News from Thailand
Only items of news which have an effect on the lives of foreigners living in Thailand, e.g. law changes in foreigner’s rights and economical forecasts, are included in this section. Other daily news (deaths, murders) are only given in special cases.
11.10.2011: Thailand flood disaster
http://www.thaiflood.com/en Thailand Flood Map
http://flood.gistda.or.th Thailand Flood Monitoring System
http://maintenance.doh.go.th/test.html The Highway Department “flooded roads”
18.12.2009: WOT gives a Trojan warning for: www.immigration.go.th
WOT WEB OF TRUST [more]
18.06.2009: Free Tourist Visa for Thailand
The Royal Thai Government has announced that they will continue to issue tourist visas free of charge until at least March 2010. This is part of a continuing effort to attract tourist to the Kingdom.
24.04.2009: Google online translation tool now with Thai language
The Google online translation tool http://www.translate.google.com translates text and web pages (Thai, English, German, French).
20.12.2008: Change to the visa regulations "Visa on Arrival"
Foreigners are not required to obtain a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes and will be permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a period of not exceeding
30 days on each visit. If such foreigners enter the Kingdom at the immigration checkpoints which border neighboring countries, they will be allowed to stay for 15 days each time. http://www.mfa.go.th/web/2482.php?id=2490
05.11.2008: Bangkok Post: Swimmers warned of box jellyfish
The Marine and Coastal Resources Department has warned of box jellyfish attacks after the highly poisonous species was found off Koh Phi Phi in Krabi province. The box jellyfish is not common in Thai waters. So far two deaths in Thailand have been attributed to the jellyfish. People swimming in the sea where box jellyfish are present should exercise caution. Box jellyfish are known for their powerful venom, which has caused at least 5,567 recorded deaths since 1954. Vinegar is the best
solution to reduce the pain from a jellyfish sting before the victim is sent to hospital. Water should not be used, as this increases the pain.
04.11.2008: Melamine in food [more]
11.08.2008: Government guarantees on bank deposits droped
The Deposits Protection Act B.E. 2551 (effective on August 11, 2008) will limit the amount of the guaranty with the use of a systematic tier approach.
to 10 Aug 2009 - Full amount protected
to 10 Aug 2010 - THB 100 Million protected
to 10 Aug 2011 - THB 50 Million protected
to 10 Aug 2012 - THB 10 Million protected
from 11 Aug 2012 onwards 1 Million protected
30.07.2008: The immigration office requires an address confirmation for the 90 day registration. This address confirmation does not necessarily have to be a landlord/rental contract. The immigration office will also accept different types of documents which confirm the address. This can be a Thai driver’s licence or an electricity, telephone or internet bill.
17.02.2008: Smoking bans expanded
The current prohibition which exists against smoking in publicly accessible and air conditioned areas (e.g. restaurants), has been expanded as of February 17th, 2008 to include the areas (e.g. bar, discos) which had been previously been exempt.
15.06.2007: Obligatory register of 10 000 Euro upon exit/entry of the EU
Starting from 15th June 2007 travellers are obliged to inform the customs office in writing, without being asked, if they are carrying cash over 10.000 Euros when entering or exiting the EU. Any cheques, traveller’s cheques and bonds etc. are also viewed as cash. Infringements of this rule will be dealt with hefty penalty fines.
01.01.2007: The EU has increased the exemption limit
The EU has decided that travellers on airplanes and ships may enter Europe from countries outside the EU with goods up to a value of 430 Euros without incurring any import taxes. Starting from 1 December 2008.
19.09.2006 Change to the visa regulations
Holidaymakers from various countries (e.g. Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) have the possibility to travel around Thailand for a maximum of 30 days without having to apply for a visa in the homeland beforehand. Upon arrival, a maximum stay of 30 days is authorised with a stamp.
Many long-term holidaymakers have discovered a trick to practically convert this rule into a permanent visa. They leave the country before the stamp expires and then
quickly re-enter the country once again. In this way, the length of the stay can always be legally extended by a further 30 days. This was, however, not the intention of the legislator. There are special visas for long-term stays. In order to close this loop in the law, a new change to the law applies from the 1st October 2006. In the future, only two further entries into the country will be allowed in succession without a visa. Within a 1/2 year, only 3 x 30 day stays are therefore
There are no other changes to the visa conditions as far as I know.
14.08.2006: Stricter safety measures at airports
As a result of the current terror threats, airports across the world have increased their safety measures. Travellers must therefore reckon with delays when checking
in. Passengers on international flights should arrive 3-4 hours before their flight departure to check-in. It is advisable that you restrict the contents of your hand luggage to the absolute minimum, as you may be limited on documents and valuables dependent upon the security risk. Packing fluids into your hand luggage should be avoided unless it is baby food or medication. You will receive further information from the airlines.
Indirect acquisition of land by foreigners using a limited company is no longer possible
As possession of land by foreigners is generally prohibited, many people tried to indirectly attain land in the past by setting up a limited company. From 25th May 2006, this legally questionable trick is no longer possible. When transferring the
deeds of a piece of land to a limited company, the land authorities check if Thais own the majority of the company and if they have really brought capital into the company and therefore check that they are not simply a middle man. Existing companies are not yet directly affected by the regulation. It is, however, not to be excluded from the possibility a future inspection.
28.08.2005: Immigration police online forms available to download
The immigration police offer many forms as downloads. The forms are written in Word and can therefore be filled out on the PC and printed out.
26.12.2004: Tsunami flood catastrophe
05.07.2004: Cheaper calls abroad (7 Baht per minute)
CAT Telecom Thailand drastically reduced their eFone tariffs on 5 July. [more]
11.11.2003: Thailand introduces “Ombudsman”
Following the Scandinavian example, Thailand has now introduced a complaints board for its citizens. Everyone can put their administration complaints forward.
The Ombudsman of Thailand
- 1193 Exim Bank Building 20th Floor
- Phaholythin Rd. Samsen-nai Phayathai Bangkok 10400
- Tel. 022990400 FAX: 02299485
- Homepage: http://www.ombudsman.go.th (thai/engl.)
05.10.2003: BUPA Blue Cross guarantees life long health insurance
The BUPA Blue Cross has given written confirmation to persons who have held a long-term health insurance policy, up to the age of 60, who have been continually insured, that they are guaranteed a life long insurance policy. New policies are guaranteed only up until 70 years of age.
BUPA Blue Cross - see also category health insurance
27.08.2003: Driving license for foreigners – now with 5 year validity
Foreigners who need to renew their driving permit may now apply for a 5 year driving license.
25.08.2002: Digital World Space Radio with AsiaStar
The new possibility to receive a new type of radio reception close to CD quality has now been available in Thailand for a few weeks. [more]
15.01.2002: Points system for traffic offences introduced
From January 2002 Thailand has introduced a points system for traffic offences. Dependent upon the seriousness of the offence, points between 10 and 40 are
assigned. If 60 points are reached, a driving 90 day driving ban is enforced. Drivers who commit the same offences twice or more in one year must take part in driver training.
19.03.2001: Controls for firms with foreign shareholders
In march, in the German speaking Thai press, it was reported that the authorities
want to carry out checks on all Thai firms with foreign shareholders. This should reduce the practice of foreigners getting around the law and obtaining land in Thailand (which is forbidden) by founding a company. How serious this is, remains to be seen. Threatened measures are often not seen through by the authorities.
30.09.2000: Teachers are not allowed to hit anymore
Even if your child will be educated at a Thai school, you do not need to worry about physical corporal punishment of your child in the future. Starting from 1 November 2000, teachers may no longer strike their pupils in Thailand. Thailand’s education minister Somsak Prissananthakul has now fortunately forbidden this inglorious educating method in Thai schools.
All information is provided without guarantee!