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About Arkady

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  1. Recently met an Australian couple who regard themselves as savvy world travellers and who told me how grateful they were to a knowledgeable English speaking tuk tuk driver they met outside the Royal Palace. He warned them that Wat Pho was closed that day and took them to the “Lucky Buddha” temple (open only 2 or 3 days a month) instead which they really liked. Then he took them shopping, helping them get bargains. At the end of the day they were so happy with his service that they gave him an extra 1,000 baht. Some tourists obviously enjoy being ripped off so much that it is not worth the effort of protecting them. The problem with this case will be all their friends coming to Bangkok looking for the “Lucky Buddha Temple”.
  2. The pink card is a certainly a convenience but is not designed for PR holders and just denotes someone who doesn’t have Thai as well as saying on the back that you are not permitted to travel outside your district. I am not surprised CW doesn’t want to see if. At any rate, if the government got its act together and issued smart cards to PR holders, the red book could be dumped and a number of senior sergeant majors at CW could be put out to grass.
  3. I don’t think I bothered to inform Amex but they don’t often ask for your ID. If they asked me to update personal details, I would do so. I also have a couple of bank accounts I hardly ever use that I still haven’t got around to informing. Then there is the case of SCB which refused point blank to change my nationality for no obvious reason. If if you want to do automatic overseas remittances of salary you would have to maintain a foreign nationality bank account but for occasional transfers overseas you can get away with doing it from any bank by producing your passport. A couple of times I had to transfer $US10-30k urgently and Bangkok Bank let me withdraw from my account using my ID card remit the funds overseas using my passport and a letter confirming my salary. They said the forms go to the Bank of Thailand but no questions ever come back about this type and size of remittance. You can also take cash into a bank and transfer that. Other branches and banks may do things differently.
  4. Congratulations. The standard package you get from SB is your naturalisation certificate and a few certified copies of your announcement in the RG. The DO wanted originals and copies of these and of passport, WP, tabien baan, residence book and alien book (the last 2 for PRs only). I had to make 2 copies of everything because the tabien baan section and the ID card section each wanted their own for some reason. They needed two Thai citizens as witnesses that you really exist but accept your spouse as one of them. I went along to the DO and was told I needed to make an appointment a week ahead. The reason for this turned out to be that they make fairly heavy weather of the process, being terrified of issued an ID card wrongly, and it took a whole morning in the tabien baan section, followed by the whole afternoon in the ID card section where they asked the same questions all over again and wanted the same documents. I got a colour photocopy of the letter signed by HMK and a bound copy of the issue of the RG with my announcement in it from my SB officer several months later. I asked for the letter at the time and followed up two or three times fter hearing nothing more. I had given up hope when I got a message came saying I could come and pick it up and I got the bound RG as an unexpected bonus. I was told at the time not to mention it to others, as they were not supposed to give it. So you didn't hear this from me. Funnily enough the DO asked to see the letter when I applied for my ID card, just out of interest, saying that quite a few people got them along with their naturalisation certificates. That suggests they were commonly given out at some point but then became available only by special request, if you had a good relationship with your officer, and then, as Garry has said, not available at all. I haven't heard of SB issuing certified copies of the naturalisation certificate and have never been asked for one of these. Bangkok Bank and one land officer wanted to see the original and have a copy certified by me. Bangkok Bank insisted on making the copy themselves and of course had problems as they only had an A4 sized copier and it is A3. Most people are happy with the normal self-certified copy.
  5. There are no negative Normans out - just people seeking and giving advice about maintaining continuity of WPs, which is a rather important consideration for the majority here who apply under Sections 10 and 11. Those able to apply under Section 9, as you did, are not required to be working, as it is supposed that they are supported by their Thai husbands. So, fortunately for them, WPs are a non-issue.
  6. I have just looked at the two WPs I presented at the MoI that day. In fact there is no record of the cancellation date of the first one. It just has four holes punched through it and a line drawn in pencil through page 3. The book has a place to notify resignation on page 28-29 but this was not filled in. Before the 2008 Working of Aliens Act you could not keep your cancelled WPs and they were reluctant to return them even after the law changed. So they can’t have seen the need to fill in the section on resignation or note the date of cancellation on a document that was to be junked or kept in their storage. Perhaps there has still been no change today, a decade after the law changed. Although it must now be more common for people to request the return of their cancelled WPs, there can be few official uses of them outside of people applying for citizenship or PR. i remembered the dates and the exact conversation at the MoI wrong. I had arranged to quit the old job at the end of July and got the WP cancelled then. But the new employer dragged their heels by forgetting to submit a copy of their licence, a requirement for employers in the finance sector, which meant the WP started on 4 August instead of the first of the month, as planned. (Then they paid me 3 days’ short due to their mistake, even though I worked those days. LOL). So my concern at the MoI was somewhat out of paranoia that the new WP started on the 4th of the month when it is obvious that resignations normally take effect from the end of the month. I think she did ask me about the transition but I must have deliberately glossed over the resignation date. I was terrified she would ask for more evidence of the resignation date to make sure it wasn’t some time before the start of the new WP and these details obviously are retained by the Labour Ministry, even if not noted in the cancelled WP. There was no paper trail in my passport, as I had PR. In summary, they are probably only looking for WP gaps in the sense that a WP actually expired before a new one was issued, although it cannot be ruled out that they might decide to get more sophisticated than this by scrutinizing passports of non-PRs or asking for copies of the resignation notification to the Labour Ministry. However, I think that, if you don’t have a gap where a WP expired before a new one was issued, you probably have nothing to worry about.
  7. The regular checks are done based on what happened in the 3 year qualifying period but the MoI's interpretation seems to be that applicants should remain qualified after that and can be rejected, if found to be unqualified later, particularly if this happens prior to the MoI interview which is when the MoI screens applicants. Certainly you will be rejected, if your file is knocked back to SB for whatever reason and you are found to be no longer qualified. If the MoI finds out before the interview that you are no longer working or have got divorced, if applying on the basis of a Thai spouse, they will also certainly reject you. Having a small gap between WPs is a grey area that would probably depend on the discretion of whoever found it, if anyone ever did. Another similar issue would be an applicant who was still working but no longer earning the required minimum by the time of the interview. An MoI explained to someone who admitted they were in this situation that they were technically no longer qualified but kindly decided to take no further action and advised the applicant not to voluntarily say anything about his salary at the interview. I would say this case is similar to having a short gap between WPs. What the cut off period is for remaining qualified I can't say. But clearly the risk of having your file knocked back to SB for rechecking has passed once you have been approved by the minister, even though you still need to be approved by HMK, take the oath and be gazetted. The MoI interview or just before it is normally the critical point for re-checking. However, a bloody minded incoming minister can knock back applications still unsigned by his predecessor for re-checking after the interviews and this has happened in the past, although you would be pretty unlucky, if it were to happen to you.
  8. I didn't have to leave the country, as I had PR but I don't think the other farang who did it after me had to leave the country either and he was on a NON-B visa.
  9. Before your MoI interview there is still a possibility that the MoI will check your work permits for continuity, as happened to me. However, they are more likely to do this, if they are aware you have changed jobs during the three year qualifying period which you have already passed. Actually I would not mention it to SB since you are already passed the NIA interview and your file should be ready to go to the MoI, or might even have gone (sometimes SB can be a bit slack in informing people that the file has already gone). The information you gave to SB was correct at the time you signed the application form and telling them you have changed jobs will only tempt someone to check your WPs for continuity provide an excuse for an unfathomable delay. When you change jobs tell the new employer that it is absolutely imperative for your citizenship application that your WP transition is as seamless as possible. They can do this, if they pull their fingers out. I got it done with only a 4 day gap with a lot of effort and pressure on the company's HR dept. When I was working for that company we employed another farang who also needed the continuity for his PR application. So it was done for him without a gap, as I had shown HR the way. You have to make sure you give your new employer all the documents they need well in advance, so they don't have an excuse to screw it up. Then fine tune the timing of your resignation and last day at the old employer. The regulations say "continuous", so any gap is enough to kill your application if spotted by an MoI official who got out of bed the wrong side that morning, although I suspect that most will give you a few days' grace. You can imagine how my heart was pounding when the head of the nationality section at the MoI thumbed through my old and new WPs to check the continuity, worrying she would spot the 4 day gap that was there despite my best efforts. I felt like a member of the French resistance having my fake ID papers thumbed through by an SS officer. Luckily she only looked at the months saying something like finished job in June and new WP started in June. Then she said good that's fine and I'm glad your WPs are continuous or we would have had to reject your application. This is less likely to happen to you because it will happen after your three year qualifying period but it is not impossible. Therefore I would make best efforts to avoid a gap or keep it as small as possible. Occasionally things, e.g. a new minister, come along and result in re-checking of applicants' qualifications.
  10. I have driven into that naval base to see the turtles and eat at the restaurant. Exchanged my ID card and was allowed through with no comment. The only problem was finding the gate we had entered by to get the ID card back, as the base is fairly large. Reminds me of Clark Air Base in the Phils and was presumably built by the Americans at about the same time.
  11. I emailed a copy of my RG announcement before I got my ID card to a tour company arranging a tour to the Similan Islands where foreigners have to pay a much higher national park entry fee and to my surprise it was accepted that I was Thai and I paid the lower fee. If anyone refuses to accept you as Thai when you present your ID card, you should make a fuss, citing your constitutional right to equal treatment and ask to see his superior. I did that in the BTS when the ticket clerk refused to sell me a senior card which she said was not available for farangs. The superior looked pretty shaken when he saw the girl was trying to refuse me the Thai price on racial grounds and told her to sell me the card immediately. I had a similar experience to the above at an army base in Bangkok with a shooting range which is theoretically only open to Thais and where I have a life-time membership. I showed the armed guard my membership card and then my ID card but he still tried to insist that farangs were not allowed in and told me to park over there and wait while he called his sergeant. So I just ignored the idiot and drove to the range to do my shooting without exchanging my ID for the normal visitor card. I went and did my shooting and, as I left, I gave the guard a big smile as I drove past his guard post where he lifted the barrier without further comment. It seemed that he just panicked when he saw a white face and was unable to take in any more information after seeing that. Presumably his sergeant had set him straight by then, as I am not the only Thai-Farang member there. Mrs Arkady always tells me these misunderstandings are quite understandable because Thais are not used to meeting Thai-Farangs and I should have sympathy for the misunderstanders who are only trying to do their jobs. But for me the priority when these incidents take place is protecting my rights as a Thai and my dignity as a human being. I agree with the missus that the mistakes are understandable but see them as caused by doltishness and racism and thus not deserving of my sympathy.
  12. It is standard practice for developers to give buyers of houses and condos a blank tabien baan book but you are not under an obligation to use them. It seems a completely pointless practice and a waste of paper, since anyone with the right documents can get a tabien baan issued without one of these blank books and most of them probably get lost or thrown away. Having said that, I am sure you could use this book, if you wanted to transfer your tabien baan from Bangkok to Hua Hin. You would need to check with the district office what documents you need. They would want permission from the owner of the land for you to be there, even though you have a lease agreement, but it is just a standard form. I did this as a PR and got a new book issued for a house with myself as "householder" without any difficulties and the district office talked me through the steps and filled in the forms for me. If you owned the house structure, you might not need permission from the land owner, but there is limited advantage in owning a house structure but not the land, in my opinion, and it can only be done at the point that a house number is issued.
  13. Apart from the slow pace of organising MOI interviews the minister's signature has often been a huge stumbling block under civilian governments. One of the worst regimes for this in recent times was the first Thaksin government with Mr 'Social Order' Purachai as Interior Minister, who knocked back all the citizenship and PR applications for re-checking, declaring publicly that all looked fraudulent to him, causing delays of years. The Abhisit government was also pretty bad as hardly any citizenship applications were signed and I think no PRs. In order to get a wafer thin majority Abhisit had to give away key ministries to SME parties, with less than squeaky clean records, including the Interior Ministry. The minister was actually an extremely affable businessman but was basically a nominee for the party owner who was banned from politics. The year long Sarayud military installed government with Sarayud himself as Interior Minister was better than all the Shinawatra governments and the Abhisit regime, although not as good the current government. For citizenship and PR applicants military rule is the way to go. Prayut might come back as an elected PM after elections but things would depend on who gets the Interior Ministry and Prayut, as PM, would likely be in the same situation as Abhisit, having to give it away to the largest SME party in his coalition. Hopefully the current, more transparent system set up by Interior Minister Gen Anuphong will have some momentum but the jungle has a tendency to grow back quite fast in Thailand.