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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThai Visas: "Is" or "Is Not"; There Is No "Why"

Thai Visas: "Is" or "Is Not"; There Is No "Why"

Transcript of the above video:

The title of this video is Thai Visas: "Is" or "Is not"; There is No "Why?" 

I am making this video because well first of all what am I referencing? Pop cultural reference to Star Wars; there is a line where Luke Skywalker is being instructed by Yoda and Luke is exhausted. Yoda tells him he needs to do something and Luke says "I will try." and Yoda says "Do" or "Do Not"; there is no "Try". In this context, we are using the term Thai Visas "Is" or "Is Not"; there is no "Why", for a reason. Well the reason for this is I get a lot of people that ask me "Why are they doing it like this?"  "Why are they doing it like that?"  In some circumstances, that is a valid question and I want to be clear with this video. It is not wrong to ask "why?" necessarily. What folks are often presuming, and I think it is a presumption that although on one level is reasonable and my answer may initially seem counterintuitive, it is controlling on the situation as it actually is.  People ask me a lot, "Why are they doing it this way?" "Why is this the policy?"  "Why is my Visa going to expire because of this mechanism being triggered?" All sorts of hypotheticals I could throw out. I am not going to do that. 

In certain circumstances the "why" might exist; there may be a reason for why they are implementing a certain policy or why a regulation reads the way it does and results in the practical implication of the practical enforcement falling a certain way.

Sometimes there is no "why?" The rules were written and the rules are the way that the rules are. I find with Immigration, it is not unlike tax. Sometimes they just have to set down a rule in order to get on with the process of maintaining people's lawful status here in Thailand. So I am not saying that a rule is necessarily arbitrary but what I am saying is sometimes it just needs to be fixed. This is going to be the rule. This is how we are going to deal with it and they move on. Now again we may disagree with the rule but getting into a sort of massive analysis of the "Why?" of certain rules here in the Thai Visa apparatus I think is counterproductive oftentimes. Sometimes it is useful especially if you are doing an analysis of your situation and you determine that okay this is for example the "Why are Yellow House Books, yellow Tabian Baans in Thailand, why don't they have any bearing on the TM30 address reporting requirements?" We made a video on that in the past; “Why don't they interact?” Well they don't interact because the rule that brought forth yellow Tabian Baans, specifically the Civil Registration Act, doesn't have anything to do with the Immigration Act. They are two different bodies of Law and it is important to understand that distinction because it is two different Ministries or two different Government Agencies that have two different purposes. So, in the case of yellow Tabian Baans, the purpose is recordation of addresses of people here in Thailand basically from almost a vital statistics record-keeping standpoint. Meanwhile Thai Immigration's function is to monitor and enforce Thai Immigration Law or the Laws that pertain to foreigners here in the Kingdom of Thailand. They just operate differently; they operate to two different ends. Yes it could be streamlined. I can see people's argument that perhaps streamlining those two things would be a good idea or linking together those systems but they just aren't and yes the "why?" is interesting but as far as does it help you in your life to understand that? It might because there a lot of people that assume or presume that for example being in a yellow house, I did it one time presume that being in a yellow house book meant that they didn't have to file things like TM30 or 90 day reports. The fact is that notwithstanding that, you do or depending on your circumstances you may have to. 

The reason I am making this video is so people sort of understand, yeah you can ask "why" but sometimes it is going to be an exercise in frustration for you and it is also going to be a bit, I hesitate to say counterproductive but it is kind of like spinning your wheels. It just doesn't really get you anywhere to understand why something is the way that it is. Certain Immigration offices do things a certain way. For example documentation requirements or the way the documentation is collated may differ from Immigration Office to Immigration Office and they are making those rules for expedience within their jurisdiction. They have just found a certain practice operates more smoothly within their office. There isn't a real "why" past that. It is just they are used to doing it a certain way and they are going to do it that certain way and really trying to get into an analysis of why Surathani Immigration does things differently than Bangkok Immigration vs. Hua Hin Immigration or Chiang Mai Immigration is kind of an exercise in futility. It is not going to do you a lot of good to try and examine that. I have had people email me with rather long emails trying to analyze the difference in office styles in the way that you know somebody moved from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, the way this office does things differently and how this all works. Okay you know how they work differently and as a practical matter that comparative analysis may be beneficial especially with respect to where you currently live and understanding they are not doing something that you are used to having done in your prior Immigration office but getting into really super detailed nitpicking over the difference from office to office in the way that Immigration does things here in Thailand, I really don't think it is particularly beneficial for anyone to undertake that kind of analysis.