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In a bid to unify areas of Thailand heavily populated by ex-pats a new visa regulation has been announced.
From the 1st of January 2018 ex-pats wishing to renew their annual Non B Non O and Ed visas will be required to take part in a three day ‘Thainess’ training course as a requirement for annual visa applications.
The course has been designed to introduce residents from overseas to the Thai culture and give them a greater understanding of Thai people and help them to integrate.
During the course, anybody applying for a one year visa will be required to learn the Thai alphabet, sing the National anthem, memorise the full name of the nation’s capital Bangkok, cook Massaman Curry, demonstrate an understanding of how to use squat toilets, learn basic Thai greetings, name all of the annual Buddha days and applicants who wish to drive will be required to pass a basic driving test. Concerned about the health of immigrants applicants will also have to pass a physical examination including skipping, running, swimming, pass a blood pressure test and eye test and undergo a blood test for drugs and alcohol.
An spokesman said “ we hope that by making long term visitors to Thailand take this test it will discourage those who have no interest in our culture from living in the Kingdom as well as those who only come here to get drunk, take drugs and take advantage of the female population,”
Applicants who pass the new visa requirement test will be given a certificate to submit with their annual visa documents. “There will be no exceptions” the spokesman said, “no certificate, no visa, it’s as simple as that, we only want foreigners who want to embrace our culture and not act as they do in their own countries.