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Richard Barrow is dusting off his luggage in case he can’t renew visa

Anukul

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Richard Barrow is dusting off his luggage in case he can’t renew visa | Thaiger
PHOTO: twitter.com/RichardBarrow

Yesterday, Richard Barrow, a popular British blogger who has been living and working in Thailand for decades, says he had a surprise visit from the immigration bureau in regards to the renewal of his visa. Kapook reported the incident on their page saying that many Thai people admire the work he does for Thailand as a tourism and expat influencer.

Richard bemoaned on his Facebook page that “things didn’t look good” for an extension of his visa to stay in Thailand.

“Bangkok Immigration came to inspect my workplace. They were here for 3 hours. Looks like they will not extend my “visa”. They said I will probably have to leave the country. They will give me a final verdict next week.”

Social media has been full of speculation about Richard’s possible departure and assuming that it has something to do with his occasional swipes at Thai officialdom on his blogs. But Richard says none of that is true.

“I know a lot of people are speculating about the reasons with some crazy conspiracy theories. The Immigration officials gave me no indication that they were targeting me. I only passed last year because some influential people in government called the chief of Immigration.”

“In normal years, I would leave the country and come back with a tourist visa and start again. With the borders closed, my only option is to fly back to the UK. As I won’t have a Non-B visa, I cannot come back for months. Unfortunately, the family home in the UK is being sold.”

In the past few years Richard has had an annual wait to see if his application to stay would be approved. In the end he’s been able to pull in a few favours and make contact with leading officials to “sort things out”.

Richard has contacts at many levels of Thai society and is generally recognised as a ardent enthusiast about Thai life and is loyally followed by over 100,000 people on his Facebook page.

Apart from the fact Richard only promotes Bangkok Post articles, The Thaiger genuinely hopes that Richard is again able to sort out the paperwork and continue his many journeys and blogging around the Kingdom.

The Kapook article noted that Richard has been in Thailand for a long time without any problems. Some Thai social media speculation said the problems arose after he translated news of the student protests onto Twitter. But the general tone was that everyone is encouraging Richard and hoping he gets to stay in Thailand to continue doing what he loves, and does very well.

Richard Barrow is dusting off his luggage in case he can't renew visa | News by ThaigerRichard Barrow is dusting off his luggage in case he can't renew visa | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Kapook

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Stay out of local politics. Expats forget it is not their country and are a visitor.

    • Avatar

      Latecomer

      Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      Computer deparment of the elementary school in Samut Prakan now hiring inexperienced farang 50+, on a tourist visa, with limited knowledge of thai, for a highly paid, long term position

  2. Avatar

    murika

    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    it seem more easy for someone on a multiple tourist visa to get a ED or volunteer visa to stay than people with thai wife or husband, like me who’s been told to go back to my home country even if i have the money in the bank and all the paperwork, this logic tear apart families all over the country for no apparent reason, not being separated from our families should be a fundamental human right even in time of covid, this situation is hurting so many people right now and the gouvernement is more concern about buying vip planes than adressing this question

  3. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 12:32 am

    This complex Thai visa system doesn’t really help Thailand. It’s well known to the Thai authorities that the major economies of the world are not comparable to countries in the developing world, and making life difficult for “farang” is of no benefit for the Thai economy, Thai education and trade.

    It would be nice if Thai authorities made some reciprocal agreements with countries that Thai people enjoy many better conditions in than vice versa. There are about 40,000 Thai wives in the UK, all able to work on the basis of being married, and there’s no good reason for not reciprocating that. I’m sure the situation is similar for USA, Canada, Aus, NZ, and Western Europe, Japan and Korea, the countries that many Thais would like to study or work in or live in with their families. All this Alphabetti Spaghetti of visas for us is not fun for Thai immigration staff to deal with, and not fun for farang and their families.

    Why, in the 21st century, can we not get “Indefinite Leave to Remain” for marrying a Thai, and the right to work without jumping through bureaucratic hoops, when that spouse can get that in the UK and its equivalents in that list of other advanced countries. Farang create jobs for Thai people, we don’t steal jobs from them.

    • Avatar

      james

      Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 4:33 am

      I suppose Thailand is worried about the marriage scams which happen in the UK where it is big business to pay someone just to marry them until they have the right to stay and then the fake marriage is dissolved.

      Plus a large number of women marrying farang men and go to the farangs country get divorced as soon as they have the residency visa.

      Thailand probably wishes to avoid this.

      I wish the UK was as sensible as Thailand is about this.

      The immigration laws are very clear in Thailand, pay your way or get lost, they do not want freeloaders.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 11:15 am

    The problem with turning someone out of the house is that they can come back at night and throw bricks through the windows.
    If Mr Barrow is turned out he can write what he really thinks about Thailand.
    Me being in Cambodia can, and I do.
    Which is the Thais are a nation of peasants that got lucky with foreign investment, and tourism, and now cannot hang onto this through sheer stupidity

    • Avatar

      james

      Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Toby

      But you are not free to write anything About Cambodia eh?

      Well, there is nothing much to write about unless you wish to talk about absolute poverty, lack of education, and a lot further down the ‘peasant’ ladder than Thailand is.

      I think you will find Cambodians are sneaking into Thailand illegally to work and not the other way around.

      Enjoy your buffalo sandwich.

    • Avatar

      me

      Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      toby, you need to get laid.

  5. Avatar

    Farang

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Farang no pay, Farang no stay. Khao Jai Ai Kwai!

    • Avatar

      Phil

      Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      Fake diploma or No diploma

  6. Avatar

    Frank

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Anukul

    In your bio you might want to correct

    I a writer —- to —- I am a writer —- or —- I’m a writer

    Have a great day and keep smiling!

  7. Avatar

    Keith Fitzgerald

    Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Barrow’s posts on his blog, Twitter, and Facebook are typically little more than exercises in unadulterated narcissism, with all the selfies and chatter about himself. And then there’s the fact that he’s doing loads of free advertising for various hotels and restaurants, who then give him free stays and meals, though he writes his stuff as if he just wandered into some joint and was warmly greeted by the owner, who kindly set him up in a first-class room and laid out an amazing meal for him, just because he’s such a great guy, as opposed to the obvious fact that it’s all quid pro quo.
    Another point: Barrow was going on for years about how he’s a long-time teacher at some school in Samut Prakan, but then, recently, he claims that he just works in the computer department.
    And why has he “normally” had to enter Thailand on a tourist visa if he’s been a school teacher?

    • Avatar

      Latecomer

      Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      Exactly so. Nothing of real interest to read in any of his postings, except if you are first time visitor, older, preferably family man. Otherwise, it is boring beyond limits.
      On the other hand, his “computer department at the Samut Prakan school” is not convincing at all. Does it exist? Is it legal? Hiring farangs? What level of thai language required?

  8. Avatar

    Fog Breather

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Who? What makes this guy think he can get on with a visa by some magical privilege? Tool.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

Expats

Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers

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Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers | Thaiger

Thailand is looking to make it easier for expats and long-term visa holders to stay in the country. The Immigration Bureau is hoping to boost investments and the economy once the pandemic is over. The proposed changes could do away with 90 day reporting requirements which have been well-received by expats.

Recently, the online website to report 90 day check-ins has been down, citing maintenance issues. Hotel staff have also been dealing with the TM-30 reporting system being down. Chayotid Kridakorn, a former head of JP Morgan Securities Thailand, told the Bangkok Post that immigration hoops are a key pain point for foreigners working in Thailand.

“We want to make it easier for foreigners to live and work in Thailand.”

Meanwhile, plans to help Thailand recover economically have been detailed in a framework to be proposed to the government’s economic panel in the next month. Improvements to immigration regulations, work permits for foreign experts, and visa applications are on the framework list. Relaxing location reporting requirements for foreign workers which is done through the 90 day reporting, is also slated to be amended.

The framework also will include inducements for foreign investors such as corporate income-tax cuts, relaxed property-holding rules and incentives for retirees and start-up companies. An adviser to Thailand’s Deputy PM, says he aims to bring in 1 million retirees or pensioners over the next few years. He says expats could collectively contribute as much as 1.2 trillion baht to the economy each year. But Thailand’s gross domestic product growth won’t return to pre-Covid levels until the 3rd quarter of 2022, according to the Bank of Thailand.

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Expats

Proposals to get rid of 90 day reporting and ease investment rules in Thailand

Tim Newton

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Proposals to get rid of 90 day reporting and ease investment rules in Thailand | Thaiger

In amongst a sea of bad new over the past week, a glimmer of hope for expats and long-stay travellers. You better sit down…

The Thai government are looking into changing the long standing 90 day reporting for people staying in Thailand longer than 90 days on a long-stay visa. But don’t get out the champagne just yet.

For the last few decades any foreigner staying in Thailand for more than 90 days had to report to Thai Immigration about their current whereabouts. Immigration officials added an online alternative a few years ago but its reliability has been patchy.

As far as The Thaiger can tell, the online reporting has been down for at least 3 months. (Comment below if you’ve had a different experience)

The Bangkok Post reports that the changes form part of a strategy “to boost investment and tourism revenue”.

For hotels that have had to report the arrival and location of any foreign arrivals, the equally unpopular TM30 form, the online posting of this information has also been equally patchy over the last few months (many hotels simply don’t bother – it’s up to YOU to insist they check you in with the Immigration system).

Though there has been no official announcement made at this stage, the desperation for visitors and tourist, that used to fuel up to 20% of Thailand’s annual GDP, is forcing all departments to look at relaxing earlier draconian or outdated paperwork in favour of encouraging more arrivals, during the Covid-era or or after.

Immigration officials have often cited the need to track transnational crime as the reason to maintain its strict, and often inconvenient, rules – 90 day reporting, TM30s and TM 28s.

But none of this has reached beyond proposal stage at the moment but, according to the head of a government taskforce investigating the proposals at the moment, there will never be a better time to bring Thailand’s immigration and investment rules into the 21st century.

Chayotid Kridakorn, a former head of JP Morgan Securities, in now leading a Thai government economic panel to recommend changes that will make it easier for investors and travellers to enter into, and stay, in Thailand, according to Bangkok Post.

Even on their most optimistic guesses, the Bank of Thailand says GDP is unlikely to return to pre-Civd levels until Q3, this year. Many pundits would say this is optimistic, indeed.

Other groups to fall between the immigration cracks, up to now, have included the digital nomads – people who want to work remotely, anywhere, anytime. Their creed is ‘have laptop and wifi – can work’. Most digital nomads have used various visas, and border hops, to keep living and working in Thailand. Under current rules, their work has been, strictly, illegal and a specific visa wold allow the Thai government to better control this huge resource and tax them more effectively.

Mr Chayotid says that Thailand doesn’t “want to be left behind and die with old technology”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Privatising Covid vaccines – Thai government gives private hospitals the go-ahead to buy vaccines

Tim Newton

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Privatising Covid vaccines – Thai government gives private hospitals the go-ahead to buy vaccines | Thaiger

“About 10,000 people are being vaccinated around Thailand, on average, with 14,000 people being vaccinated each day in Phuket.”

Private hospitals and institutions have been given the official go-ahead to purchase up to 10 million doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines. The purchases will be in addition to what the Thai government is also doing. The major sticking point, despite the approval, however, continues to be the world supply shortage of vaccines, with demand far outstripping current supply.

The CCSA’s Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin announced that the Thai PM had approved the privatisation of vaccines but maintained that the roll out of free vaccines for Thais and people at risk would continue at full pace. The Thai government have been fending off accusations that it was blocking the acquisition of vaccines by private companies and hospitals. The 10 million doses approved for private purchases actually allows about 5 million vaccinated people with most of the approved vaccines needing 2 doses.

The spokesperson explained that the Thai government needs to have 40 million Thais vaccinated before they would be able to claim any scientific level of herd immunity. The public health minister said that around 10,000 people per day are being vaccinated around the country, on average. About 350,000 doses have arrived in Thailand and 1.5 million more doses are awaiting delivery for this month, according to the Thai PM.

The order allows the private sector to use a letter of approval from the Thai government to purchase its own supplies separately. Or, alternatively, to purchase directly from the government and resell to customers.

The government’s current order for vaccines is enough for around 35 million people with a local supplier, manufacturing the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine under license, from June this year.

Dr Taweesilp also urged private companies to target and purchase vaccines from manufacturers other than the vaccine companies the Thai government were already dealing with.

The following vaccines are currently approved in Thailand…

  • AZD1222 by AstraZeneca/Oxford University (2 doses)
  • ARS-CoV-2 (CoronaVac) by Sinovac (2 doses)
  • NT162b2/CORMIRNATY – Tozinameran by Pfizer/BioNTech (2 doses)
  • Covishield (ChAdOx1_nCoV19) by the Serum Institute of India (2 doses)
  • Ad26.COV2.S by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Single dose)
  • mRNA-1273 by Moderna (2 doses)

There are also current applications pending from other vaccine producers which will likely be approved in coming weeks.

Many expats have been chasing information about when they could expect to be vaccinated. Despite some promises from the government there has been little concrete information about formalities to register for vaccination at this stage. Meanwhile many expats have indicated they were prepared to pay for their vaccination but were unable to get clarification from private hospitals about when that may be available.

In Phuket the provincial government has promised ALL registered residents, local or foreign, that they would be eligible for government-funded vaccination. There has been a flurry of activity on the island over the past 2 weeks since the ‘Sandbox’ proposal was approved, in principal, for a July re-opening of quarantine-free tourism to vaccinated travellers. There has been queues and waiting lists at the island’s public hospitals every day for the past week. Currently some 14,000 people are being vaccinated every day, on average.

Meanwhile, the events of the past few days – the closure of entertainment venues and bars in 41 provinces, including all the main tourist areas – will force the government to re-consider any scheduled plans to re-open borders and reduction of quarantine times. Travellers are still allowed to visit Thailand, under new guidelines introduced on April 1, 2021.

What you currently need to enter Thailand…

  • Vaccine certificate, either a print out or the original document (or vaccinated travellers)
  • Certificate of Entry issued by the Royal Thai Embassy in your country
  • Covid-19 health insurance with a minimum coverage of US$100,000
  • Booking confirmation for an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel
  • Negative Covid-19 test issued no more than 72 hours before departure

Anyone considering travelling to Thailand at this time is recommended to check with the Thai embassy in their country first, before making bookings of ASQ hotels or flights.

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