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Popular Thai expat blogger shares problems renewing visa

The Thaiger

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Popular Thai expat blogger shares problems renewing visa | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Facebook/richard.thailand

Popular expat blogger Richard Barrow has shared his difficulties in trying to renew his visa’s extension of stay. Richard returned to Samut Prakan immigration last Friday to collect his annual extension. But he was told that Bangkok hadn’t yet approved his application.

Samut Prakan Immigration gave him a 7 day extension and told him to come back next week. He has shared his woes on his Facebook page.

“I’ve lived in Thailand for twenty five years. I’ve spent most of my life here. But this is what I have to go through every year.”

Richard reports that when he returned to work later that day, there was an Immigration Police vehicle parked outside. He says officers from Chaeng Wattana in Bangkok visited him at his place of work to question him.

“They had my application with them which explained why Samut Prakan Immigration hadn’t received the verdict yet. They didn’t give any indication as to whether there was a problem or whether they were happy with the inspection.”

Richard has recently been a vocal supporter of the campaign calling for TM30 to be abolished or modified.

The Thaiger also supports reform and modification of the TM30 form. The current enforcement is inconsistent, open to corruption, interpretation and is confusing to expats and foreigners.

“Not the best of days for me. As you may remember, today was the day for me to go back to Samut Prakan Immigration to hear the verdict as to whether my application to stay in Thailand for another year has been approved. This is something I have to go through every year. I arrived at Immigration, only to be told that Bangkok hasn’t approved my application yet. As my visa extension expires today, they kindly extended my stay for one more week. They said I should return next Friday to hear the verdict of my application. Read the rest of his post HERE.

His post had a flood of broad support with nearly 700 ‘likes’ and 130 shares…

“Well good luck mate ! But don’tn hold your breath ! They don’t like foreigners making money and running businesses here.”

“You are not alone; we’re all being pushed to our limits. Chok dee.”

“Very sad this is happening to you mate. My fingers are crossed for a positive outcome for you.”

“They are really making it tough for us, so much so that some of us just don’t want to stay here anymore. But as some of us are required to stay here for a particular reason it’s not so easy as once was. Plus the baht is so high, plus in my case the Aussie dollar is sooooooo low life just isn’t easy at the moment.”

The Thaiger wishes Richard the best. His blogs are a deep and fascinating resource about the life of an expat in Thailand and are well worth following.

If you would like to support an overhaul of the TM30 form, click HERE.

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Expats

Thai app will ease expat immigration woes and make 90 day reporting simple

May Taylor

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Thai app will ease expat immigration woes and make 90 day reporting simple | The Thaiger

The “OSS Foreigner” app is coming, and you will be able to use it for 90 day reporting, according to the Secretary-General at the office of the PM.

Dr Kobsak Pootrakool says the planned app can be used for all immigration reporting, including 90 day reports, adding that typing in the required data and uploading a selfie will accomplish the same result as filling out paperwork at the local immigration office but without having to make the trip there.

Dr Kobsak has been given responsibility for sorting out the TM30 debate and says the immigration app, called OSS Foreigner, is nearly complete and should make all those who live and work in Thailand feel more welcome and make compliance easier and more convenient.

The TM30 form, and its companion, the TM28, have been a source of expat displeasure over the past five months since the immigration department decided to enforce a little-used 1979 law that required foreigners to report their whereabouts if they had stayed overnight at an address different from their registered address.

This latest move comes as part of a wider program to make Thai public services more efficient, with Dr Kobsak making the announcement while outlining plans for all Thai government departments to embrace digital technology by as early as 2022. Meanwhile, the Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak is championing a programme to improve Thai public services for both Thai citizens and foreigners.

“The government’s new approach to IT and digital technology is designed to deliver a smarter, easier service as part of the Thailand 4.0 economic model.”

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Expats

Opinion: Retirees and medical insurance in Thailand

The Thaiger

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Opinion: Retirees and medical insurance in Thailand | The Thaiger

By Barry Kenyon of The Pattaya Mail

Thai government spokespeople, in recent years, have emphasised that that Thai hospitals are not free for foreigners. They have cited examples of sick and crowd-funded aliens desperate to get back to their home countries, or annual reports from public hospitals bemoaning the unpaid bills of foreign nationals.

So far not a lot has happened. Holders of one year 0/A visas or ten year 0/X, issued by Thai consulates and embassies abroad, do now require medical insurance worth at least 400,000 baht for in-patient treatment and 40,000 baht for out-patient care. But the vast majority of expat retirees in Thailand receive their annual extensions of stay at a Thai immigration office. They do not currently require insurance.

Will that change? It’s not clear. The government has already stated that long-stay aliens with a history of physical illness may be checked out before an extension of stay is granted. What this means, if anything, is unclear but it could signify the immigration bureau’s refusal if an applicant is discovered to have unpaid hospital bills.

One substantial reason for leaving well alone is that many expat retirees self-insure because they are too old or infirm to obtain medical insurance. But these wealthier retirees contribute billions of baht annually to (mostly) private hospital coffers when significant surgery is required. They would be forced out of the country if unobtainable medical cover was made compulsory, thus leading to a gigantic loss of income.

It’s also true that the mandatory insurance requirement for 0/A visa holders is modest. A sum of 400,000 baht may seem a lot but is unlikely to cover the total bill for heart surgery, most cancer operations and stays in an intensive care unit, at any rate in the private sector.

Read the rest of the editorial HERE.

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Expats

“Auf Wiedersehen” to overstaying German on Koh Samui

Greeley Pulitzer

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“Auf Wiedersehen” to overstaying German on Koh Samui | The Thaiger

PHOTO: TripSavvy.com

A contingent of immigration and tourist police have arrested a 49 year old German who had overstayed his visa in the kingdom on Koh Samui for 14 days. He will likely be blacklisted from re-entering Thailand for a period following his overstay.

The man, identified only as Manfred L, was taken into custody near the Bo Phut market on the ring road that encircles the island.

Naew Na news agency, always the first with Immigration stories, says the arrest was in keeping with immigration policy and that the public could call 1178 to report violators. They published a picture of the arrested man with his face hidden by a graphic saying “bye”.

We chose a pretty picture of Koh Samui instead.

SOURCES: Naew Na News | Thai Visa

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