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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWill Changes in Thai Government Impact Overall Immigration Policy?

Will Changes in Thai Government Impact Overall Immigration Policy?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Immigration policy and whether or not  possible changes, let be clear, I have no insight into the political realm here in Thailand nor do I particularly want to but the question has been asked, we are still waiting, at the time of this video, for the elections to be certified and to find out exactly what type of future parliament we are looking at here in the Kingdom and in this sort of interim period if you will, the question has been posed, “what would happen if there was a change in government? Will there be any radical changes to Immigration policy?  My answer to that question is "unlikely". It's the same answer I had when people asked me in the aftermath of Surachate "Big Joke" Hakpan being transferred out of Thai Immigration whether that would greatly change Immigration policy. It's my opinion that is not going to be the case with respect to any possible change in government. Let me be clear, this is a non-political video. I don't have any particular interest or any particular conclusion as to what a future Government in Thailand could look like.

What I have seen is in the past, the Immigration apparatus operates at a policy level at least somewhat deliberately and in certain ways, policy can be implemented rather slowly although as we have seen in recent years policy can be implemented rapidly, very rapidly. But what I have seen is Immigration Policy is crafted at a certain Administrative level and most Administrations here in the Kingdom tend to go ahead and keep a level of consistency with respect to Immigration policy. For example many folks don't really understand that many of the Immigration policies that came into effect under Prayuth's Government, from 2014 to the present time, were entirely and unilaterally made under that regime. That was not the case. I saw many of these policies that were being proposed and had been discussed in the Administration prior to Prayuth's regime and they only came into effect thereafter.

So again, Administration to Administration, they work somewhat cooperatively and the various Governments that come and go don't really have a dramatic impact on Immigration policy overall. That being stated, from time to time we will see dramatic changes to Immigration Policy but for those foreigners who are watching this living in Thailand and think we may see a regime which drastically relaxes regulations or just throws out a whole tranche of regulations that were somewhat difficult for some foreigners to deal with, don't presume that. It has been my experience that every time anything has changed, with some exceptions, most notably things like rules relaxing work permit regulations have come into effect in the last 3 or 4 years and have greatly benefited foreigners in the Kingdom.  In an Immigration context though, especially with the paradigm that has seen more of a law enforcement function and not so much of an administrative function which is kind of the mindset that was dealt with in the past, I think it is pretty safe to assume that Immigration is probably not going to get, for lack of a better term, easier to deal with, but in fact I think it will probably operate at a relatively coherent state based on what we are dealing with right now. So moving forward, I don't think it is particularly logical to presume that any change in Government will result in fundamental changes to the Immigration apparatus.