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Thailand Tales: Sham Marriages for Thai Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, this is another one of those Thailand Tales. I have a done a series of these videos where we are talking about the good or bad old days of Thailand, however you want to look at it with respect to certain things that used to happen in Thailand and the system has overhauled itself and we don't really see this anymore. 

This one is relatively recent. I think this has happened within the last 5 years. There were a number of stories about it. In fact I think we have talked about it on this channel while it was being reported. If you go back further though there are instances of this but the most recent iteration, at some point there was a circle of folks that were ostensibly married to Thai Nationals even though the Thai Nationals had never met these folks before. Basically someone had gained access to the ID system, the Civil Registrar System here in Thailand, and it basically forged marriage documentation to make it seem like certain nationals were married to Thai Nationals and then getting a Visa for them based on that certification. Obviously this was rooted out and folks that were found to be in violation of this were pretty summarily dealt with. 

That said, going back even further and then contemporaneously with that, sham marriage is not unheard of in the Immigration world. In the American system it is something we have to deal with although frankly here in Thailand, US Embassy Thailand is considered a low fraud post and therefore we just don't see it very often here quite frankly. I do know for a fact Vietnam, Cambodia they see issues of sham marriage much more often than here in Thailand. 

That stated, not just taking it from the American angle, yeah, we reported on them at the time. There were sham marriages associated with folks that were ostensibly married to Thai Nationals who weren't in fact married to Thai nationals. This frankly led to increased scrutiny in the process of getting a Thai O Visa based on marriage. Now we often hear reports from folks that Immigration Officers will review their case file. They will go ahead and even sometimes show up at folk's house to make sure they are cohabitating. There are a number of different things that they will do in order to try and go ahead and ensure that a marriage which is the basis for a Thai Visa application is in fact genuine.