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Thailand Tales: Did the Prayut Government Create the Immigration Blacklist?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Blacklist. What I would call the broad Blacklist. The Blacklist that can now apply to folks who overstay in Thailand as opposed to the criminal Blacklist where if you have a criminal conviction, that has basically always been the case. If you had a criminal conviction in Thailand, a major criminal conviction generally what would be the equivalent of a felony under the Western system, then you could be blacklisted and not allowed to return to Thailand.

A lot of people have asked me did the Prayut Government bring in the Blacklist. As I recall, and this is to some degree my recollection and anecdotal, as I was seeing things transpire when the change of Government happened, we were starting to see policy shifts in Immigration before the Prayut Government came into power. I was seeing things like the blacklisting talked about, changes to that, and then later yeah it definitely gained a lot of momentum under the present Government or after Prayut took power. 

Another interesting aspect of this, a lot of people bring up “Big Joke” because in their minds I think they think of Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn the former Head of Thai Immigration as being the one that really pushed this. There was no doubt about that. He definitely came in and really started cracking down on overstayers, folks in the country illegally, but frankly the rules were changing before all of that. Candidly it had kind of gotten a little bit ridiculous where there were people that were overstaying years at a time. Even going back into 2008, 7 and 8, prior to that you could do the infinite 30 day-stamps. Those folks, if you were using the so called infinite 30-day stamps and we have made another video on this channel about those, you could be in Thailand legally forever just using 30-day stamps. Those folks were though attempting to stay in status. They would go out and come in and they would do it "the right way" although that was sort of later thrown over; they didn't really want to continue allowing folks to stay that way. Now that all started changing kind of in '07 and '08 and then it all came to a head with the promulgation of the rules regarding overstay and automatic Blacklisting associated therewith. They came about roughly, right around 2014 maybe a little earlier 2013, when we started seeing those rules come into effect.