According to Lt Gen SurachateHakparn, the chief of the Immigration Bureau, they are providing a texting service which will be implemented in Chon Buri first. He appointed Col SongprodeSirisukha, the chief of the provincial immigration police, to make sure that the new measure is followed accordingly. This will not cover expats with โครงการบ้านใหม่ชลบุรี but only those foreigners with visas that are soon to expire.
Lt Gen Hakparn said that this new policy will ensure that foreigners will not forget when their visas are going to expire thus resulting to overstaying in the country. For those who will continue to overstay despite the text alerts, harsh measures will be implemented.
Chon Buri will be the first province in the country to try this new measure because it has a high number of tourists especially expats staying.
Col Songprode clarified that only those foreigners who have provided their phone numbers and recorded by the Chon Buri immigration police will receive the text alerts. They can register their phone numbers at the same time they apply for their visa or extension of stay.
The text alerts will also be sent to tourists in the country as well as expats granted with work permits. The length of the visa stay they are granted varies.
The chief of the immigration police said that text alerts are cheaper compared to sending letters which takes up a lot of the police’s budget. Lt. Gen Surachate said that overstaying foreigners in Chon Buri has dropped down to zero because of the alien raids and criminal suspect arrests they have conducted in the last 12 months.
Phuket immigration, however, is still developing a system that will automatically send notices to all foreigners with expiring visas. This came after the Immigration office at PrachuapKhiri Khan started sending text alerts to foreigners with record of phone numbers at their office.
Those who have retired in the country with a โครงการบ้านใหม่ชลบุรี will not be subjected to these text alerts since they are granted to stay in the country indefinitely.