I don’t normally do boring visa blog posts but with all the issues around Thai visas and immigration I thought I would give everyone a heads up.
I recently came back from a holiday (will talk about that more next week), I was there for a total of 6 days. When I flew back to Thailand I had a few issues at the airport, nothing major but thought I would let everyone know so they can prepare.
The current condition of my passport
On my last trip to England I got myself a new passport.
At this moment in time it only has one triple-entry Thai visa and nothing else. My first exit was to Hanoi for 4 days and my second exit was for 6 days.
When I arrived at Don Muang just the other day I was planning on using my final entry.
I have no other visas or Thai visa exemptions on my passport.
Questioning at Don Muang immigration
I’ve flew into Thailand at least 10 times and have never come across any questioning before. My flight landed in the evening and the queue at immigration was short. Perhaps the lack of people waiting made the immigration offers more focused to spot visa runners, I don’t know.
I also took 3mg of Xanax just before the flight so I was a bit groggy, I may have stood out and was why they questioned me, but I’ve taken Xanax for several other flights before and never been questioned. Although the queue has always been very long and standing around for an hour gives me plenty of time to sober up.
Anyway when I got to the counter, I handed over my passport and the immigration officer went over it throughly.
He must have pressed a button or signaled someone to come over because after 20 seconds another officer came and asked me to follow him to a separate area. Not a private room, just a table with chairs.
The officer asked me a few questions like:
Why are you visiting to Thailand?
To which I answered I’m on holiday. He then asked:
How long would I be staying?
I said 60 days.
His next question was:
Where will you stay in Thailand?
I told him I have booked a serviced apartment as stated on the immigration form.
Then he said:
Will you be extending your visa at immigration like the last two times?
I said I don’t think so, I will go to Hong Kong next. (I extended both my first and second tourist visa entries for another 30 days for 1,900 baht, which he saw in my passport)
His next question was:
Why are visiting Thailand again, will you be working here?
I told him I run an online business and I don’t plan to work or find a job in Thailand. I spend 9 months in Thailand or another country and go back to England for 3 months. As soon as I mentioned this the whole situation went Netflix and chill.
Finally, he asked:
How much money do you have for your holiday?
I know you need 20,000 baht on your persons to enter on a tourist visa, but ain’t nobody carrying that amount of money in their wallet.
I told him I had my Bangkok bank book in my bag if he would like to see it. I always carry it when leaving Thailand in the rare case they ask to see 20,000 baht.
He asked me to pull it out, so I unzipped my pants but then he said said the bank book, not my dong (that’s a joke, this part didn’t happen).
I showed him my bank book which had more than the 20,000 baht needed. He was happy with my answers and stamped my passport let me out.
The whole situation was pretty calm and relaxed, he didn’t seem angry or intimidating, he just asked questions in a normal tone of voice. I did have Xanax running through my blood though, so perhaps I misread the situation a tiny bit.
I just wanted to let everyone know who has a visa and is leaving Thailand to re-enter in a few days. I advise you to either carry 20,000 baht on your persons or at the very least bring your bank book to show them your proof of funds.
I didn’t get my bags searched or anything like that, but I’ve heard stories of people being rejected for not having 20,000 baht on their person. I also think the fact that I didn’t leave and enter immediately helped my cause, as I spent 6 days on holiday.
At the time I thought it was stupid to mention that I have an online business but it seems he didn’t care one bit. In fact, I think that helped my cause as that further proved that I wasn’t planning on working in Thailand illegally, or rather working an actual job that could be filled by a Thai person.
There’s even been reports online stating that running your own business while in Thailand is fine.
Anyway, just letting everyone know to carry 20,000 baht with you if you fly in Thailand or at the very least bring your bank book.
Pro-tip: if you are entering Thailand without a visa already in your passport, it may be wise to buy and print an on-ward ticket. As you’re required to have an onward flight ticket if you want to receive a 30 day visa exemption stamp.
There was also one Russian women who tried to show her proof of funds by logging into their Russian bank, but the officers could not read Russian and refused her entry. I cannot find the link at the moment, but I’m sure someone who reads my site will put it in the comments.
It seems I am not the only one this has happened to either: