90-day ‘visa’ rule confusion

Can someone please explain the new visa regulation for long-term stay in Thailand for a US citizen? My understanding is that after three months I must leave Thailand for a three-month period. Am I allowed to remain if I have a work permit, effectively eliminating the possibility of just renting an apartment long-term in Phuket and living there while doing monthly visa runs?

Eve Jo, USA.

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The 90-day stay rule affects only tourists who have entered Thailand using the “visa exemption” rule, which allows tourists from certain countries to enter Thailand without having to obtain a visa from a Thai embassy or consulate.

If you enter Thailand on any other visa you would not be subject to the 90-day rule and you certainly can apply to stay in Thailand longer if you have work permit.

Pol Capt Krissarat Nuesen of the Phuket Provincial Immigration Office.

Answered on September 29, 2007.
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