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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWhat Are Thai Immigration Officers Doing at Border Checkpoints?

What Are Thai Immigration Officers Doing at Border Checkpoints?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video we are discussing border checkpoints and the Immigration officers posted to them. 

I found some interesting information in a recent article in Thai Visa, thaivisa.com. The article is titled: Suvarnabhumi is "Hell" Screams Thailand's Most Famous English Teacher and they go on to discuss long lines at Thai Immigration at Suvarnabhumi Airport but that is not really the focus of this video. What I found interesting and I often find interesting in things that are written about the Immigration apparatus in Thailand is you have to dig a little bit deeper to find some insightful information. So to quote directly: and I am quoting Police Colonel Cherngron Rimphadee, he was quoted by Thai Visa as saying "Immigration Officers have to do eight things in 50 seconds he said. There are passport checks, visa checks, face recognition, blacklist check, scan, interview, take a picture and stamp.  He said all this takes time if the country is going to keep out of the bad guys." 

So the thing to take away from this video and the reason I wanted to make it, after I read that I thought it was insightful for those who are coming into the Kingdom to understand exactly what they are doing.  Let's read this again just so you know: passport check, visa check, face recognition, blacklist check, scan, interview, take pictures and stamp. So they are doing biometrics now at most Immigration checkpoints and I think it is safe to presume that is going to continue and that it is probably going to expand and we are going to see that more and more and as time goes by, I think it is fairly safe to assume that it will get faster in processing through Immigration because the Immigration Officers will become more attuned to the process. It is a relatively new process and the protocols are not particularly ingrained yet in the apparatus if you will. That being stated, I think it is very insightful to understand what they are doing.  They are not just sort of willy-nilly stamping people in. It is not sort of a pro forma exercise. They really are looking at who is entering the Kingdom and they are doing what basically amounts to a background check on every person coming in. Increasingly with biometrics we are now also seeing people being arrested and turned away at airports including people on fake passports etc., and as biometrics use increases, I think that this type of activity there will be sort of a spike in arrests briefly before it basically goes away because there is really no way around that I know of; you can't get around biometrics. It is simply you either have your fingerprint or you don't, you either have your retina or your face or you don't, and it is pretty difficult in my understanding, if not impossible to fake that.

So as things progress, we are going to see I think the Immigration apparatus become more efficient but I also think it is worth noting that they are doing a lot every time they check someone in to the Kingdom.