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Is Thai Immigration Getting More Difficult?

Transcription of the above video:

This video is going to briefly discuss immigration, specifically Thai immigration. I find it sort of interesting, I have family and colleagues, friends in the Kingdom and some of them have to deal with Thai immigration. And in fact, in a professional capacity, the firm assists clients on a fairly regular basis with Thai immigration matters.

And somebody asked me point blank the other day "Do I think the Thai immigration is getting more difficult to deal with?" And my answer to that question is a qualified yes in a lot of ways.

Certain aspects of Thai immigration have not gotten more difficult. For example, retirement visa processing is roughly the same as it's ever been although there had been some changes with respect to formalities most notably with respect to re-entry permits as photos are now required.

Marriage visas are pretty much what they once were although I will say and I've published this on my blog and I've also mentioned it in another couple of videos on this channel.

The immigration officers enforcement apparatus, the investigative side, is taking a larger and larger and is becoming more, I should say, they're investigating cases basically and this was simply just not the case five or six years ago. Basically, they did their investigation primarily when one came into the immigration office to seek the visa. It has come to my attention that now, the Thais associated with the investigation of immigration matters will occasionally go to the houses of those seeking marriage visas and will inquire whether or not the marriage is actually a bona fide marriage, etcetera. Again, that's a fairly recent phenomenon well at least on the scale of its occurring at as of the time of this filming.

Another thing that's interesting about it or another thing that should be pointed out is yes, business visa especially business visa extension, in my mind, have gotten more difficult over the past three years. In the past, it was mostly a matter of presenting documentation and simply having it scrutinized as long as the documentation you know, taxes paid, genuine business, genuine employees associated with the company, etcetera. You know, as long as all the documentation pass master for the most part, it was a fairly routine thing to get a business visa processed through.

Now, the scrutiny is much more intense. It's simply they're investigating all these cases. I have had personally dealt with, on behalf of clients who work with us. There had been more investigations, you know immigration officers physically coming to places of business to ascertain whether individuals are genuinely doing what essentially they say they are doing on paper.

The point being, immigration is more actively investigating those seeking visa status here in the Kingdom. Another thing to point out is about two years ago, there were a pretty significant number of deportations from Thailand. Basically, there's a new policy "good guys in, bad guys out" and the immigration apparatus is just in such a way that they are seeking more deportations of what they consider to be undesirable individuals in the Kingdom.

So it's something to keep in mind. In my opinion, in a way it is getting more difficult than maybe it was in the past but there is an argument that perhaps in the past, maybe things were a little bit lax and they're simply tightening things up. That being said, it's not a bad idea for those operating businesses here in Thailand to get some professional advice on dealing with immigration matters in Thailand as they can rather be complex and they can have serious ramifications for those who they impact.