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Does Thailand "Have the Most Complicated Entry Restrictions on Earth"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, and I don't think it puts too fine a point on it, "Does Thailand have the most complicated entry restrictions on Earth?"

The reason for saying that or asking that question is due to an article in The Telegraph, that is and the title is: Thailand: the Country with the most Complicated Entry Restrictions on Earth. Holidays are back on but they aren't straightforward. Quoting directly: "Thailand has finally been removed from the red list in a cull that saw the number of countries under the harshest travel restrictions slashed from 54 to just seven." For those who are unaware, especially American viewers, the “red list” is this list of restricted countries or I should say countries that require an inbound quarantine when going back to the United Kingdom when departing from one of these countries, Thailand was included on that list up until rather recently. UK folks, UK passport holders, British people going back to the United Kingdom had to quarantine after returning from Thailand. So it was a real, I don't know how you put, it was definitely dissuading many people from taking a trip to Thailand because they didn't want to have to deal with any quarantine requirements on the way back in. That seems to have been scrapped. Quoting further: "The news is particularly significant as it means it is now possible to have a holiday in Southeast Asia for essentially the first time since the start of the pandemic." Well that is not entirely correct, this is me commenting here. British folks could get into Thailand going back about a year ago. This whole “red list” thing to the best of my knowledge didn't come online until a couple of months ago. Quoting further: "However while holidays to Thailand are now feasible, they are far from straightforward. Tourists must travel directly to a small number of "Sandbox" destinations generally islands, staying there for 7 days before being able to travel elsewhere in the country. Still an enforced beach holiday is hardly the worst proposition and for those desperate to return to buzzing Bangkok or sleepy Northern temple towns, the deal may seem more than worth it." Yeah look, we have talked about this. I mean the "Sandboxes, for what they were, they were kind of a godsend in a real way, something that Thailand hasn't really been given a lot of credit for. I know folks have noted that I am a bit critical for lack of a better term but something that really has not been made enough of in my opinion is the fact that of all the places in Southeast Asia, Thailand went out of its way to welcome and accommodate tourists more than any other country that I can think of in this region. Thailand essentially, obviously they had the main shutdowns and things were very tightly shut down for quite a while and then Non-Immigrant Visa holders could get back in after Thais, Permanent Residents and things but this past year, basically since 2021, it has been possible unless my memory is failing me but I think it has been possible to use some form of "sandbox" or get into Thailand at least. Yes, there was a quarantine but even still it was possible to get in here. There are other countries that just said "Nope, not letting anybody in!" Vietnam comes to mind. Meanwhile, starting in I believe March, I think is when the "Phuket Sandbox" started if my memory serves me. I mean Thailand has gone out of its way to continue to try and accommodate tourists. Now it makes sense. A major chunk of GDP comes from tourism as we have talked about in other videos. 

Long story short, in this video the thing to take on board is yeah now it does have some complex entry requirements, there is no doubt about that. Are they the most complicated on Earth? Well that depends on your definition. It is possible to get into Thailand. There are countries that simply say "No, you can't get in." I mean if you consider that to be a pretty simple entry procedure with just "no" being the answer then yeah I guess they have simpler procedures but yes it is possible to get into Thailand. 

As I have discussed at length in other videos on this channel, "do I think that perhaps it could be less Byzantine? do I think that it could be less document intensive? do I frankly think that the whole thing could definitely be streamlined far, far more than it already is? is there in my opinion a strong reasonable argument that Certificates of Entry could go away especially for those who are vaccinated? I don't really see the purpose of that process". Yeah I think there is a lot that can be done with the current system but do I think it is the worst in the world? Well define "worst"! I would say that you can still get into Thailand, that is a big one. There are places you can't get into. On top of that yeah it is somewhat complex.

I have done videos especially on Certificates of Entry; we are doing one contemporaneously with this one. I have got serious issues with COE processing right now but honestly, I don't think that is something that is going to be particularly permanent especially the more egregious parts of that overall process. I think we are going to see that get cut out. And people forget we had the "fit to fly" documentation going back earlier in this year and that went away. They cut that out because 1) it was redundant and frankly it was causing a lot of consternation and it was not a great way to deal with things. Maybe we will see the same thing with COEs or some major aspect of COEs in the days and weeks moving ahead. Is it the most difficult place in the world to get into? I would say that that is not necessarily the case. There are certainly harder places to come into. Is it a process that can be a bit frustrating and beyond a bit, I would say is it a process that can be frustrating? Yeah no question. It is a frustrating process. We get frustrated here dealing with it on behalf of our clients. That stated, those who feel like they may need some assistance it may not be a terrible idea to contact a legal professional, gain some insight and guidance into how best to proceed.