My Friend got Refused Entry to Thailand (Feb 2017)

So the other day I told you how I was allowed back into Thailand after having a number of tourist visas in my stamp (you can read about it here).

I don’t work in Thailand but just use the country as a base to travel as I’m semi-retired.

Just this week my friend who is a New Zealand national was denied entry at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Offical reason for refused entry: he did not have sufficient funds to enter the country on his visa.

In his passport they stamped that he was refused entry because he did not have on his persons 20,000฿ that he needed with his visa. He was holding a METV visa that he had used once.

According to what I have read online and been told by a friend who is well read on visas, you can only be rejected entry into Thailand if you do not have proof of funds for travel or they suspect you to be working here illegally.

For a METV or SETV you must show 20,000฿ or 10,000฿ for a visa waiver.

These are the grounds they can reject you.

He had credit cards with money on there but he was not allowed to withdraw, they moved him to a holding room where he was asked to pay his for ticket back to his home country.

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He does not work in Thailand but had been here for 1.5 years traveling and they deemed that he was working here.

He has a lot of money (in relative terms, he makes $50k/yr+) and would never even think about working in Thailand illegally as a teacher, in a hotel or anything else.

Since he could not show enough evidence for travel (he had no travel itinerary and only 2,000฿ to his name) they assumed he was working illegally in Thailand.

He also had no onward ticket out of Thailand.

Should digital nomads be worried?

If you’re not working illegally in Thailand I don’t think you will have any problem visiting on holiday for a prolonged period of time.

I know some people will say if you work online while in Thailand, you’re working illegally but it’s been mentioned enough times that officials are worried about people taking jobs that Thais can do, and not remote digital nomads.

If you’re coming in on a tourist visa please remember that you need to have on your persons at least 20,000฿ or more as that is the requirement of the visa. You should also have your travel plans for show and have an outward ticket out of Thailand.

If you don’t have that then you don’t pass all the visa requirements and officials are within their right to deny you entry, as happened with my friend.

Another article: I spent 42,000฿ in January, here’s what my budget breakdown for Bangkok in 2017.

What have your experiences been lately when coming to Thailand on a tourist visa? I have heard a few more stories like these where people were questioned about their time here and whether they were working here illegally or not.

If you have a friend who may find this useful, feel free to share this article so more people know what paperwork and documents they need to bring when traveling into Thailand.

You can learn more about being a digital nomad in Bangkok here.

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