Thailand visa renewals by Scandinavian expats are shrinking

Published:  2 Jul at 6 PM
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Numbers of Nordic expatriates in Thailand on business, in retirement or with Thai families are shrinking fast, according to a local English language online newspaper.

According to reports based on info from the Thai Immigration Authority, the numbers of expats from Scandinavia looking to renew their visas has fallen by 10 per cent, the first decline since 2007. Should the rate of decline continue, by the end of this year there will be just 861 expatriates of Scandinavian origin still living in the country. The figures back up other reports by Immigration and the Tourism Ministry, which also indicate a significant fall in tourist and expat numbers across the board. Of particular significance is the fall in the numbers of Chinese arrivals.

Initially, the numbers involved may seem to be small, with 40 Nordic businessmen not renewing their visas and 46 Nordic expats either on family or retirement visas also deciding to leave, but trends tend to start small and grow as the word gets around. Demand for the renewal of student visas also dropped by 89, a fall of 7.5 per cent of the total number of expats studying in Thailand. Worse still, renewals of tourist visas were also down by 65 people, although in total 11,752 renewals were made.

Similar details haven’t yet been released about the totals of expats from other nationalities who’ve decided to leave Thailand, but it has to be said that the Scandinavian expat population is one of the smallest. Should, say, the same percentage of British and American citizens decide to leave, the result for Thai SMES could be damaging, to say the least.
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