Jump to content
BANGKOK
Sign in to follow this  
Jonathan Fairfield

Immigration raid targets Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai

Recommended Posts

Immigration raid targets Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai

pic.jpg

  • Armed officers raid PunSpace, a popular ‘co-working’ space in Chiang Mai.

  • People on tourist and ED visas targeted.

CHIANG MAI:-- Up to 20 armed uniformed police and immigration officials raided a popular co-working space in Chiang Mai earlier today in an apparent crackdown on foreign nationals working illegally in the city.

The raid resulted in 18 foreign tourists being being taken away in a police van to the immigration office at Chiang Mai airport.

According to a source who was at PunSpace during the time of the raid, immigration officials informed everyone inside that they would detain those who could not produce their passport or prove their identity.

Screen%2BShot%2B2557-10-01%2Bat%2B1.44.3

PunSpace, which is located on Sirimangkalajarn Lane, in the Nimman area of the city, is a shared office space which according to its website is a lively co-working space which “offers peaceful and creative working environment” and is regularly used by web developers, online marketers, bloggers, writers and graphic designers.

This latest news seems to indicate a change of policy by Chiang Mai immigration with regards to Digital Nomads, or those working online. Just over a month ago, the Chiang Mai Mail reported that online workers are not prohibited from working without the valid Non-B documentation and work permit.

Following this news, Thaivisa.com has tried to contact PunSpace but no one was available for comment.

Source: johnnyfd.com

tvn.png
-- 2014-10-01


  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not so bad. Let's take it easy here.seems like a mistake

Update: The last of us volunteered to come to immigration on our own. We drove there unescorted. Turns out they thought we were employees of Punspace which is untrue. We're all still here but good news so far is that they aren't targetung digital nomads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I understand, Immigration cares solely for entitlement of stay, but not for work/taxation staff. That's in the scope of the Labour Office/Revenue Office (and those two are well interconnected). Meaning, as far as I nderstand, working without a work permit is still illegal, and harsh punishments apply. Immigration cannot grant special labour laws to digital nomads. They simply do not care, as it's not their business...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem here is that there isn't really a visa class for 'digital nomads' or whatever it is you want to call them.

As far as immigration is concerned, these people are just the same as Burmese labourers, Russian tour guides or non degree holder English teachers working without a work permit.

Also, going to 'work' in a co-working space is asking for trouble as none of these foreigners will have work permits or Non-B's because they aren't working for a Thai organisation. If you were 'working' under the radar, so to speak, why make yourself a target by going to such a venue?

Look on Twitter and you'll find loads of these self proclaimed digital nomads and online entruprenurs talking openly about 'working' in Thailand. Then in the next post they're complaining about having to renew their ED-Visa!! It's stupid, all Immigration would have to do is check Twitter and they could easily identify many of these people working illegally.

What Thailand needs to do is update its visa laws and welcome digital nomads - but don't hold your breath that will ever happen!

Edited by pinkpanther99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They need armed police to check passports?

Absolutely, you don't know what kind of desperate reaction might occur in a raid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is mis-interpreted. More likely as one poster said above it may have been an opportunity to do a routine visa check for overstayers as opposed to WP issues. Or I wonder if Pun Space has a business competitor who just wanted to cause a little mischief?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In reading the full blog posting, it seems that everyone who could produce a passport with a valid visa or current visa-exempt status was left alone. And perhaps a misunderstanding that the people were working (employed by) PunSpace.

So, I wonder if it's really an exercise in harassing digital nomads, or just an opportunity to check visa status for a group of foreigners who are congregated together. I wonder what's next? Will they storm the next Expats Ladies Lunch and ask to see that we all have our passports with valid retirement visas?

I now carry my passport with me at all times. Yeah, I know it's a hassle. I put it in a plastic bag and hopefully it won't get stolen or trashed out.

This is the latest incident in the long running controversy regarding the question: do foreigners have to carry their passports with them at all times?

It would be nice to know whether or not a law exists that says so.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...