Foreigners 'must follow visa rules'

Foreigners 'must follow visa rules'

Atchayon: Warns of tough penalties
Atchayon: Warns of tough penalties

The Royal Thai Police has instructed all relevant authorities, including the Immigration Bureau (IB) and Tourist Police, to ensure all foreign residents do not violate their visa conditions during their stay in the country.

The instruction followed a complaint made by a food vendor along Bangkok's Yaowarat Road about Chinese tourists running businesses using local nominees, which is a violation of the kingdom's laws.

Under current rules, foreign citizens on a tourist visa are not allowed to work in Thailand. Furthermore, there are certain jobs which expatriates are barred from taking up, which include tour guides and street food vendors.

RTP spokesman Pol Maj Gen Atchayon Kraithong said Chinese citizens can get a tourist visa on arrival, which allows them to stay in the country for no longer than 30 days. Those who are found to be violating the conditions of their stay will be deported and barred from re-entering the country, he said.

"The RTP and other relevant agencies will work to ensure these [visa] conditions are followed," Pol Maj Gen Atchayon said.

Separately, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said the government will continue to monitor and crack down on foreign residents using Thai nominees to run businesses in Thailand.

Foreigners who wish to run a food and beverage business in the country must acquire the required permit from the Department of Business Development. Any Thai co-investor in the business is also required to show proof that they have the means to invest in such a business.

Expats are not allowed to co-invest in a business that has been registered with authorities.

"Thai citizens who are foreigners' nominees face up to three years' imprisonment and/or a fine between 100,000-1 million baht," said Ms Ratchada.

She added that officials from DBD and the Labour Ministry regularly inspect foreign-owned businesses to ensure their compliance.

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