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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawDo Thai Immigration Officers Make "Inane Demands"?

Do Thai Immigration Officers Make "Inane Demands"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Immigration and whether or not Immigration Officers make inane demands of applicants. 

I bring this up because a recent letter came to my attention. It was a letter that was sent to the Bangkok Post, it was featured in their Postbag section of the print edition of the Bangkok Post December 19th, 2020 and that letter was titled: Immigration Games and it was from somebody titling themselves Farangs Anonymous. Quoting directly: "Finally on the Head of Thai Immigration's first day in office he stated that all Immigration Officers should be friendly and accommodating. I have yet to see that with all of their inane demands." The reason I wanted to make a video on this is not to magnify any criticism one way or the other on this but I think a lot of people that deal with Immigration get overwrought and I think at the same time Immigration sometimes themselves they get overwrought because they are dealing with so many people all day and it just leads to an overall tension that builds up on both sides of the desk between the Immigration and the foreigner who is dealing with getting their visa sorted.

A lot of things that are part and parcel of the Visa process do seem rather inane. Now when you drill down into the policy reasons behind them you will either see that they have a good reason or you will find the history of why they existed and perhaps their raison d'etre has gone away; it was transient and it is no longer necessary. I often find in looking into this and trying to understand why something is necessary, for example a certain piece of evidence, I am definitely not relieved but I am at least kind of calmed down with respect to "okay why are they asking for that?" and once we figure out why and usually you will either get something of a decent response from the officer or if you go dig into the regs you will see "oh they want to see this because they are trying to prove that", or whatever.

Also the other thing to remember is a lot of the line officers are just applying policy that is set way above them. They are not the person that is necessarily the one that is imposing this requirement on you. This is something they have to deal with. In fact we deal with Immigration rather frequently. We don't have any special relationship with them. We have cordial professional relations with them but every once in a while they will kind of note in dealing with the case, they will say "yeah I really don't want to be asking for this. I know it is a cumbersome requirement but it is just part of the protocol now." So the other thing to understand is it may not be the person you are actually dealing with who is making that demand. It may just be dictated far above them by policy which may or may not be inane.