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      Thai Visa Website   09/30/2017

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About Arkady

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  1. In recent posts here, Americans have said their embassy, which has not been able to certify educational certificates for a long long time, was willing to witness affidavits that the details in the certificates were true and correct which was accepted by SB as an embassy certification without the need to get anything from the US. It might be worth asking the British Embassy, if they can do the same. It is quite likely that SB will still want an embassy certification, even if you get notarisations done by the issuing institutions, either by the British Embassy or by the Thai Embassy in London. That was already happening to PR applicants years ago.
  2. They were very strict in assessing my points for domicile. Eventually I got the maximum 20 points for over 10 years with PR but they didn't just accept my PR documents and tabien baan for that, even though the dates of first issue were very clearly stated in my alien book and residence certificate. They forced me to verify that my first tabien baan had really been issued at around the same time and because I had moved since then I was made to run around to the amphur that issued my original tabien baan and get them to issue a document. I had a copy of the original tabien baan but that wasn't enough. Otherwise they were only going to count my points from the date I moved to my current address. I didn't even count this as one of my curved balls.
  3. This sounds very frustrating and you have my sympathy but remember that nearly everyone gets at least one totally unexpected curved ball during the process. I got two from SB and another one that came very close to derailing my application two and a half years later from the MOI. I think the important thing you have missed is in estimating your points for domicile in Thailand at 15, whereas you are only eligible for a maximum of 5 points without permanent residence, if you have had a tabien baan for over 5 years. Only 3 of the 7 categories for points allocation are entirely objective: age, income and education. Knowledge of Thai language and personality are totally subjective and up to the discretion of SB. Knowledge of Thailand depends on how good your knowledge and your understanding of the questions really is plus, in most cases, how much the SB officer either helps you and/or lets you cheat by having your wife translate the questions for you, wink at you, nudge you or kick you under the table. Domicile should be entirely objective and in many cases this is the case but in some cases it can depend on SB's discretion in how they calculate domicile which seems to vary over time. That means that SB has a lot of input in determining your points total. I would take a step back and not try to argue with them. My guess is that, if you go along with what they say and go to see them with a positive attitude, you will be able to get over 50 points without problem. Agree to learn the songs and do the best you can. Actually they are only worth 2 points, so there is something wrong with their arithmetic but don't bother to point that out to them. If you don't have time to learn them off by heart, tell them you haven't had time, as this was unexpected, and ask if you can use a script. They let me use a script and gave me full points for the songs, albeit warning that I would need to have them off by heart by the time of the MOI interview. Re domicile, Unless you have permanent residence the maximum points you can get for this is 5 for living in the Kingdom for at least 5 years with a tabien baan. If you have not had a tabien baan for at leas 5 years you are not entitled to any points. The reason I say this is partly discretionary is that SB has been known to interpret the rules as not considering a yellow tabien baan as qualifying even for the 5 points which would mean no points at all for anyone without PR, even though this is clearly wrong. Also some people got through in the past with less than 5 years' PR (and no Thai spouse), since SB counted their time on NON-B visas towards the 5 years, which was also clearly wrong in the other direction. Re Thai language. You can only get the full 15 points if you do the reading and writing tests as well as sing the two songs. Re: Certification of educational certificates by the embassy. This seems to be a new requirement which cannot be avoided but, as far as know they have not yet asked for certificates to be certified by the issuing institution. So there should be no need to get anything from the UK. Best of luck.
  4. No need to get educational certificates certified by issuing institution. Just sign the copy to certify a true copy as usual. Don't go giving them ideas!
  5. I remember visiting after the great floods of 1983 in December when there was still a lot of water lying around in low lying sois in the city. Drainage and pumping was very basic then and it took weeks for the waters to subside. The army was running a songthaew service with its trucks in flooded areas the help marooned residents and long tailed boat drivers plying the sois charging exorbitant prices who resented them taking their windfall income put spikes in the roads to burst the army truck tyres. An emergency order was broadcast that anyone caught sabotaging the trucks would be shot on sight and and soldiers rode shotgun on top of the trucks with M16s at the ready. Miraculously the sabotage stopped instantly.
  6. You can plan like this, if you about the problem years in advance but the problem is that most people are taken by surprise when they apply for a passport. If you have the luxury to plan ahead the wife can change her name to husband's surname in Thailand very easily and cheaply. Most of these couples are living in the UK, in order for the wife to get British nationality, and I would think they would be better off with a farang name in that case. Imagine having to keep explaining why you have a lengthy Thai surname, as a Brit living in the UK, and having to spell it out over the phone.
  7. Gun Laws in Thailand

    Taking unregistered guns from foreigners (and Thais) could make a difference but there are no specific plans for that.
  8. Gun Laws in Thailand

    Here is an image from the time of that PR release about the Sig 320s, albeit not of the police chief at that time. The gun has a magazine in it and the slide is forward, making it obvious on both counts that it has not been checked as clear. Apart from handling a potentially unsafe weapon, the senior policeman is breaking two of the 5 Cooper rules (often posted in Thai and English at Thai shooting ranges) here: always assume every gun is loaded, even if you have checked it yourself; and never point a gun at anything you don't plan to destroy.
  9. Yes. Another privilege of PR just hit the dirt. Existing foreign gun permit holders should be able to keep their firearms, since laws are seldom retroactive in Thailand and the regular Por 4 permits to own and use a gun for protection of life and property or sport (but not carry a concealed weapon) are valid for as long as the holder owns the gun. However, foreigners will no longer be eligible to apply for permits as soon as the amendments to the 1947 Firearms Act are published in the Royal Gazette within 90 days of its third and final reading yesterday. The existing law makes no mention of nationality but excludes applicants without a permanent address, occupation or income. In the case of foreigners permanent address was interpreted as a blue tabien baan which made foreigners with PR and a work permit eligible, at least in Bangkok. Provincial governors outside Bangkok are free to impose stricter conditions according to the situation in their province and many, if not most, have chose for some time to exclude foreigners completely. I know that gun ownership is not of interest to all PR holders but many, including myself, have availed themselves of this privilege in the past.
  10. The situation for Filipinos is that their Filipino nationality gets technically revoked when they are naturalised as aliens but there is a process for them to get it reinstated through an oath of allegiance. Thus she was temporarily deFilipinoed with reinstatement pending.
  11. I think the problem is that HMPO slyly and deliberately take people by surprise when they come to renew their passports. Most probably have to find a way to comply as quickly as possible, however inconvenient because they need a British passport. Then once its done its done. I guess it is part of Theresa May's unenviable legacy from her 6 years at the Home Office.
  12. I am glad I got a lifetime Thai licence just before they stopped issuing them. I hope this won't be an excuse to revoke them but I doubt it.
  13. Good point but I guess they will require a medical certificate to say you don't have any of those conditions. So far it seems too vague to be of any use and people will be probably be able to get certificates from small clinics where they have no medical records, as is the case for work permits. Denying people the right to drive if a doctor has genuinely assessed they shouldn't be driving on a case by case but this seems a long way from that.
  14. Since permits have only been issued to foreigners with permanent residence who are working in Thailand, these are relatively respectable residents who have all been checked for home country criminal records when they were processed for PR in addition to the regular Thai criminal record and finger print check. They have also not been issued at all to foreigners by provincial governors in places where the foreign mafias hang out like Phuket, Samui and Pattaya. On the other hand, it is very easy for Thais, specially those living in Bangkok to get permits, as long as they can show a minimal salary and 50,000 baht in the bank. It seems logical to assume that the foreigners with permits are probably amongst the most responsible gun owners in the Kingdom. It might make more sense to raise the bar of gun ownership for Thais or everyone instead. At the very least a basic gun safety course that cannot be avoided by paying a bribe should be mandatory. I have seen a lot of Thai gun owners handling their firearms in very unsafe ways at ranges, purely through ignorance. That is not to mention Thai gun shop owners and staff who often point guns at customers without checking they are clear first and put live rounds, rather than dummies, into cylinders and chambers to test feeding.
  15. For practice or sport. If you want to be able to use it for home defence you need to put in a certain amount of practice with it which could mean the difference between life and death. I don't advocate carrying a loaded gun in your car - just transport it unloaded and locked in a box to the range.