Russian tourists do not need a visa to Thailand, but officers at the border do not allow everyone to enter the land of smiles. In what cases compatriots are deployed without hesitation, said an expat living in Thailand for a long time. He spoke about this on the pages of his blog “This is Thailand” in “Zen”.
According to Thai law, the final decision on the passage of a foreigner into the country is made by a border officer. This gives him the right to refuse entry to anyone arriving, whether they have a valid visa in their passport or arrive without one. At the same time, the Russian did not frighten his compatriots and noted that cases of unreasonable refusals of entry are rare. Nevertheless, they are.
So, one of the main reasons for refusal to cross the Thai border is the suspicion that the visa does not correspond to the real purpose of the foreigner's stay. One of them is illegal work. In this case, the foreigner has the burden of proving the opposite – he must convince the border officers that his purpose of stay is legal and not related to illegal activities. These suspicions are not always unfounded, the author assured.
Let's consider who is at risk:
- Tourists with frequent tourist visas. For example, border guards may refuse entry if a tourist has already received the third tourist visa for an extended period of time, which may raise suspicions of illegal work or a long stay for purposes other than tourism. Also, in some cases, they may be denied entry when trying to visa-free stay. “If you already have a bunch of tourist visas and entry stamps in a row in your passport, the border guards may have additional questions,” the author assured.
- Holders of study visas, i.e. students. Russians who have a study visa have attracted increased attention from the Thai authorities for some time now. Until recently, compatriots could simply buy places in language courses and never show up at an educational institution. In return, the institution provided them with a study visa. “Thailand has a developed industry for selling them – a bunch of language schools sell annual visas (3 + 3 + 3 + 3 months), without obliging students to attend classes,” the blogger clarified. Now a study visa holder who has left the country and has previously issued a return permit can be asked questions about the reasons for his multiple trips to other countries instead of studying, and do this in Thai, expecting a language school student to demonstrate progress and answer in Thai .
In conclusion, the Russian provided five ways to minimize the risks when traveling to Thailand:
- When choosing a method of entry, it is preferable to use the terrestrial border crossing, especially if you have a rich and suspicious visa history.
- Prepare all necessary documents confirming the status of a tourist, such as hotel reservations, return tickets and sufficient funds – minimum 20'000 baht per person or equivalent in another currency.
- Consider obtaining a more suitable visa if you plan to stay in Thailand for a long time. Visa-free stamps and tourist visas can restrict stay.
- If you are denied entry at one border, you can try to cross the border at another border crossing, which may provide a second chance for a successful entry.
- Be prepared to possible inconvenience and the need for additional steps upon entry, especially if there are previous problems with entering the country.
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