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Thai Permanent Residence Applications and the Coronavirus Crisis

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Permanent Residence here in the Kingdom of Thailand and we are specifically discussing applications for Thai residency with the backdrop of this Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

for those who are unaware, those who maintain lawful status here in Thailand generally speaking also maintain employment status here in Thailand for a prolonged period of time, those folks can go ahead and apply for Permanent Residence here in the Kingdom of something akin in police in the United States to Green Card status or lawful Permanent Residence in the US. In the UK I believe they call it Indefinitely to Remain or ILR and here in Thailand we just call it Permanent Residence or Residency. 

I have had some questions from folks who have been getting their ducks in a row to apply for residence and they have been asking "how do you think that this is going to discover COVID -19 thing is going to impact applications for Permanent Residence?"  My response to that is "Well, it remains to be seen."  The window last year opened really, really early compared to most years. It opened midsummer and it closed at the end of the calendar year, December 31st, effectively although it closed earlier from a practical standpoint. Those folks who didn't get in under that wire need to apply this year or if they were on ineligible last year they need to apply this year. This year remains to be seen. So the Permanent Residence "window", we call it the window, but basically they have to start accepting applications. They haven't announced that they are going to start accepting applications yet and it remains to be seen exactly when they are going to do that. This is purely speculation on my part but I think there are going to be a lot of a long-term unforeseen consequences as a result of Coronavirus and the shutdown associated therewith. I think Permanent Residence could be one of these unforeseen things that comes up or specifically the application period for Permanent Residence. I could definitely see you know look where we are sitting right now, we are in early April. We are all anticipating the end of April we have sort of come through the worst of this and we are starting to get things back up and open, and running as normally. Again that is kind of speculative at this point; it remains to be seen. Government is going to have other priorities when they get things moving and they are going to have to prioritize resources accordingly so exactly when the application window would open remains to be seen. 

The thing I would take away from this video is early as it did last year. Getting one's ducks in a row with respect to Thai PR is a good idea and doing it sort of for lack of better term early and often is always a good idea. So the thing to take away from this video is, as yet COVID-19 has yet to directly impact the process for applying for residency in Thailand and to be clear, just to provide some context, we process and number of PR cases every year. The cases we filed last year generally speaking they tend to kind of bunch up right at the very end of last year, those are still processing. We are still moving those through.  The Government is still open. So those got on file and we are dealing with them accordingly. That being said, exactly when the window would open this year for filing for PR remains to be seen and it stands to reason or it seems logical to infer that the resources that may be required to deal with the aftermath of COVID-19, it could drain away resources that might otherwise have been use to process Permanent Residence applications at the Immigration apparatus here in Thailand.