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dbrenn

Story Of My Thai Citizenship Application

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First of all, a big thanks to Arkady for what seems to me a lot of work!

Secondly, a request for a couple of clarifications?

My interest in citizenship ended when I read about the need to supply a letter renouncing your original citizenship when/if Thai citizenship is granted. In the post above it now seems that the Thai government may simply inform your government that you have been granted Thai citizenship. Does that mean you no longer need to renounce your original one if your country allows dual nationality (I'm British)?

Also, having been married to a Thai for coming up to 6 years, with a child, but still waiting for my PR (applied in 2006), does that mean I now may not even need to wait for my PR to be granted to meet the residence qualification?

The concept of renouncing existing citizenship seems to be still work in progress and it is hard to say exactly how it is going to end up. First the requirement in Oct 09 for the declaration that is not yet implemented by Special Branch but is likely to be requested by the Ministry further down the track. Then the follow up move to inform embassies when citizenship is granted. Who knows if they will go any further but I think they will probably stop at that for now, as that is already a big change and the Nationality Act doesn't specifically prohibit dual nationality anyway and nor does the constitution. If you are British, the issue might just be what to do about travelling after getting nationality. If you signed the declaration, do you get visas for every Western country you visit, or pay extra to fly everywhere via HK or S'pore creating a less obvious paper trail, or brazenly leave Swampy without a visa for your Western destination, as many dual nationals do today? For those who travel a lot to farang countries, having to queue up for visas might take a lot of the shine off having a Thai passport. Even if you want to shell out for UK visas, I don't know if they will give them, if you still have a British passport (US passport holders can certainly not apply for a US visa in another passport). Unfortunately the right of abode stamp, which would have been a solution, is no longer given to UK passport holders using their other passports.

You will have to go along to Special Branch to get a definitive answer about your situation but, according to the 2008 Nationality Act, you are no longer required to have 5 years' residence in Thailand, although you do need to be on a tabien baan. If they accept applications from people in your situation, I don't know if you will be required to withdraw your PR application but I imagine they would let you keep both irons in the fire.

Edited by Arkady

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Just to revive this thread for a minute.

Today we received a 'FYI' letter on the status of my wifes citzenship application, telling us that the investigation has been finished from the police side and the case has been forwarded to the appropriate committe at the Ministry of Interior and is awaiting consideration there.

As an attachment they attached a copy of a letter from 18 months ago (August 2008) from the Special Branch police to the Minister of Interior saying that my wife and I meet all the criteria and that they recommend that the case be handed over the the MOI for processing.

So a small sliver of light into a rather opaque system.

Edited by samran

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Just to revive this thread for a minute.

Today we received a 'FYI' letter on the status of my wifes citzenship application, telling us that the investigation has been finished from the police side and the case has been forwarded to the appropriate committe at the Ministry of Interior and is awaiting consideration there.

As an attachment they attached a copy of a letter from 18 months ago (August 2008) from the Special Branch police to the Minister of Interior saying that my wife and I meet all the criteria and that they recommend that the case be handed over the the MOI for processing.

So a small sliver of light into a rather opaque system.

Congratulations Samran, I am happy to hear that someone is making their way through the MoI bureaucracy!

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I read through all the info on this site and on one point I am still not quite clear as reports seem to be contradicting:

Is it a requirement to have permament residency status to apply for Thai nationality?

I am already living in Thailand 5 years and I have had yearly VISA extensions 4 times already, plus a work permit. The VISA I had was always a Non immigramt B visa.

Now on some posts I read that this would be sufficient to apply but on other posts I read that only a permament residency will work and that even non immigrant B visas for 5 years straight is not enough.

What is correct now? Can I apply or not?

Assuming you dont have a thai parent, and your a foreign male - i am pretty sure you need a PR first. My advice, go for your Tabien Baan now so your proof residency is clicking along while you do ur PR which will take yonks. ( married western ladies different rules - there were some TV'-ers going to launch a Class Action suit on discrimination or something of the sort...... fizzled quickly :) )

How do I get a tabien baan without having a PR first?

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I was told :

If number start with #3 means Thai by birth

If number start with #5 means for those born in the hilltribes and registered in Thai hospital for birth cert.

If number start with #8 means for those transfer of citizenship. So far, I only seen transfer of citizenship for those long term hilltribe immigrants.

Can you please tell us what is your the first number on your Thai ID card?

I've got a 5 at the beginning of my Thai ID number. And yes, I'm an overseas born Thai national.

My Daughter, born here while not having an ID card yet (she is only a baby), the first number of her ID is a '1'. This may or may not change when she grows up ang gets her ID card.

Hi Txs Samran for the reply.

It is interesting to know all the different 'classification' of the Thai ID numbers.

I am lucky to see one id card starting with the digit #1 today !

With yours. it makes 2 person I know having #1 as the first digit.

To start with #3 means Thai by birth who was born before 1985.

To start with #1 means Thai by birth who was born in 1985 and thereafter.

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Just to revive this thread for a minute.

Today we received a 'FYI' letter on the status of my wifes citzenship application, telling us that the investigation has been finished from the police side and the case has been forwarded to the appropriate committe at the Ministry of Interior and is awaiting consideration there.

As an attachment they attached a copy of a letter from 18 months ago (August 2008) from the Special Branch police to the Minister of Interior saying that my wife and I meet all the criteria and that they recommend that the case be handed over the the MOI for processing.

So a small sliver of light into a rather opaque system.

Glad to hear that things are apparently moving ahead. It sounds as if Special Branch did its part, according to the flow chart, although it seems odd to be informed of that 18 months after the event. The naturalization section of SB told me that, as in other years, about 10 people were approved last year (excluding women adopting their husband's nationality which is another SB section). At least the process is still functioning, however slowly, and hasn't been subjected to a freeze like PR. SB say that three years is about the current norm for naturalization.

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SB say that three years is about the current norm for naturalization.

Thanks for this update, Arkady.

Considering samran's post, does the three year mean two years at the Special Branch and one year at the Interior Ministry? Any idea, Arkady?

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SB say that three years is about the current norm for naturalization.

Thanks for this update, Arkady.

Considering samran's post, does the three year mean two years at the Special Branch and one year at the Interior Ministry? Any idea, Arkady?

No, special branch took about 4 months (we applied in April 08, they made the recommendation to the ministry in Aug 08). No idea why they sent the letter out now, but probably an FYI just to tell us how the process is going. I bet they get a few people coming in to see them for updates!

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As mentioned, Special Branch say that three years has recently been about the median time from application to naturalization but there are outliers in either direction. Some one recently got his naturalization certificate 11 years after applying! Of course they cannot say why it took so long in his case. His application was forwarded to the Interior Ministry within the prescribed time frame for Special Branch to vet it and came back from the Ministry nearly 11 years later without further explanation. Some get it quicker than three years but this is extremely rare. Again, they can't say why this happens and can only speculate that the Minister may have used his discretion to intervene in these cases for some reason or other. Apparently the Interior Ministry's committee has not yet finished all the interviews of applicants who applied in 2008 and it is currently taking about 1-2 years to get past that stage.

Edited by Arkady

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To sing the National Anthem should be required to get citizenship of any country. Usually, to get citizenship, you should have been there so long allready there should be no problem in singing the national anthem. I took me 3 months the sing the Thai National Anthem fluently, I can only speak a little Thai, but I can sing the National Anthem fluently. Hope other countries have the same requirements......................

It took you three months to sing the Anthem 'fluently', but you speak only a little Thai?

Do you know the English translation of it?

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Apparently the Interior Ministry's committee has not yet finished all the interviews of applicants who applied in 2008 and it is currently taking about 1-2 years to get past that stage.

Thank you very much for your time, Arkady.

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To sing the National Anthem should be required to get citizenship of any country. Usually, to get citizenship, you should have been there so long allready there should be no problem in singing the national anthem. I took me 3 months the sing the Thai National Anthem fluently, I can only speak a little Thai, but I can sing the National Anthem fluently. Hope other countries have the same requirements......................

It took you three months to sing the Anthem 'fluently', but you speak only a little Thai?

Do you know the English translation of it?

I tend to agree that singing the National Anthem and Royal Anthems should be a requirement for every one applying for Thai nationality. However, the ability to sing them is considered by the Interior Ministry as part of the "knowledge of Thai language" requirement which was dropped for men with Thai wives under the 2008 Act to reduce gender discrimination, since women applying to adopt their Thai husband's nationality were not required to have knowledge of the Thai language since the 1965 Act. Although they are now only worth two points under the new points system, I opted to sing the two anthems anyway at Special Branch. The head of the department seemed very pleased that I had bothered and that I did an acceptable job without errors and I got full marks (15) for my Thai language tests which now include reading and writing as well as speaking, understanding and singing. So I haven't used any of the exemptions provided by Mrs Arkady. I don't know, if this puts me in a better position or not, probably not, but it seems best to pick up whatever points you can.

BTW I don't think singing the Royal Anthem is that easy to sing unaccompanied. My straw poll of Thais revealed that less than 50% can sing it accurately. My mother-in-law and my accountant are amongst those who failed the test. Since it requires a broad vocal range, you need to start in a low enough register, so that you don't end up squawking when you get to the high notes! The National Anthem is a lot easier.

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Congrats! The fact that you were able to wait it out shows you have what it takes to be Thai.

I could never do it, but am impressed with anyone who can.

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