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Phuket Immigration demands title deeds, home walk-throughs for permit to stay extensions

Phuket Immigration demands title deeds, home walk-throughs for permit to stay extensions

PHUKET: Phuket Immigration is refusing to accept applications for one-year extensions unless the foreigner provides a copy of the Chanote land title for property where the foreigner is staying ‒ even if the foreigner is only renting the property ‒ and photographs of inside the home where the foreigner is staying, including in the bedroom.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 3 May 2023, 06:27PM

Photo: The Phuket News / file

Photo: The Phuket News / file

The requirements were confirmed by Pol Sen Sgt Maj Nounphan Srijow, designated as a ‘Squad Leader’, who refused an application on these grounds earlier today (May 3).

The requirement for a foreigner to provide a copy of a Chanote title for a property the foreigner does not own appears to be an attempt by Phuket Immigration to hold foreigners staying in Phuket responsible under Section 38 of the Immigration Act, which applies only to landlords and “householders”.

During the TM30 debacle, it was confirmed by previous Phuket Immigration chiefs that applications for one-year permits to stay will not be refused for information that foreign applicants are not required to provide under Immigration laws.

Phuket Immigration Chief Pol Col Thanet Sukchai today dodged the question whether the officer was today legally empowered to refuse the application on the grounds above. He presumed the officer has the right.

Col Thanet recently ramped up efforts to have landlords and “householders” report to immigration any foreigners staying at the premises, and has started fining people ‒ namely Thai nationals ‒ for not abiding by the law. He has even issued ‘yellow cards’ to warn landlords of the seriousness of their transgression.

Regarding the photographs required of inside the home where the foreigner is staying, The Phuket News has previously been informed of one incident when a foreigner was asked to do a ‘walk-through’ of the home where he was staying to show an immigration officer through a video chat on a mobile phone what the home looked like ‒ a procedure that normally requires a search warrant approved by a court for an officer to enforce.

Col Thanet Sukcha told The Phuket News today, “It’s the Phuket Crime-Free scheme. If a foreigner is staying in a place, the person must have photos to prove that he or she is really staying [there].

“For the title deed, I am not sure what [job] he does. The enforcement is very strict now. It is not a rejection but the documents [required] are not complete and [the immigration officer] just asked [in order] to gather all the documents required. If the documents are complete, the visa will be extended,” Col Thanet said.

However, The Phuket News was present today when the application was flatly refused without the copy of the Chanote title deed and photos of the interior of the house, including the bedroom. It was not a request; it was a requirement.

Open Kitchen Laguna

Asked specifically about the need for a foreigner renting a property being required to present a copy of the Chonte title deed, Col Thanet said, “It’s back to the question of what job he [the foreigner] does… It is case by case.

“There are basic documents that are required with a checklist but the extra documents are considered request case by case which depends on the immigration agent’s consideration.”

Of note, the officer today required a copy of the reverse side of the Chanote title also be provided, ensuring that Phuket Immigration is aware of any financial encumbrances on the property.

“For a one-year extension, I am not the one who approves. I am only the middleman sending the request [for visa extension] to Hat Yai [home of Immigration Division 6 headquarters] for approval there and if the documents are not ready, it will go as a circle nonstop, Col Thanet said, alluding that he is only following orders.

“You can ask [the foreigner] to pass his passport to [the reporter] and explain what was the issue and what type of visa he is extending. I can have a look and sort out what is the problem,” Col Thanet offered.

The foreigner whose application was flatly refused without the “extra documents” today is a British national who has been living and working ‒ fully legally ‒ in Phuket for more than 20 years.

As reported to Phuket Immigration each year, the foreigner has been living in the same rented house with his wife and child for more than 12 years. His application was for a one-year permit to stay on the basis of being married to a Thai.

The Phuket News was informed late this afternoon that the foreigner, who works in local media, will be subjected to a video call walk-through of the his rented home by an immigration officer ‒ on the presumed condition that his application for a one-year permit to stay will be denied if he refuses.

The Phuket News has informed several consuls on the island of the new rules to refuse applications on the two issues above.

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Kurt | 06 May 2023 - 00:26:08

Thai Phuket Immigration officers will feel ashamed when they see 'bedrooms' videos of Myanmar 'guest workers' on Phuket. How Thai treat the Myanmar workers with 'providing' corrugated iron/plywood accommodation, good for animals, will stare Immigration officers in the face.

Prab | 05 May 2023 - 16:21:02

guess this is for non working long staying expat i guess.. or else i wouldn't want to see where all the burmese people sleep into the barracks ect ... 

cheez | 05 May 2023 - 14:36:40

Being subjected to a walk-through inside an expat's bedroom as well!!!   Not even my Alexa gets permission to do that!

cheez | 05 May 2023 - 14:34:07

The unreasonable, obstinate stance of injustices to expats by Phuket Immigration to demand that they invade the privacy of expats homes without a warrant as a requirement for an extension application is pure bigotry.  The consequences of not meeting Immigration's demands is a serious bone of contention.

Kurt | 05 May 2023 - 10:05:32

Phuket Immigration better put her energy in demanding that tourists have a full coverage holiday insurance. Than they do something usefull. As there are 110+Immigration high ranking officers inactive, it looks like Col Thanet works hard to become general, with his video idiotery. To video a bedroom. Man is crazy.

Timothy | 05 May 2023 - 08:25:07

They change the requirements just to make it frustrating. Everyone I know has a horror story about immigration. I asked an agent who was at immigration how much, she said 20,000 Baht. 10 for her 10 for them. She had a stack of passports. They got stamped quickly with little or no review. I didn't pay the fee. I'll make another trip to the bank, copy shop, home, etc. I won't give them 1...

agogohome | 05 May 2023 - 07:17:38

The simple truth is, they don't want people applying in person! After supplying everything they need - and being told to go to the bank again, withdraw 100 baht and get another copy of my bank book - we were kept waiting for 3 hours in an empty office!

agogohome | 05 May 2023 - 07:05:15

This is nothing new! They've been doing it since July 2022. We had to complete a full, live walk around tour of our house last year on the LINE app - and supply a copy of the landlords Chanote. 

christysweet | 04 May 2023 - 11:10:38

 Agree. Purely  a persuasion  to pay agents who'll share the fee. I'm curious as to the logic of how pics of inside a home which could be any home  anywhere really,  prove anything? 

Nasa12 | 04 May 2023 - 10:52:06

Are this new rules “again“ for all exstention to stay, or only for this with B visum exstention. So what happens with all this chanote,house book owners ID paper we give too immigration many time the last years. 

Kurt | 04 May 2023 - 10:46:22

Two side copy of Chanote and show/copy of blue housebook should be enough. Strange Immigration not talk about blue housebook. Why are these 2 Thai documents not having enough value for Immigration? The whole show just smells to bullying foreigners.

Kurt | 04 May 2023 - 10:30:18

@ Kamala Pete, totally useless to appeal on Governor. The good man is to busy with many merit show doings and sweet photo talks with many. The last thing he will do is to get involved with Immigration. To much 'hair' on it, not something for him.

Kurt | 04 May 2023 - 10:22:31

Lesser people now will use a agent. So the Immigration officers cut in their 'own' B5,000 bribe, Capricornball. Not very clever of them. Well, it is hard to trap them on being clever. Just programmed  again to be anti foreigner. ( who has B800,000 in Thai bank)

Kamala Pete | 04 May 2023 - 10:05:37

Is this latest "net" being cast in order to pick up long-overstay russians who are keeping under the radar by couch-surfing with friends? At immigration this week the "helpers" were calling out to the queue "No extensions for russians"!!!  

Kamala Pete | 04 May 2023 - 09:58:01

Perhaps the governor needs to forcefully point out to immigration that long term expats bring billions of baht in pensions and savings to this island every year, and going outside the regulations in order to make life more difficult for us is totally inappropriate. 

kiwiian | 04 May 2023 - 09:51:05

Last year when I extended my retirement visa I had photos from outside, living room and bedroom. They were pushed aside 'no need'. Next week I have to go again so it looks like fun and games one more time... 

Kurt | 04 May 2023 - 09:16:28

Remember photo outside the house and living, was that in 2018 or '19? The year afterthat I came in with same photos, was shuffled aside by Imm officer ( no need any more). Now the drama queens get hysterical again, must be the hot weather.. A walk through your house video. Can I make a booking for Imm officer to come over and take video? Or is it just showing from your phone? 

skorchio | 04 May 2023 - 09:02:39

Good work Phuket News, I am suspecting this is one of your own. I have given up with this extension crap, I fly in fly out for work and for the timebeing, it is convenient. But FFS I dont get it why they want to make more work for themselves in Immigation. I counted 70 pages off garbage the last time I went to extend, I had to sign every one, another officer stamped every page, and then a higher-u

JohnC | 04 May 2023 - 08:23:22

My last renewal we also had an immigration officer video walk us around our home using Line App eventhough we had the required photos of us inside and in front of the house number on the street, which were fine for many years but apparently now are not good enough.  28 years now! One wonders what more they will ask for next....

CaptainJack69 | 04 May 2023 - 04:56:30

By far the vast majority of crime on Phuket is committed by Thais. So following this logic we should see this kind of home invasion required whenever they want to renew their ID cards or update their housing registrations. Unless, of course, there's an element of racism here? (sarcasm)

CaptainJack69 | 04 May 2023 - 04:53:27

For an extension on the grounds of marriage we already had to provide photos of the couple both inside and in front of the residence. Can't remember if I've ever had to show a chanote, but this video call walk through is going WAY too far.

Capricornball | 03 May 2023 - 20:00:05

Sounds like too many people were doing their own extension applications, thus cutting out the bribe money paid by Visa Service companies. When I looked into having a visa service do my extension of stay (I am legit, I have all the money, income and insurance), the fee was 25,000 baht. The agent informed me that 5,000 of that is for the Immigration agent. That is what this is all about.


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