It is common knowledge that Thailand’s government has been passing new rules regarding visas for foreigners who wish to enter Thailand. This is part of an effort to crack down on border runs and tourists who stay beyond the time allowed by their visas.
To recap, before the new rules were in place, foreigners, particularly tourists, illegally extend the duration of their stay in Thailand on a single visa simply by exiting the country and re-entering as tourists. This is because the previous rules allowed tourists to just enter Thailand without a visa, so foreigners have used this loophole to actually live in Thailand without the appropriate visa requirements.
Now, the Thai government introduced in November 2015 a new visa for tourists – the multiple entry tourist visa or METV. It’s a non-immigrant visa that is valid for up to six months, and can be extended for 3 additional months.
This is useful for tourists who want to stay longer in the country, but without living in it. It makes no sense to apply for an immigrant when you don’t want to live long-term in the Kingdom. Fortunately, this new visa for tourists is the perfect solution for businessmen who are in the country for some concerns that could take a while to resolve, but who have no plans of becoming residents of the Kingdom.
This visa can also help out with temporary workers as well as students who have to stay in Thailand for a maximum of nine months, but expect to exit the country at any point within that time for a short vacation.
With the new METV, you need not make additional expenses for a re-entry permit when the time comes that you need to exit Thailand with plans to return subsequently. The new visa lets you receive a new entry stamp from immigration officials the moment you reenter the country, as long as there is time remaining on your visa.
The same 60-day limit applies for each entry into the Kingdom. You can opt to extend your stay without leaving the country by simply applying for a 30-day extension. Again, you just need to make sure that you still have days left on your visa.
In other words, every 60 days, your visa will require you to exit the country but you can return afterwards without applying for a re-entry permit beforehand. It saves you a lot of time and effort, as you can easily enter Thailand and get a new entry stamp when the immigration officials see that you’re holding a METV.
Take these new rules seriously. Do not overstay, because overstaying can lead to heavy fines. Worse, if you challenge the Thai government and deliberately overstay without securing an extension, you could find yourself voiding your METV AND be banned from the Kingdom as a result.
Inquire at the Royal Thai Embassy in your home country to find out how you can apply for a METV.
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Photo credit : Thaivisa.com/forum/topic/