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About JimGant

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  1. JimGant

    Driver's License Procedures Chiang Mai

    Is the one day turnaround residency certificate -- for a fee -- no longer available on the ground floor in the Immigration area (room 6?). Obviously, I guess, moot come Sept 24.
  2. JimGant

    renewing O-A visa?

    Could you provide a redacted copy of a Swedish income statement that you would use with Thai Immigration? I'm curious as to the wording ("certified income", "verified income", whatever), i.e., how far out on a limb does Sweden go to validate income.....or does it cover itself with wording similar to that of a US income statement, below?: "The U.S. Consulate does not guarantee the contents of my own sworn statement. Under penalty of perjury, I assume full and complete responsibility for the veracity of the claims herein." Thanx.
  3. JimGant

    renewing O-A visa?

    Interesting, glegolo. So Thai authorities in Sweden ask for pension statements net of taxes. What about other income statements, like rental receipts -- would these be net of expenses? Or are they even acceptable? And in Thailand, gross (BRUT) income is acceptable for extensions. Presumably, then, this applies to obtaining an income letter from the Swedish embassy. Does the Swedish embassy ask for proof of this income?
  4. JimGant

    renewing O-A visa?

    It's gross income for an O-A application in the US. Suspect the same everywhere, as kind of difficult to net out alimony, child support, rental property expenses, etc. Even taxes might not show up on your income statement, should you pay with quarterly estimated tax payments, and not withholding per pay check.
  5. Nancy, sorry for shut doors in your life by being a female. And, sorry you had to end up in Asia, where being a female is even a greater detriment. But, hey, not all is lost. You're a resident of the transgender operation center of the world. So, get a grip -- there may be a tool out there just for you.....
  6. The Asian "rice bowl" concept. You rarely have centralization/standardization of operations over here if not entirely necessary -- even under a commie system. Every province -- and its sub operations -- has a certain amount of autonomy if there's no absolute reason for standardization. Has been this way in Asia since forever. Immigration would seem to fit this pattern. Quick example. My last Air Force job was helping automate the ROKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force) radar sites into a single automated amalgamation. Problem we found was that each radar site commander had authority to use either true or magnet north as their "up" position on a manual radar scope. Fine, when your entire radar picture is just your one radar site. But try amalgamating 6 radar returns of a single aircraft onto an automated single picture when site commanders can't agree on what represents north. Anyway, a few rice bowls had to be broken to standardize operations. But if there's no absolute requirement for standardization, Asian autonomy prevails. And if some Immigration operations have expanded beyond capacity -- and agents would facilitate matters by making the paperwork processing more efficient -- sounds like a good reason to introduce agents. That a female farang couldn't undo centuries of male 'rice bowl' management isn't too surprising. Get over it -- and welcome to Asia.
  7. Best Friend Visa, the old G4T operation at Prom, charges only 3000 for the extension, and another 500 for a multiple (or single) re-entry stamp. They're located right around the corner from Prom, in the new shop houses adjacent to Big C. This whole agent argument is amusing. Without agents, Immigration would slow even more, as the inept would be shooed back to reaccomplish that which an agent would have in perfect order. I applaud those with their ducks in order, but take exception to their argument that agents are inefficient. Au contraire -- they allow the less capable to not plug up the system. Yes, paying to go to the front of the line seems unethical -- but so too paying for a line sitter. So, for the accomplished, hire a line sitter. For those us bordering on inept (or laziness), hire an agent. In sum, Immigration will approach a semblance of efficiency. Forget the ethics -- and welcome to Asia.
  8. Pib, yeah I did some international wire transfers a few years ago, but never a domestic variety. These were all by phone, as you can't do international wire transfers online. However, you can have templates on file with all the transfer data on hand, except for amount to send. The fee waiver is advertised before you even fill in any details. You can also send a domestic wire from a USAA investment account. Curiously, when you do this, they ask for a few more details, like physical address of sender. I wonder if a Thai physical address would trigger a "tilt" at USAA......
  9. Here's an interesting twist..... Yesterday, after doing an ACH transfer to my Bangkok Bank account, using my USAA online account, I decided to try the domestic "wire transfer" option from the same dropdown box as the ACH transfer option. However, unlike with the ACH option, where the receiving account has to be pre-approved (e.g.,the trial deposit drill), for a wire transfer you fill in the details on the fly..... Thus, I used my wife's name as recipient (it's a joint account, but that turned out not to be a problem), and Bangkok Bank NY's ABA number, and our account number in Thailand (samo samo as for an ACH thru BB NY to Thailand). For ZIP code, I used Bangkok Bank NY's code -- as the fill-in-the-blanks statement just said "ZIP code," and nothing about it being the recipient's (turns out you could use any US ZIP code, as it doesn't attach to anything else -- it's just a confirmation of sorts that this is, indeed, a domestic wire transfer). Now, before I could begin filling in the online wire transfer request, USAA sent a one time password SMS, and fortunately I have Google Voice as my mobile number, so it ends up in my email box. Then the good news -- the fee box said something like, "fee waived, thanx for being a loyal USAA customer." I don't know the criteria for this -- maybe being a USAA member for 51 years counts for something..... Anyway, no $20 fee, thus same cost (free) as an ACH transfer. I had initiated the ACH transfer at 11:00AM Thai time (4 Sep), and the wire transfer at 11:10AM Thai time. USAA acknowledged the wire transfer request right away, and 7 hours later confirmed that the wire transfer was completed. Today, 5 Sep, I received the wire transfer into our Bangkok Bank account at 9:48AM Thai time. At 10:05AM, I received the ACH transfer. Thus, no speed advantage for a wire transfer, at least in this example. As you would expect, Bangkok Bank's fees for a wire transfer match those for an ACH transfer. I this case, I had sent a token $1000 to check things out, and the front end fee was $5, back end fee, 200baht. So, it would appear that, since ACH and wire transfers are both electronic fund transfers (EFT), Bangkok Bank treats them the same. However, what happens come April 2019? The Feds have told Bangkok Bank that domestic ACH transfers, if repackaged into international ones, have to have additional data elements. But, what about domestic wire transfers? Hmmmm. Suspect Bangkok Bank will require domestic wire transfers that are repackaged into international transfers to contain the data elements now required for international wire transfers -- or just be international wire transfers, period. We'll see. If not, well, a nice alternative to TransferWise, who charges $93 for a $10,000 transfer, whereas USAA only charges $20 for a $10,000 transfer (or nothing, if the fee is waived). Your US bank wire transfer scenario vis-a-vis Bangkok Bank obviously won't be identical to USAA. But if the fee is reasonable -- and you're having trouble establishing an ACH connection due to the trial deposit requirement -- a domestic wire may do the trick (until maybe April 2019, anyway).
  10. Good catch, Pib. I got caught up on this sentence (I guess in Estonia 'automatically' involves finger intervention):
  11. Pib, what was the gold at the end of that arduous application journey with CapOne? Their 1.5% cash back credit card is matched by USAA, of which you're a member -- and who wouldn't put you thru similar application procedures for their credit card. Maybe CD's? I saw their attractive rates awhile back, but one needed to reside in the US to apply (yes, unless I'm recalling wrong, you needed to physically reside in the US to qualify for their CD's).
  12. If I tried to renew my Virginia driver's license, this would indicate "I had no intention of abandoning Virginia as my residence" (this per Tax Commissioner rulings). Thus, the Virginia tax gestapo would have me on their radar. Not sure how they could force me to pay Virginia income tax while I resided outside Virginia (probably coudn't, as I have no Virginia related income they could garnish). But, I certainly could not return to Virginia without having back taxes assessed (not that returning is even remotely in the cards). New thought: USAA probably would allow an expat with a prior USAA account to reestablish an account with them. I imagine a significant number of USAA members (and ex members) are expats. And I do know they have no problem with a foreign address for existing members. So, first time applicants with a bonafide military connection just might qualify with a foreign address.
  13. Probably, however, requires some kind of US address -- and probably not a mail forwarding address (the know-your-customer rules have tightened up on this). But, your experience surely welcomed by those feeling cut adrift.
  14. If Direct Debit somehow evaporates, those receiving their Social Security (and/or other Federal payments) via the BB NY ACH system will have two options: Receive their direct debit into a US financial institution; or receive their payments as credits to a Treasury issued ATM/Debit card -- the Direct Express card (DEC). For those without a US financial institution, it will have to be a DEC, as the option to receive a paper check (no great option in itself) requires a waiver to explain why a DEC won't work, e.g., because you live in a world without ATM machines or banks (but maybe some parts of the NE would qualify.....dunno). Anyway, the following link explains the DEC: https://www.usdirectexpress.com/faq.html (Note the 3% foreign transaction fee, plus $3 ATM fee.) As an example of fees, let's compare a monthly SS of $1,600, either direct deposited into a US financial account, then sent to Thailand via TransferWise (TW); or credited against a DEC, then removed in two pulls from an ATM machine. Today, a TW bank debit (or debit card) transfer would cost $17.85 to send $1,600 to your bank in Thailand. And the cost to remove that money from your Thai bank account would be zip ( unless you figure in the token 200 baht, or whatever, ATM card cost). With a DEC, two 25,000 pulls from a Thai ATM machine -- using a 33 FX rate -- would debit your DEC for $1,528 -- which includes $13 for the two 220 baht owner ATM fees. But, it ain't over yet: Add two $3 each DEC ATM fees, plus 3% of the $1,528, or $46. So, the total cost to get 50,000 baht, or $1,515 equivalent, is a whopping $65! And even if you could do an over-the-counter, you're still stuck with the 3% fee, which would amount to $45 -- cheaper, but no bargain............. ......when compared to the $17.85 TW cost. Sadly, many of the folks now getting a Direct Deposit via BB NY no longer have a US financial account, nor an easy means to reestablish one. So, for them, it looks like DEC is in their future. Sucks.
  15. History behind this photo. Taken in Iceland by jocks from the F-102 squadron stationed there. This guy was a local wino (as I heard, afterwards they cleaned him up and made sure he found adequate shelter) Photo is fairly common (or was in my day) in squadron ops. Notation at bottom of photo: