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The military government is set to take a step back...

Thailand will have a general election in February 2019


Link Here 8th December 2018
It has been officially confirmed that the much-awaited election will take place on February 24, 2019 with advance voting scheduled for February 17, according to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

This will mean that 4 days will be affected by an alcohol ban around voting days.

Bars on the weekends of 16th-17th/23rd-24th February will be closed from 6pm on Saturday and nominally all of Sunday. However bars generally seem to be able to open mid or late evening on Sunday.

 

 

After a massive recent upscaling of burdensome immigrations processes, Thailand relents a little...

Online applications for visas to Thailand


Link Here 3rd December 2018
China will soon become the first nation whose visitors to Thaland will be able to apply and pay online for Thai visas.

It will be available in Britain and France starting on April 1, and in all countries with Thai embassies and consulates within three years.

The e-Visa system allows foreign nationals to apply online for visas, from completing the form to paying for the visa.

The website address for application will be www.thaievisa.go.th

 

 

Reaping what they sow...

Thailand responds to a decline in tourists by offering them better visa terms


Link Here 16th November 2018
The Thai military government has agreed in principle to back measures to stimulate Thailand's tourism in the early high season.

Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said the Cabinet gave the green light for the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale Passport Privileges from November 15 until January 15, 2019.

Nattaporn Jatusripitak, adviser to the Prime Minister's Office, said that the Cabinet agreed in principle to review and offer relaxation to three types of visas with a two-month pilot period.

Firstly, a single-entry visa will be allowed to be changed into a double-entry visa with travel required within six months at the same fee of Bt1,000 per person.

The Cabinet also approved a re-entry permit to facilitate foreign tourists who visit Thailand's neighbouring countries to return to Thailand without making another request. The re-entry permit for the rest of the visa will help promote tourism in Thailand and Asean and satisfy this group of foreign tourists.

The Interior Ministry regulation will be amended to allow foreigners who receive a visa waiver for 30 days and travel into Thailand via land immigration checkpoints or land border checkpoints to enter the country with an unlimited number of visa waivers per calendar year.

 

 

Updated: Seeing the cash...

From 2019 annual retirement and marriage visa extensions must be qualified by showing money or income in a Thai bank rather than by letter from one's embassy


Link Here 15th November 2018
From 1 January 2019, the British Embassy Bangkok will no longer be providing British Nationals with letters confirming their income.

This letter has previously served as a supporting document for obtaining a Thai retirement or marriage visa.

British Nationals should now demonstrate that they have an amount of at least 800,000 Baht in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the visa application, or a monthly income of at least 65,000 Baht transferred into an account in Thailand for a retirement visa. The same applies to marriage visa albeit with lower requirements of 400,000 Baht lump sum, or a monthly income of 40,000 Baht.

Although this is an announcement from the British Embassy, it seems that other countries are likely to follow suit.

Update: Unilateral action

10th October 2018. See article from thaivisa.com

It has been pointed out that although the British Embassy states that income or capital requirements for visa extensions can demonstrated by Thai bank statements showing the required monies, Thai Immigration has never so far agreed to this method. In fact as it stands at the moment, a letter from the embassy is just about the only proof of finance that Thai Immigration will accept.

Presumably it is not just about the money, Thai Immigration would like to know a little more about where it comes from, so as to avoid simple workarounds such as getting a loan.

But of course with the complexity of people's financial arrangements around the world, then Thai Immigration may realise that neither they, nor embassies can adequately verify people's finances. So how will this end up.

Update: #MeToo: US Embassy also ends income verification support

27th October 2018.

The US Embassy has just written to US citizen's resident in Thailand to announce an end to its support for income verification required for people staying in Thailand using the minimum income qualification for annual visa extensions. The embassy writes:

U.S. Mission in Thailand to Cease Providing Income Affidavit

October 26, 2018

Bangkok, THAILAND

As of January 1, 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai will cease to provide the income affidavit for the purpose of applying for Thai retirement and family visas and will not notarize previous versions of the income affidavit. The Royal Thai Government requires actual verification of income to certify visa applicants meet financial requirements for long-stay visas. The U.S. government cannot provide this verification and will no longer issue the affidavits.

Please consult the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. and Royal Thai Immigration Bureau websites for information on how to meet the requirements for a Thai retirement visa or extension.

There's still no indication that Thai Immigration will accept evidence of income without being underpinned by an Embassy letter.

Update: #MeToo: Australian Embassy also ends income verification support

2nd November 2018.

The Australian Embassy has now joined the UK and US embassies, it announced that from the 7th January 2019 it will no longer witness Statutory Declarations for proof on income for Thai Visa extensions.

Update: #MeToo: Danish Embassy also ends income verification support but with immediate effect

15th November 2018. See article from thaivisa.com

The Danish Embassy has announced that it is stopping pension letter services for one-year visas with immediate effect

The Embassy in Bangkok can no longer issue income certificates/pension letters as a supporting document for obtaining a one-year visa through the Thai authorities.

This is due to the fact that the Embassy in Bangkok is legally unable to fulfil the Thai authorities' requirements to guarantee the future level of pension/income for Danish Nationals.

 

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