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BANGKOK 19 January 2019 06:47
Jingthing

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

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7 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

the normal need for an apostle of the document.

I think the word we're aiming for is Apostille.

The US Embassy in Bangkok had the link I provided above to the State Dept rules because those are the rules they must follow.

 

But there is the caveat that some services are only available in the US:

 

  • Quote

    Authentication, certification, or certified copies of public documents issued in the United States such as birth, residency, marriage, divorce, and death certificatescommercial records, driver’s licenseand other credentials. Such documents must be authenticated in the United States for use overseas; for additional details, please visit the Department of State’s Notarial and Authentication Services or the Office of Authentication, or call 1-800-688-9889.Please visit the National Center for Health Statistics webpage Where to Write for Vital Records for state specific information on how to request copies of vital records.

     

 

Edited by Suradit69
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3 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

his 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. 

Frankly, I have been thinking about this issue for some time- and  I have to believe that what Columbia and Peru do is accept an Affidavit- in which the applicant states their income and source- the US Embassy signs not as an attestation of being certified but as a notary- gives the Oath and this make the applicant subject to a penalty of perjury if lying.  The exact same thing the US Embassy in Bangkok does. 

IMHO- the difference in Columbia/Peru is that their Immigration accepts the Letter from Social Security or the US Military/Veterans Administration as adequate proof that the person is telling the truth- these letters have the official heading and provide details as to amount.  If you remember the interview with the US Consular General- he indicated he and his team were going around showing various proofs of income letters to the Thai Immigration Offices in the hopes they would be accepted.

 

At the end of December- I was in the US Embassy Bangkok for my letter and I asked the question -Prior to my next extension can I use the Embassy general affidavit to state my income and will you (the Embassy Official) sign it.  Her answer was- bring the letter and show me the wording and I will decide if I can sign it.  No comment on whether Thai Immigration would accept it.

I do believe the door is slightly ajar- that a person can use the Affidavit- NOT an income letter and write in information. However, to get Thai Imm to accept it may mean the US Embassy hasa to explain this to Thai Imm.

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1 minute ago, Suradit69 said:

I think the word we're aiming for is Apostille.

The US Embassy in Bangkok had the link I provided above to the State Dept rules because those are the rules they must follow.

 

Thanks for the correction but I still don't really see the relevance to the narrow focus I've presented here.

Peru and Colombia are heavily into Apostilles, yet they make an exception for social security benefit letters that are "verified" by the U.S. embassy without any apostille. 

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2 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Thanks for the correction but I still don't really see the relevance to the narrow focus I've presented here.

Peru and Colombia are heavily into Apostilles, yet they make an exception for social security benefit letters that are "verified" by the U.S. embassy without any apostille. 

Ok, so with the average SS being $1,700 per month or less, then this idea if ever adopted and accepted will NOT help most people who are on the retirement extensions. Not everyone is married here from the US and not everyone gets $2,000 plus per month. Then, what about those on private pensions, this idea doesn't help them at all either.

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Just checked the US Embassy- Bogota Columbia-

 

f you need proof that you are receiving Social Security, Veteran, Federal or any private pension benefits, you can request a benefits verification letter (certification). This letter is sometimes called a “budget letter,” a “benefits letter,” a “proof of income letter,” or a “proof of award letter”. This letter is usually required to renew your Colombian retiree visa.

To request an income verification (certification) letter at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota or U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla, you need to request an appointment.

 

Much to my surprise their web site uses the term certification-

which now leaves the question why can't we simply write in our info- state our income and source- have the Embassy sign it and off to Thai Imm?

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2 minutes ago, Thaidream said:

Frankly, I have been thinking about this issue for some time- and  I have to believe that what Columbia and Peru do is accept an Affidavit- in which the applicant states their income and source- the US Embassy signs not as an attestation of being certified but as a notary- gives the Oath and this make the applicant subject to a penalty of perjury if lying.  The exact same thing the US Embassy in Bangkok does. 

IMHO- the difference in Columbia/Peru is that their Immigration accepts the Letter from Social Security or the US Military/Veterans Administration as adequate proof that the person is telling the truth- these letters have the official heading and provide details as to amount.  If you remember the interview with the US Consular General- he indicated he and his team were going around showing various proofs of income letters to the Thai Immigration Offices in the hopes they would be accepted.

 

At the end of December- I was in the US Embassy Bangkok for my letter and I asked the question -Prior to my next extension can I use the Embassy general affidavit to state my income and will you (the Embassy Official) sign it.  Her answer was- bring the letter and show me the wording and I will decide if I can sign it.  No comment on whether Thai Immigration would accept it.

I do believe the door is slightly ajar- that a person can use the Affidavit- NOT an income letter and write in information. However, to get Thai Imm to accept it may mean the US Embassy hasa to explain this to Thai Imm.

Wow.

So what is the name of the "income letters" the U.S. embassy was providing?

Were they not also affidavits?

If not, what was the technical name of service.

Certainly U.S. embassies don't issue "income letters" literally. That's a generic term, yes?

This is why I was asking for feedback for people with more knowledge than me about what the U.S. embassy does or doesn't do.

In my case I have never done an "income letter" but I was planning on doing my first this year, but then they killed the service.

Colombia and Peru are requiring PENSIONS only for retirement status so the documents that Americans seeking retirement status there happen to always be social security benefits letters.

You're suggesting this might work for other kinds of income documents, in theory.

Rereading your post it sounds like you're saying if the Colombia and Peru embassies are issuing the affadavits based on believing the expats presentation of the benefits letters, then that is something the U.S. embassy here probably will never do, because they've made it clear they want nothing to do with verifying income.

But wasn't one of their arguments was that they are not legally allowed to verify income based on international State Department rules?!?

If that was really true and the embassies in Peru and Colombia are doing as you say, isn't that a lie?

Keep the information coming. Thanks. 

 

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Just now, BertM said:

Ok, so with the average SS being $1,700 per month or less, then this idea if ever adopted and accepted will NOT help most people who are on the retirement extensions. Not everyone is married here from the US and not everyone gets $2,000 plus per month. Then, what about those on private pensions, this idea doesn't help them at all either.

There is the combination method that they can use then, and many have been doing,

Again this isn't about people on private pensions.

How many times do I need to explain this is LIMITED SCOPE topic?

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11 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Peru and Colombia are heavily into Apostilles

And they mention that for countries who don't deal with Apostillies,

 

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.

For more information, please see Authentication Certification Requirements and Requesting Authentication Services and Fees

 

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

 

But whether that would be something that the US embassy in Bangkok would do remains debatable.

 

Possibly you need to email the question to the Citizen Services section of the embassy in Bangkok. Make it as specific as you can or you'll get a generic answer.

 

Also the embassy is at least partially affected by the shut down. At the top of the page they say updates to their website will be limited until the shutdown is resolved. Who knows what else may be affected.

 

 

 

Edited by Suradit69

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2 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

There is the combination method that they can use then, and many have been doing,

Again this isn't about people on private pensions.

How many times do I need to explain this is LIMITED SCOPE topic?

You can't limit the scope of discussion on this forum.

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4 minutes ago, Suradit69 said:

And they mention that for countries who don't deal with Apostillies,

 

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

 

But whether that would be something that the US embassy in Bangkok would do remains debatable.

 

Possibly you need to email the question to the Citizen Services section of the embassy in Bangkok. Make it as specific as you can or you'll get a generic answer.

 

Also the embassy is at least partially effected by the shut down. At the top of the page they say updates to their website will be limited until the shutdown is resolved. Who knows what else may be effected.

I am not getting where you're coming from. The U.S. embassies in Colombia and Peru are doing something that is accepted around the social security benefits letters without dealing directly with the state department. I'm only asking why can't the U.S. embassy here do the same as the first step, and then if so, will Thai immigration accept for the second.

 

My problem here even though I am fully certain the embassies in Colombia and Peru are providing this service and I'm sure it is not an apostille even though both are apostille nations (unless very recently canceled) is that I can't provide any specific details on exactly the technical name for the embassy service that is provided and what the resulting accepted documents look like. 

Edited by Jingthing

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1 minute ago, BertM said:

You can't limit the scope of discussion on this forum.

Obviously not in your case.

Edited by Jingthing
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14 minutes ago, Thaidream said:

No comment on whether Thai Immigration would accept it.

I do believe the door is slightly ajar- that a person can use the Affidavit- NOT an income letter and write in information. However, to get Thai Imm to accept it may mean the US Embassy hasa to explain this to Thai Imm.

At one point some years ago when I was getting an income verification letter at the embassy someone had used a blank affidavit for that purpose instead of the specific affidavit that the embassy provided.

 

The consular officer said it would not be accepted by Thai immigrations. So, as you say, even if they'd sign off on something, they'd need to ask Thai immigrations to accept it and, given the current stand off between some embassies and TI, that may be a nonstarter. 

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6 minutes ago, Suradit69 said:

And they mention that for countries who don't deal with Apostillies,

 

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

 

But whether that would be something that the US embassy in Bangkok would do remains debatable.

 

Possibly you need to email the question to the Citizen Services section of the embassy in Bangkok. Make it as specific as you can or you'll get a generic answer.

 

Also the embassy is at least partially effected by the shut down. At the top of the page they say updates to their website will be limited until the shutdown is resolved. Who knows what else may be effected.

I am in no position to email the embassy for a number of reasons at this point but primarily I wouldn't be able to ask exactly the correct questions because I don't know exactly what the embassies in Colombia and Peru are doing. I would see the only hope as having very specific information using their technical service terms. I don't know those.

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2 minutes ago, Suradit69 said:

At one point some years ago when I was getting an income verification letter at the embassy someone had used a blank affidavit for that purpose instead of the specific affidavit that the embassy provided.

 

The consular officer said it would not be accepted by Thai immigrations. So, as you say, even if they'd sign off on something, they'd need to ask Thai immigrations to accept it and, given the current stand off between some embassies and TI, that may be a nonstarter. 

Thanks. That is very good information. Bad news, but good information. 

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6 minutes ago, BertM said:

You can't limit the scope of discussion on this forum.

He can certainly ask that people stick to the topic stated in the O/P so that there's a chance something useful will come from the discussion.

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