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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsAn Update on Thai Marriage Visa Scams

An Update on Thai Marriage Visa Scams

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are doing another video on marriage visa scams here in the Kingdom, specifically sham marriages which seem to be being entered into, first of all without the knowledge of the Thai National associated with the marriage, and it seems to be being done in order to obtain longer-term visa benefits here in the Kingdom.

A recent article from the Phuket news, the website for the Phuket news is the phuketnews.com, it is a very good website, a very good news organization, perfectly on par with many of the other news organizations here in the Kingdom; it is just based down in Phuket although I do find it very insightful even though I am up here in Bangkok. 

The headline is: Thai Women "Married" by Indian Gangsters.  So quoting directly “8 Indian nationals have been arrested for involvement in a scam that use the names of 300 Thai women in forged marriage licenses. None of the women were aware that they were "married".”  Quoting further, "Three alleged members of the gang will have their visas revoked due to their alleged involvement in the wrongdoing according to the Tourist Police Bureau". Now there is a great deal of nuance in here, there is a lot of information that is in this actual article so again viewers on this, and I believe actually maybe the Phuket news was even citing the Bangkok Post, whatever, this is where I found the information so that is what I am bringing to you and I am going to comment on it myself here in a moment. And there is much more to this than just what I have said.  But again the phuketnews.com, the title is: Thai Women "Married" by Indian Gangsters

So I have done another video specifically on sham marriages in Thailand and it gained a fair amount of traction with respect to views so clearly it is something that people are somewhat worried about. Why do I bring this up? Well first of all it would appear that this is continuing. Again this article is from May 23rd, 2018. I did another video on this, I think about a year ago, maybe even longer, where there was a whole another cadre of folks who were pulling off a similar scam but not in Phuket as I recall. I think it might have been Chiangrai or Chiangmai. Clearly this is something that is, I won't say pervasive, but it's not unheard of to see these folks that are essentially marrying people on paper in order to get long-term visa status here in the Kingdom. 

Okay, setting that aside because most of the viewers in this channel aren't going to be engaging in sham marriages in order to get a long-term O Visa , what are the implications of this more broadly? Well in my opinion is it is kind of one of those "a few bad apples ruins the whole barrel" type of thing. This situation I think could result in a scenario where we are going to see more heightened scrutiny in O visa adjudications. We are already seeing more heightened scrutiny in ED  visa matters, more heightened scrutiny in B visa matters and there are multiple videos on this channel regarding those issues, but I think this isn't going to be confined to either of those categories and in fact I believe we are going to see further scrutiny on O  visa adjudications moving forward and the reasoning for this, yet again they want oversight and they want to enforce the Immigration Laws as they are in the books and increased oversight is going to be done because they want to forestall this happening in the future. Look, I don't think anybody would really like it if people came to their country and “married” people in their country without those people knowing it and doing so fraudulently simply to gain immigration benefits to remain in that country. I know the United States would have serious problems with that and individuals, as I have gone through in other videos on this channel, individuals who engage in that kind of activity could find themselves in federal prison and then subsequently deported and basically never allowed to return to the United States again. Although Thailand clearly doesn't take quite such a hard line with that, their Immigration Authority, and their Immigration Apparatus, is taking a hard line just in general in order to tighten up the system as it exists and furthermore it is safe to assume, moving forward that we are going to see this scrutiny result in more and more people not only being deported but whereas in the past individuals would be deported and often times through various means and methodologies find a way to get back into the Kingdom, it is probably not going to happen anymore. They are utilizing more biometric information, they are collating that data, collecting that data and they are using it to forestall folks that have scammed the system in the past from coming back in in the future.