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Thai Visa Update: Overstay Enforcement Activity Increased

Transcript of the above video:

In this video we are going to be discussing some recent developments that I've been reading about with respect to immigration, and specifically Immigration Police enforcement and enforcement of overstay penalties here in the Kingdom and this is specifically Immigration, how do I put this, this is specifically Immigration Police Operations which have frankly gone out of their way to go find over stayers so they have been investigating and then, for lack of a better word, rounding up the over stayers for purposes of deportation

In a recent article from the Chiang Rai Times which can be found at, and I do recommend those who are watching this video go check out the article; it was posted January 31st, 2018. The headline being "Thailand's Immigration Hunting for Eight Thousand Plus Overstaying Foreigners". To quote directly from the article, and again I really recommend anyone who's watching this go read the article. “ Bangkok. Thailand's authorities continuing to hunt for 8,000 foreigners who have allegedly overstayed in this country” according to the Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Kongcheep Tantravanich. Quoting further, "they are believed to be currently hiding out in and around major tourist spots such as Pattaya,  Phuket, Hua Hin, Koh Samui Island and Bangkok  among other whereabouts throughout the country. Meanwhile the authorities have stepped up measures to combat cross-border drug trafficking amidst news reports that a very large volume of amphetamine and other drugs have been produced in Myanmar Shan State and destined to be smuggled into Thai territory.”  Two things I really thought were noteworthy in this video is 1. It appears that law enforcement, and not just immigration law enforcement but law enforcement generally, is taking more interest than in the past in immigration policy because of the fact that it is possible that international, say in this case drug trafficking, human trafficking etc. can have immigration implications. I also noticed in other articles I've read on this channel and other things I've been reading just myself, that more and more law enforcement officers are noting a connection between those who are frequent or long-term over stayers and those who have criminal connections so it appears that the law enforcement apparatus here in the Kingdom is getting increasingly serious about dealing with overstay generally but also they seem to be taking the position that overstay in and of itself may be indicative of sort of further criminal activity that is not of  an immigration nature which that is something of a policy changer or at least change of policy thinking with respect to law enforcement here in Thailand.

The thing to take away from this video as is noted, since the institution of the so-called "Good Guys in Bad Guys Out" program, Thai immigration authorities have tightened up the immigration apparatus to the point where in my opinion it looks increasingly like anything you would see in some of the more developed countries of North East Asia such as Japan or Korea or even Hong Kong and maybe perhaps Singapore and more and more I think it's coming to look more and more like an immigration apparatus  in some of the more developed countries globally. Thailand is taking overstay seriously. They are taking working without authorization seriously and they are creating a system that is, for lack of a better term, more complex or more complex in such a way so as to encourage the travelers and the long-staying foreigners that they would prefer to have, that the system would prefer to have, while trying to discourage folks who are coming with either nefarious purposes or simply coming to just live in the Kingdom without any particular purpose at all. So how this is going to play out longer-term will be interesting. This past high season, or we are coming sort of down out of high season, I noticed that these policies didn't have a particularly heavy impact at all on tourism generally. I think it's just going to have an impact on those folks that wish to stay in the Kingdom and live here you utilizing visas that aren’t for that purpose.