Readers' Submissions

The Back Side of the Visa Stamp

  • Written by Felix
  • May 7th, 2007
  • 4 min read


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Many readers are in uproar over the new visa restrictions in this Kingdom. I share their disappointment. I myself found it always disgusting that holders of a one-year visa still head to leave the country every ninety days. It offended me not for personal reasons – I like to see Penang, Rangoon, Singapore, Hong Kong – but some fellow travellers on the bus to Poi Pet were in such a frail state of health that I found it degrading for them to make these visa runs, people who spent the savings of their life on the sunshine beaches of LOS.

Yet, how Farangs are treated in Thailand is still a bed of roses compared to how guests from Thailand are received in the European Union. Is it possible for citizens of Thailand to get at any European airport a visa on entry for thirty days? Not for a single day. Siamese go home!

A Farang can stay in Thailand for four times ninety days, even if the visa runs are a little inconvenient.

But can a Thai get a four times ninety days EU visa under the condition that he has to cross the river Rhine four times into Switzerland and come back to the EU on the same day?

Absolutely impossible. The maximum the European Union allows them to stay is two times ninety days in a calendar year, with the so called Schengen Visa.

(The name Schengen is originally the name of a very small town in Luxemburg, where delegates from different European governments met to develop a coherent visa policy. The advantage is that a foreigner needs only one Schengen visa to visit all the associated countries. The great disadvantage is that you cannot spend six month in Paris and then six month in Amsterdam, because the time span of the validity covers all European countries together).

And the Schengen visa is only issued, when I declare that I am going to pay for the cost of living of my guest in Europe; helping cut vegetables in a Thai restaurant is absolutely forbidden and leads to immediate eviction.

I am a politically mature citizen of the EU, I earn money and pay a lot of taxes, but I am not allowed to accommodate a visitor from Thailand for four times three months at my own cost.

What kind of freedom, of civil liberty is that? I survived the nazis, and now I am subjected to this bureaucratic dictatorship.

We need a new revolution in Europe. Allons enfants de la patrie, tomorrow we will take Brussels and hang the bureaucrats at the lamp posts. If there are enough lamps.

Don't laugh. I take this very seriously, because it impedes the possibility of developing a long term Thai-Farang relationship.

If I am still in my best years and have a good job which will secure me a high pension I am not able to hang around on Jomtien Beach and wait for destiny to let the dice fall.

I have to be at my work place. But I am well able to take a Thai girl home and discover how our togetherness develops. She can live with me without problems. There exist many free partnerships in Europe.

What I cannot do is demand from her to stay with me just two times ninety days in one as the Schengen visa expects her to do.

It would deracinate her from her Thai environment, and if she had to go home for a ninety day waiting period, that would be a bad loss of face in the eyes of her Thai friends and relatives. Did this Farang not love her enough, to let her stay longer in Europe?

I discussed this with a lawyer who specialises in immigration laws.

He said: "Felix, there is no way around this, except marriage. But if you see her for half a year within 365 days, this could mean a lot of happiness for you. Don't expect more than is possible."

Yes, happiness for me, possibly, but what about her feelings if she is returned to Thailand like a used up collateral?

I assume that these complicated legal matters drive many mixed couple to early marriage. Especially when they are in their "mentally sick" state of their love cycle. But this is not a solution. It creates new problems.

Statistically 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. And a divorce can cause irreversible damage to your life. The chance is high, that some brainless bureaucrats will sentence you to delivering half of your earnings for the rest of your life to your one time partner. I read here that in England there already exist Thai self-help groups, that advise arriving newly wed spouses how to clean up their hubbies completely.

That is a very big risk. Fifty percent of your future earnings. For the rest of your unhappy life. And with a fifty percent chance that this might come true.

Stickman's thoughts:

The visa laws are difficult, although there is often a way to get around them.