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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawInstitutional Coordination of the Immigration System in Thailand

Institutional Coordination of the Immigration System in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing, in my opinion, what could be rather important changes that are going on with respect to the Immigration apparatus here in the Kingdom.  

In a recent article from Khao Sod, khaosodenglish.com, the article is entitled:  Superstar Cop Big Joke on His Rise and Plans for Expats Visas.  Quoting directly, and this is a really good article. I would urge those who are watching this video, go check this article out on Khao Sod. It is quite long and I am only going to be reading very tiny segments of it. But those who are interested in this topic and interested in Thai Immigration just sort of generally, I urge you to check out this article because there is a lot of detail in here and I think it gives good insight into the paradigm that is currently at play within the Immigration apparatus, if for no other reason than the Head of Immigration maintains a certain perspective on these matters and I think that perspective is useful for understanding how Immigration is going to make determinations and decisions in the future. 

That being said, quoting directly from the article, "A data link between the Immigration and Thailand's Consular Affairs around the world was recently established. Experts will also be consulted to see what restricted professions should be open to foreigners." I really should have only just quoted that first sentence so let me re quote that, "A data link between Immigration and Thailand Consular Affairs around the world was recently established."  Why am I bringing this up? There was a time when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the Immigration apparatus operated somewhat mutually exclusively. Not even "somewhat". They were pretty much mutually exclusive of one another. So while Ministry of Foreign Affairs would have certain regulations regarding visas, immigration would have a different set of regulations regarding visas. Now some of these rules’ differences were the result of expedience. Ministry of Foreign Affairs has to deal with Consular matters on the ground and in certain cases they are not able to quite scrutinize things as deeply as Immigration Officers here in the Kingdom can and for that reason that is why for example 90-day visas were often issued with the presumption that the individual being granted the 90-day Visa would then turn around and seek an extension in the Kingdom.

The thing to take away from this in my opinion is, it is clear that further integration of these different apparatii if you will, for example Immigration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is probably going to lead to a much more uniform approach to adjudicating Visa applications than existed in the past. Moreover, there was sort of a situation in the past where it was, I kind of called it, "Oh, if you don't get the answer you want from mom, go ask dad", in the sense that you know individuals would be in the Kingdom here and they would try to get it for example an extension in the Kingdom and Immigration would turn that extension application down in some cases.  Under those circumstances it was often the case, I would see individuals leave the country and seek for example a multi-entry one-year Visa rather than a one year visa extension. It looks to me like this is probably going to be a practice that is not going to exist much longer.  Frankly it if it's existed in last couple years it has been in very rare circumstances.

But I think moving forward, it's safe to assume that Immigration, whatever decisions they make in country, is probably going to be fairly closely mirrored by Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a Thai Embassy or Thai Consulate abroad. So that's something that I think is of interest and should be considered moving forward with respect to maintaining one's lawful status here in the Kingdom of Thailand.