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Travel plans derailed

 

Thai Consulate photo

Photo by zhaffsky

So for the past three years in Thailand, I have gone to the Vientiane, Laos consulate to get my SETV. Back when you used to be able to get a double entry tourist visa, I started out getting one in Honolulu, Hawaii, there and it was great. Lasted nine months. And with the new changes from the new government that came to power and then they started clamping down on the tours, they started adding more requirements and documents needed for the multi-entry tourist visa. Which leads me to today’s topic of the night which will

Which leads me to today’s topic of which began a few weeks ago when I went to the consulate, as usual, expecting to get a new tourist visa.

Apparently, when I crossed the border out of Thailand to check out, the immigration officer put a prohibitive stamp on the side of my last tourist visa and never notified me of this change and from what I gather online normally this happens when you exceed what they consider too many tourist visas. Why they did it to me, I’m not sure, with only 4 TV in my passport in 2 years, why? The thing has I checked it because I had to make copies for my marriage certificate at the Ministry of foreign affairs. The stamp wasn’t there when I made those copies so the only way that could possibly happen was an add at the border as I check out to go to Laos.

Long story short I got a nasty surprise when I went to the process of filling the application and I was number three in line as I normally usually am because I get there early and do everything by the book and I was told that I had a to SETV in my passport, that would not allow me to get a new to visa.

So the guy that I was hanging out with from England has lived in Thailand so many years that he is competent in the Thai language.  He was taking a course and he helped me talk to consulate’s office personnel and they told me to go to the border and try to get exemption stamp that was something along those lines will give me 30 to entry. Basically, I would be better off just doing a border run and cheaper in hindsight.

So out of all this, I can tell you one thing, the Thai government is tightening down on who they consider being a tourist

  • they want people that have money and stay short term.
  • they want Chinese tourist
  • recently they stated that they are going to try to start getting more Indian tourist
  • they are trying to kick out the backpacker set to change the image of Thailand from poor to an up and coming nation of new wealth.
  • and also the government has started a drive to kick out the foreign English language teachers.

So basically it comes down to this, Thailand is trying to improve their image on the global stage by getting rid of the tours that have supported the country for 40 years. At this point, if you don’t have money it’s going to get harder to stay here for a long time.

For me, I ended up getting married to a local Thai girl that I have been with three years, which was fine because I eventually would have done it anyway but the fact that I had to do that, to stay in this country long-term is kind of sad considering I’m a person that travels extensively, has no criminal history, supports the local economy anytime I’m in a country by giving money and I just feel like they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

Thai Consulate photo

Photo by neil alejandro

So from now on if you’re going for single entry tourist visa using the consulates like the one in Loas, make sure you have all your documents ready.

  1. Have your passport with at least six months available and at least five pages for stamps
  2. make copies of said passport, any previous Thai visas you have, your Lao visa, and your entry stamp and departure card for Laos
  3. make sure you have copies of your hotel receipt you’re staying at
  4. make sure you have your entry flight ticket or bus ticket and departure flight on hand from Thailand.
  5. If you will be flying into Thailand, make sure you have 20,000 baht cash on hand, because they are cracking down and it doesn’t matter if you have your visa in order, if you have a place to stay and you have money in the bank.If they pull you out of a line and you don’t have the required 20,000 baht to enter the country they will deport you immediately
  6. make sure you have the pictures, 2 passport pictures
  7. finally have the cash ready to pay the fee, 1,000 baht for SETV

So don’t be discouraged guys, I know it’s becoming tough to live in the land of smiles.

Because the government is trying to have only the rich people live there now, which is stupid because the people that help them learn and understand English, improve their society and have a general sense of well-being are not going to be the rich

I will be posting a second post on getting married in Thailand soon. Check out the first part.

 

So as always do your research and be safe and have fun happy travels

Photo by Green Office Engro

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