Some tourist visa holders asked to produce Bt20,000 in cash when entering Thailand: Report

Tourists queue to check in for their flights at Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok. PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - If you are entering Thailand on a tourist visa, you may be required to show immigration officials Bt20,000 (S$814.60) in cash, a report has said.

News portal Thaivisa has learnt that immigration officials at a number border checkpoints across Thailand are asking some people entering the country on a tourist visa to produce Bt20,000 in cash.

Thaivisa understands the increased scrutiny is to crack down on foreigners who officials suspect are not genuine tourists and who may be working in Thailand illegally.

People who have entered Thailand multiple times with a tourist visa, as well as Student or ED visa holders, appear to be the ones under the most intense scrutiny, the report said.

Reports have surfaced on social media of foreigners being refused entry for not having Bt20,000 in cash when entering Thailand.

One person even claimed that they were rejected even with proof of hotel bookings, details of an onward flight, and bank statements.

Thaivisa has also received a report that immigration officials at Padang Besar on Friday were pulling tourist visa holders to one side and asking them to show Bt20,000 in cash. Those who could not produce the cash were taken for questioning by officials.

Last week, a Thaivisa member was held in an immigration detention centre at Suvarnabhumi Airport, having been refused entry on the grounds that he could be working illegally.

At the same time, another Thaivisa member holding an ED visa was also held at Suvarnabhumi after he was able to produce only Bt8,000. The member said he previously had four tourist visas and a 30-day stamp on arrival.

A British national in Hua Hin who has three previous tourist visa entries in his passport told Thaivisa on Monday that he was asked to show Bt20,000 when trying to enter the country at Don Mueang International Airport last Wednesday. He was also asked whether he worked in Thailand and how he was able to finance his stay in the country.

An immigration officer who spoke to Thaivisa on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak publicly on immigration matters only said that people entering Thailand on tourist visas should be able to show they can finance their stay in the Kingdom.

Thaivisa has been unable to confirm whether the Bt20,000 cash is a requirement nationwide or only at the border checkpoints mentioned above.

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