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30 Day Review of a Thai Visa Extension Application

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the 30-day review period for Non-Immigrant Visa renewals or extensions. Extensions is probably the right word rather than renewal, although you are renewing your Visa status on a yearly basis, you could use that word too.

A recent letter to the Bangkok Post Postbag, it was titled: Immigration Games, it was sent by someone named Farangs Anonymous, from December 19, 2020. This is the print edition of the Bangkok Post. Quoting directly: "Why can't Spousal Visas be stamped on reporting days instead of being forced to come back 30 days later after the "review period"? If Spousal Visas are done every year, then there is nothing to review. It creates more chaos at Immigration with returnees having to come back needlessly." 

Well in point of fact, it is my understanding that the regulations actually do dictate that they have to do a review period. So there is a 30-day period, the application is vetted by multiple Immigration Officers after the intake officer takes that visa application in. Then after 30 days they come back and go ahead and grant the extension of status or not. In theory they could say "no", they could deny it and there actually is a protocol for dealing with a denial if you want to go ahead and appeal that. It is pretty rare but it does happen. 

The long story short though is "yeah that is dictated by the regulations and they take 30 days to go ahead and every year deal with re-adjudicating those applications."  This comes part and parcel and I don't think a lot of people really understand this at a fundamental level which is, these are Non-Immigrant Visas. The presumption is that these are folks staying in Thailand temporarily. For this reason, they take the position that that temporary stay needs to be reviewed on a yearly basis. Again whether you agree with it or not and I can see the argument multiple different ways with respect to the 30-day review period, it is statutorily required and it does serve a function which is to provide Immigration Officers time to look over the application package and in certain cases, it also provides them time to deal with an inspection if they deem it necessary. So while I won't sit here and say that it is the greatest thing in the world, it just sort of is what it is.