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Thailand Travel Tales: Running the New Thai Immigration Gauntlet

Transcript of the above video:

In recent weeks we have started assisting clients and facilitating their re-entry to the Kingdom. In various categories we have managed to get our clients readmitted notwithstanding the COVID-19 situation. 

Recently one of our clients who just recently gained entry went ahead and wrote down some sort of note, like "Tales from the Front"; basically their insights from their travels into the Kingdom. I wanted to go ahead and pull out, extract one section here that I thought was very pertinent, just to provide some insight into what your paradigm should be like when you are beginning the trek to return to Thailand under the current conditions associated with travel into the country.

This is from a direct account from one of our clients. We are not going to go ahead and name that person obviously for reasons of confidentiality but they did want to share this information. So quoting directly: "They are taking zero chances. It is basically like running a gauntlet. No matter how prepared you think you are it is unlikely it is enough. I feel like I was just lucky depending on who was looking at my documents, I could have easily been turned around. There is inconsistency in the evaluation of the documents at every stage. For example in Los Angeles, the airline told me that people married to Thais did not need any insurance and even had a document with checkboxes showing that it was not needed. However, in Japan I was asked twice to show it and then again several times in BKK airport and at the Alternative Quarantine site; excuse me Alternative State Quarantine, “ASQ". 

So the thing I want noted in this video and we are going to do a number of videos talking about just kind of the leg work if you will, the experience of coming back to Thailand, the nitty-gritty if you will, the "tales from the front", what it is like getting on the plane, dealing with the transfers at another airport, dealing with Immigration inbound, going into State quarantine. We are going to try to provide as much insight as we can on this in coming weeks and it is correspondence like this that we find very useful. So folks who do have some experience in dealing with this stuff, we are happy to hear your thoughts on what you went through and what it was like going through for you. 

The thing I want this video to provide people, is sort of an overview of what it is like. I really hate to get negative about this because it is an unprecedented set of circumstances. Everyone in the chain, the corridor if you will, of people or interactions you are going to have in getting back to Thailand, everyone in an official capacity is doing their best and they are very worried about slipping up, I think is a safe thing to say; a safe observation to make. They do not want to be someone who inadvertently let an infected person into a place they otherwise shouldn't have really been in and they are trying to be as assiduous as they can in ascertaining folks' documentation and making sure everything is 100% letter perfect before they go in.

Meanwhile these regulations have come down fast. Immigration regulations tend to stay very static over a prolonged period of time and for this reason air carriers, airport personnel, Immigration personnel, they don't need to be on their toes so to speak. These current circumstances have put them in a position where they are kind of constantly on their back foot. For this reason you see a lot of folks in a state of consternation and they are adjudicating fact specific circumstances “on the fly” and it leads to a lot of, for lack of a better term, inconsistency. 

So hopefully this video has provided some insight into how this is going to work if you are trying to travel into Thailand. Be prepared for complications and complexity and be prepared to explain your situation and have all your documentation ready to present to relevant officials as you are proceeding with your inbound travel to the Kingdom of Thailand.