Russian Bear

Russians slated to return to Phuket

The economy of Phuket will pick up over the next couple of years because the Russian economy, ruble and stock market are finally recovering. Russia’s energy and commodity driven economy was hit hard by low energy and commodity prices, along with President Obama’s sanctions in response to conflict in Crimea in 2014 and other troubles in Eastern Ukraine.

The election of Donald Trump offers hope in thawing frosty US-Russia relations. However, it might be difficult to get Congress to significantly ease or eliminate the sanctions altogether.

Russian business sentiment, consumer confidence and capital/investment inflows were already improving before President Trump was elected, as oil prices began to stabilize and modestly recover. This helped the ruble to bottom in early 2016 at just below the US$1:Rub0.013 level and to subsequently rise to US$1:Rub0.017 (as of last month).

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Immigration Service

Children will not be blacklisted for overstaying their visas

PHUKET: Children will not be blacklisted for overstaying their visas, officials confirmed today.

Thailand’s implementation of a regulation to blacklist overstayers will not affect those under the age of 18, explained Immigration Commissioner Nathathorn Prousoontorn. The news follows much uncertainty in Phuket after the regulations were announced earlier this month.

“The new penalties came into effect on March 20. They are part of the Immigration Bureau’s campaign: ‘Good Guys In, Bad Guys Out’,” Lt Gen Nathathorn explained at a public meeting at Phuket Boat Lagoon today.

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Thai Visa

One-year visas for foreign condominium owners

Bangkok Post posted today:

Thai law allows foreigners — both foreign natural and juristic persons — who meet certain criteria to purchase and own condominium units in Thailand. This eligibility is, however, subject to the overarching directives of the Condominium Act, which stipulates two unwavering legal requirements:  Foreign ownership in a condominium project must not exceed 49% of the total floor area of all units combined (51% of the total floor area of all units must be owned by Thais), as specified in Section 19 bis of the Act; and every foreign individual purchasing a condominium unit must qualify for foreign ownership, as prescribed in Section 19 of the Act.

Foreigners who lack a permanent residence permit or reside in Thailand under the laws governing investment promotion must also bring foreign currency into Thailand or withdraw money from a non-resident bank account or foreign-currency bank account to purchase and own a condominium unit in Thailand.

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