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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsAre Criminal Background Checks Required in Thai Visa Applications ?

Are Criminal Background Checks Required in Thai Visa Applications ?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are going to be discussing specifically the issue of criminal background checks in the context of Thai visa applications. 

There is another video on this channel where we recently discussed the issue of criminal background checks in the context of marriage visas and marriage registration here in the Kingdom of Thailand. This is somewhat similar to that, but with a little bit of nuance.

First things first. This is an article from the Nation, nationmultimedia.com. The title is: Teacher Refused Thai Visa in Penang. Quoting directly: “According to a British English teacher in Phuket, Thai Consular Officials in Penang are requiring a criminal background check from the Thai police when applying for a non-immigrant B visa associated with teaching. The teacher, who requested to remain anonymous, posted on Facebook that the first thing Embassy staff asked was if he had a police check from Thailand and the UK. When he failed to produce the documents, the Penang Consulate promptly refused to take the application.” Quoting further, “Foreign teachers in Thailand have always needed a valid criminal background check from their home country but a background check from Thailand is a new requirement”.

So a couple of things. Foreign teachers, due to a lot of different reasons associated with the security of the students and children here in the Kingdom, have in past years, been required to provide a foreign criminal background check from their country of origin. However up until now, it seems that there has not been the requirement that a Thai police background check be issued. That being said, if they’re starting to model their system on anything like the US system, in many cases when it comes to processing a visa through the US Embassy, in cases where an individual has stayed for a prolonged period of time or what is considered a prolonged period of time, in a country other than their home country or any country for that matter, American Immigration Officials request that that individual provide a police background check from that other jurisdiction. Now it seems a little bit strange to request a Thai Police background check when you are applying at an Embassy or a Consulate of Thailand but  that being said I don’t believe the system is quite as sophisticated as say the United States where that is pretty easily ascertainable  by Embassy Officials, so it may be possible that moving forward especially in the context of B visas for teachers, that those who have remained in a prolonged status, lawful or otherwise, in the Kingdom of Thailand who are seeking a B visa or an extension associated therewith associated with teaching in Thailand, Thai police background checks might become something that  is requested rather frequently. I don’t think it seems particularly out of line with many immigration apparatus around the world, I don’t think that it is out of touch with the current paradigm within Thai Immigration; Thai Immigration officials have been cracking down on over stayers and illegals. The overall paradigm within immigration is one of stricter scrutiny so this all falls into line in my opinion with just sort of the general theme of how Thai Immigration is adjusting itself and improving its enforcement measures in order to basically preclude those who shouldn’t be operating, especially in the capacity as a teacher, from doing so in the Kingdom of Thailand.