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Fingerprinted upon arrival at BKK

Fingerprinted upon arrival at BKK

Old May 24, 19, 3:05 am
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Fingerprinted upon arrival at BKK

So it has begun. Flew in to Bangkok today and Immigration was taking the fingerprints of all arrivals using their newly installed fingerprint sensors. Four fingers on the right hand, four fingers on the left hand, then the two thumbs together.

As a byproduct of this new procedure, the line at immigration at 11:00 this morning was 500+ people. Thanked my lucky stars that I had the foresight to purchase one of the fast track immigration passes from the one company that still sells them online for 1200 THB. Probably saved myself two or more hours in line.

According to the fast track company's representative, the fingerprinting began about a week ago and lines have slowed considerably due to the learning curve. Consider a fast track pass if you are flying to Thailand in the near future.
Diplomatico is offline  
Old May 24, 19, 6:17 am
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@Diplomatico - thanks for this update.
I managed to avoid the new bio stuff last Saturday flying out of Bangkok, they were still hit and miss as to being used that day. The officer on duty told me he'd stopped using the fingerprint machine only 15 minutes earlier, another testing period according to him.

Interesting to note your info - four fingers on both hands plus the thumbs (unlike Malaysia with only the index fingers of each hand)
I saw the machines set up in Phuket also last week, but wasn't required to use them (again, they weren't fully operational)

Well noted on the suggestion to get a Fast Track pass if available/convenient - I imagine as the system progresses to being used full time, the delays will be an issue
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Old May 24, 19, 7:34 am
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Came through arrival immigration at BKK on Sunday morning. Fast Track booths had the machines installed, but they were not in use.
(Was through in less then 5 minutes)
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goodeats21 is online now  
Old May 24, 19, 8:56 pm
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Still in Beta. Vendor (probably somebody's nephew) having problems, requested a 4-month delay, hashing out penalties.

2.1 Billion baht budget, for 2,000 scanners, all intl airports, land crossings, ports.

Plan 100% install by July 1, 2019.

On the plus side, easier to plant Burmese fingerprints to "solve" crimes.

Seems similar to what I've seen/used in SIN, HKG, APC/GE in the U.S?

Of note, many condos are installing fingerprint readers in the lobby to restrict short-term rentals (AirBnB).

And some condos are posting lists of foreigners, with name and apt. # on each floor to assist police in sweeps.
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Old May 29, 19, 4:40 am
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Departed BKK on Monday, early morning. ~2AM
Fast Track had the fingerprint devices in use.

I was still through quickly.
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Old May 30, 19, 5:12 am
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I got the fingerprint treatment on Tuesday in the FastTrack lane.

Hate to see the queues in the regular lines.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 11:11 am
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The time it took me today at Fast Track was the same time the immigration officer needed to do his type type type and stamp stamp stamp routine. So instead of standing there saying nothing to each other, I had a little task to do. The time should be similar for everyone.

The delays I saw were people who do not know their right from their left and cannot follow an animated diagram literally telling everything to do in what order and in their own language. Which hand is clear to press even if you can't read.

One lady was told, no, your left hand after placing her right (I guess the machine tells by relative finger length), three times, putting her right in after being told not to. Then when it was time for her right hand, she pressed with maybe 1/100 billionth of a nanogram thus making no impression at all on the glass. After doing it finally correctly, with the left hand. So her memory of how to proceed lasted 4 seconds.

It's a lot of hullaballoo.
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ricktoronto is offline  
Old Jun 9, 19, 12:11 pm
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In the EK Lounge just now departing shortly. Machines not in use when I came through, but still one of the helpers with a "Biometrics" bib on hanging around.
ft101 is offline  
Old Jun 16, 19, 10:41 am
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How do you get a fast track pass? I'm arriving on ANA and I'm *G, will that matter?
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Old Jun 16, 19, 2:19 pm
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@hockey7711, according to this thread ANA only gives Fast Pass to incoming J passengers but you will get a pass to use the special security line when leaving. As a DL Diamond and Plat I had some success quietly when on SkyTeam partners by asking if I get one but have also been turned down. I usually ask a flight attendant innocently if I qualify when nobody else is around and will later have the pass handed to me without a word shortly before landing. Note though that there are times when the regular line is faster because the Fast Pass is clearing a tour group, so I always look at the regular line as I pass and if it is clear just go directly through it. If you are on a large plane, just get to immigration as fast as possible and if it is not already backed up with passengers from other flights don't even bother checking Fast Pass. BTW, even when I have used Fast Track or been through the regular line without having to wait usually most if not all the passengers have been cleared and are waiting at the carousel by the time the luggage appears so Fast Pass is not usually even important.

As with most things first timers ask about trips to Bangkok, don't stress it. With or without FP you will likely get through immigration quickly and easily. Yes, many people post of long delays and I have gotten stuck in them twice (once at DMK for almost two hours) but these tend to be isolated, sometimes to a several day time period or when too many flights are landing at once. For the most part the immigration process is smooth and fast.

Last edited by CJKatl; Jun 16, 19 at 2:28 pm
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Old Jun 19, 19, 5:16 am
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FP not working well in Phuket! Flew back in end of May and it took 15 mins to get through with numerous tries and help from other officers...flew back in again last week and only needed to put right hand on but he then kept pressing each fingertip onto the plate. There again it may well be my fingerprints are not working!
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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:32 pm
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I have seen the news that the Thai immigration is asking for actual proof of funds in cash of 20,000 baht per person or equivalent in USD now. Is this true? Because I saw that early this year they did ask a couple of Indian passengers to show 10,000 baht or equivalent in USD. I have never seen them ask this before and I go to BKK a lot. Yes hotel booking sometimes and sometimes a return ticket.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 9:10 pm
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There are several requirements, which the first line Immigration Officer can choose to enforce, or they may be prompted to do so by their system, just five I can think of:

1.) Onward ticket
2.) 20,000 THB cash (in any currency) in hand, TravChex OK - (heard credit cards and even local bank books are not acceptable)
3.) Hotel booking
4.) Valid Visa/Re-entry permit, if not using a Tourist Visa Exemption, or a Visa on Arrival. (VoA has different cash requirements I think, maybe 10K for an individual and 20K for a "family"? Indian persons would be subject to the VoA process.)
5.) Telephone number (maybe your mobile or the first hotel?).

Your past entry/exit patterns may also be analyzed by the system and highlighted to the IO.

The cash on hand requirement is rarely enforced, perhaps only in a targeted way? I know of no one, first-hand, who has faced this challenge, nor have I. I do not carry this amount of cash. That said, I have seen reports on forums like ThaiVisa where this is a requirement.

There is also a FB page, Thai Visa Advice (or something along those lines), where this topic has no doubt been asked and answered, as it has here I think.

Requirement to show Bt20,000 in cash when entering Thailand

Last edited by transpac; Jun 25, 19 at 9:41 pm
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:34 am
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Thanks Transpac. Yes I go about three to four times per year and never have they ever asked me for cash. Yes return tickets or onward tickets and hotel bookings sometimes. Sometimes I only do a layover for one night due to connections the next day and I also if then do not carry that much cash as no point in doing so since I use my cards and the hotel is booked and paid in advance.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 10:10 am
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Local expat forum behemoth Thai Visa chimed in on the new fingerprinting today...

Welcome to Thailand - and welcome to immigration queues!
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