Author Topic: Will Thailand Change its Visa Policies for Long Stay Expats?  (Read 1156 times)

Offline thaiga

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WILL THAILAND CHANGE ITS VISA POLICIES FOR LONG STAY EXPATS? – At we hear a lot of foreign expats berating the Thai Visa system and yet despite the clearly erroneous system of obtaining a visa and maintaining a visa expats continue to choose to live in Thailand.

For such tolerance to be demonstrate one can only assume that Thailand is an incredible place to live but from simply viewing Thailand’s expat forums, such as thaivisa, it would appear that Thailand is indeed an unpleasant place full of racists, bigots and xenophobes.

The question begs to be asked… ‘Why on earth do expats live in Thailand?’ As a British national I certainly feel oppressed at times through Government and European legislation but of course the choice of residence remains my own and I do have the right to peaceful protest.

I have heard so many stories of our expats living in Thailand are routinely inconvenienced and racially abused by the Thai Governments foreign visa system.

For the long-term foreign expat there are a number of visas available; including a standard long-stay non-immigrant ‘O’, a retirement visa, marriage visa or a working visa.

Regardless of which is applicable each visa either requires the holder to leave the Kingdom of Thailand every 90 day or report to their local immigration office.

In addition to the 90 day requirements each of the visas also requires renewing on an annual basis – but why?

The Thai Immigration officials cite a number of reasons including, but not restricted to:

Ensuring foreigners are not working illegally

Ensuring foreigners do no over stay

Ensuring a record of a foreigners whereabouts

The issues appear suspicious in that it’s not so much about compliance to regulations but rather the ability to control one’s movements and activities.

Not bored then there's more here from meeball

comment from pauln t/v

This sounds like its been written by someone who has never been to Thailand, and has gathered the information from Thaivisa and other souces. He's also suggesting that ex-pats go onto the streets and demonstrate.

Whatever the failings of the Thai system, we're treated a lot more decently than foreigners wanting to stay in the US or UK who are met with suspicion, and dealt with in a very cold manner by rude and sometimes abusive immigration staff. Try being a Thai applying for a visa to a western country.

I'd suggest the writer of this article, who has been highly critcal of Thai officialdom in the past, turn his attention to something he has first hand knowledge of in his home country.

 The system here is far from perfect, but most of us who comply with the rules have little to complain about. Renewing permission to stay once a year is not an issue. As for the 90 day rule, they was reintroduced a few years ago when huge abuses of the system came to light, including large numbers of expats using illegal agents to obtain entry and exit stamps, so you can hardly blame Thailand for keeping a close eye on foreigners.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline takeitor

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Re: Will Thailand Change its Visa Policies for Long Stay Expats?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2013, 06:03:56 PM »
For such tolerance to be demonstrate one can only assume that Thailand is an incredible place to live
This is the key point to the whole argument.  Thai's firmly believe that the way to maintain this situation is to maintain the status quo.  Admittedly this is largely for selfish reasons, particularly for those that control capital, but it is view shared by many in Thailand.  Most of those expats who complain about the various awkward immigration practices in Thailand are the same people who, when the shoe is on the other foot, would complain about the enormous influx of foreigners into their own country and are (maybe only privately) jealous that their own country was not so immigration-averse 50 years ago. 

Later in the piece, the writer argues that asking a married expat to require an income that is 4 times the Thai minimum wage (actually, as pointed out by a comment, it is 6.5 times) in order to get a visa is unreasonable, and against human rights laws, but this is simply saying that it would be alright for all those who cannot afford to live in their own countries to come to Thailand in order to live a cheaper life.  To a point, this already happens, even with the 65,000 baht a month stipulation.  Anyone who feels that an expat can have any sort of normal life here on 10,000 baht a month, without becoming a burden of some sort to the state, has clearly never lived in Thailand for any length of time. 

Yes, I'd love it to be easier to stay here.  Yes, I'd love to not have to go through the yearly and 90 day visa rigmarole. But, Yes, I wish that when in Rome, everyone could be a little more Roman!

Just as I was getting going....(yes, I'm afraid this was going to be an even longer rant!)..I looked at the site this came from and noted that, on the one hand, it was complaining about Thailand not allowing married persons the automatic right stay in Thailand whilst, at the same time, berating the fact that the UK cannot seem to rid itself of these very same rules. ( refer the good gentleman to the point I made above!

Offline Roger

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Re: Will Thailand Change its Visa Policies for Long Stay Expats?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2013, 08:52:49 PM »
Good evening. You can't change the system so go along with it. It's not too onerous compared to - from what I know (Nigeria) and from what I hear, many other Countries.
If you choose to live in somewhere like Thailand, you need to stick to the rules and accept any problems cheerfully. And politely - it goes a long way.
Takeitor - I'm wearing my Toga tonight ! I agree - when in Rome ! Well put.