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Arkady

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  1. I recall from the Camerata thread that someone who was not working in Thailand got his lawyer to put in an application under the humanitarian category because at that time the guidelines didn't specify that the 'patronage provider' needed to be working in Thailand. Immigration tried to prevent him from applying but the lawyer pushed them to accept the application on the grounds that his client was ostensibly qualified according to Immigration's own guidelines. Anyway we never heard anything more from that poster and can assume he was not successful. Now Immigration has closed that loophole in the wording by specifying that the 'patronage provider' needs to be working in Thailand. Unfortunately the translation of the English guidelines is still close to incomprehensible in parts. One would have thought that a national immigration department could find some staff who were fluent in written English to translate or at least edit announcements. I guess that it's a matter of face and no one wants to ask for help.
  2. Immigration has now published the details for 2017 PR applications on its website. PR applications 2017.pdf. The window for applications is 12-29 December.
  3. My major general also explained to me who sits on the committee for PR, which is actually partly public knowledge, as the government agencies are specified in the Immigration Act. But he explained that the top people in those agencies almost never attend in person but send a subordinate down to a certain rank that is allowed. If you can get a letter of recommendation from any of those people entitled to sit on the committee as alternates the others will never reject you. I had a problem, since I worked for a rep office at the time which is not specifically disallowed but borderline and up to the discretion of the committee, since it is not a Thai incorporated company and cannot pay Thai corporate tax. Fortunately I was able to get a warm letter of recommendation from a senior guy at the NIA who was an alternate on the committee, as he happened to be the uncle of one of my business partners. One of my expat staff, who also applied the same year but didn't have the recommendations, was rejected (but got it the next year after we switched our business to a Thai corporate format through a jv with a large company). My argument though is that most people who earn over 80k working for a pukka Thai company will not have any need to go through all these shinanegans. Just a letter of recommendation from any type of pu yai you know, like a boss or business partner, is probably enough. However, if your application is marginal for any reason, e.g. not working for a Thai tax paying outfit like me, these recommendations from the right people at Immigration and/or the committee could prove critically.
  4. Even though it is hard to imagine that the Interior Ministry is happy with this situation re Thai language (and I don't blame them), it is protected by law, since the Nationality Act, as amended in 2008, specifically exempts males with Thai wives from the need to have knowledge of the Thai language. Of course, female applicants with Thai husbands have always been exempt from the language requirement, as well as many other requirements. Nevertheless, the documentary requirements for citizenship have been made progressively harder in the last few years, edging a little closer to the much more burdensome requirements for PR. It is a fair guess that the Interior Ministry will keep on making citizenship harder, without changing the law, to close the gap further between PR and citizenship. So anyone interested in applying for citizenship and already qualified should not procrastinate any longer, particularly since the current government has now shortened the process to around 3 years from 5-11 years prior to the coup. Things can't last.
  5. Having been through both processes, I got the distinct impression that Immigration is a lot more secretive and less applicant friendly re PR than Special Branch is re citizenship. When I applied for PR in the late 90s I was introduced to a Pol Maj Gen at Immigration who showed me a file of applications that were to be rejected for working for companies with only the basic 2 mil capital required for WP, which in those days didn't even need to be paid up. They were not told the real reason for their rejections and the model Maj Gen told me that some of them applied again on the same basis and were rejected again. So SteveB2's account of the internal system at Immigration for assessing points for PR which is not normally disclosed to applicants doesn't surprise me at all. SB's points allocation system is openly disclosed on their website and you get the impression that the officers there really want you to pass. At Immigration I had a very nasty interview in the days before panel interviews with a rather rude, young Pol Captain who insisted on keeping the idiotic soap opera blaring at full volume on the TV during the interview, so I could barely hear him. When I asked him to repeat a question, he declared that I couldn't understand or speak Thai and scrolled back in his computer to show me he had deleted "Can speak Thai" and replaced it with "Cannot speak Thai", asking me to confirm my acceptance of this. The irony that someone who could not understand or speak Thai was able to read something written about him in Thai and that the interview continued in Thai without further problems seemed lost on him. Fortunately my new Pol Maj Gen friend, who had played in a national sports team with the parents of one of my staff, was able to sort out his prickly subordinates downstairs and whisk me through the Immigration part of the process without asking for anything in return. What is missing though is information about people who are rejected. We know about the expected minimum salary of 80k, even though it is not published anywhere, and presumably people making less don't apply or can expect to be rejected. Similarly those married to Thais but not working and insisting (correctly) there is no rule against this get rejected for sure. But there is little information in this thread about people making at least 80k with substantive Thai companies and apparently meeting all the WP and tax and other published requirements getting rejected. Since males with Thai wives have been allowed to apply for citizenship directly, I guess that the proportion of PR applicants without Thai wives has increased significantly. At any rate a large proportion of the Chinese and Indian applicants who dominant the numbers has always been people married to citizens of their own country. So I would argue that being married to a Thai and having Thai children is not nearly as important as Immigration officials like to make out. When I applied for PR I wasn't married at all and no one ever suggested that was any kind of a problem. When I first enquired about citizenship at SB they told me that registering my marriage to my now Thai wife would just add complications, as they would have to scrutinise her and my marriage, while doing nothing to improve my chances as I was fully qualified through over five years's PR.
  6. It's normal for routine announcements to take about a month to get published in the RG. No idea why but important announcement, such as those issued under Section 44, seem to get published right away.
  7. BREAKING NEWS. The announcement regarding the opening of PR applications was published in the Royal Gazette two days ago, on 6 December http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2560/E/301/9.PDF. It normally takes a couple of weeks for Immigration to receive their official notification and to open things up but it could equally be imminent any day now. Since it is going to be very close to the year end, it is possible that the deadline for 2017 applications will be extended to end January. Those who are preparing to apply should keep their eyes peeled for an announcement from Immigration or call them.
  8. Wilston, since you are only the third PR in Mahasarakham, you clearly have more knowledge and experience of PR procedures than the Immigration police in your province. Sadly it sounds like another case where ignorant government officials are too lazy to look in the rule book or lift the phone. It’s much easier and more fun to make up their own idiotic rules on the spot and give some innocent person stick for no reason.
  9. No, the government cannot just arbitrarily confiscate funds in a bank account. It requires a court order first to freeze assets and then after years of legal proceedings there could be another court order to confiscate funds, if the owner has been found guilty of a criminal offence and the funds relate to that. There are reportable transactions, as others have pointed out, such as a deposit or transfer over 2 million baht or a foreign remittance over US$50,000 but Thai banks are not at all vigilant at monitoring customers bank accounts for suspicious activity. There is a huge black economy that goes through the legitimate banking system and huge amounts of corruption money are also openly transferred through bank accounts. The banks are happy enough to wallow in all this liquidity and only take action if forced to. The OP was misinformed.
  10. You need to have the same first middle and surnames whenever you apply for a British passport, whether it is your first or subsequent ones.
  11. The Thai language requirement was only introduced in the early or mid 2000s, perhaps soon after you applied. It started off as a simple multiple choice test that could easily be passed by someone with negligible knowledge of Thai but later morphed into a full blown panel interview. Curiously the tax language requirement was dropped entirely for citizenship in the case of males with a Thai wife in 2008. So, if you can't speak Thai and have a Thai wife, applying for citizenship is a better bet than PR as well as cheaper. Certainly the submission of personal income tax receipts is an important requirement.
  12. If it were official, they would publish the criteria for points allocation openly and you would be told how many points you got, as is the case with citizenship.
  13. It's a shame they have not followed up on last year's good intentions. For anyone preparing to apply this year, don't give up hope yet. When they set an application date in the latter half of December they have in the past extended the deadline to end January to give breathing space to those going away for the holidays.
  14. As far as I know there is no points system publicly disclosed for PR where you have to get 50 out of 100. That system is for nationality and some people assume Immigration has a similar system for PR. Possibly they have an internal system like that that is not disclosed. I assume that PR, like nationality, which is also administered by the same part of the Interior Ministry, DOPA, is a tick the box system. That means that, if you tick all the boxes on the publicly disclosed or secret lists, you get through. For nationality getting 50 out of 100 points is one of the boxes you have to tick. For PR you need to meet the requirements for uninterrupted time on a work permit, tax receipts, pass the Thai language interview, earn whatever the minimum salary is according to, I think, the internal guidelines (generally believed to be 80k, which is the same as for citizenship without a Thai wife) etc. I don't know if there are really any minimum educational educational requirements and I don't believe that someone with a decent job but no degree would be rejected. But that is an example where you might be able to compensate for only having a high school education by earning a higher salary. In most cases, though, you just need to tick all the boxes. What I mean is that speaking Thai really well will not normally make much difference compared to someone who can just pass the interview test and having a PhD from a Thai university will not normally make any difference compared to someone with a bachelor's degree from a farang university. Another area which many people believe is really important for getting PR is having a Thai wife and kids. They like to make out this important and subject applicants with Thai families to lots of additional scrutiny to check that their marriages are genuine and their kids are really theirs. But the truth is that an applicant who has a Thai family has very little or no advantage over someone who is either single or married to another foreigner with otherwise the same qualifications. The extra scrutiny of your marriage seems really only make sure that people don't get away with the married discount when they don't deserve it. Of course, there is also the essay for PR saying what you think your contribution to Thai society is and why you deserve PR. I think this is a soft qualification where it is impossible set minimum requirements. I would guess it is like an exam where you pass, if you show up and write your name and number at the top of the paper and write something that is not totally half-baked or profane. I have heard of people getting through who said their contribution to Thai society was merely having a Thai wife and kids, as if the dried up mandarins at the Interior Ministry would really think that was something out of the ordinary in Thailand.
  15. Has anyone recently done a Thai Will?

    As far as I am aware there is no set format of will prescribed in Thai law. That means any format that can be verified as genuinely produced by the testator can have legal force. You can make a formal declaration at the district office which is a reasonable choice, since the genuineness will be relatively hard to contest. You can make a typed will signed by yourself and witnesses. You can make an autograph (handwritten) will which doesn't need to be witnessesd, since the handwriting can be verified. You can make your will in English and let your executor make a certified Thai translation of it later, as long as it can be proved that you signed the original. I expect that either a will made at a district office or a Thai language will drawn up by a lawyer would be the easiest for the executor to deal with.
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