Non-extension of visa is purely a legal issue
Re: AIT rector's work permit lapses amid police probe (The Nation, February 5, 2013)
In the referenced news article, there was a mix-up between "work permit" and "working visa", and also a mistaken link between the non-extension of the visa of AIT's presi?dent Said Irandoust and "the problem he had with AIT staff, who have accused him of non-transparent methods of administration".
The fact is that during Irandoust's term of seven-and-a-half years as AIT president, he and the other expa?triate employees had been staying in Thailand under the "type F" visa which is the kind of visa granted to employees of international organiza?tions (such as those organizations under the UN). It is the kind of visa that allows expatriates to work in Thailand without a need for a work permit.
But the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) does not attain the status of an international organiza?tion. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made such a confirmation in 2004 and the Council of State gave a ruling in the same year to the effect that the AIT's expatriate employees were not eligible for the "type F" working visa. It meant the expatriate AIT president and employees were required to obtain the normal non-immigrant visa coupled with work permit. Ironically, for some unknown reason, AIT under Irandoust had seemingly avoided applying for work permits (which should not have been difficult) and somehow managed to work with?out the work permit under the type F visa for years.
Recently, the Ministry of Labour and the Immigration Bureau have been paying a serious attention to strictly enforce the law. And that is the reason why the Immigration Bureau now denies granting a new type F visa for Irandoust after his pre?vious one expired.
So, the visa denial has nothing to do with the complaints on bad gover?nance against Irandoust. It is purely an issue of non-compliance with the kingdom's laws, and it can be easily resolved by following the proper legal procedures in the same manner as other private entities have been doing for their expatriate employees.
AIT Alumni Association (Thailand) President, Bangkok