Those with VISA exemption stamps can stay in Thailand until the stamp expires, but the only way out and back in is by air; while back-to-back tourist VISAs are also coming to an end
It comes as no surprise that the Thai authorities have finally cracked down on the myriad of foreigners that have been staying in Thailand for an extended period of time using border jumps to facilitate their stay in the Kingdom. Although accurate information on exactly how these new rules are being enforced or applied, there have been leaks of information slowly coming out on various media sites.
We can confirm that it has officially been confirmed that jumping the border on a quick one day VISA tour is no longer an option for those that hold a fourteen-day or thirty-day VISA exemption stamp. Therefore, the Thai authorities may allow tourists to leave the country with an exemption stamp, but then coming back in via the border would not be permitted thus leaving the person attempting a border crossing stranded.
Those holding VISAs from a Thai consulate or embassy can still cross the border
Anyone that currently holds a multiple entry VISA; be it a tourist or NON-B VISA, are still permitted to extend their VISA via a border jump.
Despite the good news for tourist VISA holders, border runs may not be as straight forward as they first appear. The main problem will be that it will be tough to find a company that will go to the border. This is in light of the new VISA regulations seriously affecting the business ventures that have been running coach and minibus operations for border crossings.
The border run companies have long been profiting from taking people over the border and back again; yet with the new regulations, they will have lost the custom of those that have been crossing the border using the standard one month and two week entry stamps. As a result, they will be running limited services, or worst still ceasing operations altogether as their only target market is now those that already have multiple entry VISAs.
If you do have a multiple entry VISA and your re-entry date is fast approaching, our advice would be to immediately begin making plans now regarding how you plan to cross the border for your next extension. You may find that you need to book in advance for bus services, or that your regular VISA run company has already ceased operations.
VISA Extensions in Thailand
There is also the option of a seven day extension at any Royal Thai immigration office if you VISA or exemption stamp is about to expire. Alternatively, should you have a VISA that is still current, then you can apply for a thirty day extension.
If your VISA does not expire during that thirty day extension, then the next time you leave the country and re-enter, you will still be permitted to obtain a two or three month stamp depending on the type of VISA you have. Currently, the fee is 1,900 baht and you will need two photos.
Tourist VISA Restrictions in Thailand
Another tactic long termers in Thailand have been using is to continuously apply and obtain two month tourist VISAs. Thai authorities are now issuing warnings to consulates and embassies around the world to restrict issuing back-to-back tourist VISAs. This also means that if the VISA has expired, the foreigner will be unable to re-enter Thailand for what is rumoured to be a period of up to three months.
As and when more information is available to us, we will post more news in the news and VISA sections of our website. If you have any questions regarding VISAs, or would like to apply for a one year Education VISA in Thailand please visit our Thai Education VISA link at