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The Thailand Business Visa: Surprise Immigration Inspections

Transcript of the above video:

Today, we're going to be talking specifically about the Thailand Business Visa and it's come to my attention through work with them with clients here at the firm that immigration is not only enacting the so-called “good guys in, bad guys out” policy across the border but the day to day ramifications of this especially in the business visa context are rather stringent and they can cause some surprises in the business visa process.

So recently, I had a couple of cases where inspections were an integral part of the processing of the overall case and I even have now a case where the overall visa extension was ultimately issued so as is explained on another video in this channel, when one goes ahead and extend their business visa, they first get a 30-day stamp to extend by 30 days which allows the immigration officers to go ahead and renew the case. And then after 30 days, those individuals will return to immigration to get another 11 months which will complete the entire 12-month extension.

What came of interest to me and the reason for this video was as I said, I had a client recently who went through the 30 days, who went through the extension process and then lo and behold, almost a day or two right after the business visa extension was issued, he was inspected, a surprise inspection on his company. This was a new company, and I'll get into that in a minute, but I found this to be very interesting. I found it notable for any of those who are looking to come to Thailand for business purposes. In the past, it was somewhat - I won't say it was my opinion on this - but I always felt this was a component in the situation that Bangkok Immigration here in the city, we're talking about huge caseloads for these folks, and it was kind of my thinking that inspections were not overly quite common because quite frankly, they didn't have the resources to deal with it.

Well at some point between now and three years ago when all of these immigration changes coming about, we've seen a sea change and it would appear that more resources are being put in to doing these inspections. As to the newness of a business, it would appear the inspections are going to become increasingly common for those who are setting up new business, new corporate ventures here in Thailand and I think it's pretty safe to assume that this is probably going to be how it's going to be working at least in the foreseeable future ad I think it's pretty safe to assume that if one is getting into a new business, it's a very good idea to have professional, legal and corporate services specialist who really understand how to deal with Thai immigration, how to deal with the Labor Department so that one forestalls any problems when and I stress when, not necessarily if, a surprise inspection comes down because not understanding how this works or dealing with somebody less than reputable, less than competent on these matters could result in serious problems as theoretically, one can be deported. Notwithstanding a significant investment in the Kingdom, simply for not understanding some of the more, I guess, finer points at the immigration apparatus and the immigration laws here in the Kingdom.