HomeTourismIn Thailand they are again going to repress illegal Russians

In Thailand they are again going to repress illegal Russians

Thailand has once again promised to carry out reprisals against foreigners working in popular resort areas without special permission and a work visa. A massive campaign to identify and deport “bad” relocants, including many Russians, began on the eve of the end of visa relaxations for Russian citizens.

A briefing was held at the Ministry of Business and Employment of Thailand, at which officials announced the start of another massive campaign against foreigners working in the kingdom without a work permit. According to the Thai press, department officials pretended to be shocked by the fact that everyone already knew: thousands of citizens of other countries are engaged in illegal business activities, choosing mainly resort regions – Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.

In this case, we are not talking about labor migrants from Asian countries who are engaged in unskilled labor as loaders or janitors. Thai authorities are concerned about visitors from the UK, a number of EU countries, as well as China and Russia. The latter are increasingly working in areas such as the taxi business, organizing and conducting excursions for tourists, and also mediate transactions in the real estate market.

Thais en masse complain to the authorities about foreigners, pointing out that they make money in professions that are reserved only for Thai nationals. First of all, we are talking about working as guides who take foreign tourists to local attractions.

“We just returned from Thailand – on all excursions the official guide-driver is Thai and the Russian-speaking guide-“tourist” with a voucher. On the bus he hosts the program, but on the street he’s just a tourist. There have been constant raids over these 2 weeks: the police are filming Russian guides, who are facing serious fines and deportation. If the Thais learned Russian and could conduct full-fledged excursions, there would be no questions, but otherwise…” – wrote in the telegram channel “Roof of the TourDom” Karina.

The other day, the Phuket authorities reported the detention of an illegal Russian guide who was traveling with a group of Russian tourists to the Similan Islands. Prior to this, the tourist police arrested citizens of the People’s Republic of China and Great Britain who conducted excursions at the Big Buddha Temple without a work permit. And this is only the visible part of the problem with the illegal tourism business.

Therefore, when assessing the situation with illegal foreigners, Thai authorities are increasingly using the word “repression.” This is exactly what they threaten to relocants who are found to be violating Thai labor laws. “Repression has already begun in Phuket: several dozen foreigners have been arrested by immigration police, are subject to weekly deportation and a ban on entry into the country up to life imprisonment,” writes pattayapeople.ru.

The publication reports that the Thai government agencies involved in immigration policy recognize the existence of corruption among officials and police officers. Moreover, we are talking not only about issuing fake work permits for bribes, but also about issuing Thai identity cards to illegal immigrants, which is punished especially severely. Therefore, in Thai government agencies, the opinion is increasingly heard about introducing even stricter penalties for both local bribe-takers and foreigners working illegally.

According to an already established tradition, the peak of the fight against foreigners falls in Thai resorts at the end of March – beginning of April. Subscribers of the telegram channel “Roof of TurDom” even made irony about this. “Every year it’s the same thing. There are fewer tourists in March, there is no one to take bribes from, and they begin their own raids. Last year in Phuket I encountered this myself,” she wrote. Victoria, who told how local law enforcement officers raided the club where she studied dancing and arrested a Russian teacher working without a work visa. Fortunately, everything ended well, the reader reported.

But this year the situation is different. The Russian-speaking diaspora, which is the largest in Thailand today, is in agitation. In a month, on April 30, the visa relaxation for Russians introduced on November 1, 2023, due to which our citizens could legally stay in the kingdom for 90 days with one stamp affixed upon arrival, expires.

This has attracted a large number of long-term guests from Russia to the kingdom, who form the bulk of those working illegally: not all Russian expats earn money remotely, but they have to live on something.

A number of experts express the opinion that non-extension of the three-month visa-free visa will hit precisely this category of Russians, since for an ordinary tourist a long stay in Thailand is not of fundamental importance – it is rare that a package tour lasts more than 3 weeks.

The Thai authorities have put the decision on visa-free travel on pause for now, without announcing anything specific. If now they decide to take seriously the eradication of the illegal business of foreigners (primarily Russians), then many of our fellow citizens will have to think about changing their location – flying to their homeland every month to get a stamp abroad will be too expensive.

Source: Tourdom



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