Thai Prostitution – US Visa Waiver

The U.S. Embassy Officer has full discretion whether a Thai person will get a visa. The officer will look for reasons for a visa not to be granted. Sometimes the officer will accuse Thai woman of prostitution even if she did not commit prostitution.

If the Thai woman lives in areas where there are red light areas like Pattaya, Phuket, Hat Yai, or Bangkok, they will look for a reason to charge prostitution. If the woman has worked as a bar girl or worked in the massage shop, they will look for prostitution. If the Thai woman has worked overseas in places that are known to import Thai woman for prostitution like Bahrain, Indonesia, or South Korea, the officer will look for prostitution. If you never committed prostitution, it is important to deny that the charge of prostitution.

Whether you have previously been a prostitute or have never been committed prostitution, if the officer denies your visa because of prostitution, you will need an immigration waiver to get the visa.

To get an immigration waiver for prostitution, we need to show that you are no longer committing prostitution, you are a good person, and that you will not commit prostitution in the United States.

I am a licensed U.S. lawyer who has handled many immigration waiver cases. I can help you prepare the immigration waiver so that you can obtain a visa so that you can go to America.

If you need help, contact me at info@virasin.com.

Collecting Debt in Thailand

With the Thai economy stagnating, household debt is reaching record levels on an annual basis. According to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the average household debt reached nearly 300,000 baht in 2016. This amount is higher than the annual income of the average Thai family. Seventy-four percent of families in debt have defaulted on a loan.

The high default rate is a concern for people or businesses that have loaned money. If someone has stopped paying on a debt, what should the creditor do? The first thing for a creditor is to ensure that their loan is enforceable.

Title IX, Chapter II of the Civil and Commercial Code outlines the requirements for consumer loans. A loan exceeding 2000 baht must be written and signed by the borrower. Repayment or cancellation of a loan exceeding 2000 baht can only be proven with a document signed by the borrower.

A loan for a movable property (non-fixed property) is covered by Title XIII, Chapter I of the Civil and Commercial Code. These loans require a written agreement which outlines the obligation for performance of the loan with interest, compensation in case of non-performance, and requirements to preserve the pledged property. If the debtor defaults on the loan, the creditor must first notify the debtor in writing to perform their obligation within a reasonable period.

The Thai Civil and Commercial code does not require a written agreement for contractors. Under the law if the contractor has completed any part of the work, the employer is liable for the completed part. While a contract is not required, it is recommended that the parties have a paper agreement outlining the rights and obligations of each party. Without a contract term stating otherwise, an employer can cancel the job as long as the employer compensates the contractor for loss.

The Thai Civil and Commercial Code covers multiple types of relationships. It is important to review the type of relationship in the creditor and debtor relationship to ensure that the documentary requirements are met. In addition, the creditor should review statute of limitations on attempting to collect on the debt. Different types of debts have different time limitations for collecting on a debt. Most debts have a statute of limitation of 10 years but some debt claims are limited to five or two years. After the time limit has passed, the debtor can legally refuse to pay the debt.

If the debtor has defaulted on a loan, the creditor should try to mitigate the losses before filing a lawsuit. A lawsuit can be expensive and time consuming without an assured outcome. It might be in the best interest to attempt to negotiate a partial payment or an extended payment plan to avoid litigation. A good negotiated settlement might be able to save the relationship.

If negotiation has not produce an agreement, the creditor can choose to move forward with potential litigation. Some claims require that the creditor serve the debtor with a demand letter outlining the claim and requesting payment with a reasonable time period to comply with the demand.

If the demand letter is ignored, the creditor can move forward with filing a lawsuit. The attorney needs to review the information and history of the dispute to ensure that a lawsuit is plausible and reasonable. If the debtor has the ability to pay or owns property that can be held in lieu of financial payment, then it may be reasonable to pursue litigation. However, if the debtor does not have a job or property, a court ordered judgment will be difficult or impossible to collect.

The lawsuit begins with the filing of a claim with a court. The place of filing will depend on the value of the debt or the type of debt. After filing the claim, the court will generally require the parties to go to mediation. A mediator who will attempt to push the parties to come to an agreement.

If mediation fails, the parties will have to make their arguments in court. The court will consider the evidence and make a judgment.  If the debtor does not comply with the court judgment, the creditor can request a writ of execution to force the seizure of the debtor’s property and the auctioning of the property to collect repayment on the debt.

The process of filing a lawsuit to collect on a debt is time consuming and expensive. It is better for a creditor to attempt to negotiate with the debtor to avoid litigation. The creditor should consider the value of litigation in respect to the possible gain. A good attorney will discuss the matter with the creditor so that they will have reasonable expectations and can make an informed decision. Spending money and time on a lawsuit then losing the case is worse than not filing the case at all.

What is wrong is the Thai Education System?

The Thai education system was recently been featured in the Economist (Poor schools are at the heart of Thailand’s political malaise, January 19, 2017). The article discussed Thailand’s international education rankings in the recently released Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Thailand’s scores have plunged to an overall ranking of 54 out of 70 assessed countries. PISA have found that one-third of Thailand’s 15-year-olds were “functionally illiterate.”

I recently took my family to a Thai school in the outer provinces. We went there to donate school supplies, money, and provide lunch for all the students at the school. We were expecting a couple of hundred children but only about half of the children were present. My wife asked the principal about the missing children. The principal replied that many children do not come to school because they cannot afford the 20 baht lunch and were embarrassed when they had to sit down at lunch and watch their friends eat.

I don’t think that school children go hungry in some of the wealthier provinces where people are paid more but it may be a problem where some families have to support themselves on a couple of hundred baht a day.

I decided to talk to my friend, Eric Guzman, who teaches at a school in Rayong, what he believes is the cause of students scoring so low in international assessments. He talked to a few of his fellow teachers and this was his response. The teachers that he communicated with wanted to remain anonymous.

Eric’s Response:

I spoke with a couple of my fellow Thai teachers about the Thai educational system. One Thai teacher says that he recognizes the benefits and drawbacks of the Thai educational system.

However, the teacher said that the annual policy changes instituted by successive Thai governments makes it difficult for teachers to develop a lesson plan. Teachers are uncertain whether a new government edict will remain or change. Another difficulty is when old policies remain in place when new policies are instituted creating more confusion.

A tangent to this issue is the proliferation of celebrations and holiday programs that take children out of the classroom. There are weekly events including sports week, scout’s week, Western culture week, and programs commemorating multiple Thai holidays.

Some foreign teachers question the frequency of these programs which occur multiple times a month. During these programs, many children are taken out of the classroom to assist in the preparation of the programs and classes are canceled. While the programs are fun, the preparations and frequency of these programs interferes with student’s academic progress.

Additional government programs reduced amount of time available to teachers while increases the teacher’s workload. This means less time preparing for classes and dealing with large amounts of administrative paperwork. Many Thai teachers feel overburdened with paperwork that reduces their ability to focus on their student’s learning. This is compounded when they have to deal with students who make no attempt to learn.

A Thai teacher anonymously remarked that he thinks that the most common problem among Thai students was laziness. He said, “Many kids, especially boys, are only interested in playing games. They seem to get bored easily with discussion and are only attentive during the first few minutes in class.”

I concur with my limited teaching experience. Most students become idle when they lack the drive and motivation to study. It is the role of teachers to continually entertain and educate to students. During the course of a year, I am required to continually develop new action plans to keep the students engaged and learning. This task is not easy and over time can be exhausting. I empathize with some teachers who have reverted to the old Thai teaching method of rote memorization.

One large challenge to teachers is Thailand’s no-fail policy. Even if the student does not show up in class, teachers have to provide minimal scores to allow the student to pass. Many students recognize that regardless of their performance in the classroom, they will inevitably move on to the next level at the end of the school year.

Still and all, I love my job as a teacher, and I enjoy being with my students. They are one of the primary reasons why I am teaching at my school. There may be times when the situation in the class seems more difficult than the other days.

However, changes should be made to the Thai education system to reduce government edicts and allow local schools more freedom to educate students. In a system where teachers feel overburdened with bureaucracy and where apathetic students still are allowed to pass, the passion in the hearts of many young teachers are quickly extinguished.

By Eric John Guzman and Robert R. Virasin

Mr. Robert R. Virasin is a licensed U.S. Attorney and managing director of Virasin & Partners. He can be reached at www.virasin.com. Mr. Eric John de Guzman is a teaches at a public secondary school in Rayong, Thailand.