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Random Inspections in Thai Business Visa Applications

Transcription of the above video:

Those watching this video and most videos on this channel tend to be expats although there are a little Thais watching these videos especially those associated with U.S. immigration. In this video, we're going to discuss the business visa and we're going to discuss specifically the inspections associated with business visa application.

What are we talking about? When we're talking about inspections, I'm actually talking about immigration officers physically coming to a company's registered address and ascertaining whether or not there really is business going there and whether or not there's genuine operation operating. This is a fairly recent development with respect to Thai immigration. In fact, last week at the time of this filming which was approximately May 20th, 2017, it has come to my attention for personal experience dealing with clients within our firm that those applying for a business visa extension on a brand new company are going to be immediately subject to inspection. This happened on two clients of ours within the past seven days and we were assisting for filing of business visa extension and immigration immediately told us "Okay, we're going to meet you today at the office and we want to see that everything is actually on the up and up."

After that happened in both cases, the premises were inspected. They found that legitimate business was taking place on those premises and it was no big deal but it was something to think about. Inspections are becoming more common. This is all in line with the recent policy the so-called "good guys in, bad guys out" policy that immigration has in recent years enacted. And scrutiny as well as adjudication as well as enforcement of immigration rules, regulations and the documentation of evidence associated with applications for Thai visas generally. All of this has become much higher standard when compared to times past.

That's not to say that there weren't rules of laws with respect to these issues. What we're saying is Thai immigration has essentially moved up when it comes to enforcement of regulations. In the past, it was more documentation issue. These days, they're not only following up adjudications not only by requesting a significant amount of documents but also by, for example, inspecting. They actually come to see the premises to ascertain whether or not it's a genuine business.

Again, this is a fairly recent development and it looks like it's not going to change anytime in the future. Those who are interested in long term Thai visas should be very aware that it's not getting easier, it's getting more difficult. Again as noted, tourist visas to be used as a way of living in Thailand, that's a thing of the past. Business visas now are very carefully scrutinized.

In other videos on this channel, we've discussed how marriage visas as well as the education visa have become under scrutiny. But specific to this video, understand business visas, inspections are occurring, the adjudicators are scrutinizing those applications much more deeply than they used to in the past. This is not some sort of rubber stamping process or some formality. This is a genuine adjudication. It is starting to look not very dissimilar to the way that visas in the United States are adjudicated. It's a fairly long trial process. Multiple officers are taking a look at the case file and then on top of it, this inspection component has been added to the overall process and again, it's a pretty serious deal.

As noted on other videos on this channel, the visa process is going to differ from province to province.  So what we have to deal with routine what we do which matters here Royal Thai Immigration Division 1 which is Bangkok so called Chaeng Wattana. We deal with that stuff here pretty routinely. The way that they're going to deal with things could be very different and the way that they deal with these kinds of things in Dong Kai or down in Phuket. Again, each province has a slightly different variant or variation on how they're undertaking the enforcement of immigration law or the adjudication of immigration application.

But that being said, it's fairly safe to say yes, I think the cross border stuff is going to get tighter and more difficult to have this sort of leeway with respect to documentation and again, with the inspection component I don't see where it's possible to do anything to just operate totally by the book. A legal service provider, a professional service provider, corporate service provider who's dealing with and this is what we primarily specialize in, those kind of service providers who are dealing with the company's upkeep and maintenance on a day to day services from an administrative standpoint, if there's a foreigner involved that needs a visa extension and work permit maintained, that has to be taken into consideration with respect to the way the corporate service provider maintains things like accountings and filings and social security filings and all of these on a day to day basis as failure to do so and I mean literally, down to the my new details, could result in a refusal to extend the visa for example and that could lead to a lot of wasted time, resources and frankly, frustration and stress associated with not being to renew one's visa.