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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsThai Immigration Officer Allegedly Issued Fake Visa Entry Stamps

Thai Immigration Officer Allegedly Issued Fake Visa Entry Stamps

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are discussing Immigration Authorities enforcement activities here in the Kingdom.  

While in the past couple years now we have done a number of videos regarding crackdowns on illegal foreigners in the Kingdom, it's recently come to my attention that Immigration Authorities here in the Kingdom have found evidence against at least one individual involving fraudulently issued visa stamps or status stamps, reentry stamps if you will, here in the Kingdom and this came about as a result of investigation into some illegal foreigners and how they were maintaining their presence here in the Kingdom.

So first of all, from the Bangkok Post January 9, 2019 bangkokpost.com headline “Foreigners Caught for Visa Offences; Investigation Extended”. Quoting directly: "Five foreigners were arrested for visa offences during raids in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Suratthani from December 26th through January 8th. Back checking showed that they had entered or left the country as was indicated by the Visa stamps found in their passports.”  Then moving over to another article, again from the Bangkok Post bangkokpost.com January 10th, 2019 headline, “Officer Suspended for Fake Reentry Stamps”.  Quoting directly: "An Immigration Officer has been suspended for allegedly allowing foreign travelers to "reenter" Thailand without them having to actually leave the country. Samut Prakarn based Immigration Division 2 has filed a complaint over his wrongdoing with Don Muang police. Investigators are looking further into the case and looking for other people who may have colluded with the officer in question.”  

A couple of things going on here:  What this shows to me is what I would have been saying in other videos which is first of all is Thai immigration is not messing around they really are looking to tighten up the overall apparatus.  I think the enforcement capabilities of this Immigration system are substantial. I think that the funding and resources they have in hand is increased tremendously when compared to times past.  Moreover, I think that there is a genuine paradigm shift away from the notion that these are administrative issues, or regulatory problems and that that paradigm has shifted into thinking that this is more of a criminal issue. Meanwhile, the overall complexion of the Immigration apparatus is shifting in such a way that I don't think it's going to look that much different than any immigration apparatus that you would see in northeast Asia or even in the West. I think in probably two or three years’ time we are going to be looking at an Immigration system that looks very similar to something that we would see in any of the Anglo-sphere countries or Europe.  It's really changing; it is really evolving quite rapidly.

Meanwhile, another thing to keep in mind is, bear in mind, folks that claim to be able, that they have a special “in” with an immigration officer etc., that doesn't necessarily mean ones situation has been correctly legalized within the immigration system. There's a digital computer system that underlies the overall immigration apparatus, so stamps are not necessarily the controlling factor although they may look good in ones passport and they may seem to convey some element of legitimacy. Without the underlying documentation related to that stamp, it is effectively worthless if it's investigated and clearly as evidenced from these articles, Thai Immigration Authorities are very willing to undertake investigations which are costly and time-consuming in order to find problems within the system. 

Now it remains to be seen exactly how this is going to pan out but that being said another thing to take away from this video is, if your Visa is expiring, unless an extension is applied for, it's not correct to just simply get a fake exit stamp and a fake reentry stamp in order to remain in the Kingdom.  If that practice was prevalent in the past, which I really don't think it was overly prevalent in the past, if it was in existence in the past, I think it is safe to say that this is going to end now and we're going to see an Immigration system again that looks not at all dissimilar to Immigration systems which are far more stringent in other jurisdictions.