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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThe Royal Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu, Malaysia

The Royal Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Royal Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu, Malaysia. The point of making these videos, I am making these during the COVID-19 lockdown albeit during some of the latter phases of the reopening and although we are doing this in the background of COVID-19 because I think there are going to be a lot of people that are going to need to do Border Runs and Visa Runs, I want to provide a little insight to those folks, this also should be viewed as a general video for general consumption because it provides general information about that particular post and just some general insight on how Visa applications are processed through Thai Embassies and Consulates outside the Kingdom. 

So the address of the Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu is 4426 Jin Tok Guru, Taman, Ng Beng Kool, 15400 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia; so that is the address. The thing to take away from this video is first of all it is my understanding that that is the oldest official overseas post, diplomatic or otherwise of Thailand at all. That is their first accredited mission abroad is to Kota Bharu and it is actually down along the southern border; it is right across the border with Southern Thailand so it has some history. 

Also the thing to take away from this video is different offices do things differently. Some offices process Visa applications a certain way and they are empowered with certain plenary power to have wide latitude in making factual determinations, making evidentiary requests and such factual determinations and evidentiary requests may vary from Thai Embassy to Thai Embassy and Thai Consulate to Thai Consulate throughout the region; even within a given mission. So for example, the Thai Embassy in Malaysia which has authority over the Consulates in Penang and Kota Bharu, the Embassy, their Consular Division issuing visas may do things one way meanwhile there may be slight differences in the way in which the Consulate in Kota Bharu may do things. The reason for this is 1) all these posts are granted a certain amount of latitude to deal with things on the ground as best they can. There are certain efficiency arguments which just state that "look we are used to doing things a certain way and we are going to continue doing these things a certain way."

Also again, Officers, specifically Ministry of Foreign Affairs Officers who are posted to Thai missions abroad in this case in Malaysia, they have to apply Thai Immigration law but they also have to apply it to a given set of facts and they are empowered with a certain level of plenary authority and adjudicatory discretion to make determinations on a given case in different ways oftentimes.  We will see folks who will say "Well I went to the Thai Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. They did things this way but they are doing it like this at this Embassy."  Yes, it varies from post to post.

Now Thai Immigration Law is a uniform body of Law and it is supposed to be applied relatively uniformly but again administrative discretion is granted as well as just the nature of the plenary authority associated with visa application adjudication results in situations where things will vary from post to post even within a given mission, in this case the Thai Embassy in Malaysia as opposed to sometimes the Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu.