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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsIs Thai Immigration Starting to Soften Up?

Is Thai Immigration Starting to Soften Up?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Immigration again. 

In a recent article that came to my attention from, but apparently it was originally posted on, Thai Visa doing a service to the public by translating it into English but this was on and the title is Immigration Chief: Don't Scare the Tourists Away by Being Too Strict - We Need Them and Their Money. So again, this is on Quoting directly: "Immigration Chief Lieutenant General Sompong Chingduang has told his subordinates not to be too strict on tourists and scare them away from coming to Thailand."  Quoting further: "His statements seem to be a softening of the "bad guys out" rhetoric replacing it with a "please come back to Thailand, we need you" message observes Thai Visa.  Quoting further: "He said follow the government's directives and abide by the law and due process but don't be too strict and scare away the tourists and other foreign visitors." Quoting further: "the tourists bring in a lot of money he noted, much of which is important for the grassroots economy."  So, there is a lot more to this article.  I urge those who are watching this video to go check that out. Again, it is:  Immigration Chief: Don't Scare the Tourists Away by Being Too Strict - We Need Them and Their and that is translated, an article from

The thing I take away from this is "yes I think there will be less stringent enforcement activities taking place with respect to tourists but those who view this as a window of opportunity to get back to their old ways if you will, living in Thailand on tourist visas, living in Thailand on 30-day stamps, utilizing travel documents basically to live in Thailand without correct intent, I don't think that is going to be what we are talking about. I think he specifically is talking about true tourists. People who come here temporarily to go ahead and kind of soften the stance, tamp down the rhetoric if you will and basically be a little bit more accommodating to tourists but as far as illegal immigration goes especially and those who are trying to kind of game the Thai Immigration system, I don't think that they should be viewed as a change in the policy toward those kind of folks as Immigration has made it very clear that they are taking a hard line on enforcing Thai Immigration law and on top of that, due to the biometric systems that now exist in the Immigration apparatus, they are finding people who are trying to use ostensibly tourist visas etc. to go ahead and live here and they are dealing with those folks summarily. I mean they are basically turning them away. Also, folks who are trying to overstay for prolonged periods of time here in Thailand, I don't think that this should be viewed as a softening of the stance of Thai Immigration with respect to overstayers. It should simply be viewed that the Thai Immigration Chief wants to be clear, tourists are to be encouraged but those using the guise of tourism to live in Thailand long-term or to undertake illegal activity won't be tolerated.