Overstayers - The Real Enemy

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Dodger
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Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by Dodger » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:45 pm

All of the Immigration changes that have taken place this past year regarding Visa Renewals and TM30 & 28 Reporting, which have created so much confusion and frustration in the expat community, can be attributed to one single source in my opinion, and that’s “Overstayers”.

In 2016 Thailand announced its “Good Guys In – Bad Guys Out” campaign, which is when Deputy PM Prawit publically announced in The Nation Newspaper his intentions to focus this campaign on overstayers , as he believed that many of the overstayers were doing so because they were (are) involved in criminal activities. In the past, there have been many cases of foreigners committing serious crimes such as human trafficking, weapons trading and drug dealing whilst overstaying their visas. That being the case, it’s perfectly understandable (to me anyway) why they have targeted these idiots as a means of lowering crime. There are currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 overstayers in Thailand. It’s hard to imagine how Immigration could possibly find them without improving their tracking capabilities.

I’ve heard of many situations over the years where a farang makes an honest mistake and overstays a day or two which usually results in him paying a small fine either at immigration or the airport prior to his departure. The fine is typically 500 baht for each day overstayed. I seriously doubt that the focus of this campaign is on these types of minor infractions. Those who intentionally overstay by weeks, months, or even years, have done so, in the eyes of the law, based on criminal intent. These idiots deserve the penalties they receive which range anywhere from a maximum fine of 20,000 baht, a 1 to 10 year ban from reentering Thailand, and, in some cases, being jailed in a holding cell in Bangkok pending a court appearance.

By Immigration putting more focus of verifying a foreigner’s financial stability before issuing or extending a long term visa, they are providing a mechanism to identify those with the highest potential for becoming overstayers (based on past experience) early in the process. This also makes sense to me, because the visa financial requirements posted clearly on-line haven’t changed in at least the last 20 years that I know of. If a person’s method of obtaining a visa in the past was by lying about their income, then they don’t have any business (legal business) over here and deserve whatever consequences they receive.

I blame the U.S. Embassy for not agreeing to verify a U.S. citizen’s financial income as requested by Thai Immigration last year, versus putting us in the situation we’re in today. As we all know, Immigrations next move was to insist that a farangs money must be on account in a Thai bank for verification purposes before they would continue issuing and renewing visa extensions. I’m not sure I can think of anything else they could have done under these circumstances. As far as the TM 30 and TM 28 debacle, I believe it’s all for the purpose of tracking and catching overstayers as they’ve been saying all along, and not because they simply don’t want farang living in Thailand anymore, as some have suggested. Conversely, I have never heard of a single case where a farang has been treated poorly by immigration, who, in fact, was following the rules. It’s always the idiots!

IDIOT'S DEFINED

I visited Jomtien Immigration earlier this week and overheard a very aggressive sounding farang telling one of the clerks that he didn’t see why he had to have a Bank Letter, and felt his Bank Book alone should suffice for approving his income. IDIOT!

I ran into a friend a few days later told me of an incident he observed in Jomtien Immigration, where a farang, who apparently didn’t have a 65,000 baht monthly income, or the optional the 800,000 baht in the bank, who was insisting he should have his visa extension approved anyway for the mere fact that he had been residing in Thailand for the past 5 years. IDIOT!

Then, there’s the genius who posted on another forum (name withheld) who said he was pissed off because Immigration wouldn’t consider the money he was earning in Thailand as being sufficient for his visa extension, when, in fact, the guy didn’t even have the sense to have a work permit. IDIOT

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by windwalker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:33 pm

I doubt that the Overstayers are doing it because of illicit/criminal behavior rather they just find it more convenient rather than follow the rules/regulations.
A typical case is that of ........ who posts on another forum, who overstayed many years until he was caught when attempting to leave Thailand. Yes, they are idiots but not necessarily involved in criminal activity.
______________________________________________________

Note from GB: Let's not name other people no matter which forum they post on. In this post I replaced the name with dots.

Also, in my opinion, anyone who intentionally overstays, especially if it's for years, that is criminal activity. What do these people think is going to happen if they ever try to leave or they get caught some other way?

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by gera » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:02 pm

Dodger wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:45 pm
There are currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 overstayers in Thailand.
Where did you get that there are 100000 overstayers? There are approximately 2 million migrant workers in Thailand from countries like Myanmar , Laos, Cambodia. It is possible that the number of overstayers in this category was high (though there was a huge crackdown on this category several years ago). And approximately 60000-70000 expats from other countries. They are mostly retirees or people with work permits. I cannot imagine any significant number of overstayers in this category.

As for national security, vast majority of terrorist attacks in Thailand are home grown. I am aware of only two exceptions during recent years and there were special circumstances in both cases. When interpol gets information about criminals hiding in Thailand , Thai police have no trouble finding them (without any TM forms). I think you absolutely wrong and it seems to me very naive when it comes to Thai politics.

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by Dodger » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:31 pm

windwalker wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:33 pm
I doubt that the Overstayers are doing it because of illicit/criminal behavior rather they just find it more convenient rather than follow the rules/regulations.
A typical case is that of .......... who posts on another forum, who overstayed many years until he was caught when attempting to leave Thailand. Yes, they are idiots but not necessarily involved in criminal activity.
Obviously our views on this are very different.

I would think that people who knowingly break the law by overstaying, knowing full-well that eventually they'll have to pay a fine, possibly spend time behind bars and get banned from reentry into Thailand, are already exhibiting criminal behavior. For this reason, I'm more inclined to believe the facts as they are being reported, that a large percentage of people caught committing crimes are also guilty of overstaying.

I believe the situation you're referring to, where a person overstayed for years until he was caught leaving Thailand, sounds like a one sentence description of what happened, when in reality, there are a few more pages that would need to be read to understand the reality of what actually happened. But even in that one sentence, it's clear that he was exhibiting criminal behavior.

I heard a similar story once about a person who sounds strikingly similar to the person you're describing, who had not only overstayed his visa by several years, but was also working in Thailand without a work permit. When Thailand tightened the screws and finally located him (I believe it was in Khon Kaen), he was arrested, jailed until his court hearing, fined, deported and banned from reentry. I'm not sure if this is the same person you're referring to or not, but in any event, he was not only guilty of exhibiting criminal behavior, he was found guilty of breaking the law.

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by christianpfc » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:27 pm

Overstaying and working without work permit. Who is harmed? Crime without victim!

Catching criminals is police work. However, just like in the West, the government goes for soft targets, which is law-abiding citizen, and taxes and hassles these.

With TM30, proof of income, and the like, once in a while you catch a criminal, at the cost of hassling many good guys, but without the need to do dirty and dangerous police work.

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by windwalker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:36 pm

Dodger wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:31 pm

For this reason, I'm more inclined to believe the facts as they are being reported, that a large percentage of people caught committing crimes are also guilty of overstaying.
It may be that a large percentage of caught criminals are on an overstay but that does not mean that a large percentage of overstayers are criminals. Not logical.

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by Dodger » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:42 pm

gera wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:02 pm
Where did you get that there are 100000 overstayers?
As far as, where did I get the 100,000 overstayers from, I would say the same place you got the 2 million migrant workers from, e.g., news releases, demographic reports, articles published on the internet, etc. The estimate of 100,000 was first published in the Bangkok Post and The Nation when this initiative was first launched 2 years ago. No one has published any numbers subsequent to the launch of this initiative, so one can only guess. In any event, Thailand has deemed this as a major concern, and has reason to believe that a large percentage of overstayers (regardless of their numbers) are involved in criminal activities. If you believe there is some underlying political conspiracy at work here, so be it. Maybe you're right, but what difference would that really make?

Also, and I mean this sincerely, not as a tit-for-tat statement, there is no way that anyone could possibly know how many interactions Thailand has had with Interpol and other foreign intelligence agencies where traceability of foreigners on Thai soil came into play, unless in fact they were employed by one of these intelligence agencies and actively working these cases. There are those who believe that Thailand lost face on the international stage in 2015 due to the lack of traceability of hotel guests during the Erawan Shrine Bombing investigation, which is what actually exposed this weakness in Thailand's security system. It would be hard to imagine highly trained international intelligence agents overlooking the fact that Thailand's TM30 reporting process was broken. I wonder if maybe this is why they are trying to fix it, and not so much on the actual number of overstayers. Just a thought.

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by Dodger » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:46 pm

windwalker wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:36 pm
It may be that a large percentage of caught criminals are on an overstay but that does not mean that a large percentage of overstayers are criminals.
Huh!!!

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:04 pm

windwalker wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:36 pm
It may be that a large percentage of caught criminals are on an overstay but that does not mean that a large percentage of overstayers are criminals.
What kind of argument is that? I fail to see the significant difference. If people are intentionally overstaying, then they are criminals. If it's long term before they're caught, now by Thai standards it's a felony. They don't imprison, heavily fine, deport, and ban people for minor misdemeanors. Why do you think they are not criminals?

You may have convinced yourself they are not criminals, but why do I think Thai police, Thai immigration, and Thai courts are not going to see it your way? I don't see it your way either.

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Re: Overstayers - The Real Enemy

Post by windwalker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:22 pm

Obviously we see things differently.

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