KHON KAEN — The immigration bureau on Monday said it has issued a new work permit and visa for an American academic who faced expulsion after his documents were suddenly revoked by his previous employer.
Immigration Division 4 superintendent Kridsada Kanjanaarlongkon said officials have completed the vetting process of Khon Kaen-based scholar David Streckfuss and he may now reside and work legally in Thailand with his new employer, the Isaan Record online news site.
“It was a normal visa application process,” Maj. Gen. Kridsada said. “We didn’t question him any further. [Streckfuss] is not implicated in any crime or considered as a threat to national security at the moment. However, if there’s evidence of wrongdoings in the future, we then have to act under the immigration law.”
Streckfuss, who has written a book about the country’s royal defamation law, was under threat of deportation two weeks ago when the local immigration office put his visa application on hold, citing the need for more time to revise his documents.
He needed to file a new application after his previous employer, Khon Kaen University, had decided to terminate his employment contract after working there as the director of the university’s exchange student program for the past 27 years.
Streckfuss believed the decision was politically charged, an allegation denied by both the university and the police.
Natthasiri Berkman, Streckfuss’s attorney, said she wondered why the authorities had to take more time than usual to examine her client’s files.
“The immigration didn’t set any conditions for Streckfuss,” Natthasiri said. “Although it’s normal for the authorities to run a background check when a foreigner applies for a visa, I found it strange why Streckfuss was extensively investigated.”