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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawIs the Most "Seamless" Thailand Pass a Nonexistent One?

Is the Most "Seamless" Thailand Pass a Nonexistent One?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thailand Pass and we are going to go ahead and jump over here to ASEAN NOW, that is, the article is titled: Thai PM Demands Seamless Thailand Pass. Quoting directly: "The Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said at the weekend that the country's leader is demanding that the Thailand Pass system is working seamlessly to facilitate the arrival of foreign travelers and tourists reported Thai Rath. One of the PM's ideas was to promote the idea of offering holiday packages said the media." Then quoting further ASEAN NOW goes in to note, quoting directly: "ASEAN NOW notes that the story lacked any substantial change from other rhetoric coming from the Government after early hiccups in the Thailand Pass System were supposedly overcome." I would kind of go another little step further here and take a note that the most seamless Thailand Pass would just be one that doesn't exist. 

We have been dealing with the Certificate of Entry and I understood the policy thinking behind the idea of a Certificate of Entry when this when this all began especially at the point at which you started dealing with various types of documentation. There is just a pre-approval process. Now I mean I really don't understand why the Thailand Pass needs to exist as an extra layer. One would think especially with respect to, okay maybe the Thailand Pass specifically in cases involving the Visa Exemption where someone isn't using a Visa, they are just coming in on a passport that allows, for example US passports allow for an immediate 30-day stamp without any without any other requirement. Well Thailand Pass in much the same way that the ESTA program, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, provides this extra layer for those using the Visa waiver program to go into the United States. I can understand Thailand Pass doing that with respect to the Visa Exemption program. Okay I mean to me it makes sense. I don't necessarily agree that perhaps it should be used especially from the standpoint of trying to attract tourists especially in the longer term but okay at the moment to me it makes sense maybe to have it only with exemptions but I would think the documentation associated with the Thailand Pass, and we have dealt with a number of them including a number of Certificates of Entry, I mean it is pretty redundant stuff and I would think that the Consulate can review this when issuing any kind of Non-Immigrant or Tourist Visa. So it kind of begs the question to me what the purpose is of the Thailand Pass at least for those going for visas. Again I get it in an exemption context perhaps but those going for visas I mean can't they review this documentation and deal with that as part of the Visa process? It seems to me like that is a fairly straightforward way to deal with it. 

That being said, they don't ask me. This is just my observation but it seems to me that they are trying and good on them; credit where credit is due. Policy makers here in Thailand are trying to get their arms around this thing and try to get some more tourists into Thailand and so for this reason calling for the seamless Thailand Pass. I would say hey let's re-examine whether we need it at all especially in the context of those who are applying for or already have visas.