Long-term foreign residents of the kingdom have spent the weekend scratching their heads in bewilderment over the baffling requirements of the now notorious TM30 form after a recent forum at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT)
with senior Thai immigration officials present on the panel.
On Thursday evening at the FCCT, foreign expats and guest speakers alike expressed concerns about the lack of clarity and consistency in the application of the TM30 regulation, and the officials said they would do their best to forward the
complaints and queries to Immigration Bureau
From my experience, farmers certainly know the score, and it is standard practise to soak all vegetables in a mild detergent solution. The most worried about vegetables are cucumbers, runner beans and watermelons. Thai farmers are also very keen
on organic farming, not because of concerns about consumers, but because they passionately believe that pesticides kill them and their families.
Pesticide watchdog Thai-PAN has just published its most recent survey, which reveals that 41% of all vegetables in Thailand's fresh markets are contaminated with chemical pesticides to a level that exceeds internationally acceptable standards. 12
types of banned chemicals were also discovered.
Prokchol Ousap, coordinator of Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN), reported that the organization recently analysed 286 samples of vegetables. She said that the sample sources ranged from fresh markets and shop houses to produce shelves
in city department stores. The samples included 15 types of vegetables and nine types of fruit commonly consumed by the public. They were sent for analysis by ISO-17025 certified laboratories in the United Kingdom.
The result is shocking as they found that 41% of the samples were contaminated with chemical pesticides, said Prokchol.
The worst contamination was found in bok choy, kale, Thai basil, chili, cauliflower, oranges, rose apples, guava and grapes. The lab also found contamination of 33% of imported fruit was over the standard, while 48.7% of locally grown produce
exceeded acceptable contamination standards.
She went on to say that fresh fruit and vegetables on the shelves of large department stores were more contaminated than those sold in local fresh markets, adding that products that are labeled as meeting GAP and GMP standards are safer as only
26% were found to be contaminated.
Now that several foreign embassies have ended their service of providing letters supporting visa applicants income cliams, Thai Immigration has outlined replacement rules for evidencing ncome.
The income requirements remain unchanged in value (40,000 a month for those supporting Thais and 65,000 a month for retirees). Thai Immigration will now accept evidence as follows:
Tax receipts of the supporting relative presumably thos issues by the Thai tax authorities.
Evidence of a pension. Letter of certification from a Thai bank supported by bank statements showing a pension being transferred to the pensioner's bank account every month for at least 12 months. Exceptions are allowed for those who have been
retired for less than one year.
Evidence of income from a foreign embassy or consulate for those whose embassies are still providing the service