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Lump hammer blow...

People applying for an annual visa extension with a lump sum in a Thai bank will have to keep that money in the bank for at least 5 months

Link Here 31st January 2019
Thai immigration has announced a major change regarding the financial requirements needed when applying for an extension of stay based on retirement using the 800k baht in the bank method (or the combination of income method) now need to keep 800k baht in the bank for five months, (for 2 month before and 3 months after the application). Furthermore 400k Baht must be kept in the bank thereafter.

The requirements for a retirement extension according to the new police order include:

(4) At least 2 months prior to filing date, and at least 3 months after being granted permission, the alien must have fund deposited in a bank in Thailand of no less than THB 800,000. The alien can withdraw the fund 3 months after being granted permission and the remaining balance must be no less than THB 400,00 or;

(5) Must have and annual earning and fund deposited with a commercial bank in Thailand totalling of no less than THB 800,000 until the filing date. The said fund must remain in the account prior to and after the permission is granted and the alien can make a withdrawal under the same conditions as stated in (4).

The new requirements to keep money in the bank for three months after the retirement visa is granted is effective from 1st March 2019.

The new requirements are likely the result of immigration officials trying to put an end to the practice of visa agents falsifying bank statements for foreigners who do not have enough money to meet the financial requirements needed for a retirement extension.



Worlds apart...

Germany and Israel harangue Thai pop band for not knowing the significance of a swastika on a t-shirt

Link Here 28th January 2019
Thai people have little interest in European history and most seem to know nothing about the Second World War even if the country did get involved on the margins. However the west seems to somehow expect that Thais should be aware of the horrors and sensitivities from that time... but they are simply not.

Now foreign diplomats have got all wound up by a female pop star unknowingly wearing a t-shirt decorated with a Nazi flag.

The band has issued an apology to match the tearful one delivered earlier by 20-year-old singer Pichayapa Namsai Natha. It was a bad fashion choice based on ignorance, she said.

But envoys from Israel and German have expressed dismay after a member of the popular all-girl singing group BNK48 sported a T-shirt bearing a swastika.

Smadar Shapira, deputy chief of mission of Israel in Thailand, said on Twitter that the Israeli Embassy was shocked and dismayed over the singer's outfit, noting that the Holocaust remembrance was imminent:

Presenting Nazi symbols by the band's singer hurt the feelings of millions around the world whose relatives were murdered by the Nazis.

German Ambassador Georg Schmidt, whose country has gone to great lengths to amend for the crimes of its wartime regime, also tweeted.

We share the shock and dismay expressed by @ShapiraSmadar from the Embassy of Israel. We invite members of #BNK48 to discuss the terror to the Nazi dictatorship with us.

The manager of BNK48 and singer Namsai later attened a meeting with the ambassador of Israel, Meir Shlomo, at the latter's residence to express their apologies in person. the ambassador said following the meeting:

I understand that it was an act arising from lack of knowledge and awareness, and I'm pleased that they have apologised and agreed to hold together educational activity in the future. The BNK48 has proposed that its members join an educational workshop on the Holocaust, in order to emphasise their commitment to this important subject.



A few statements short of a full set?...

Thai Immigration will show leniency for applications for an annual visa extension based on income, at least for the first year under the new rules

Link Here 23rd January 2019
Thai immigration has confirmed it will show some leniency to foreigners with regards to proving income when applying for retirement and marriage extensions.

In an order dated 22nd December, Immigration chief Police Lieutenant General Surachet Hakpal, acknowledges that some applicants may have difficulty in providing the now required 12 months worth of bank statements showing income.

Where this is the case, the Pol Lt. Gen Hakpal has instructed immigration officers that from 1 Jan to 31 Dec 2019 they have discretion to accept evidence of less than 12 monthly transfers from overseas.

The applicants given leniency in this way are to be told by the officers that this is a one-off exemption and that their applications for the next renewal will not be accepted without a complete set of documents according to the order.

Previously incomes were verified by obtaining a letter from the relevant embassy but many of the estern embassies will no longer provide these letters.


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