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BANGKOK 19 January 2019 06:46
Jingthing

U.S. embassy income letter redux -- officializing social security benefits documents

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10 hours ago, Jingthing said:

I don't really care about their reasons here for stopping the old income letters.

That's old news. Done and dusted. 

I think what the embassies in Colombia and Peru are doing is probably DIFFERENT than that.

If they can do that, and are still doing that, can the U.S. embassy here do that?

If you wade through the State Dept's pages regarding authentication of Federally issued documents you end up with

 

 

Quote

 

Requirements for federally-issued documents include:

  • Must be executed by U.S. federal agencies
  • Must include a legible signature of the official's name, printed name and title, and seal of the agency
  • Must be on agency letterhead

 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/internl-judicial-asst/authentications-and-apostilles/authentication-certificate-requirements.html

 

So the absence of a signature and seal of agency on a print out may be a problem.

 

Also there seems to be a difference between countries that are signatories of  the 1961 Hague Convention treaty or not

 

Quote

The U.S. Department of State only issues apostilles for federal documents to use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention.

 

But

 

Quote

Authentication certificates are issued by the U.S. Department of State for the same purpose as Apostilles but for use in countries that are not members to the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty.

 

I suggest you go through all the ifs, ands and buts at the link provided by the US embassy in Bangkok.

 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/internl-judicial-asst/authentications-and-apostilles/office-of-authentications.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Suradit69
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I seem to be confused at the confusion. Bank Deposit in thailand of 800/400 K baht if Retirement or marriage. 65,000 baht monthly income deposited in a Thai bank or a combination of deposit /income. For myself, no change from the 65,000 baht deposited for 7 1/2 years of retirement so, maybe I just am not seeing what appears to be a clearcut regulation. Oh, and it saves me $50.00 annually for that Consulate affidavit.

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7 minutes ago, wwest5829 said:

I seem to be confused at the confusion. Bank Deposit in thailand of 800/400 K baht if Retirement or marriage. 65,000 baht monthly income deposited in a Thai bank or a combination of deposit /income. For myself, no change from the 65,000 baht deposited for 7 1/2 years of retirement so, maybe I just am not seeing what appears to be a clearcut regulation. Oh, and it saves me $50.00 annually for that Consulate affidavit.

Except you need to prove thru a Thai bank letter that the monthly income is brought in by International Transfer.

Edited by ocddave
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7 minutes ago, wwest5829 said:

I seem to be confused at the confusion. Bank Deposit in thailand of 800/400 K baht if Retirement or marriage. 65,000 baht monthly income deposited in a Thai bank or a combination of deposit /income. For myself, no change from the 65,000 baht deposited for 7 1/2 years of retirement so, maybe I just am not seeing what appears to be a clearcut regulation. Oh, and it saves me $50.00 annually for that Consulate affidavit.

"For myself, no change from the 65,000 baht deposited for 7 1/2 years of retirement"

 

Well everyone (apparently) is not in the same boat as you. There was no prior requirement that someone deposit Baht 65,000/40,000 in a Thai bank each month, just that you proved you had a monthly income flow equivalent to that amount.

 

But this is really not the topic of this thread, so please don't hijack the thread which is about getting embassy authentication of Social Security payments for using the income or combination method.

 

There are plenty of other threads about the new requirements from Thai immigrations.  Like this one:

 

 

Edited by Suradit69

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1 hour ago, Suradit69 said:

Well everyone (apparently) is not in the same boat as you. There was no prior requirement that someone deposit Baht 65,000/40,000 in a Thai bank each month, just that you proved you had a monthly income flow equivalent to that amount.

The US Embassy did not require me to prove my monthly income flow as you stated above and neither did Thai immigration... The US Embassy simply required me to raise my right hand and swear the information on the income affidavit was true. They declined to look at my monthly pension letter from my employer or my pension statement when I offered to show them. TI also declined to look at them when I offered to show them. So, I never had to prove any income, just provide them with the notarized income affidavit. As for the idea of getting the US Embassy to certify a SSA statement to be used as proof of income for extensions without having to deposit the monies into a Thai bank account, good luck with that. Please let everyone know if you were successful in doing that...

Edited by BertM

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7 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

They might allow you to do an affidavit stating the SSA statement attached is true and correct. The have done that before for US marriage certificates and etc. But whether immigration would be another question.

Source: https://th.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/notaries-public/

That's an interesting detail. 

I started this thread knowing there were weaknesses. 

I don't know exactly what those U.S. embassies in Colombia, Peru, and possibly other places call the service that they do around specifically the social security benefit letters and I also don't know what the documents they give the expats looks like. 

I or others could do more research on that but I do know for a fact that at least recently both embassies were offering this service and the immigration offices of both Colombia and Peru were accepting them. That's pretty powerful because Latin America is notorious for being obsessive about documentation and needing everything to be translated and apostled in the place of the origin of the documents.

It seems that you're saying that you think this service is technically an affidavit.

The now defunct income letters were also affidavit's correct?

Thailand was accepting those and it was the U.S. just stopped issuing "income letters" not Thai immigration telling them they couldn't do them anymore.

I'm just trying to figure this out at this point, but of course you're correct as I indicated in the OP, that the U.S. doing this service was just a starting point. Of course Thai immigration would need to accept this new thing.  The best way to get Thai immigration to accept that would probably be the U.S. embassy lobbying for that on expat's behalf.

It seems now with the new police order, the chances of the U.S. embassy lifting a finger to do work like that is very remote.

They went through a rough period with pushback after they made the change but now they can say they're done with this because there is now both the bank method AND the new police order which preserves another way to do an income based application without an embassy letter.

So I'm quite pessimistic about this idea going anywhere, but when I started reading about what the embassies were doing in Colombia and Peru, I thought this was a specific issue that was worthy of at least calling attention to. 

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7 hours ago, ocddave said:

I brought this up in the other thread, but there is a process for doing Apostle/Authentication thru the US Secretary of State department. You first need the SSA Benefit Verification letter, then you have that certified by the US Secretary of States office. Then you send that to the Thai Embassy in Washington DC to verify/certify (Legalization) the US Secretary of States signature, then bring that to MFA and get their certification/sticker for the US Thai Embassy signature. Usually the Immigration Office goes goo-goo eyes over that MFA sticker, so that may be enough. You will have certification of income, I would think since the US Embassy falls under the Secretary of States office, that that should be more than acceptable as verification. This is the same process used to legalize a US Marriage (except the extra step of Local State Secretary verification), but I have no idea if it will be enough for the pickiness of the Thai Immigration, they seem to be pretty stubborn.

 

****WARNING/NOTE: DON'T TAKE THIS AS THE ANSWER/GOSPEL, BUT IT MIGHT BE A PATH, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VERY!

 

How to Apostle a Social Security Letter:

http://www.internationalapostille.com/how-to-apostille-a-social-security-letter/

 

US Social Security Administration:

https://www.usa.gov/about-social-security

https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01717

 

US Secretary of State - Apostle/Authentications:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/internl-judicial-asst/authentications-and-apostilles.html

 

Thai Embassy US - Washington DC - Legalization Service:

https://thaiembdc.org/consular-services/legalization/

 

 

I don't think Thailand is an apostle country.

Colombia and Peru are yet they waive the apostle for social security benefits letters with a verification service from the U.S. embassy for U.S. applicants.

I don't think your info is really relevant to this issue that I brought up. 
Thailand continues to accept "income letters" from most embassies! But not the U.S. and some others. 

So the logical thing with the benefits letter is not to seek an apostle (something Thailand isn't into) but to seek an alternative "embassy letter" which is something they widely accept, have for a long time, and still accept.

So I appreciate the info you shared but it really is not on point to the specific questions in the O.P.

Cheers.

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5 hours ago, Moonlover said:

It really is very obvious, and has been from the start, that what Thai Imm wants to see is money in a Thai bank account, Either 800/400k annually or the requisite monthly incomes as specified.

 

If you can satisfy that requirement, then there is no point in chasing after embassy based solutions. And if you can't meet the requirements then, well you know the answer to that one!

 

Ok mock me if you will, but IMO it's time you all put the old ways behind you and got on with preparing for the future. I started doing that back in October when this first kicked off and I'm now fully geared up to face the next income based extension in August. The one that all the 'gloom and doom brigade' said would never happen.

 

ML

This is not about mocking either way.

We know the current rules.

They are exactly the same old rules but with a new police order so that people that don't have / can't get embassy income letters can still apply for extensions based on income.

It's a given that the bank method with seasoned money is the most definite method.

This thread is not about that.

Most other embassies still offer income letters that Thailand still accepts.

With these income letters there is no requirement to IMPORT the claimed income.

Only people trying the new police order income method are required to import income.

Most countries not!

Even the bank method does not require one baht of import in any particular year!

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25 minutes ago, BertM said:

The US Embassy did not require me to prove my monthly income flow as you stated and neither did Thai immigration... The US Embassy simply required me to raise my right hand and swear the information on the income affidavit was true. They wouldn't look at my monthly pension letter from my employer or pension statement when I offered to show them. And, TI never asked me for any supporting documentation either and also declined to look at my pension letter & statement. So, I never had to prove any income, just provide the notarized income affidavit.

Yes, and that is why some embassies have stopped issuing income documents ... because they were not willing to or able to verify/prove the income, which is what Thai immigrations expected them to do.

 

Thus the new police order requiring/allowing people to demonstrate/prove they can shift Baht 65,000 a month into a Thai bank account to obtain a retirement extension. Those embassies unwilling to satisfy Thai immigrations requirement that monthly income has been proved/verified by them are forcing the nationals of their countries who wish to show monthly income to actually deposit Baht 65,000 into a Thai bank account or to abandon that approach by putting Baht 800,000 into the Thai bank account for at least 3 months prior to applying for an extension of stay.

 

The whole point of this thread was that the O/P knew of some US embassies in South America who did verify/prove monthly Social Security income for Americans retired in those countries and he was trying to see if the US Embassy in Bangkok could at least prove/verify the Social Security payments and that maybe Thai immigrations would accept that proof at least when using the combination method.

 

Immigrations does want proof or evidence of income from an embassy as one way of satisfying the financial requirements. That is something the US embassy and others have not done and are unwilling to do.

 

Quote

 

For retirement extensions of no more than 1 year evidence of average monthly income of B65,000 is required.

 

1.       Evidence of pension. Same as 2 above,

2.       Evidence of income from a foreign embassy or consulate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Suradit69
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Be interesting to know what the requirements and process is for the foreign embassies still providing "income" letters to their citizens here.  Presume TI has reviewed and nodded approval.   Thought I saw something on FB that Germans can still avail income letters?

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Yes, the intended scope of this topic is very, very narrow and I would appreciate if members respect that narrow scope in the remote hope that this information I have learned from Colombia and Peru might make a difference for some expats in the future.

 

The chances of such a positive outcome may be less than one percent, but that's better than zero percent which is where we're at now as it seems people have given up all hope of ever getting any future service from the U.S. embassy on this. 

 

Limitations of this topic --

 

It concerns Americans only

It concerns Americans getting social security retirement benefits only

It concerns Americans currently or wanting to get annual retirement extensions in Thailand based on income

 

Yes there is now the new police order method for income without embassy letters. Issues with that (and there are many) are covered on OTHER threads.

 

This thread is ONLY about the questions about any potential chances of U.S. nationals meeting the conditions above doing the same thing at their embassy as in Colombia and Peru, and having that accepted at Thai immigration. 

Edited by Jingthing

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7 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Yes, the intended scope of this topic is very, very narrow and I would appreciate if members respect that narrow scope in the remote hope that this information I have learned from Colombia and Peru might make a difference for some expats in the future.

 

The chances of such a positive outcome may be less than one percent, but that's better than zero percent which is where we're at now as it seems people have given up all hope of ever getting any future service from the U.S. embassy on this. 

 

Limitations of this topic --

 

It concerns Americans only

It concerns Americans getting social security retirement benefits only

It concerns Americans currently or wanting to get annual retirement extensions in Thailand based on income

 

Yes there is now the new police order method for income without embassy letters. Issues with that (and there are many) are covered on OTHER threads.

 

This thread is ONLY about the questions about any potential chances of U.S. nationals meeting the conditions above doing the same thing at their embassy as in Colombia and Peru, and having that accepted at Thai immigration. 

I doubt the US Embassies in Peru or Columbia are providing these certified documents... They are usually apostilled in the USA. So, your idea of getting the US Embassy in BK to do it may not fly at all. And, it's not only Peru & Columbia. It's Panama and other Caribbean countries also. Just have to do your research to see how those documents are getting certified, but I'm pretty sure it's not by Embassies in those countries.

Edited by BertM

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5 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Yes, the intended scope of this topic is very, very narrow and I would appreciate if members respect that narrow scope in the remote hope that this information I have learned from Colombia and Peru might make a difference for some expats in the future.

 

The chances of such a positive outcome may be less than one percent, but that's better than zero percent which is where we're at now as it seems people have given up all hope of ever getting any future service from the U.S. embassy on this. 

 

Limitations of this topic --

 

It concerns Americans only

It concerns Americans getting social security retirement benefits only

It concerns Americans currently or wanting to get annual retirement extensions in Thailand based on income

 

Yes there is now the new police order method for income without embassy letters. Issues with that (and there are many) are covered on OTHER threads.

 

This thread is ONLY about the questions about any potential chances of U.S. nationals meeting the conditions above doing the same thing at their embassy as in Colombia and Peru, and having that accepted at Thai immigration. 

Also, you can brainstorm all you want on this forum about ideas that could help, but how will you get the US gov't to go along. This forum holds no weight with the US gov't. But, good exercise in brainstorming...

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6 minutes ago, BertM said:

I doubt the US Embassies in Peru or Columbia is providing this letter... it is usually apostilled in the US by State Dept. I believe. So, your idea of getting the US Embassy in BK to do it may not fly at all, ok... Also, it's not only Peru & Columbia. It's Panama and other Caribbean countries also.

Do not doubt it. That's why I started this thread! I have read multiple credible reports saying that they do indeed provide this service and it replaces the normal need for an apostle of the document. These social security benefits are especially difficult as far as apostles because indeed there is no signature. That the embassies of Peru and Colombia are indeed doing this service at least recently is a given of this thread. Not going to argue with you about that except if you have more recent news that they have stopped this service (in a similar was as happened at our embassy here).

 

I have no idea why you brought up other countries other than Colombia and Peru. The entire impetus of this topic is information that I have learned about what is happening in Colombia and Peru. I don't pretend to cover every nation I the world with a retirement program and every nation that uses apostles.

Edited by Jingthing

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4 minutes ago, BertM said:

Also, you can brainstorm all you want on this forum about ideas that could help, but how will you get the US gov't to go along. This forum holds no weight with the US gov't. But, good exercise in brainstorming...

I never said I was optimistic. I started this thread to explore an issue. The premise here is that I do know for a fact that the U.S. embassies in Colombia and Peru are providing a "verification" service for social security benefits letters, even those just printed online from MySSA, and that these are accept by both country's immigration offices without apostle. So the obvious question is if they can, why can't our embassy here, and then if so, would that be accepted by Thai immigration. 

Edited by Jingthing

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