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Story Of My Thai Citizenship Application

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I know I have spoken about this before but for the life of me I cannot find the post or the message.

I note that one of the requirements is:

"8. Evidence of charitable donations (not less than Baht 5,000 and should include donations made some time ago, not just in time for nationality application)."

In my time here I have given much more than that but never kept a receipt or used a donation for tax deduction purposes. One of you suggested that I try to go back to where I donated and see if I can get a copy of the record, and I am working on this. However, supposing I am unable to obtain the required evidence, I need to make further donations. In this regard, I wonder whether there are any preferred charities, or am I free to donate to anything such a Po Teck Tung, a temple renovation fund, animal shelter, etc. I know it may seem a petty question but I would rather do the right thing than get my application kicked back when I submit it a few years down the road because the donations I make are not recognized.

Any foundation that is registered as a charity in Thailand and can give you an official receipt. Some will let you donate goods and assign a monetary value on the receipt.

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I know I have spoken about this before but for the life of me I cannot find the post or the message.

I note that one of the requirements is:

"8. Evidence of charitable donations (not less than Baht 5,000 and should include donations made some time ago, not just in time for nationality application)."

In my time here I have given much more than that but never kept a receipt or used a donation for tax deduction purposes. One of you suggested that I try to go back to where I donated and see if I can get a copy of the record, and I am working on this. However, supposing I am unable to obtain the required evidence, I need to make further donations. In this regard, I wonder whether there are any preferred charities, or am I free to donate to anything such a Po Teck Tung, a temple renovation fund, animal shelter, etc. I know it may seem a petty question but I would rather do the right thing than get my application kicked back when I submit it a few years down the road because the donations I make are not recognized.

Arkady already replied to your legal question.

I am with you. I donated and never even asked for a receipt. When I got a receipt (for example at Wat Hua Lampong) it was burned - I was told that if I keep it to get some benefit (like a record for official purposes), it means I hadn't donated from my heart but with an ulterior motive, so it's doesn't count towards improving the karma.

But then, THB 5,000 is not much. Of course, they want to see you spend more than the minimum amount, so spread it. Donate the money for your application and get a receipt, and donate the same amount of money without receipt for your karma. Will make you feel better too (I hope).

Edited by tombkk

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I note that Ananda (spelling?) Everingham got his Thai citizenship recently. He claimed that it only took two weeks and was much easier than PR. It is things like this that actually get my goat. TheChiefJustice has been waiting over two years, while this other fellow gets it in 2 weeks. Double standard? One is a heartthrob actor and the other, I don't know, but it is certainly unfair. To be fair, Ananda said that the system is unfair, so despite protestations to the contrary having someone of influence in your corner certainly does help.

I overlooked the question about Ananda Everingham's citizenship earlier but I agree with Mario and Samran. Ananda was born in Thailand (to an Australian father and a Lao mother)in 1982. Therefore his case fell within the provisions of the 2008 Nationality Act which allows those born in Thailand to alien parents to become Thai by registration at a district office, subject to certain conditions including long term residence in Thailand, good behaviour etc. This is not the same as acquiring Thai nationality by naturalization and, once the district officers have accepted the application, they can go ahead and issue an ID card without the applicant going through any procedures with Special Branch or the Interior Ministry. Although Ananda would undoubtedly have had high level connections to help him out, he is not the only person who has acquired Thai citizenship through this route. A daughter of American missionaries, Fongchan Suksaneh, became Thai the same way after trying for years in vain before the 2008 Act came into effect. Hopefully there are also now large numbers of formerly stateless hill tribe people and other minorities who have also successfully registered as Thai, although I haven't seen any statistics about this.

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A little bit of advise from you wise people please. When my application was approved I was a high paid employee of Microsoft. Since then (april this year) I have been retired and live (comfortably) on my savings.

Should I visit the police and advise them of my change of circumstances? or should I wait until the interview with Interior ministry and answer truthfully when questioned?

Thanks for any advise.

Nick

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A little bit of advise from you wise people please. When my application was approved I was a high paid employee of Microsoft. Since then (april this year) I have been retired and live (comfortably) on my savings.

Should I visit the police and advise them of my change of circumstances? or should I wait until the interview with Interior ministry and answer truthfully when questioned?

Thanks for any advise.

Nick

If it were me, I would answer truthfully if asked -- but that is all.

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A little bit of advise from you wise people please. When my application was approved I was a high paid employee of Microsoft. Since then (april this year) I have been retired and live (comfortably) on my savings.

Should I visit the police and advise them of my change of circumstances? or should I wait until the interview with Interior ministry and answer truthfully when questioned?

Thanks for any advise.

Nick

I specifically asked Special Branch the question of, given that the process takes some time, do I need to advise them if I change my job and/or get a lower salary. The answer was, no that doesn't matter - what is important is that everything was true at the time you signed the application form. What I didn't ask them was, what happens, if I retire during the application process? The issue here is possibly that the regulations require you to have a profession in Thailand and the Ministry will ask to see your work permit along with your other documents when you go for interview. Special Branch will do the same when you go back there for the oath of allegiance ceremony.

If it were me, I would get some one to call Special Branch on my behalf to ask about the hypothetical case of some one who wants to apply but expects to retire within a couple of years which might be not enough time to complete the entire process. If it turns out that being employed somewhere is necessary and you still want to proceed, then you would need to either set up your own company or join someone else's and earn at least enough to get a work permit. If you are a permanent resident, I don't think there is any precise minimum salary required, as the minimum salaries by nationality and occupation are dictated by Immigration which has nothing to do with work permits for PRs. On the other hand, the naturalization regulations require a salary of B40k for those married to Thais and B80k for others. If it turns out that retiring after submitting the application is OK, then you can set your mind at rest.

Given the changes in the 2008 Nationality Act, another question arises in respect of males without permanent residence who apply for naturalization on the basis of being married to a Thai citizen. I am sure the Ministry will want to interview the wives in the same way they interview the husbands of foreign women applying to adopt their Thai husbands' nationality. What happens if the Thai wife cannot be produced for interview due to separation or even demise? I imagine the application would be rejected in this particular case. I am not sure if Special Branch would also want to check that the wife still exists for the oath of allegiance ceremony but it is very possible, since they finger print the applicant at that point to ensure he is the same person that applied several years earlier.

Edited by Arkady

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7) I can use the Thai passport lane at the airport (shorter queues)

Don't you do this anyway if/when travelling with your Thai family?

Congratulations on your application, it seemed quite full on. I hate singing in public anyway, so I may have gone weak at the knees at that point!

How old are you if you don't mind me asking? Just interested to know if now being a Thai Citizen you have to do National Service? I'm assuming you're above cut off age though.

Edited by bangkockney

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I know of one guy here 30 years who has gone through this process, his ratings etc are impeccable. He has spent a great deal on it already and several years down the line he was informed if he wanted it to finally go through 'quickly' it would be 250k, rather a lot of tea money. He declined and the latest figure they gave him to expedite his case was 500.000 baht. !!

Does any one have any credible reports of claims for tea money to expedite things? I presume davelec's implication is that the request came from the Interior Ministry, since Special Branch at Police HQ and its counterparts in the provinces are clearly in no position to expedite anything much. It is clear that very high level connections can get applicants into the express lane (even Special Branch will admit to this) and this is also true for permanent residence, as evidenced by the privileged seven PR applicants who were recently selected to jump the four year logjam of a queue that the Ministry has painstakingly created for PR applications. However, the "secret seven" were not ask to pay any tea money and I am quite sure about this. It was just done to save senior officials from being nagged by even more senior officials from other agencies. If tea money were involved the number would no doubt have been a lot more than seven! Thai-Chinese friends have told me that their older relatives were obliged to pay a large amount of tea money to get Thai citizenship decades ago and I have no reason to disbelieve these stories. Although anything is certainly possible in Thailand, I haven't heard any reliable reports of tea money being requested or paid in recent years.

BTW I am not sure why the applicant in question would have paid a lot of money other than tea money in the process of applying. You could spend money on legal advisers, if you wanted to, but there are few that know anything about the process (one law firm advertises on TV that they can arrange an appointment at Immigration to apply for Thai nationality LOL). It is fairly tedious to get all the documents together but not expensive in my experience. The application fee is only B10k and until recently was B5k. Of course you have to pay tax but who doesn't?

Edited by Arkady

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I forgot to mention that the Interior Ministry regulations specifically warn applicants that some persons may ask for tea money, falsely claiming they can expedite the process. It is possible that davelec's friend encountered one of these but, as I said earlier, anything is possible in Thailand.

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OK. Here is the outline of the new points system.

March 2010

1 Age & Education 25

1.1 Age 10

1.2 Educational Level 15

2 Security of Profession 25

3 Residence in Thailand 20

4 Knowledge of Thai Language 15

5 General Knowledge about Thailand 10

6 Personality 5

Total 100

Before March 2010

1 Age & Education 25

1.1 Age 15

1.2 Educational Level 10

2 Security of Profession 35

2.1 Income 10

2.2 Tax Payments 25

3 Residence in Thailand 10

4 Relationships with Thailand & Thai People 10

5 Knowledge of Thai Language 10

6 Personality 10

Total 100

What has changed?

1. Points for residency have increased from 10 to 20. A perfect 20 requires 10 years with all PR documents. 5 years with a tabien baan but without PR gets you the minimum of 5 points. 10 points for 5 years with PR and 15 points for 7 years with PR. (Nil for time with only non-imm visa and work permit.) I am not sure yet whether a yellow tabien baan counts here. I have a feeling that the previous guidelines specified a Thor Ror 14 (blue tabien baan) in another part of the text but I haven’t checked through the whole 34 pages yet.

2. Points for Thai language have been increased from 10 to 15 and now include points for ability to read and write. You get 8 points for being able to speak and understand Thai, 2 points for being able to sing the National and Royal Anthems, 2 points for being able to read Thai and 3 points for being able to write it. Previously there were 5 points for speaking and understanding Thai and another 5 for being able to sing the two anthems.

4. Points for age and education are unchanged at 25 but the emphasis has been reversed so that 15 points are awarded for education and 10 for age, while it was previously the other way round. You now get the maximum of 10 points for being aged 41 to 50, 8 for being 51 to 60, 5 for being over 60 or 31 to 40 and 2 for being 20 to 30. Education points are now: up to Mor 6 or Por Wor Chor 3 points; equivalent to Higher National Diploma or Junior College 5 points; Bachelors Degree 8 points; Masters Degree 10 points; Doctoral Degree 15 points.

5. Security of profession has been reduced from 35 to 25 points and it is now based on either monthly salary or tax paid, whereas there were previously 10 points for salary and 25 for tax paid. Max 25 points are awarded for salaries over B100k for those with no relationship with Thailand and B60k for those with Thai wives or children and graduates of Thai universities. Minimum 15 points are awarded for a salary of 80k for those with no relationship with Thailand and B40k for those who have one.

6. The 10 points for relationship with Thai people have been eliminated. 5 points used to be awarded for working in Thailand which was superfluous, since all applicants must have a job. There used to be another 3 points for having a Thai wife and 2 more for one or more Thai children. On the other hand salary requirements are still lower for those with Thai family and I think the numbers on this are unchanged.

7. The personality points have been reduced from 10 to 5. I think these are awarded after the interview with the head of the Special Branch Naturalization Office.

In conclusion it looks as if the ministry is trying to eliminate a lot of the points that most applicants could get by falling off a log and have put more emphasis on knowledge of the Thai language and Thailand and the all important permanent residency. Needless to say the test on general knowledge of Thailand is conducted in Thai and would need a pretty good knowledge of Thai. Most countries require a fairly lengthy period of residence and knowledge of the language and culture for citizenship and it is hard to fault them for these changes, although some might argue that it has become harder to accumulate the points for years of PR, since the logjam appeared in the processing of PR applications. However, I think that has to be considered as a separate and hopefully temporary issue. Probably the final pieces are falling or have fallen into place to implement the exemptions given to applicants with Thai wives in the 2008 Nationality Act. Certainly those with Thai wives are already able to opt not to sing the anthems which are now only worth 2 points anyway but it looks as if it would be a struggle for someone without PR, poor Thai and no PhD to get the minimum 50 points required. If you include the general knowledge test and the personality interview, there are now 30 points that depend on Thai language skills. Thus some one with a Thai wife but no PR, no Thai and no PhD could not score more than 45 points. However, good Thai language skills could theoretically carry some one without PR through and it is my guess that is the way they have decided to play it and who could blame them, even though knowledge of Thai is no longer required by the Nationality Act for those with Thai wives. The new requirement for the embassy certified declaration of intention to renounce existing nationality, if approved for Thai nationality, has already been discussed in this thread although it still remains unclear to me how the ministry intends to implement this. More may be revealed in the body of the text when I get round to reading it.

I applied for Thai citizenship a couple of months ago. I did not have to sing the 2 anthems since my wife is Thai.

However, can anyone tell me if I need to sing the 2 anthems at the Interior Ministry?

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I applied for Thai citizenship a couple of months ago. I did not have to sing the 2 anthems since my wife is Thai.

However, can anyone tell me if I need to sing the 2 anthems at the Interior Ministry?

Special Branch advise that you do not have to sing the anthems at the Interior Ministry but can request to sing them, if you wish to create a better impression. For interest, 20 people went in front of the Interior Ministry panel last month but the ministry apparently still hasn't finished interviewing all those who applied in 2008! I am not sure how frequently they hold the interviews but there now seems to be a bottleneck compared to earlier years when the interview normally took place within 12 months of application. I think they have previously interviewed more than 20 people at one session.

Edited by Arkady

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I have deep respect for those Farang who really going true all this and speak and write fluent Thai.

This is more than 90% of us are clever enough to do.

:jap:

Edited by Lammbock

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Managed to get some information direct from the Interior Ministry dept that handles applications. Nothing earth shattering but may be of interest to some. It usually takes a minimum of a year to be called for interview to the ministry after they have received an applicant's file from Special Branch. They have a queue of about 1,000 applicants waiting for interview and, although they conduct the interviews monthly, this seems to imply that a year is optimistic. Also we know from Special Branch that some Bangkok applicants from 2008 have not yet been interviewed. They are definitely not asking applicants with Thai wives to sing the anthems but it is still current policy for ministry officials to visit applicants in their homes and offices prior to the interview. After the interview, as we already knew, the next stage depends entirely on the minister. All are slow but some are slower than others and some never get to the applications at all before leaving office.

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