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


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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. Hello, 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 […]

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The Thais will, quite rightly, prioritise jobs for their own people. As Covid fades and jobs once more become available, Thais will fill them first.  This is as it should be and is the right strategic plan. Expat workers are in no position to grumble about this, unless they have a resident Thai family to support. Harsh, perhaps, but true. 

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It is a serious letter and a serious subject, however...

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

I'd consider yourself lucky being forced out of Koh Tao; one can always re-build, but one can't recover from fatal "accidents".

Get while the going is good, and don't look back.

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It’s been a growing problem for a while. Just look at who is in charge of issuing the visas. They’re not responsible for economic growth or labor promotion. It’s their own little cottage industry.

Renewing a work permit is a breeze compared to the visa. Also notice that BOI company use a different process for visas, acknowledging the problem. 
 

51 minutes ago, Pinetree said:

The Thais will, quite rightly, prioritise jobs for their own people. As Covid fades and jobs once more become available, Thais will fill them first.  This is as it should be and is the right strategic plan. Expat workers are in no position to grumble about this, unless they have a resident Thai family to support. Harsh, perhaps, but true. 

This is quite a “mercantilist” view of labor economics. Rather than taking away jobs many expats either directly or indirectly bring in additional capital and support local jobs that pay better than average. 

Despite economic rebounds across the world last year, Thailand may contract again in 2022 because it’s uncompetitive and overly restrictive in many areas.   

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You would find this same behavior in any country suffering from significant unemployment. Citizens first. Expats second. You probably should have contemplated that when you took the job to begin with.

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1 minute ago, Cabra said:

You would find this same behavior in any country suffering from significant unemployment. Citizens first. Expats second. You probably should have contemplated that when you took the job to begin with.

Many in the diving school training lack work permits and proper visas. It hurts everyone and only mostly that work legally. 

Frankly I don't see why foreigners would be allowed to work when there are Thais who could do it.

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I have only just  had my new  visa issued last week with my work permit renewed last month.

There was no issue for me.

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reposting here the story because the page doesn't properly display in the link above, popup boxes and ads are hiding the text.

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.

Hello,

 

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.

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.

‘Lucy’

 

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13 minutes ago, Thommo said:

I have only just  had my new  visa issued last week with my work permit renewed last month.

There was no issue for me.

I think Thais want to get rid of the "garbage" and "dodgy" work permits typically found with farangs living on islands with "tourism" jobs

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2 minutes ago, butterfly said:

reposting here the story because the page doesn't properly display in the link above, popup boxes and ads are hiding the text.

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.

Hello,

 

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.

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.

‘Lucy’

I assume you had a Non B visa and WP, but couldn't renew it so went for a covid extension.  Sort of the same problem Richard Barrow had before.  I understand that it requires a new visa that can only be received outside Thailand.  Since you chose to go the covid extension route it's much more complicated. I don't know if a visa agent could help, but it looks like a trip out of Thailand is in order. 

This is not really Thai immigrations fault as I see it, after 10 years working here people should know. I've always asked the IO and received good advice.

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1 hour ago, Cabra said:

You would find this same behavior in any country suffering from significant unemployment. Citizens first. Expats second. You probably should have contemplated that when you took the job to begin with.

What "significant unemployment"? Thais refuse menial jobs so foreigners from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are trucked in and forced into cramped "worker camps". Thai unemployment was at 1.03% last year, which I think is one of the lowest in the region.

Finally, a diving instructor is hardly an expat. It's a backpacker job.

 

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29 minutes ago, Chiangmai said:

Ein Visum in Thailand zu verlängern oder zu beantragen ist schwierig. Die Behörden schikanieren die Leute. Es ist alles umständlich und ein riesiger Papierkrieg. Wenn immer weniger Touristen und Expats nach Thailand kommen, hat das nur negative Auswirkungen.

OK if you say so.

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3 hours ago, Thaiger said:

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.

Well it may be tuff for you, but the Thai bar girls obviously know now where the jobs are …..

News Forum - Thousands of Thais trafficked to Japan for prostitution each year

https://thethaiger.com/talk/topic/11941-news-forum-thousands-of-thais-trafficked-to-japan-for-prostitution-each-year/#comment-174468

 

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2 hours ago, LoongFred said:

Frankly I don't see why foreigners would be allowed to work when there are Thais who could do it.

Obviously that includes the Lao and Burmese workers 

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51 minutes ago, Teddy_Ruxpin said:

What "significant unemployment"? Thais refuse menial jobs so foreigners from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are trucked in and forced into cramped "worker camps". Thai unemployment was at 1.03% last year, which I think is one of the lowest in the region.

Finally, a diving instructor is hardly an expat. It's a backpacker job.

 

Still does not change the position of any government when it comes to giving access to jobs... Citizens first. Expats second

Edited by Cabra
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1 hour ago, Teddy_Ruxpin said:

Finally, a diving instructor is hardly an expat. It's a backpacker job.

No, ….. it’s a job for the IMF.  ….. and even they would struggle to put decent Thai drivers on the road that would follow all the road rules.

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8 hours ago, Pinetree said:

The Thais will, quite rightly, prioritise jobs for their own people. As Covid fades and jobs once more become available, Thais will fill them first.  This is as it should be and is the right strategic plan. Expat workers are in no position to grumble about this, unless they have a resident Thai family to support. Harsh, perhaps, but true. 

What rubbish, if Thai's are best suited for a job they have every advantage at receiving the work.  if a foreigner can out compete the locals that means that the locals are not properly suited/capable of the work.  To then deny the foreigner the ability to perform the work means that the customer needs to either over pay, receive a substandard product, or go without.  None of these outcomes is optimal to either the foreigner or the Thai.  

On the other hand, allowing the foreigner to perform the work keeps the economy going and allows the foreigner to take said earnings and use it in areas the locals can add more value to the overall economy.  this benefits everyone and counties who block such truncations suffer in the long run at the expense of those counties who open their arms to talent, human resources, and skills from abroad.  

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6 hours ago, Hunter said:

I think the Thai government now prefers IT professionals to come and work in Thailand.

until they dont

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6 hours ago, butterfly said:

I think Thais want to get rid of the "garbage" and "dodgy" work permits typically found with farangs living on islands with "tourism" jobs

In all international companies , productions in Thailand they have to bring skilled farangs/foreigners inside because they not find skilled Thais. The education system in Thailand is garbage and ranked at the bottom. In most 3rd world countries the education level is mostly better and better math skills. A Thai engineer has not the qualification what internatinonal or in europe is called an engineer. To operate a company or a production is impossible without foreigners in Thailand. There not enough Thais who get a real quality education in Europe with the skills are needed in a nowday needs to operate a company. Til this education system is changed they have to make a easy access for the companies to get the skilled people for their company or more and more have to leave to other destinations like Vietnam, what already happened. Is just easy as that the invests will go into other countries. 

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13 minutes ago, Stardust said:

In all international companies , productions in Thailand they have to bring skilled farangs/foreigners inside because they not find skilled Thais. The education system in Thailand is garbage and ranked at the bottom. In most 3rd world countries the education level is mostly better and better math skills. A Thai engineer has not the qualification what internatinonal or in europe is called an engineer. To operate a company or a production is impossible without foreigners in Thailand. There not enough Thais who get a real quality education in Europe with the skills are needed in a nowday needs to operate a company. Til this education system is changed they have to make a easy access for the companies to get the skilled people for their company or more and more have to leave to other destinations like Vietnam, what already happened. Is just easy as that the invests will go into other countries. 

The majority of the skilled foreigner engineers in Thailand is from Japan.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/thailand/data.html

Quote

31 percent of all direct investment in Thailand is coming from Japan (based on the 2019 figure approved by the Board of Investment), a total amount which is larger than that of any other country's.

 

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23 minutes ago, Noble_Design said:

The majority of the skilled foreigner engineers in Thailand is from Japan.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/thailand/data.html

Sure also japanese but the user wrote farangs and thats why I used farangs/ foreigners. Yes in chonbury mainly from Germany and Japan. Anyway in all modern productions/ companies in the eastern corridor (chonburi, Rayong) the main economic and industrial area in Thailand many foreigners. Over 2000 companies from Germany BMW,etc automotive, energy etc and for sure many japanese company and also many automotive mazda etc etc . As I worked in such international companies in south east asia I know them from inside and the problems they have as described.

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44 minutes ago, Noble_Design said:

The majority of the skilled foreigner engineers in Thailand is from Japan.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/thailand/data.html

The engineer was just one example for sure I mean that for all work where you need skilled labour, all branches and for sure all foreigners inclusive japanese who are skilled and have a very good education system.

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