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Visa rules to be relaxed

The Immigration Bureau has been told to be flexible with "visa runners", junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday.

In his weekly televised address yesterday, Prayuth said those going on visa runs can register with the bureau, which will then find a way to resolve the problem.

Foreigners have been exploiting tourist visas and visas on arrival to work illegally in Thailand, mostly as English teachers. When their visa is about to expire, they go to a neighbouring country for a new visa and return to continue with their illegal jobs.

Upon taking over, the junta decided to tighten the rules, deciding not to re-issue visas and threatening those who overstay their visa with deportation. However, Prayuth admitted that this crackdown had considerably affected certain groups.

"This is a problem that needs to be resolved, as it can lead to a shortage of English teachers and tour guides," he said.


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