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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawAre We Seeing a "Great Reset" for Expats in Thailand?

Are We Seeing a "Great Reset" for Expats in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing a "Great Reset".

I have seen this across YouTube frequently, this term the "Great Reset", the World Economic Forum has been using it a lot. It is an interesting term to say the least. It means a lot of things to a lot of people but I thought I would make this video to delve in, I sometimes do an op-ed where I just sort of throw my two cents in as to what I think people should be looking at for the future of Thai Immigration matters. One thing that I think would be a good idea on the part of expats here in Thailand is to go ahead and perhaps you know, maybe not "Great Reset" but think in terms of a paradigm shift with how Immigration policy is going to be operating I think at least for the relatively foreseeable future; perhaps the next quarter, perhaps two or three quarters going into 2021. 

What I am specifically trying to pinpoint here is Thai Immigration's overall paradigm has shifted a lot in 5 years. 5 years ago back in 2015, I think it was safe to say that they were still operating much more with an administrative mindset that processing documentation associated with visas and Immigration matters was a function of the Administrative State if you will. Meanwhile subsequent to 2015, specifically around 2017 and 18, we really saw a shift in what I call the "Big Joke" era at Thai Immigration wherein it became much more of an exercise in law enforcement and it was viewed much more as an exercise in law enforcement. For that reason, there was much more stringent scrutiny on Visa applications, documentation associated therewith, a lot more inspections. We have seen a lot more inspections in Thailand especially for things like O Marriage Visas, Thai Business Visas, even Education Visas. We have seen language schools and other academic institutions be subjected to inspection to make sure that those who are saying they are attending those institutions actually are or those who are on the premises actually have Visa status. 

Meanwhile there has been a great deal more activity I should say, in terms of crackdowns with respect to Legal workers, crackdowns with respect to those who using Tourist Visas to effectively live in Thailand. All of this we have seen in the last 5 years. It has really been watershed type level change with respect to Thai Immigration. 

Now we have dealt with this response to COVID-19; the travel restrictions associated therewith, the issues associated with the insurance required, non-insurance required, retirement visas; I think generally speaking it is a good idea to view 2020 going into 2021 as a time when the Thai Immigration system did go through a fundamental shift and I think that we are going to be looking at a situation where I think the Thai Immigration system is going to look very similar in many respects to the US Immigration system wherein there is not a lot of border running that I suspect is going to be going on especially into 2021 or so-called visa runs. I also don't think it is going to be particularly easy to live in Thailand in like Tourist Visa status as it once was. As of the time of this video virtually no tourists are being allowed in. 

That stated, in the future I think that a lot of these changes are going to become sort of normalized and permanent and for that reason it is a good idea to sort of adjust one's perspective accordingly.