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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawMaking Thai Immigration Decisions Based on Information in a Forum

Making Thai Immigration Decisions Based on Information in a Forum

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Forums in the English language but I think Fora is actually the correct word so Forum in plural and we are discussing it specifically in the context of Thai visas and Thai Immigration. 

Now let me be clear, before I start this video. I am not distaining the use of fora. I am not distaining the use for example of the Thai Visa Forum or Expat Forums on Facebook or Thai Visa Forums on Facebook where they talk about things that are going on with respect to Thai Immigration. Or Twitter folks; there are a lot of folks on Twitter for example Richard Barrows on Twitter; we follow him from time to time and look at his stuff. There is really solid and insightful information on an Immigration Forum. Again, Thai Visa, Facebook Fora that are talked about Visa and Immigration issues and like I said Twitter folks. There is nothing wrong with any of these and some of them are really, really insightful.  In fact, there are some folks that take photos in some of these fora put them up and let people see the lines at places and things like that and that can have a real positive benefit for both the people that use it for informational purposes and in some cases I do think it a policy level within the Immigration system, some of that stuff is looked at and it is taken into consideration. 

What I am making this video for is I have seen a lot of people in the past like 7 to 10 days, especially as this COVID crisis has been coming more and more to a head, and I understand. People are overwrought. They are upset. This is not a good situation to be in. We are seeing people who unfortunately, they think their status is okay and then they find out the amnesty may or may not apply to you that certainly is stressful. Folks who didn't get into the amnesty window. Their visas expired before the Embassy window hit and perhaps they were unable to get an Embassy letter from their home Embassy to regularize their status. A lot of this stuff is really turning into a source of consternation for many people here in Thailand.

I am making this video because I want people to understand and I want to be clear, a lot of the Forum operators, moderators whatever you want to call it, they are very clear about pointing out that different Immigration Offices deal with things differently. Moreover, Immigration is a plenary power. I have discussed this in prior videos. It doesn't work the same way that law works in the sense that you go into a Court and there is a good faith adjudication and the law is interpreted. There is a lot more discretion inherent in the Officers at Immigration just due to the plenary nature of their function.  It is not wholly a legal function. In a sense there are National Security considerations.  There are health and safety considerations at play with Immigration. Most acutely at the time of this video we are talking about COVID-19 or Coronavirus and this video I am not making specifically to talk about COVID-19 or Coronavirus. This is a general video that I am hoping stands the test of time long after we hopefully put this COVID-19 thing to bed and don't have to deal with it in the future.  The purpose of this video is to discuss making decisions specifically based on Immigration you have read in a forum; not always the best idea. There are various reasons for that most notably one of the big ones I see is people make a decision “Oh I saw this in this forum”. Well that posting is 5 years old. Policies change, Immigration officers change. 

Many of the moderators that I have seen throughout the internet that are operating forums talking about Thai Visa specifically and frankly although Thai Immigration law is a narrow body of law, it is deep. You have got really subtle nuances depending on circumstantial issues and circumstances as they arise that can fundamentally alter the way in which Thai Immigration law is applied. 

Back to the point of this video, If you think you fall into a situation where the matter is rather nuanced, there is not a clear-cut rule out there under which you specifically fall under, it is not a terrible idea to contact a legal professional or in some cases directly liaise with Thai Immigration themselves. That may be a daunting endeavor. You may spend hours out there and they may ultimately not really provide you with an answer that you feel is satisfactory. In some cases because of their caseload, in some cases because you are trying to get an answer to for lack of a better term, a hypothetical, and they don't want to deal with a hypothetical. They have enough work to do. That is not their function. So again a legal professional may be advisable. Sometimes leasing directly with Immigration may be possible but understand each case is unique. I talk about this in US Immigration as well as Thai Immigration. While generally speaking the rules and the system will operate a certain way, each case is unique so it is not always going to be prudent to make decisions based on something you read in a forum because it may not apply specifically to you and your situation and your circumstances in your case.