Integrity Legal

11th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Department of Homeland Security is to place Thailand on a sort of “risk list” pertaining to terrorism. In order to provide further details on this situation it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of The Nation, NationMultimedia.com:

A recent announcement by the US Department of Homeland Security said that Thailand will be on a new terrorism-risk list. The department has classified Thailand among countries that are known to “promote, produce or protect terrorist organisations or their members”. Spokeswoman for the department Gillian Christensen said in a written statement that countries “may have been included on the list because of the backgrounds of arrestees, not because of the country’s government itself”. Along with Thailand, three other US allies placed on the risk list are Egypt, Israel and the Philippines. In all there are 36 countries on this list of so-called Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that “promote, produce, or protect terrorists”. Citizens from countries on this list who wish to travel to the US will be required to submit to a new “Third Agency Check”. In real terms, it could very well mean additional security check or possibly stricter rules for Thai citizens requesting visas to the US…

The administration of this web log encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this story in detail.

As noted in the aforementioned quotation, the ramifications of these developments could ultimately result in delayed processing of visas such as the K-1 visa, the CR-1 visa, and the IR-1 visa for fiancees and spouses of American Citizens. Meanwhile, those seeking employment or investment based visas such as the EB-5 visa or the L-1 visa may see further processing delays in matters where a visa is being sought through the US Embassy Thailand. Finally, it could be inferred that these developments will have an impact upon those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the B-1 visa, the B-2 visa, the F-1 visa, or the J-1 visa. Bearing all of this in mind, it remains to be seen how this announcement will actually effect the overall visa process.

In related news it was recently noted that the Royal Thai Immigration Police may be stringently enforcing immigration regulations with respect to the ED visa. In order to expound further upon these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the Pattaya Times, Pattaya-Times.com:

The Deputy Director of the Thailand Ministry of Education recently summoned all language schools’ owners in Pattaya along with senior Chonburi Immigration Police Investigators to address this issue and notify the schools of the crackdown. “Now any school found to be selling the Education visa simply to allow the foreigner to stay in Thailand and not attending the school will be closed down and lose their license. All of the school’s students, whether attending or not, will have their visas cancelled,” the representative of the Ministry of Education stated…

This blogger asks readers to click on the links above to read this interesting article in detail.

There are many types of Thai visas including, but not limited to the Thai business visa and the Thai retirement visa. Although neither of these visa categories are of issue in the aforementioned quotation. Clearly, the events noted above could have implications for those who stay in Thailand on a Thai Education visa. That said, those actually utilizing an ED visa for educational pursuits are unlikely to be adversely impacted by this new policy. However, the overall impact of this new policy remains to be seen.

For information related to legal services in Thailand please see: Legal.


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