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About taxout

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  1. taxout

    Need call forwarding from USA

    Sonetel works, but remember they don't like you using your number to receive bank code SMSs and the like, so you may find getting texts hit-or-miss. They've also had a nasty habit of very sharply increasing their fees after luring folks in with low rates, knowing perfectly well it can be a hassle to change your contact number. Reluctant to suggest them for that reason. Also, expect to receive all the same sort of robocalls on your new number that you'd normally get these days in the U.S.
  2. If your passport is relatively new, issued within the past two or three years, say, they may want to see your old passport. Further, if you've been to China before, best to have a copy of your old visa handy.
  3. It may seem counter-intuitive, but demonstrating strong ties in the U.S.usually hurts more than it helps. Show strong ties in the U.S. and the question arises whether those strong ties will keep the applicant there. It's strong ties in Thailand that you need to emphasize.
  4. taxout

    Request for information from Natwest bank

    Many countries have long had a form related to withholding tax, to declare yourself non-resident of the particular country or to claim tax treaty benefits. But the form asking you to declare your tax residence and provide your tax number is different, and a new requirement under CRS. If asked, you need to complete it without regard to whether there's any withholding tax issue. The point of CRS is that you provide your tax residence and tax ID number to the bank, and the tax authorities in the country where you're resident are then informed of your foreign bank account.
  5. taxout

    Request for information from Natwest bank

    This is part of the Common Reporting Standard procedures, which have been adopted in many countries. Google the term for more information. Don't reply, or don't reply to your bank's satisfaction, and you'll probably lose the bank account at some point.
  6. taxout

    How Did They Get My Passport Copy?

    Remember that a number of large hospitals in Thailand are under common ownership. It's possible they have an information-sharing arrangement. It's possible that at some point in the past the OP went to one of the hospitals in the same group with the same mobile number and presented his passport. Who knows. Or perhaps there's some sort of credit agency in Thailand that collects and shares information. Again, who knows. Maybe his passport and other valuables were locked safely away, so he thought, during the operation. Yes again, who knows.
  7. Yes, that's a necessary step before the document is sent to the Chinese embassy. It's what I was referring to when I said, "you first need to have your document seen at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office." But it still has to go to the Chinese embassy after the FCO, so the Chinese embassy can legalize the FCO stamp. And while the FCO accepts mail-in applications, the Chinese embassy doesn't, so you need a friend or an agent to take it there, if you can't do it yourself. Like Thailand, China isn't party to the Hague Convention, so legalizing documents remains a red-ribboned hassle.
  8. No. This can be done only by the Chinese embassy or consulate in the UK. And you first need to have your document seen at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I assume you had a Thai police check legalized in Bangkok. There are various services that will do all this for you, for fee of course, so you don't have to travel back, like this one: http://www.apostille.org.uk/china-attestation (I have no idea whether that's a reputable firm, I'm just linking it as the type of service which is available.) Remember that whatever you submit with your Chinese visa application you will not see again, so don't submit an irreplaceable original.
  9. I believe it's "legalization" you want, not notarization, and embassies normally only legalize documents that originate in the country where they're located. So unless these are Thai background checks and degrees, you will almost certainly have to have them legalized at the Chinese embassy in the country where they originated. But check with the embassy to be certain.
  10. Based on my experience with a similar problem, Social Security has no efficient way of tracking exactly where your paperwork is at any time. That's why they can't tell you anything more: their system doesn't show the current location of your file. And keep in mind that once Baltimore has finally signed off on your application, it then heads to a "prcoessing center" somewhere where it disappears for a month or so while it is being "processed." Once your file emerges from the processing center you should receive your approval letter. To repeat what I've said here before, think of a place where it's still 1952 and you'll have a good idea how the SSA bureacracy works.
  11. taxout

    Part B social security

    -- Medicare Advantage is managed care, and it comes with the typical restrictions of managed care in the U.S. That is, apart from emergencies, you're limited to a panel of providers in your own locality, and your care is indeed monitored and managed. Medicare Advantage offers nothing like the flexibility of traditional Medicare Parts A and B, though it provides somewhat fuller benefits in exchange for the limitations of managed care. -- You have to be living in the U.S. to enrol in a Medicare Advantage plan. And it's a where-is-your-real-home test, so just addressing your mail to your sister won't work. -- Even if you have Medicare Advantage, you're only covered for certain expenses incurred within the first 60 days outside the U.S. That is, after 60 days you'd have to return to the U.S. to reset the clock. As well, limitations apply to coverage of overseas expenses.
  12. Is it a waste of time trying to order from Walmart and Target? Do they normally block shipments to trans-shippers? (It's pretty obvious from the address.) Are there are any other online-places that don't like trans-shippers? As other posts here indicate, Amazon seems not to have a problem at all with trans-shipping addresses.
  13. The story is misleading. Thais and the other nationalities mentioned can't just show up in Hainan without a visa for a thirty-day stay. They have to make arrangements for their stay through a Hainan-based travel agency beforehand.
  14. Writing Washington would be a waste of time. It was Washington that required the embassy to adopt the booking system and Washington that slammed the embassy when it didn't make appointments mandatory. Here's the relevant section from the the 2010 Inspection Report: Bangkok’s ACS unit does not require appointments for routine services. The wording on the embassy’s Web site and in its other public messages is not strict about the need to make appointments even though it makes them available. Consequently, it is difficult to manage the daily work flow in the busy ACS unit. Informal Recommendation 13: Embassy Bangkok should amend its Web site and other outreach to require appointments for routine passport and notarial services. Bangkok’s ACS unit receives non-stop telephone calls throughout the day, and staff members take turns picking up calls in between serving the public at the counter and handling emergency cases. Many of these calls are visa calls, and others are routine inquiries that could be handled by an automatic response. Informal Recommendation 14: Embassy Bangkok should adapt its existing consular telephone system or procure an alternate system, to redirect routine American citizens services queries to automated response scripts and to refer visa phone calls to the call center or to a case-specific public inquiry number. https://oig.state.gov/system/files/152595.pdf (This is a very long document, but it provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the embassy and consulate. For example, the Inspector was unhappy that the residential swimming pools didn't meet State Department safety standards.)
  15. Yes, CKM is a firetrap and a magnet for immigration raids. Only if you are desperate. And if you are that desperate, best to skip Hong Kong entirely. Among hotels, look at the Evergreen and IBIS North Point. Clean and good standard places, but very very small rooms. That's just the way it is in HK.