OPINION – Thai government making it hard to live and work in Thailand

This is a letter from a concerned expat who has been working, legally, in Thailand, for a number of years but says that now it’s getting nearby impossible for many law-abiding, tax-paying expats to obtain a new visa. Re-printed with permission.


I wanted to talk about a major issue that’s happening in Thailand regarding people’s visas. I see that no one is talking about this topic and it’s really frustrating.

Basically everyone who was living in Thailand for yearsssssss with proper work visas, paying tax every month and so on, lost their jobs because of Covid-19. Since then, they lost their work visas and applied for (so-called) Covid visa extensions instead.

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So now the country is opening up again, but very slowly, the government want to kick out all the original people who were working here before. Right now companies can’t give out many working visas as it’s not busy enough and not much money going around.

They are not allowed to apply for any other visas because of their previous visa beforehand, they’re not allowed to extend the covid visas, apply for education visa, nothing.

People thought “Ok, I can leave the country and come back the next month and try again”. Nope. They are now refusing anyone who was in Thailand before Covid because they were here for too long… Basically treating them like criminals even though they paid taxes for years and did everything by the book correctly. If Covid hadn’t happened, everyone would still get to stay as normal… so why get rid of them?

My boyfriend has been a diving instructor for 10 years in Thailand, this is his home. He doesn’t have a home anywhere else, and his country, Slovakia, is right next to the war zone. He can’t find any proper visa places to help, unless buying a business visa which costs A LOT of money.

Why is the system so bad? Why are they wanting to kick out half of the expats here and refuse them entry if they try to come back, when all they (the Thai government) desperately want is tourism and money.

I would really appreciate if you mentioned this on the show. They really need to come up with a new Visa process for people who worked here and lost their jobs.

BTW, I live on Koh Tao, and basically the whole island will be leaving soon because of this monstrosity.

I look forward to your response.


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