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BANGKOK 14 November 2018 07:09


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  1. If, in fact, this was the directive from the Thai Immigration to the three embassies involved, then they had a duty to represent our interests and demand that such decision be put in writing to include the date on which the letters would no longer be accepted. Of course, the embassies could have written to Thai Immigration to record their understanding of the directive made by Thai Immigration at the meeting in May, which embassies were considered non-compliant, and the date on which income verification letters would no longer be accepted - and made public such a letter. IF this is all true, then the embassies should have requested further discussions on how their citizens could properly verify a 65,000 baht/month income to Thai Immigration officials in the absence of an income verification letter. None of this is rocket science friends, it just involves good negotiation skills, courtesy, and respect. In addition, as soon as the Thai Immigration indicated which countries were allegedly non-compliant and the reasons for non-compliance, those embassies should have held outreach meeting to discuss possible solutions with its constituents and considered all points of view along with 'worst' case scenario possibilities. Our governments will not be responsive to our needs unless we demand that they be responsive.
  2. Yes, that's what the embassies said, but this was never confirmed by any announcement by Thai Immigration. If what the embassies are telling us is true - and that is a big IF - then the appropriate response should have been that the embassies would continue to issue the income verification affidavits until informed in writing of a date certain by Thai immigration that they would no longer be accepted. Otherwise all of this is hearsay.
  3. The three embassies unilaterally decided not to issue the affidavits. There was no announcement or regulatory change by Thai Immigration. Thai Immigration never said they would stop accepting the affidavits. The embassies have told us what Thai Immigration said there was never anything in writing from the Thai Immigration that the system would be terminated. Unless and until you can show me something in writing from Thai Immigration that that the income verification affidavits would no longer be accepted, then our embassies jumped the gun. Simple as that!
  4. Maybe I'm an idealist. But everyone affected by this decision comes from countries with democratic forms of government. If I recall correctly, citizens in Australia are even 'fined' for not voting. However, it would appear that the 'majority' opinion on this thread would be that we should give up a precious democratic right to petition our government for redress when we believe the government has not been accountable to its people. To those of you who don't care about the implications of the cessation of the affidavits because you already have money in the bank, I guess you feel that you will accept whatever your told by your embassy officials in the belief that you have absolutely no power to change anything once your government officials issue an edict. Do you vote? Do you care about anyone else but yourself? Our democratic systems are failing because of apathy, because we believe we are powerless to bring about change. The percentage of people who vote in the USA compared to the eligible voters is mind numbingly low. It clearly illustrates apathy in maintaining a democratic system of government. So, do I relinquish what little political power I may have to all the 'nay' sayers on TVF or do I try to fight a system that has not treated us equitably or with respect. I will not. And furthermore, I will not allow TVF 'mods' to be my spokesperson in this matter. Who exactly do they represent?? One poster in this thread advised a person to 'man up' and accept his fate under this new system. To me, 'manning up' requires a person to stand up for their dignity and demand respect from their own government. I will never relinquish that right no matter how futile others may think it is. So, if the expat community is incapable of organizing, it will not impede me in helping those expats who are willing to help themselves. And I do deeply care about everyone affected by this issue - especially those who may be torn from their families.
  5. I, for one, believe we must deal with this issue directly with our embassies and seek an equitable solution that will keep the 'affidavit' system intact. In addition, I don't want a situation where we pressure Thai Immigration so much on this issue that it will affect other embassies that are not part of this controversy. There is no reason to affect others who are not now being adversely affected. To me, that is the absolutely wrong way to bring resolution to the this matter.
  6. The issue must be clarified with our respective embassies before we start asking for clarification from Thai Immigration. Our embassies unilaterally decided to stop issuing the letters when other embassies have not noted any problems whatsoever. If the issue is with Thai Immigration, the embassies should continue to issue the letters and then leave the ball with Thai Immigration to say when they will cease to accept the letters. To me, all the embassies jumped the gun and much to our detriment. As others have noted, we are headed for a two-tier system of visa extensions.
  7. Why is it up to TVF 'Mods' to represent us at Thai Immigration?? Are they our advocates or are we going to advocate for ourselves??
  8. Not all or I wouldn't be trying to do what I'm doing to help other people. However, I do wish that those who do have empathy and are not reluctant to organize to make expat voices heard in Thailand were more inclined to find a way to form an organization.
  9. Everyone -- please remember -- Thai immigration is still accepting income verification affidavits from other embassies. Only the US, UK, and Australia embassies have decided to suspend this practice. We need to be treated equally by our embassies and they must act on our behalf to find an equitable and workable solution to reinstate the issuance of income verification letters!
  10. One of the TVF members on this thread has informed me that the US Consulate in Chiang Mai will be hosting an 'open forum' on 20 November. Please check the Consulate's website for details. I would encourage all US expats who live in the Chiang Mai vicinity and who want the income verification affidavit reinstated to attend the forum and make your voices heard! If possible, the submission of a petition to Consulate officials would be an excellent idea.
  11. Unfortunately, the issue was only touched on briefly and I didn't have the chance to make it to the microphone to ask the question directly to the panelists at the meeting. I did speak with several head officials with Democrats Abroad Thailand and one of them said she would check out the situation in Chiang Mai and get back to me. To date, there has been no contact.
  12. Yes, it is a wire transfer substitute as you note. And what I have learned to date is that I would have to do a 'domestic wire transfer' from my bank to TransferWise account in the US who will then convert dollars to baht and send to my Bangkok Bank account in Thailand. As such, I will be paying two fees but the TransferWise exchange rate will most likely be superior to that of Bangkok Bank.
  13. Here is the response from the 'decision makers'! November 09, 2018 Dear Gregory, Contact information for U.S. embassies abroad can be found here: https://www.usembassy.gov/ Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Public Affairs Office of Public Engagement **Please DO NOT REPLY to this e-mail address. It is not monitored for responses.**
  14. Yes, it seem like there's a lot of shit hitting the fan at the same time. I have started an email conversation with TransferWise to see if they can meet Bangkok Banks IAT requirements for bank transfers from the US to Thailand after 1 April 2019. The initial response from TransferWise seems encouraging put I still need more information on the procedures they want to effect such transfers. Do you think Citibank may be a viable alternative to Bangkok Bank?