BANGKOK: Some visitors entering Thailand on tourist visas have been asked to show immigration officials that they have 20,000 baht (US$595) before they are allowed into the country, news portal Thaivisa reported on Monday (Jul 17).
According to the Thaivisa report, the "increased scrutiny" on tourist visa holders is to “crack down on foreigners who officials suspect are not genuine tourists and who may be working in Thailand illegally”.
The report cited cases of foreigners complaining on social media that they had been refused entry for not having 20,000 baht in cash, and posted Facebook screenshots as examples.
“I was recently refused entry into Thailand for not having 20,000 baht cash on me," said someone who posted on the Facebook group Bangkok Expats.
"Had few thousand baht, plus printed bank statement and logged into internet banking to show a lot of savings, had hotel vouchers and flight ticket out. Still refused (entry) despite having a valid tourist visa.”
The Thaivisa portal also reported that immigration personnel were “pulling tourist visa holders to one side" and asking them to show 20,000 baht in cash at Padang Besar on its border with Malaysia. Those who were not able to produce the money were taken in for questioning, the report added.
Channel NewsAsia understands that it is at the personal discretion of individual immigration officers to ask how much money a traveller has upon entering Thailand.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website, holders of a tourist visa must have at least 10,000 baht with them, or 20,000 baht per family, when they enter Thailand.