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Updates Regarding Thailand's Visa & Immigration Policies & Protocols

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to briefly discuss some visa and immigration updates with respect to Thailand specifically. So we're talking Thai visas and immigration news, for lack of a better term. This is the first two weeks of July 2017.

In a recent article, I came across via the Pattaya Mail which is dated July 8th, 2017. The headline is “New immigration boss vows deep investigation of expats” and to quote directly from the story “the newly appointed head of the Chonburi immigration office said anyone applying for long term visas would be thoroughly investigated.” Apparently, the new employee is a police colonel Songprod Serisuka and he was introduced to the new Pattaya Immigration as the Pattaya Immigration chief on June 27th. To further quote directly from the story “part of that will be ensuring that those on long term visas are safe to have in the country. Therefore people who are requesting a long state permit will be thoroughly investigated for the safety of the community in the nation.” That's from the gentleman who's going to or who has been appointed as the new immigration chief down in Pattaya. We're based up here in Bangkok primarily although we do have dealings with Chonburi immigration office and various routine matters that we have to deal with respect to Thai business ventures that have done out here. This may be of interest to those who may be getting involved in what's called the eastern economic corridor as well as Chonburi seems to be located relatively close to some of those business developments.

That being said, just as an overall sort of analysis for me on this. This does not shock me at all. In fact, ever since the “good guys in, bad guys out policy” has come into effect, this seems to me to just be a continuation of an overarching policy that's basically being enacted throughout the Kingdom with respect to immigration matters. It's fairly clear from what we've been dealing with Chaengwatthana Immigration office here immigration district one that you know, this is exactly what they're doing - more inspections, more scrutiny on applicants for long term visas. And now as has been explained in some other videos, scrutiny is now also coming from the Labor Department with respect to migrant workers which there's been a moratorium placed on the, for lack of better term, investigation of migrant workers.

But that new law, that new stricter penalties aren’t going to come into effect June 1, 2018 and as I said in a previous video, the way I look at this is the reason the moratorium went into effect was for migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, the three most significant countries of origin of the migrant workers here in Thailand and I think actually, if anything, you can pretty well expect that more stringent application of the law is going to be applied with respect to “farangs” that is western foreigners here in the country wishing to do business or conduct employment activity. I think that we're already probably going to be under heavy scrutiny.

The moratorium has been placed on these, in my opinion the moratorium has been placed primarily to deal with transitioning all of these migrant workers from the three neighboring countries into proper status here in the Kingdom. And I bring this up because I just want to illuminate or shall I say elucidate the differentiation. Western foreigners I think will probably be treated and it certain ways already are treated rather differently with respect to immigration and labor department certification. I don't think that's going to change it all in the future and in fact, I think that's going to be exactly on this work and in fact, I think also that foreigners should all already start to be operating as if the new these were in place not because they are in fact in place but because it'd be good practice for Jan. 1, 2018 on the artifact in place.

Again this new appointment of a new immigration chief who is clearly stating that further scrutiny of foreign nationals is an imperative policy position of his, I think again that's just reflected with an overall policy that's going on throughout immigration here in Thailand and I think it's pretty safe to assume that Chonburi may be starting to see the same kind of inspections and scrutiny that we've been getting used to up here in Bangkok.