker you can still apply for a Double Entry, if you have 4 or more previous sticker you can apply for Single Entry only.


IMPORTANT, you need to prepare these 2 documents


1) Proposed Address in Thailand (Hotel, Condo, Apartment, Guest house, Residence with full Address).

-Applicants who stay only short period in proposed address must copy the receipt and attach with the Thai ID-card + telephone number of person in charge and write down the detail of the applicant in Thai.(Name:....,Sex.....,Nationality.........,Passportno.....)

OR -Applicants who stay long period. Present the lease (rental agreement)+ attach Thai ID- card of certifier with hone number.

OR-Applicants, who share with the lessee, stay with the relatives or friend must ask the lessor or landlord to certify the period of stay and attach the Thai ID-card of the certifier with telephone number.

OR-Applicants who have Thai boy/girlfriend must copy the Thai ID-card of her/ him and write to certify that you and him/her is boy/girlfriend and exactly living in this address (Full address that you are both staying together).

AND 2) Bank Book must copy the updated Bank book/Bank Statement showing the account holder’s name with the balance at least 20,000 Baht. For the visa application process you have to send the Original Bank Book to Embassy.


[KS - deleted]


*** deleted by Gobbledonk after closer inspection ***


[KS - deleted]

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I would note that the consulate in Hull was specifically mentioned in a recent Stick column (along with Penang) as no longer being a 'soft touch' for tourist visas - clearly, Khun Amonrat has contacts and can still get the visa processed (assuming you provide the relevant paperwork). As I mentioned in the other thread, I provided my agent in Penang with nothing other than my passport and had a stamp the next day - clearly, those days would appear to be behind us.

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I was forced to delete a large chunk at the end of the email when I realised that some of it might potentially get Thai Immigration offside (I'd be naive to think it was anything they werent aware of, but there is a difference between 'knowing' and having it broadcast) - PM me if you want the entire email.


KS, I apologise if this causes any friction, but there is nothing in the email that asks for recipients to keep it confidential, and I believe there are enough Farang impacted by this crackdown to make it worth publishing. I will, of course, PM you with the entire email.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Again, Stick had a suggestion in his latest weekly column:


The most popular work around for those who wish to stay in Thailand but who are not employed, not married to a Thai national and are aged under 50, is to sign up for a Thai language course at a school which provides assistance getting a non-Ed visa. This visa allows you to stay long-term in Thailand without the need to make silly visa runs. It should be noted however that the Immigration department is aware that people may be using this method to stay in country while not studying and officers are known to chat in Thai with those folks renewing such visas - so if your Thai is non-existent or poor it will signal that you are not actually a genuine student of the language and the visa may not be renewed!


The same scam is probably used in many countries - I know it happens in Oz, often as part of the illegal sex trade - and its no surprise that the Thais would want to speak to someone renewing one of these visas, but I was under the impression that you got 12 months max and that was it - if you haven't learnt Thai in 12 months worth of lessons *in country*, what hope another 12 months ? I also consider this to be potentially very expensive, depending on where you elect to enrol - Walen Thai on Suk, for example. Still, I guess it works out against the cost/hassle of flying to Penang every 2-3 months and wondering whether you will be allowed back into the country.

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There are genuine degree programmes at the major universities which can take several years to complete. Costs money but far less than in the west. Certificate programmes are usually only for a year or so.


3 years at a Thai university to learn the language ? If I recall such courses at the Uni I attended, they cover a lot of other ground - history, politics etc, and in many cases its an 'international business' course where they have to grapple with the usual 'business and finance' courses that bored me senseless. Would be interesting to hear how forthcoming any lecturer would be on politics in Thailand, though. :xmsgrin:

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Nothing new about that. Been an option for years already.




I guess it has, but I wonder how rigorously they checked up on how well students were performing academically. When I worked at the Uni in QLD, we were under immense pressure to give overseas students 'one more chance' - as long as their cheques cleared - and I have little doubt that many of the girls had turned up to enrolment then started making some real money well away from campus. Even the students who did turn up often didnt have sufficient grasp of the language to pass courses, but again it was all about their (parents) cheques being cashed. The industry is a joke here - makes me wonder how it could be any better in Thailand.

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry this is long, hopefully you will find it of interest;


While not directly related to the “Tourist Visa Crack Down†it does cover Education Visas. With the recent tightening of the interpretation by the "powers that be" as far as how tourist visas to Thailand are issued; the ED visa has become a "catch all" for people who have been playing the "I live in Thailand on a tourist visa" game. I dunno if this is good or bad, only that I've seen private Thai language schools' enrollments go way up in the last year.


This is completely opposite to how it was a couple of years ago, when double entry tourist visas were handed out willy-nilly to any Tom, Dick & Somchai just for the asking (and the fee) at almost every Thai embassy in S/E Asia and there weren't nearly as many Thai language schools, or people on ED visas as there are now.


Not surprisingly, there is a great disparity between private Thai language schools here (at least in Bangkok). At last count I've toured and sat classes at more than 20 of 'em, because I review them online for a hobby.


Some schools I'd personally rate no better than "visa mills". They are schools with a terrible methodology of teaching Thai designed more with a "fitness center membership mentality" than a real school. FWIW: a fitness center mentality is; "Pay the membership fee and then we hope you don't come to work out EVER".


I've recently heard from some students a school is now even providing a year's worth of "extension paperwork" once you pay tuition for a year's schooling. This makes even a trip to the school every 90 days to pick up your extension paperwork (needed at Thai Immigrations) un-necessary.


In other schools I’ve toured, they appear to have the bar set quite a bit higher. There are schools here which demand X number of hours in attendance. This attendance is closely monitored instead of “fudgedâ€, so if you fail to attend the required hours of in-class time you're reported to the Ministry of Education (the governmental body which registers schools here) that you've not met the requirements needed to continue extending your visa.


Most all private Thai language schools here issue paperwork along with a letter from the MOE which is used for a student to go OUT of the country to a Thai Embassy and secure a single entry 90 day ED visa. (Possibly in their home country a student could receive a year-long multiple entry ED visa, but no Thai embassy here in S/E Asia will issue year long multiple entry ED visas for attending a private Thai language school). The single entry 90 day ED visa which a student secures is then subsequently extended every 90 days (for 1900 baht) at Thai Immigrations for the duration of the year.


Should a student wish to continue studying Thai for another calendar year after the first one, they must go to the MOE and be "tested" on their Thai ability. This changed early last year from ‘in house testing’. It was discovered that some schools were providing “in-house†testing for their students with the answer sheet to the test lying on the table! So now students go to the MOE for it.


Now having attended these 'tests' with several students from a coupla different schools (just because I’m nosy and wanted to see what was what), I can say; the bar is set pretty frickin' low. Most every test was just cursory basic spoken Thai. In fact a taxi driver would ask you harder questions than most of the tests I’ve seen. Even terribly spoken Thai is usually enough for them to 'green flag' a student to study another year. I mean after all if a student spoke Thai fluently why would the MOE wanna let ‘em keep on studying?


As far as the qualifications for studying Thai here; a student is required to attend 4 hours a week (really 16 hours in a month is what's written). So it's quite a low number of hours. If that's all the time a person put into learning Thai they could possibly study for many years and never speak any more than “2-word-tourist-Thai†or "horse-peak-Thai" (whore speak Thai).


Remember, an Ed visa is issued for a variety of things, and a person is not compelled to study just the Thai language. I know foreigners here on Ed visas studying Chinese, Japanese, Korean and even Spanish! You can study any language which isn't your native tongue. Unless I'm mistaken, you can also study buddhism, muay-thai, thai cooking, scuba diving on an ED visa (as long as there's a school registered with the MOE teaching it).


Anyway, an ED visa even for studying Thai is a viable, relatively easy means to an end to stay in Thailand long term. True learning Thai does take some effort, but 4 hours a week is pretty do-able for most foreigners.


Remember, at last count there're 63+ million people here who seem to speak and understand Thai just fine. I mean, they all can't be smarter than you, can they?


Hope it helped. ...

Tod Daniels

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