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My friend is thinking about coming to South-East Asia with me, but he has drug charges on his criminal record. We'll be landing in Bangkok, Thailand. Is that a problem with tourist visa's (VOA)?

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    I would worry about you Heisenberg, you are more important to them than Jesse – Ulkoma Aug 30 '15 at 18:39
  • Lol yeah, i'll be fine. But this is my best friend from high school, who has never done anything like this before. I've already been there, and want to show someone else what it's like. Really hoping he can come. – Jake Aug 30 '15 at 18:57
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For starters your friend does not get a VOA (Visa on Arrival), rather he enters under the Visa Waiver program as a Canadian citizen. Which, as you likely know, gives him a 30 day entry stamp each time he comes.

His criminal record in Canada is not available to immigration officials in Thailand, unless they have requested it from the Canadian government, which is highly unlikely since he has never been in Thailand before.

If he applies for a 60 day Tourist Visa in advance, then the Thailand Embassy in Canada may request and consider his criminal record. The same would apply to any other country which requires him to apply in advance for a tourist visa.

For VOAs in neighboring countries (Cambodia, Laos), the visa is issued based supplied information on the application form and any data in that country's immigration system from previous visits. The immigration officials do not have access to nor the time to comb through other country's criminal records.

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    I arrived from Bali, Indonesia to Bangkok, Thailand without applying for a visa. I was given a Visa On Arrival. – Jake Sep 9 '15 at 0:48
  • @Jake - As a Canadian you would not have been "given" a Visa On Arrival. You would have entered under the Visa Waiver program and had an entry stamp (small rectangular stamp with entry & leave by date) put in your passport upon arrival and an exit stamp (triangular) when you left. To get a Visa On Arrival, you would have had to go to the VOA desk before Immigration, filled out VOA forms, paid a fee and then proceeded to Immigration where you would have gotten the same entry stamp. The actual VOA is a large rectangular stamp, with a 2nd red circular stamp and a "used" stamp on top of that. – user13044 Sep 9 '15 at 2:13
  • @tom - that's complicated, heh! – Fattie Sep 8 '16 at 7:26

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