Arkady

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  1. Well each officer has his own working style and things change over time, as officers and, the section head and the director rotate. I think this officer might have been a bit more straightforward than the ones I met in my initial contacts at SB but he has given you very practical tips without standing on formality for which you should be grateful. As you observed, they are not very busy a lot of the time and they prefer to be working on applications, rather than doing nothing, and they like to make a good initial impression with potential applicants, so they can be their case officer throughout the application period, if they are not transferred somewhere else during that period. Compared to Immigration which should not be referred to in the same breath (apart from the PR section where they are mainly all very nice too), SB is night and day. They want to be helpful and they want you to succeed in your objective of obtaining Thai citizenship.
  2. It is the house registration book that is the trigger, so he will definitely be called up for the ballot when he is 20. He can legally get a deferment, if he is studying abroad, but, if he comes back to Thailand to live before he is 30, he will need to either take the ballot or sort it out under the table, since conscription papers are needed to get a job and renew ID card. After the age of 30, they don't want you any more but you still need to go through a process to get exemption papers. It is unlikely that anything will happen, if he just comes back on holiday, unless he wants to renew his ID card. Draft dodgers are not normally arrested at random but deserters can be. It should be possible to keep renewing his Thai passport overseas without a valid ID card.
  3. The significance of 1992 is that a new Nationality Act in that year amended the provision that proscribed that Thai nationality by descent passed only through the father, not the mother. The wording was changed to "any Thai parent" instead of father and that was made retroactive. Thai women did no have to give up Thai nationality when they married a foreigner before 1992 but they might have been obliged to do so by the other country to get foreign citizenship. Thai women did automatically lose Thai nationality when married foreigners in the past but that was prior to the current 1965 Nationality Act.
  4. As Ubonjoe says, that is correct. You need to show at least 3 years continuous WPs and tax receipts from a salary in Thailand. This is because the Nationality Act requires applicants to have an occupation in Thailand, so there is no way around it (except of course for foreign women married to Thais). Please see this thread for detailed information of applying for citizenship.
  5. I doubt that much has changed since 2004. Most of the people who apply for PR (and citizenship) are, in fact, from other Asian countries with Chinese and Indians at the top of the list. I think Chinese are the only ones that ever hit the 100 quota limit, partly because Taiwan has to be considered as China for quota purposes. Just think about all the farangs who ask you why on earth would you want to apply for PR in Thailand. They are the farang norm., even though they often have cause to regret not applying once it is too late for them.
  6. The OP is lucky because the land officials were essentially right and they didn't refuse the usufruct agreement which they have the discretion to do and have often done so on lesser grounds than that. Here's the legal basis of this. The Land Code prohibits ownership of land by foreigners except in very specific circumstances. Prior to 1999 the interpretation of this was that any Thai woman married to a foreigner or known to be cohabiting with one was prohibited from acquiring land. As times changed, this was seen as sexual discrimination against Thai women because there was no similar restriction applying to Thai men with foreign wives or live-ins. There was no legal amendment made to resolve this gender issue but the solution was a "band aid" that is still in force today in the form of a letter from the Interior Ministry in 1999 instructing them to require a declaration in the format you described in the case of any Thai male or female married or cohabiting with a foreigner. (This may be the only element of Thai legalese that effectively recognises common law marriage.) There was no mention in the letter of having a child with a foreign but the officials are probably justified in considering this as prima facie evidence of cohabitation. Legally the Land Dept is entitled to assume that land purchased by a Thai person who failed to declare he or she is married to a foreigner who jointly signed the declaration about sources of funds, is, in fact, common conjugal property and therefore jointly owned by a foreigner. They are entitled to force the owner to transfer title to another Thai person within 180 days, or failing that, can revoke the title deed and sell the land at public auction. There is at least one case where this was enforced by the Supreme Court. I think they would be on difficult grounds in the Supreme Court, if it were a common-law marriage but would you really want to take it that far? If it makes the OP feel better, Land offices often cause difficulties over usufructs involving foreign usufructees and may not approve them without tea money, even if the purchase was made openly with declaration of foreign spouse. For those contemplating purchasing land in the name of a Thai spouse or partner, the declaration of source of funds is a simple formality that is actually in both of your interests. It makes the purchase totally legal and above board but probably doesn't reduce your rights to claim half the value of the property in the event of divorce. If you maintain all the evidence that it was in fact your money, the divorce court is more likely to consider that real world evidence as proof that it is common property to be divided in the event of divorce. The divorce courts are quite pragmatic and will probably not consider the proforma declaration in the Land office made under duress as superior evidence over bank transfer receipts. There is a Supreme Court decision supporting division of the value of landed property in a divorce case involving a foreign husband who produced receipts, although I believe the purchase was made prior to the 1999 letter when there was, in fact, no legal way for his wife to buy the land at all. The case did not result in a prosecution under the Land Code, as far as I am aware.
  7. In all cases reported TV a demand to see the immigration officer's supervisor has solved this problem because they know they have no legal right to deny entry to a Thai citizen on their passport, no matter how many other nationalities that person may have. The current 1965 Thai Nationality Act neither prohibits nor supports dual nationality but has some provisions that provide for revocation of Thai nationality from naturalised Thais and those who are Thai through birth in the Kingdom to two alien parents, under certain circumstances. There is also a provision for Thais who naturalise as aliens to lose their Thai nationality but the only interpretation of this since the Act came into force in 1965 has been to allow voluntary renunciation of Thai nationality, as is required by some countries, e.g. S Korea, Singapore, Germany et al, as a condition of naturalisation. There are no records of Thais involuntarily losing Thai nationality for naturalising as aliens since 1965, as far as I am aware from searching in the Royal Gazette where announcements of renunciation of citizenship must be made by law. Finally the new constitution which is already in force has the following relevant clauses: Section 5. The Constitution is the supreme law of the State. The provisions of any law, rule, or regulation, or any action which are contrary to or inconsistent with the Constitution shall not be unenforceable. Section 39. No person of Thai nationality shall be deported or prohibited from entering the Kingdom. Revocation of Thai nationality acquired by birth of a person shall not be Permitted. Any Thai citizen denied the right of entry to Thailand as a Thai should have the right to sue the offending official or agency in either the Administrative Court or the Constitutional Court or both. It is worth travelling with copies of he constitution and the Nationalty Act and asking officials to point out which clauses give them the right to deny entry. They will soon give up in this case because they know it is just their whim or a preconceived idea that dual nationality is wrong, even though there is no law specifically prohibiting it. To resolve the OP's issue the simplest solution would probably be to leave Thailand on the UK passport to close out the 30 day visa and re-enter by air via Suvaranbhumi using the automatic gates.
  8. Absolutely correct. If you were to marry the mother, you would be eligible to apply one year after registering the marriage. Otherwise, contrary to popular belief, it makes very little difference if you have Thai children or not, except that you have to provide documentation on them, if you have them. Most of the applicants who apply on the basis of being permanent residents don't have Thai families and it doesn't make any difference to their applications.
  9. You just submit copies certified by yourself or by your wife in the case of her docs. For kids, if they are old enough to sign, I guess they can certify their docs. Otherwise you should do it. For the docs they need special notarisation for, e.g. your work permit they will give you a letter to take to the issuing authority. Don't worry too much about these details. No one gets everything right on the first shot and they change the rules, depending on who's in charge. SB will go through everything with you with a fine tooth comb and send you away with a pile of homework.
  10. You need to get the declaration you make at your embassy translated and notarised at the MoFA but I can't for the moment think of anything else that needed this. Of course, it would be necessary for your marriage cert, if you were married overseas.
  11. I dug out the file and this is the format I was given to address the bank balance confirmation letter to. The company letter was not addressed to anyone in particular and they accepted it without comment. So, unless things have changed, the company letter you have already should be fine.
  12. They will not even look at anything to do with assets overseas. Specifically the form asks for details of property (i.e. condos, as that is all you are allowed to own) and bank account. I offered Thai brokerage account details but they didn't want that, although I note that they accepted Garry's RMF and LTF details. For my condo a copy of the title deed certified by me was accepted. Now listen carefully. For the bank statement, they only want a letter confirming the balance as of that date but it must be addressed to the nationality section of the SB correctly, or it will be rejected, as my first attempt was. You will have to ask SB to print this out for you, as they are unlikely to give it to you, unless you ask. Then you have to make absolutely sure that the bank uses that - my bank addressed their second attempt to the Immigration Department because some idiot at head office insisted he knew that was required and overruled me and the girl at the branch. I had something close to an apoplectic fit when I went to pick it up. As Big Guns and Garry have said, the amount of assets you show doesn't seem to make any difference to your application. If you ask them, I think SB will advise you to show at least B80,000 or something like that in a bank account. If you don't have the recommended minimum in your account at the time, you can borrow some more from a friend for one day, as that is all it takes. Again, you are thankfully not dealing with Immigration and the assets qualification is nothing like as arduous as for retirement or marriage extensions which require B400-800k 'seasoned' for 3 months. The reason for this is that you qualify by virtue of having an occupation in Thailand to support yourself with, whereas those people only have their savings and pensions to live on.
  13. The problem with these lease renewal options is that they are not enforceable by application to the Land Dept because there is no provision in the Land Code for options to renew leases. The law only states that the maximum lease period is 30 years. So you are left with pursuing a civil case that an agreement to enter into a lease 30 years into the future was not honoured. You may only be able to file the case against the other party to your agreement, which is only an agreement to enter into an agreement, if they still exist, whether a company or an individual, or may possibly be able to file against the estate or heirs of a deceased individual. If you won, the civil court would not have the power to order a new lease to be signed by the other party. It could only award you financial damages and you would have to give evidence of the financial value of this which is usually reduced to a fraction of the claim by the court. Legal costs can be awarded to a winning plaintive but these are not assessed at actual cost. There is a fixed scale which is normally, you've guessed it, a fraction of the actual legal fees. If the other party doesn't pay what the court ordered, you have to keep going to court until you get a court order to seize assets, if they have enough and you are still alive after taking things this far. In conclusion it would probably cost foreign plaintives more than they stand to gain to pursue these cases which would take some years to process. Meanwhile, unless they have plenty of dosh in their old age to buy another house in Thailand and the will to stay, they have probably been forced to move back to their home country.
  14. The headline seems rather misleading because what is being floated is an amendment to the Land Code to extend the existing right to lease land for commercial purposes for 50 years to cover land for other purposes as well. The Land Code makes no distinction regarding nationality in the sections to do with leasing. This is not specifically for foreigners. It is for everyone and it seems likely to be of use to Thai property developers who find it harder to justify large scale mixed use developments that don't qualify as purely commercial (to get a 50year lease) on 30 year leases. It will also be helpful to land owners, such as State Railways of Thailand (SRT) that need to cede some of their land holdings to pay down massive debt but refuse to sell on the grounds that the land was royally granted to them. This amendment to the law was mooted some years ago to help SRT lease out its Makkasan plot, although I think there is still a problem over the wording of the royal grant of land that specified it was to be used for railway development. I think it has just got a new spin on it to make it appear that it will revive the sagging housing market. I guess it will encourage some foreigners to buy houses on leased land, particularly foreign couples. However, I would guess that most foreigners want to buy a house because they have a Thai family and they would rather buy in the Thai spouse's name or might just add a 50 year lease or usufruct for personal security in case the Thai spouse pre-deceases or walks. The impact on the property market is likely to be negligible.
  15. Unfortunately any inconsistency between work permit and company letter, however trivial in reality, sounds exactly the sort of thing that could cause you a lot of grief. You are probably expected by the Labour Ministry to inform them and have your WP amended, if there is any change in your position. I asked my company to specify exactly the same position in the letter as was in my WP. If you do that, you can eliminate a known risk but be prepared for any other curved balls that might get thrown at you. In my case I had a problem because the salary specified in my company letter didn't match the salary I had received the year before down to the last satang, according to my tax receipts. Logical arguments about having had a pay rise in the second half of the year cut no ice at all. SB just said I had to do whatever it took to get the two numbers to match or the MoI might find the inconsistency and send the file back to them for fact checking and a lengthy delay. I hope this gives you an idea of the type of intransigent bureaucratic mindset you will be dealing with. Don't worry about the application form. They don't let you fill in for yourself. They do it all for you but you need to be able to scrawl your need in Thai several times. You should also prepare details of your siblings and, I think, parents. You need to be able to give them spellings of their names in Thai and their current address and possibly birth places and professions. You also need their dates of birth (in farang and Thai calendar). Although SB will probably not warn you about this in advance, it saves a lot of time and angst to prepare Thai spellings of all this and bring them along. When you have finished, keep them safely because you will need all the same stuff again, along with the name of your university in Thai when you apply for your ID card. I learned all this the hard way.