Wednesday, July 17, 2019

No country for old men – the new Thai immigration laws begin to bite

Feb 06. 2019
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Re: “How many expat retirees are now being forced to leave Thailand?” Have Your Say, yesterday.

The plaintive letter from retiree Don, 90 years old and being forced out of Thailand by bureaucratic fiat, is proof of the concerns expressed here by Barry Kenyon, Sacot Pippen and myself on December 25 and January 2 regarding the new immigration laws.

It is all very well to adjust the law in respect of future influxes of tourists and immigrants, but existing retirees, unlike tourists or workers, may not be in a position to adapt, having made irreversible decisions regarding finance and healthcare to enable them to spend their remaining days in Thailand.

I sincerely hope the new immigration minister, whoever he may be, will assess the relative merits of lager louts, sex tourists, fugitive criminals, uncultured zero-dollar hordes and retired expats, and apply a more sensitive hand to further amendments. At the very least, a “grandfathering” clause should apply to retirees like Don (and many more of us here at Have Your Say) so we may continue to live and abide by the same set of rules we accepted when we first applied to stay in Thailand.

Nigel Pike

Phang Nga

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