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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration Law"Tipping" Banned from Thailand Immigration Checkpoints

"Tipping" Banned from Thailand Immigration Checkpoints

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Immigration checkpoints here in Thailand and the end of an era, if you will.

A recent article from the Nation, nationmultimedia.com, titled "New Immigration Head Clamps down on Visa “Tips”. Quoting directly, “The new head of Thai Immigration Major General Surachate Hakpal, known as “Big Joke” in the media, has begun implementing his tough anti-corruption message at immigration. Quoting further, "pictures posted on the Immigration Facebook page show a permanent sign at the airport that said "no tips please”. The message was also in a graphic with Royal Thai Police insignia behind with the Thai immigration Bureau at the bottom.” It should be noted that these signs were written in both English and Mandarin. 

In and of itself this isn't really that big a news item. We discussed in a prior video that this has been going on in the southern border checkpoint. They had been discouraging so-called “tipping” in the past down there. I think overall this is just going to be a practice that will probably simply be phased out but what it is is it is indicative of an overarching trend here in the Kingdom of a tougher stance with respect to Immigration. Whereas once it was viewed as something akin to almost an administrative matter, it is my opinion that more and more the paradigm has shifted with respect to how they view Immigration and immigration violations. I believe it is viewed more and more as a law enforcement issue and those who are caught in immigration violation are being punished much more severely than in the past including incarceration, blacklisting, prolonged black listing, indefinite blacklisting, but also sort of little things like this tipping custom which as I noted before it did happen a lot along certain border checkpoints but they are now putting up signage everywhere making it abundantly clear that that practice will no longer be tolerated.

Again it is just sort of one component of sort of a greater mosaic that leads me to believe that moving forward, immigration checkpoints, immigration in general, the enforcement mechanism that sort of underlies, both the policy aspects and also the sort of personnel aspects of immigration are just simply getting tighter. Everything is becoming, I won't say more difficult but it is becoming more regularized, more centralized and as a result, certain practices which was sort of turned a blind eye to in the past are now essentially being discouraged and not only discouraged but active enforcement measures are being taken to punish possible violators of the rules as they are being implemented.