Jump to content
Planned Temporary Forum Outage Friday 18th January from 21:00 Read more... ×
BANGKOK 19 January 2019 06:48
Jingthing

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

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

f 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. 

Columbia is doing it as their website states- I cannot believe that  the US Embassy in Columbia is actually going back directly to Social Security or the  Vets Department- It could be the applicant shows their 'Award' Letter to the Embassy- then fills out the General Affidavit- states their income- takes the Oath- and it is signed. Columbia Immigration accepts it/

 

The missing info is what did Thai Immigration really ask the Embassies to do-at the May 2018 meeting and why have only 4 Embassies stopped their letters.  It may be that the term 'certification' scared the 4 Embassies because there is no true certification unless the actual source of the income provides that.  I believe the Us Embassy Bangkok took the easy road based upon input from the BE. Neither truly- IMo- wanted to do the income letter- too many complaints- costs too much etc etc. 

 

However, on the Us Embassy Bangkok website- there is still listed- a General Affidavit with an example- You write in the information-  I have actually used this in the past to state income but for a support issue- not Immigration. The affidavit as signed and accepted.  

 

It should also be noted that the announcement by the US Embassy- stated they will not in the future notarize- the 'current' income affidavit- but it does not say they will not notarize a general affidavit stating income and source.  Hence- my conversation with the Vice Consul end of December- but she wants to see the wording.

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I am heading in that direction (south of the border) soon. I will post some of my experiences while there.

It is my firm belief that the Thai government wants the money in the bank. They want a secure income stream from retirees. America, UK, Australia are the biggest group here.

I would say if they would work with the expat, with in come statements and such it would be different. But, this is just too obvious IMO. Also 65K/mo. is a joke. 

400-800K seasoned for 3 months. Or transfers from your home country showing the 40 or 65K/mo. 

I mean how obvious can you be... 🙂

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Thaidream said:

Columbia is doing it as their website states- I cannot believe that  the US Embassy in Columbia is actually going back directly to Social Security or the  Vets Department- It could be the applicant shows their 'Award' Letter to the Embassy- then fills out the General Affidavit- states their income- takes the Oath- and it is signed. Columbia Immigration accepts it/

 

The missing info is what did Thai Immigration really ask the Embassies to do-at the May 2018 meeting and why have only 4 Embassies stopped their letters.  It may be that the term 'certification' scared the 4 Embassies because there is no true certification unless the actual source of the income provides that.  I believe the Us Embassy Bangkok took the easy road based upon input from the BE. Neither truly- IMo- wanted to do the income letter- too many complaints- costs too much etc etc. 

 

However, on the Us Embassy Bangkok website- there is still listed- a General Affidavit with an example- You write in the information-  I have actually used this in the past to state income but for a support issue- not Immigration. The affidavit as signed and accepted.  

 

It should also be noted that the announcement by the US Embassy- stated they will not in the future notarize- the 'current' income affidavit- but it does not say they will not notarize a general affidavit stating income and source.  Hence- my conversation with the Vice Consul end of December- but she wants to see the wording.

 

 

 

 

Impressive.

It sounds like you are on the cutting edge of this issue.

I have not even looked at the other embassy websites as yet.

You are saying they are definitely just standard affidavits?

I totally agree there is almost no chance those two embassies are directly contacting social security.

Clearly they are looking at the printed letters and providing a document to officialize either the documents and/or the income flow stated in the documents. 
I really don't know for sure what they're getting for this service as to exactly what it looks like. 

I got my information that they were offering the service from other sources (both personal accounts and advice links) but they didn't get into technical name for the embassy service or what the resulting paper looked like. 

Please keep us all posted on what you find out.

 

Edited by Jingthing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Thaidream said:

It should also be noted that the announcement by the US Embassy- stated they will not in the future notarize- the 'current' income affidavit- but it does not say they will not notarize a general affidavit stating income and source.  Hence- my conversation with the Vice Consul end of December- but she wants to see the wording.

And as I said above, I know of someone who mistakenly used the "blank affidavit" some years ago and was told by the consular officer it would not be accepted by Thai Immigrations. He was handed the specific affidavit form and told to use that.

 

Of course things can change and obviously do change but I expect,  given their announcement, the embassy would be reluctant to try anything that circumvented the spirit, if not the letter, of their announcement that they would not be issuing income affidavits to support extension applications to Thai Immigrations.

 

Although they do state:

 

 

Quote

 

Services we CAN provide:

Affidavits
Oftentimes the Thai government requests the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General Chiang Mai “certify” documents listed under “services we cannot provide.” Please note the Embassy and Consulate CAN notarize an affidavit which may or may not satisfy the Thai requirement for “certification.”

 

But that's still an affidavit and they put in quotes "certify" as if that's not really what it amounts to.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Suradit69

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Jingthing said:

What it is specifically is about social security benefit letters which expats can get either from a MySSA account if they have that, or by request.

These letters are not signed

On the other hand the Annuity Statement for US federal pensions is signed by the Deputy Associate Director Retirement Operations.

What I find a little discerning is that previously we had to just justify sources of foreign income that met the Bt40-65k monthly income requirement. But that has morphed into foreign income transferred to Thailand. As some of my monthly income comes from a foreign bank to a Thailand branch of the same foreign bank via ATM, when deposited into my Thai bank it shows as a domestic deposit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, garyk said:

Actually I am heading in that direction (south of the border) soon. I will post some of my experiences while there.

It is my firm belief that the Thai government wants the money in the bank. They want a secure income stream from retirees. America, UK, Australia are the biggest group here.

I would say if they would work with the expat, with in come statements and such it would be different. But, this is just too obvious IMO. Also 65K/mo. is a joke. 

400-800K seasoned for 3 months. Or transfers from your home country showing the 40 or 65K/mo. 

I mean how obvious can you be... 🙂

 

Yeah and no.

The majority of nations are still issuing income letters, those letters are still accepted by Thailand immigration, and armed with those letters no specific import of monies is required at all. So you're not really right for now anyway. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jingthing said:

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.

You can still Authenticate the signatures thru the US State Department, then get Thai Embassy legalization, and MFA verification. So it is more relevant then you think, Apostle and Authentication are two different things, but without the Thai Embassy Legalization and MFA Verification, you are never going to get the US SSA benefits letter to go anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new Thai Imm Guidelines- for income- specifically state an Embassy letter certifying income is accepted.

 

The question is why the US Embassy in Columbia is using the the term certification and explicitly saying they can provide  this service when the US Embassy in Bangkok is saying they cannot- There is a missing piece here somewhere.

 

The Us Embassy in Thailand has a General Affidavit- I believe with the correct wording (to be determined) they will notarize a person declaring their income-source and amount- 

 

Since Thai immigration is accepting letters from every country except the 4- will they accept the General Affidavit from the Us Embassy if  available?

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ocddave said:

You can still Authenticate the signatures thru the US State Department, then get Thai Embassy legalization, and MFA verification. So it is more relevant then you think, Apostle and Authentication are two different things, but without the Thai Embassy Legalization and MFA Verification, you are never going to get the US SSA benefits letter to go anywhere.

Those social security benefits letters are not signed so there is no signature to authenticate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Thaidream said:

The new Thai Imm Guidelines- for income- specifically state an Embassy letter certifying income is accepted.

 

The question is why the US Embassy in Columbia is using the the term certification and explicitly saying they can provide  this service when the US Embassy in Bangkok is saying they cannot- There is a missing piece here somewhere.

 

The Us Embassy in Thailand has a General Affidavit- I believe with the correct wording (to be determined) they will notarize a person declaring their income-source and amount- 

 

Since Thai immigration is accepting letters from every country except the 4- will they accept the General Affidavit from the Us Embassy if  available?

 

 

Wasn't the U.S. embassy making an excuse some months ago that there was an international rule now that they can't verify any income? As you can see I am confused about all these terms. Frankly, it's clear I'm the wrong person to follow up on these issues with the embassy. It's either you or someone else if they are so inclined. I hope you or others do and get back to us with findings. It's interesting to me that you seem to agree with me there may be something odd about the embassies in Colombia and Peru still being able to help out expats with at least social security letters, and embassy here as it stands now anyway can't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Those social security benefits letters are not signed so there is no signature to authenticate. 

Which means you are going to have to get it notarized locally before sending to the next step, sort of like I had to do with my Marriage Certificate.

 

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

 

Quote

Please note that some Apostille Service companies will recommend to have this document notarized and Apostilled by the Secretary of State (Example: California Secretary of State Apostille) .  The Social Security Letter is a Federal document and MUST be authenticated by the Secretary of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C.

 

Edited by ocddave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Srikcir said:

What I find a little discerning is that previously we had to just justify sources of foreign income that met the Bt40-65k monthly income requirement. But that has morphed into foreign income transferred to Thailand. As some of my monthly income comes from a foreign bank to a Thailand branch of the same foreign bank via ATM, when deposited into my Thai bank it shows as a domestic deposit.

Yes, that is an important distinction that, for some people, is creating a stumbling block.  Having a regular income of Baht 65,000 a month is one thing. Depositing it all in a Thai bank was not a requirement and is something different from having a "provable" income of at least that amount.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Suradit69 said:

Of course things can change and obviously do change but I expect,  given their announcement, the embassy would be reluctant to try anything that circumvented the spirit, if not the letter, of their announcement that they would not be issuing income affidavits to support extension applications to Thai Immigrations.

You could be right- but in the past there was an Income affidavit and a General Affidavit-  so I can understand why the Embassy indicated Thai Imm would not then accept  the General Affidavit.  The only way is to ask the Us Embassy which at some point I will.  More research needed

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Thaidream said:

You could be right- but in the past there was an Income affidavit and a General Affidavit-  so I can understand why the Embassy indicated Thai Imm would not then accept  the General Affidavit.  The only way is to ask the Us Embassy which at some point I will.  More research needed

 

Please please do that and get back to us.

By starting this topic, I was not presenting myself as highly knowledgeable on these issues or an appropriate person to follow up with them at the embassy.

I was asking for help and more info from people with a better understanding than me.

I just saw the info I was hearing about the service offered at the U.S. embassies in Colombia and Peru as "something fishy" in that they are providing a very important service to their expats there, but then we were cut off being told they can't do it here for us any longer.

On the face of it, in a simplistic sense, that just struck me as NOT FAIR. 

But I realize different countries, different immigration rules, but it seems to me the U.S. embassy rules as far as provided services would be expected to be the SAME.

Edited by Jingthing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, garyk said:

Also 65K/mo. is a joke. 

I assume you mean it's a trivial amount.

 

17 minutes ago, garyk said:

400-800K seasoned for 3 months. Or transfers from your home country showing the 40 or 65K/mo. 

I mean how obvious can you be... 🙂

Not quite sure what this means.

 

I agree that for most people here that depositing Baht 65,000 a month into a Thai bank or dumping Baht 800,000 into a Thai bank shouldn't be a major problem.  But there are undoubtedly people who have stayed here for 10, maybe 20 years, whose resources have dwindled and who may just be managing to meet the Baht 65,000 a month but need to keep some of their money at home for other expenses. 

 

If you're in your 80's and have always complied with Thai Immigrations requirements, these changes could put you up against the wall. And many of those people no longer have a fall-back plan.

 

For some of us it's just an annoying change that we have to adjust to, but for some flexibility may no longer exist.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sponsors
×