Question from a client: I am a Brit living in Thailand on a marriage visa and have been doing so for many years. I recently had to renew my visa again for another year and was told Immigration officials would come to my home to visit and take photos inside and outside the house. The photos were to be of my wife and I and a Thai friend that my wife. I had already provided the Immigration office with the usual 6 photos of the house inside and outside on the visa application. The 2 visiting Immigration officials did produce ID when challenged but failed to produce any formal / legal paperwork to justify legal house entry. When I objected to their entry under the invasion of privacy act, they said if I do not conform, I may not be given another visa. This created animosity between my wife and I, so I then agreed. One of the photos demanded was a photo of my wife, her friend and I sitting on the marriage bedroom bed. Can you give us any update on these new rules that may be applicable to those of us on a marriage visa. Can Sunbelt give any further advice? There was nothing displayed about this in the Immigration office. I did received a marriage visa for another year.
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds;
It is within their rights for Immigration officials to check your home. It is usually done on the first application of an extension of visa based on marriage to a Thai national but it does happen that an officer will decide to do so even after some years. There have been reports of Immigration becoming more strict in checking because of fraudulent applicants. According to the Immigration officer we spoke to, it is up to the discretion of the officer and so is on a case by case basis.