Immigration Gets Personal

 | Tue 19 Apr 2016 06:52 ICT

CityNews – Many expats in Thailand have become vocal, mostly online, about the new 90 day form supplied by the Immigration Department. In addition to routine questions such as contact details and addresses, the new form now asks for more personal information such as what social media sites applicants visit, as well as “places or premises visited often by the foreigner … such as club, restaurant, shop, hospital and other places.”

Bank account details are also asked for.

According to Khao Sod English, Chatchawan Wachirapaneekhun, deputy commissioner of the Immigration Bureau’s crime suppression unit, said that providing the information was not mandatory.

“We won’t force them to fill it out,” he said. “We won’t bother with their social media – if they aren’t doing anything wrong.”

He cited national security as the reason for the additional questions, stating that it would be beneficial in helping to find criminals should they commit crime within the Kingdom.

Twitter, Facebook and online forums such as ThaiVisa, however, are inundated with comments with some saying that they support the measures, while others asking whether it would be effective, as criminals are unlikely to fill in the form at all, let alone truthfully, and some wondering whether authorities have the logistical knowhow to gather all data for use.