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Steve

Travelled to 40 countries / regions

Written 55 briefs
Moved to Chiang Mai and got my Thai visa in 2018

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Asia > Thailand > Useful Info
Submitted on Sep 14, 2018 Useful Info

Visa exemption to Thailand via a LAND BORDER is limited to 2 TIMES per year

  • If you're in Thailand on visa exemption and thinking about doing visa runs to neighbouring countries (visa run means leaving Thailand and return again shortly to get another 30-day visa exempt stamp so you can keep staying in Thailand), keep in mind that if you use one of the land borders (like Tachileik, Myanmar) for re-entry you can only get the 30-day visa-exempt entries up to two times per calendar year. For example:
  1. You fly into Thailand from your home country first, then 30 days later you go to Tachileik in Myanmar, and return immediately. You just used up 1 of your 2 land border allowances
  2. Then 30 days later, you do this again. You just used up both of your allowances
  3. If at this point you go to Tachileik again, you won't be allowed back into Thailand unless you fly, get an actual visa at the Thai embassy in Myanmar, or you wait until January 1st of the next year
  • This rule has been in place since 2017
  • No such limit exists if you're flying back into Thailand as far as I know. If you fly in theory you can do as many visa runs as you want and still get allowed in on the 30-day stamp. But individual officers may give you a hard time if you do it too much
  • This rule is applicable to all countries that get visa exemption (so most western countries). It doesn't apply to these 13 countries that have bilateral agreements with Thailand (in theory there's no limit on how many land border visa runs citizens of these 13 countries can do):User submitted photo of ThailandCheck this link of Thai government for the current list
  • This rule also doesn't apply to citizens of countries that require visa on arrival. Keep in mind that visa exemption =/= visa on arrival. Most western countries are visa exempt, not visa on arrival. Visa on arrival countries
  • Sources:
  • Talking to other expats here in Chiang Mai
  • Tons of research before I moved to Chiang Mai
  • http://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/new-visa-rules.php
  • https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/88823/thailand-visa-exemption-any-rule-limiting-number-of-entries-per-year

Comments

Karl

Travelled to 0 country / region

On Sep 30, 2018

Hi Steve, from your experience, what is your opinion about the following scenario (note: I am a citizen of one of the countries that gets 30 days visa exemption): - enter Thailand [Chiang Mai] on 10/22/2018 by plane via visa exemption - extend at immigration Chiang Mai for another 30 days - on 12/22/2018 border run to Mae Sai, with the intention to come back on the same day with fresh 30 days visa exemption - extend at immigration Chiang Mai for another 30 days - on 02/22/2019 border run to Mae Sai, with the intention to come back on the same day with fresh 30 days visa exemption - extend at immigration Chiang Mai for another 30 days - on 04/22/2019 border run to Mae Sai, with the intention to come back on the same day with fresh 30 days visa exemption - on 05/18/2019 leave Thailand for a longer period of time The question is: Will the border run on 02/22/2019 be regarded as the first or second border run of the year?

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Steve

Travelled to 40 countries / regions

On Oct 01, 2018

hey karl, the 2/22 entry will be considered 1st entry as they go by calendar year, and your 4/22 border run will be the 2nd the last permissable land entry for 2019 (according to current rules anyway). but keep in mind that the 30-day exemption is exactly 30 days, not 1 month, and is inclusive of the days you land and depart. So 10/22 to 11/22 is 32 days, not 30 days.

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