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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThai Visa Extension Denial and Departure from the Kingdom

Thai Visa Extension Denial and Departure from the Kingdom

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today as the title suggests we are discussing Thai visa extensions specifically under those circumstances where an extension is denied. What are one's options? 

Well the reason I bring this up is in the past, it was kind of in a set of circumstances in the past where Thai Immigration Officials were, I don't know what the right term is, perhaps more accommodating to visa applications especially those which were deficient on documentation of what could be described of a more formalistic nature. You know you are missing one piece of paper they say "Okay, I'm going to use my discretion to allow this to go ahead and process on through and barring any further issues with it we will probably go ahead and issue the extension". And it seemed as though in the past,  the attitude was, although not particularly wanting to overly accommodate the foreign national to the point of you know not vetting them and not scrutinizing them the application, but where people had a preponderance of the evidence to show that they had substantial reason to remain in the country, extensions by and large were granted and the result was and also there seem to be a real disinclination toward making people depart the country and come back in on a new visa and deal with the extension all over again. For lack of a better term, the Thai officials were just being kind of "easier" to deal with. It was almost more “accommodating” I guess is kind of the right word although that is not particularly the case. I think more it was maybe the thinking of “we're kind of taxing the system already, why overly burden the system with sending someone out and have to deal with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs system and then come back and have to deal with the Immigration system again when it is all over just one document that there is a deficiency here, discretion can be used to sort of make a determination under extenuating circumstances and move on”. That attitude is no longer the case. The current immigration apparatus takes a hard line especially with respect to documentation requirements and enforcement protocols and for that reason we are seeing a larger number of folks being denied that extension and told “you need to leave Thailand.” In some cases they will be on the last day of their visa and will basically not be allowed an extension and under those circumstances, those people are often given a 7-day stamp which gives them a week to get out of the country and they are basically told “come back in with a new visa and try to process this thing when you have all your documentation sort of in order”.

For this reason and I think it is wise to utilize the assistance of legal professionals and more importantly, accounting professionals to make sure that all documentation is in order with respect to a visa application at the time the application is made in order to forestall a denial of the application and basically the need to leave the country and get a new visa. It is a problematic situation to be in but that being said, Thai Immigration Authorities are getting more strict as time has gone on and I don't see the strictness waning anytime in the future. I simply think it is going to be more and more, I won't say difficult, but the process is going to be tightened up more and more as time goes by and more and more I am seeing a paradigm shift with respect to Immigration Officers pertaining to these matters as they don't really have the attitude anymore of "well we don't really want to send them out of the country", more their attitude is "look you need to abide by the rules! You need to have your documentation. Failure to have your documentation you need to leave get a new visa and come back in and start all over”, and that can be a real problem for folks especially those working in the Kingdom so for that reason, perhaps retaining the assistance of legal professionals in the matter is probably a good idea.