Expat retirees in Thailand still scared of more rule changes

Published:  20 Jul at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Chaos still rules in Thailand’s immigration requirement for long-stay expats.

Whilst tourists and other visitors are now covered until late September by the junta government’s latest edict, other sectors of the expat community may be left out in the cold. Having made a sensible decision based on helping trapped visitors on tourist visas, the government seems to have left out other expat sectors which continually contribute to the country’s economy.

The decision to allow another amnesty, for want of a better description, was the sensible option, as kicking out those who’d stayed simply because they couldn’t leave would have sent a negative message to those still considering to visit the country and spend their holiday money. Even although criminalizing those who stayed after September 26 without an extended visa might have sounded a little heavy, it’s at least possible those affected will be few in number. However, it took no time at all for expats following this protracted tale of woe that the government had forgotten an important sector of expat – those who stay on the so-called non-immigrant visas.

Holders of Retirement, Education, volunteering, and Business visas comprise the entire, huge expat community in this Southeast Asian hub, all of whom are, technically at least, on one-year visas. However, some sectors are likely to find themselves in trouble before this entire mess is sorted out worldwide. For example, foreigners on business visas who don’t earn above a certain amount which qualifies them for a one-year stay are doing work which Thai nationals either won’t or can’t do and are forced to do visa runs by immigration even although their work permits run for two years. No mention has been made of the correct way for these expats to ensure they’re legal after the end of this month.

Another sector is perhaps the largest, as Thailand was formerly a very popular retirement destination for its weather and laid-back lifestyle. Many newly arrived expats married Thai women, had children as a result and are supporting their Thai extended families with their pension incomes. They’re still spending, they’re still looking after their responsibilities and they’re now scared they may not be able to continue due to compulsory and overly expensive private health insurances, other potential changes in immigration requirements and the incomprehensible strength of the Thai baht against their home country currencies.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive