Hot! Thailand’s Visa Run Crackdown

After August 12, Thailand’s Immigration Bureau will deny foreigners on out/in visa runs reentry, regardless of transportation mode.

The Immigration Bureau first announced the stricter enforcement of border regulations in May, when several land border checkpoints began the crackdown. In June, the border crackdown was confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a letter to Thailand embassies and consulates worldwide.

As stated by both offices, the crackdown is targeting visa runners, who cross Thailand’s borders with the intention to immediately reenter the country and extend their stay.

“Every immigration post on land borders and at airports now has the same rules,” said Pol Col Sanchai Chokkayaikij, Superintendent of the Phuket Immigration Office, to The Phuket News. “If they are genuine tourists that’s fine. But if we believe they are not tourists, they will not be readmitted into Thailand. We can see [from their passport stamps] if a foreigner has stayed in Thailand too long [on tourist visas]. We will not let them in.”

According to the Immigration Bureau’s notice, anyone on a visa run up to August 12 will receive a “O-I” (Out/In) mark with the visa stamp. After August 12, passport holders with the O-I mark will not be allowed to reenter Thailand without an appropriate visa, reports The Nation.

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