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Thai Immigration responds to traveller’s complaint

March 3, 20244 minute read
Don Mueang,entry requirements to Thailand

Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has responded to claims made by an Indonesian woman that she was unable to enter Thailand because her husband had insufficient funds. As the complaint was spread widely on social media throughout the region, there has been an upsurge in enquiries about entry requirements to Thailand. These included a reputed requirement that visitors must be carrying Thai Baht of up to ฿10,000 in cash which was reported in some versions. It should be noted here that visitors to any country may be asked to show evidence of funds to cover the period of their stay. Post-Covid, many countries, including Thailand, also required a certain level of travel insurance for entry, although this has now been removed.

Travellers complaint viral on TikTok

 The facts of this case were somewhat murky, with various versions being shared over social media. In response, the Thailand’s Immigration Bureau’s investigation shows a mismatch between the stories being shared and the evidence as per CCTV. This was revealed on 28th February 2024 to representatives of the Indonesian Embassy in Thailand.

The woman claimed in a a clip on Tiktok that she was unable to enter Thailand for her honeymoon, because her husband had no money with him. She claimed that she was able to pass through immigration, but her husband was stopped as he didn’t have any money. She further claimed that she tried to use an ATM to show the money to the immigration officer, but her husband was still sent back to Indonesia. As a result, she had to cancel her own trip and return with her husband and travel to Japan instead. The post became viral in Indonesia,with 24.5K views and 1,476 comments, leading to many enquiries to Thai immigration and affecting tourism.

However evidence as supplied by the Thailand’s Immigration Bureau shows the woman, identified by the pseudonym Falida, arrived alone on 4th January 2024 at Don Mueang Airport via flight FD395 from Jakarta, Indonesia. CCTV footage shows that the woman was travelling alone.There was no husband present as claimed and she received permission to enter Thailand.

The woman departed from Thailand on 16th January 2024 via Suvarnabhumi Airport, a stay in Thailand of 13 days, not leaving immediately as mentioned in the TikTok post. Further investigation showed that Ms Falida frequently entered and exited Thailand, as she is engaged in selling items online and it is believed that Ms. Falida made up the story to create content.

Entry requirements to Thailand

Basically the requirements are :

  • Prepare your passport.
    • Check visa requirements
    • Make sure it is valid for at least 6 months.
  • Have a travel plan and pre-booked accommodation
    • Print copies to show, if asked
  • Ensure you have sufficient funds to cover your stay.
    • Immigration officers are empowered to ask if necessary.

For more information on entry requirements and other matters, the Thailand Immigration website is available in both Thai and English.

The clarification was conveyed by Pol. Maj. Gen. Chengron Rimpadee,commander of Immigration Bureau 2 and spokesman for Immigration Bureau, to representatives of the Indonesian Embassy in Thailand on 28th February 2024. The meeting was also attended by the Head of Diplomatic and Consular Protocol, Indonesia and the delegation attended the meeting with Devi Lestari, Minister Adviser and Nithi Siprae, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications of The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), as this matter also affects Thailand’s visa-free policy.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Chengron explained the CCTV evidence to the meeting and clarified that the Thai Immigration Bureau has organised inspections for tourist groups that may be entering Thailand and working illegally. This is why a travel plan may be requested and an accommodation booking is required. Money is only a supporting issue, due to the widespread use of credit cards and E-payment systems being used.

Therefore, the claims of having insufficient funds will be refused entry is not accurate. The majority of foreigners who are refused entry cannot show a travel plan and have no accommodation reservations. Some have been shown to use fake accommodation booking evidence to deceive immigration officials.
It was also found that many Indonesians were tricked into flying into Thailand to pass through the border to neighboring countries to become call center workers. This is a risk of human trafficking and information is passed to the Indonesian Embassy.  Pol. Maj. Gen. Chengron reiterated that Thai Immigration is always ready to welcome Indonesian tourists and confirmed the government’s visa-free measures.

some images supplied

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