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Thailand Immigration's Advance Passenger Processing System (APPS)

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are discussing Thai Immigration efforts and specifically we are discussing a program called the Advanced Passenger Processing System.

I am kind of talking about this in line with some other broader trends that we are seeing occur within the Immigration apparatus here in the Kingdom as of the time of this filming most notably Personnel changes, Enforcement changes, Policy changes; just everything with respect to Immigration is undergoing something of a fundamental transition at the moment and I think in years to come they will look back probably on late 2018 as the watershed moment when things really began to change in earnest.

But this article I am going to quote from actually comes from some time ago. It is from the Nation, nationmultimedia.com, It is from February 1, 2016. The article is titled New Immigration Screening System Unveiled. Quoting directly, "Thailand is more secure now thanks to a new screening system at the recently opened Thai Immigration 24/7 Center in Suan Phlu according to authorities. The system uses an Advanced Passenger Processing System or APPS to stop undesirable foreigners from coming to Thailand based on data gathered at their point of origin." I will get into this a little bit. “Police Lieutenant General Nathathorn Prousoontorn, Chief of the Immigration Bureau told the Nation that the APPS would screen incoming passengers before a decision was made whether to let them into the country.” Quoting further from that same article, ‘The system is being used alongside other security tools including the Personal Identification Blacklist Immigration Control System the case management intelligent system, CCTV Surveillance and the CRIME System. (CRIMES is all in capitalization so I am assuming that is an acronym.) All of these systems are operated and monitored by the Immigration 24/7 Centre and aims to be the Hub of Thailand's Immigration procedures and help to improve National Security. The Immigration Center at Suan Phlu’s Immigration Division One will have officers monitoring incoming data 24 hours a day.” Let me quote a little bit further from something else here. The article is rather recent. October 9th 2018, title, Airport Officers transferred over bribes. This is from Bangkok Post, bangkokpost.com. Voting directly, “Lieutenant General Kongcheep added “The foreign nationals’ identity database has to be integrated with the Immigration airport’s to help identify more quickly those who might pose as a threat to National Security.” So what are we talking about here? First of all let's go back to APPS, so the Advanced Passenger Processing System. I have actually seen, sort of indirectly through clients who have had issues in the criminal justice system here in the Kingdom, those who are not clients but I have heard sort of anecdotally about trying to come in the Kingdom and they may have either a criminal record in their home country or some sort of prior less than optimal history here in the Kingdom perhaps with the Criminal Justice System perhaps with the Immigration System. These folks are being disallowed from boarding their flights before they even come into Thailand. So basically this Advanced System this APP System, the point of it would seem to be keeping folks from even entering the Kingdom, even getting here and in the past we have seen people who have been turned away before being allowed to go through an Immigration checkpoint. This goes a step further and basically would appear to take these folks, see them in the database or see their information and basically state to the airline,”no don't let that person board, don't let them come to the Kingdom!” and the airlines not wanting to basically have to bring a person there and shuttle them back off to some third country jurisdiction will go ahead and just disallow boarding for that individual. Again I have sort of seen this not first-hand but in a little bit of an indirect capacity. It is occurring. The APP System does work. I don't exactly know the scope of it but of note was the second article I brought up which basically said the Immigration authorities are seriously looking at integrating these databases into the Immigration system as a whole. So the way to look at this right now is like sort of separate databases which don't really interact with one another but again if one has a criminal conviction in Thailand or perhaps a criminal conviction abroad, depending on the type of criminal activity, basically this APP System deems that individual or individuals to be "undesirable" alien, they might not even be allowed to get on the plane to come to Thailand. That would appear to be a real possibility moving forward.

So those who think that they have issues with respect to Immigration should probably go ahead and consult a legal professional in order to ascertain basically the scope and the size of the problem is not a bad idea. The other thing is if individuals who are in the Blacklist system, obviously they're going to have even more issues and ascertaining whether or not one is in that system can be a substantial issue and then trying to figure out ways in which to remedy it, even if it's even possible to remedy the problem, again it is going to require the assistance of legal professionals. So those who this could be an issue for, probably not a bad idea to contact a legal professional and basically at least try to get a handle on exactly what the problem is before proceeding and trying to come to a remedy.