Connect with us


Phuket Opinion: The 90-day hassle

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Having completed the bureaucratic rigmarole of obtaining a one-year work permit and a one-year non-immigrant B visa, I am soon to embark on my first quarterly “visa run” to have my passport stamped at the Ranong border control office. As a consequence, I have been mulling over the reasons why such a trip is necessary and I confess, I am at a loss.

How can requiring foreign workers to leave Thailand every three months for a literal “rubber stamp”, despite the fact that they hold the requisite documents, both with a one-year validity, be good for the Thai businesses that employ them, or, for that matter, the economy as a whole?

Who benefits from this seemingly illogical requirement? The visa-run companies that have sprung up to serve the needs of this market, obviously, and the large Andaman Club, said to be owned by Thai interests. People forced into regular visa runs create a steady supply of patrons to the casino, due to its convenient proximity to immigration.

What are the negative costs of creating a few more jobs in Thai visa-run companies and gathering a bit of money at the casino?

We often hear stories of these vans rushing up and down the roads to Penang and Ranong at dangerous speeds and of the inevitable, and regular, crashes involving them – it seems that they create more problems and grief then they solve – problems which could be reduced with the stroke of a pen by allowing in-country renewal of visa documents.

There are the working hours lost when foreigners take these visa runs on company time, and there is the cost of transport, either borne by the companies or the workers themselves.

From the point of view of investment, these all add up to a clear disincentive to establishing a small company requiring foreign expertise here in Thailand.

But most of all, quarterly visa renewals are an inconvenient and a baffling redundancy. Why not simply allow foreign workers to renew their documents at the local immigration office and pay an appropriate fee?

Or better yet, dismiss this requirement completely, and allow a “one year visa” and “one year work permit” to actually be what they purport to be – official permission to reside and work in Thailand for one year.

— Mark Knowles


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

PM Prayut asks everyone to work together towards reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Bangkok restrictions lifted on 8 categories, including swimming

Patong7 hours ago

Tar balls spreading in Phuket hit Patong Beach

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Phuket8 hours ago

Officials predict 600,000 tourists to Phuket following reopening

Phuket9 hours ago

Technician electrocuted to death while trying to fix jacuzzi

Pattaya9 hours ago

Pattaya pushes for August 1 Sealed Route reopening plan

Thailand9 hours ago

Mother alleges that Doctor mistakenly gave her 10 year old sleeping pills

Bangkok10 hours ago

1 million Sinopharm doses arrive today

Tourism11 hours ago

Full reopening guidelines for Phuket and Samui

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,682 new cases, 20 covid-related deaths, provincial totals

Thailand11 hours ago

Poll shows schools, students, parents, “not ready” for online learning

Chon Buri12 hours ago

Man returns lost parakeet, gets rewarded with BBQ

Thai Life13 hours ago

Thai Lion predicts football matches, other abilities currently unknown

Tourism13 hours ago

Reopening details for Phuket, Samui and beyond laid out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Multiple Chiang Rai schools to close after infections found

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8