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Story Of My Thai Citizenship Application


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This is in relation to applying for citizenship in Chiang Mai and possibly other areas besides Bangkok.

I went to the ministry of Interior branch office here in Chiang Mai in hopes of getting some inside information about the process.

Here is what I got:

Besides females married to a Thai and hill tribes applying for citizenship, only one person recently got citizenship out of the hundreds of applications on file. This person applied about 8 years ago and just got citizenship recently.

The approval process is slightly different in the provinces.

1. The police send an applicant's information (after it has been vetted and investigated) to the local interior ministry office here in Chiang Mai and it is reviewed by a committee.

2. The committee then sends back the application to the police, either for more info, rejected or approved.

3. If locally approved, the police then sends this application to the interior ministry in Bangkok to be reviewed, approved and signed by the interior minister.

The real problem that I saw was that although hundreds of applications had been filed at police special branches in Chiang Mai (according to my visit there 2 years ago), very few had reached the local committee for review. The guy at the interior ministry showed me some applications, it seemed to be under 10.

So for some reason, the local police special branches are refusing to send applications to the local interior ministry.

At some point I will need to go back to the Chiang Mai special branches police office and try to find out the reason for this. Is it:

a. Money under the table is required to get the process working, this is likely as a friend of mine had to pay 1 million baht to get his citizenship down south.

b. There is a policy to reject most types of applications off hand even if they meet the criteria.

c. Connections are necessary to get the process moving.

More than likely all of the above apply.

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Hi All, For those who are interested, the application process for Thai Citizenship in my case went as follows: Late 2003 - Picked up the checklist from the Police Headquarters on Rama 1 Road Janu

Loads of names published in the RG today and I am one them! Exactly 3 months to the day since taking the oath 😀

Nice surprise today, there is a RG announcement and I'm in it 🙂 

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This is in relation to applying for citizenship in Chiang Mai and possibly other areas besides Bangkok.

I went to the ministry of Interior branch office here in Chiang Mai in hopes of getting some inside information about the process.

Here is what I got:

Besides females married to a Thai and hill tribes applying for citizenship, only one person recently got citizenship out of the hundreds of applications on file. This person applied about 8 years ago and just got citizenship recently.

The approval process is slightly different in the provinces.

1. The police send an applicant's information (after it has been vetted and investigated) to the local interior ministry office here in Chiang Mai and it is reviewed by a committee.

2. The committee then sends back the application to the police, either for more info, rejected or approved.

3. If locally approved, the police then sends this application to the interior ministry in Bangkok to be reviewed, approved and signed by the interior minister.

The real problem that I saw was that although hundreds of applications had been filed at police special branches in Chiang Mai (according to my visit there 2 years ago), very few had reached the local committee for review. The guy at the interior ministry showed me some applications, it seemed to be under 10.

So for some reason, the local police special branches are refusing to send applications to the local interior ministry.

At some point I will need to go back to the Chiang Mai special branches police office and try to find out the reason for this. Is it:

a. Money under the table is required to get the process working, this is likely as a friend of mine had to pay 1 million baht to get his citizenship down south.

b. There is a policy to reject most types of applications off hand even if they meet the criteria.

c. Connections are necessary to get the process moving.

More than likely all of the above apply.

I'd change my address to a Bangkok tabien bahn and reapply there if I were you.

The process is difficult enough and adding extra steps, from what you have described, sets your application up for the failure of indefinite limbo.

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This is in relation to applying for citizenship in Chiang Mai and possibly other areas besides Bangkok.

I went to the ministry of Interior branch office here in Chiang Mai in hopes of getting some inside information about the process.

Here is what I got:

Besides females married to a Thai and hill tribes applying for citizenship, only one person recently got citizenship out of the hundreds of applications on file. This person applied about 8 years ago and just got citizenship recently.

The approval process is slightly different in the provinces.

1. The police send an applicant's information (after it has been vetted and investigated) to the local interior ministry office here in Chiang Mai and it is reviewed by a committee.

2. The committee then sends back the application to the police, either for more info, rejected or approved.

3. If locally approved, the police then sends this application to the interior ministry in Bangkok to be reviewed, approved and signed by the interior minister.

The real problem that I saw was that although hundreds of applications had been filed at police special branches in Chiang Mai (according to my visit there 2 years ago), very few had reached the local committee for review. The guy at the interior ministry showed me some applications, it seemed to be under 10.

So for some reason, the local police special branches are refusing to send applications to the local interior ministry.

At some point I will need to go back to the Chiang Mai special branches police office and try to find out the reason for this. Is it:

a. Money under the table is required to get the process working, this is likely as a friend of mine had to pay 1 million baht to get his citizenship down south.

b. There is a policy to reject most types of applications off hand even if they meet the criteria.

c. Connections are necessary to get the process moving.

More than likely all of the above apply.

I'd change my address to a Bangkok tabien bahn and reapply there if I were you.

The process is difficult enough and adding extra steps, from what you have described, sets your application up for the failure of indefinite limbo.

Sounds like good advice, would I have a problem if they checked up on me and found out that I don't actually live in bkk?

Did they come around to ask your neighbors etc?

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This is in relation to applying for citizenship in Chiang Mai and possibly other areas besides Bangkok.

I went to the ministry of Interior branch office here in Chiang Mai in hopes of getting some inside information about the process.

Here is what I got:

Besides females married to a Thai and hill tribes applying for citizenship, only one person recently got citizenship out of the hundreds of applications on file. This person applied about 8 years ago and just got citizenship recently.

The approval process is slightly different in the provinces.

1. The police send an applicant's information (after it has been vetted and investigated) to the local interior ministry office here in Chiang Mai and it is reviewed by a committee.

2. The committee then sends back the application to the police, either for more info, rejected or approved.

3. If locally approved, the police then sends this application to the interior ministry in Bangkok to be reviewed, approved and signed by the interior minister.

The real problem that I saw was that although hundreds of applications had been filed at police special branches in Chiang Mai (according to my visit there 2 years ago), very few had reached the local committee for review. The guy at the interior ministry showed me some applications, it seemed to be under 10.

So for some reason, the local police special branches are refusing to send applications to the local interior ministry.

At some point I will need to go back to the Chiang Mai special branches police office and try to find out the reason for this. Is it:

a. Money under the table is required to get the process working, this is likely as a friend of mine had to pay 1 million baht to get his citizenship down south.

b. There is a policy to reject most types of applications off hand even if they meet the criteria.

c. Connections are necessary to get the process moving.

More than likely all of the above apply.

I'd change my address to a Bangkok tabien bahn and reapply there if I were you.

The process is difficult enough and adding extra steps, from what you have described, sets your application up for the failure of indefinite limbo.

Sounds like good advice, would I have a problem if they checked up on me and found out that I don't actually live in bkk?

Did they come around to ask your neighbors etc?

I did just that - not being a property owner I was registered on the Bangkok tabien bahn of a friend. They never checked to see whether I actually lived there, and even if they had checked my friend would have told them that I lived there but was away on business.

When I tried to apply the first time, my tabien bahn was in Chiang Rai and was told to apply there. I figured that it would be impossible, so I moved my tabien bahn to Bangkok.

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This is in relation to applying for citizenship in Chiang Mai and possibly other areas besides Bangkok.

I went to the ministry of Interior branch office here in Chiang Mai in hopes of getting some inside information about the process.

Here is what I got:

Besides females married to a Thai and hill tribes applying for citizenship, only one person recently got citizenship out of the hundreds of applications on file. This person applied about 8 years ago and just got citizenship recently.

The approval process is slightly different in the provinces.

1. The police send an applicant's information (after it has been vetted and investigated) to the local interior ministry office here in Chiang Mai and it is reviewed by a committee.

2. The committee then sends back the application to the police, either for more info, rejected or approved.

3. If locally approved, the police then sends this application to the interior ministry in Bangkok to be reviewed, approved and signed by the interior minister.

The real problem that I saw was that although hundreds of applications had been filed at police special branches in Chiang Mai (according to my visit there 2 years ago), very few had reached the local committee for review. The guy at the interior ministry showed me some applications, it seemed to be under 10.

So for some reason, the local police special branches are refusing to send applications to the local interior ministry.

At some point I will need to go back to the Chiang Mai special branches police office and try to find out the reason for this. Is it:

a. Money under the table is required to get the process working, this is likely as a friend of mine had to pay 1 million baht to get his citizenship down south.

b. There is a policy to reject most types of applications off hand even if they meet the criteria.

c. Connections are necessary to get the process moving.

More than likely all of the above apply.

I'd change my address to a Bangkok tabien bahn and reapply there if I were you.

The process is difficult enough and adding extra steps, from what you have described, sets your application up for the failure of indefinite limbo.

Sounds like good advice, would I have a problem if they checked up on me and found out that I don't actually live in bkk?

Did they come around to ask your neighbors etc?

I did just that - not being a property owner I was registered on the Bangkok tabien bahn of a friend. They never checked to see whether I actually lived there, and even if they had checked my friend would have told them that I lived there but was away on business.

When I tried to apply the first time, my tabien bahn was in Chiang Rai and was told to apply there. I figured that it would be impossible, so I moved my tabien bahn to Bangkok.

Thanks that is valuable advice

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They did come around my residence to ask about me in my case, so the people living there should at least know who you are and what to say.

I did get a visit from the Interior Ministry, at a rented house where I was living at the time. Because I was renting, I was not on the tabien bahn, hence I asked a friend to help out in the way that I described.

As you say, so long as the home owner can vouch for you, living away from your tabien bahn address is no big issue - Thais do it all the time, and the MoE didn't care. I told the MoE people that I was renting a place away from my registered address that was convenient for my work, and that I had to rent because I did not have the right to buy my own house at the time, which was one of the reasons why I wanted Thai nationality ....

Edited by dbrenn
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I am still confused about:

Domicile:

Has evidence of civil registration showing domicile in Thailand for at least 5 years but no Certificate of Residence or Alien Registration Certificate – 5 points

Has evidence of civil registration showing domicile in Thailand for at least 5 years and has Certificate of Residence or Alien Registration Certificate for at least 5 years – 10 points

How can you provide evidence of civil registration. Would that be the yellow tabien naan? continuous visas?

I guess under the above point system I would get no points for my PR?

Thank you for you big help and valuable advice.

Evidence of civil registration means registration under the Civil Registration Act, i.e. in a tabien baan. That is my translation of the current (2010) points system you have quoted from above which postdates the 2008 Nationality Act that allowed foreign men with Thai wives to apply without PR. Thus they can get 5 points for being in a yellow tabien baan for 5 years. You could too, if you have been in one for 5 years. Otherwise, you will get zero for residence, as you say. But you should be able to scrape together 50 points without it. I was up to close to 90 which, if I lost the 20 I got for residence would have been 70. The ministry is only informed that you you got at least 50 points in the covering letter from SB, not the actual score. So it doesn't matter if you pass with flying colours or just scrape through.

Re applying from Chiang Mai there was one guy in one of the Dec 2014 announcements resident in Chiang Mai 29.pdf and about 8 of the 269 wives announced in Nov 2014 were from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. However, it is possible that these people waited an inordinate length of time (the ministry's press release at the time said that many of the wives had waited 8 years or so) and the hit rate does seem to be rather low up there. If Chiang Mai SB and the provincial MoI are currently reluctant to process applications, I agree with Dbrenn that you would be better to try to get on a tabien baan in Bangkok. SB in Bangkok are the experts on processing applications and even they struggle to understand the MoI ever shifting requirements and make mistakes. Therefore, the risk of a cock-up in your application is significantly higher in the provinces, even if they agree to try to process it. I think you can explain to SB Bangkok openly what you doing, if you get on a Bkk tabien baan and they will help you, because that is what they advise people to do.

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Thank you guys for the insight and valuable advice.

I was hoping that I could use my 7 years on the yellow book to avoid waiting five years after receiving the PR before I apply for citizenship.

Unfortunately since I am single I am subject to this rule:

They should have been permanently resident in the Kingdom of Thailand for not less than 5 years counted from the date they received their Certificate of Residence, Alien Registration Book or House Registration Certificate (Thor Ror 14) that proves incontrovertibly that they have been permanently resident in Thailand for not less than 5 years.

The yellow book is Thor Ror 13 and does not count.

So I have to wait 5 more years before I can apply :(

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Thank you guys for the insight and valuable advice.

I was hoping that I could use my 7 years on the yellow book to avoid waiting five years after receiving the PR before I apply for citizenship.

Unfortunately since I am single I am subject to this rule:

They should have been permanently resident in the Kingdom of Thailand for not less than 5 years counted from the date they received their Certificate of Residence, Alien Registration Book or House Registration Certificate (Thor Ror 14) that proves incontrovertibly that they have been permanently resident in Thailand for not less than 5 years.

The yellow book is Thor Ror 13 and does not count.

So I have to wait 5 more years before I can apply sad.png

Did you get this advice directly from Special Branch in Bangkok? Certainly the ministry's guidelines specify 5 years from the date of the residence book and always have. However, as mentioned earlier, they have accepted applications from people in your situation in the past on the grounds that the Nationality Act doesn't define "residence in the Kingdom". Some have been rejected at the MOI interview stage but I know of at least one that got all the way through to the finishing line on this basis.

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Thank you guys for the insight and valuable advice.

I was hoping that I could use my 7 years on the yellow book to avoid waiting five years after receiving the PR before I apply for citizenship.

Unfortunately since I am single I am subject to this rule:

They should have been permanently resident in the Kingdom of Thailand for not less than 5 years counted from the date they received their Certificate of Residence, Alien Registration Book or House Registration Certificate (Thor Ror 14) that proves incontrovertibly that they have been permanently resident in Thailand for not less than 5 years.

The yellow book is Thor Ror 13 and does not count.

So I have to wait 5 more years before I can apply sad.png

Did you get this advice directly from Special Branch in Bangkok? Certainly the ministry's guidelines specify 5 years from the date of the residence book and always have. However, as mentioned earlier, they have accepted applications from people in your situation in the past on the grounds that the Nationality Act doesn't define "residence in the Kingdom". Some have been rejected at the MOI interview stage but I know of at least one that got all the way through to the finishing line on this basis.

No I did not, I went to local ministry of Interior. I will take your advice and when in Bangkok ask the Special Branch Division.

Thank you for your advice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Latest, the MOI minister has signed the new batch of applicants recently and applications are being sent to HMK for approval.

Edited by Oasis
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Latest, the MOI minister has signed the new batch of applicants recently and applications are being sent to HMK for approval.

Is this for women based on Thai husband nationality or more broadly for other applicants too?

Based on marriage, no need for HMK to sign.

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Latest, the MOI minister has signed the new batch of applicants recently and applications are being sent to HMK for approval.

Is this for women based on Thai husband nationality or more broadly for other applicants too?

Based on marriage, no need for HMK to sign.

Guess it will be for both, woman based on Thai husband and man based on Thai wife as well.

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Latest, the MOI minister has signed the new batch of applicants recently and applications are being sent to HMK for approval.

You wouldn't happen to know when he signed, would you? It is my understanding that those approved by the December 2014 large committee meeting were signed by the Minister of the Interior and forwarded for royal endorsement (62 applicants if I recall correctly). However, I do not know the status of those approved by the March 2015 large committee meeting, other than they were forwarded for the signature of the Minister of the Interior in late April early May 2015. Originally I thought both sets were being handled as a single lot but it now does not appear to be the case.

Edited by GarryP
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Latest, the MOI minister has signed the new batch of applicants recently and applications are being sent to HMK for approval.

Is this for women based on Thai husband nationality or more broadly for other applicants too?

Based on marriage, no need for HMK to sign.

Guess it will be for both, woman based on Thai husband and man based on Thai wife as well.

Did BORA tell you this?

From recollection, my wife and you interviewed the same day...

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Samran, I assume that the December batch is not restricted to wives of Thai nationals, but covers all those who were approved at that meeting. For the large committee meeting in March there were wives, husbands and PRs approved for forwarding to the Minister of the Interior. I know for certain there are both men's and women's names in the list of 62 (I believe this is the December batch), which have already been endorsed by the Minister of the Interior.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am hoping to apply early next year (after I have 3 years of tax returns). Does anyone know if the special branch accepts applications from Samut Prakan? I'm right on the boarder near the Suvarnabhumi airport

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I am hoping to apply early next year (after I have 3 years of tax returns). Does anyone know if the special branch accepts applications from Samut Prakan? I'm right on the boarder near the Suvarnabhumi airport

I can't recall seeing approvals with a Samut Prakarn address but it's possible. Officials in provinces neighbouring Bkk should be more clued up but that is not a given. I suggest you visit your provincial Special Branch office and then visit Special Branch HQ in Bkk, which is always a good idea to obtain information about the process and documents required anyway. Then you can take a view on whether it is worth adding another obstacle in what is already a very difficult process by applying to a provincial SB that has no dedicated staff to handle nationality applications. Otherwise get on someone's tabien baan in Bkk or move over the border.

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Samran, I assume that the December batch is not restricted to wives of Thai nationals, but covers all those who were approved at that meeting. For the large committee meeting in March there were wives, husbands and PRs approved for forwarding to the Minister of the Interior. I know for certain there are both men's and women's names in the list of 62 (I believe this is the December batch), which have already been endorsed by the Minister of the Interior.

For the interviews carried out in March at Lum Lukka, Pathumthani, does anybody have information on what is the current status of the candidates? I remember that we were told that somebody will come back in 3-4 months. Stll to hear from them. Thanks

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Samran, I assume that the December batch is not restricted to wives of Thai nationals, but covers all those who were approved at that meeting. For the large committee meeting in March there were wives, husbands and PRs approved for forwarding to the Minister of the Interior. I know for certain there are both men's and women's names in the list of 62 (I believe this is the December batch), which have already been endorsed by the Minister of the Interior.

For the interviews carried out in March at Lum Lukka, Pathumthani, does anybody have information on what is the current status of the candidates? I remember that we were told that somebody will come back in 3-4 months. Stll to hear from them. Thanks

The officers at BORA said that it would take 3 to 4 months before the applications were endorsed by the Minister of Interior and applicants advised of the same. That was in April and it is my understanding that the applications were forwarded at the end of that month. So you are looking at August if those officers are correct as to the timeline.

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I am hoping to apply early next year (after I have 3 years of tax returns). Does anyone know if the special branch accepts applications from Samut Prakan? I'm right on the boarder near the Suvarnabhumi airport

I can't recall seeing approvals with a Samut Prakarn address but it's possible. Officials in provinces neighbouring Bkk should be more clued up but that is not a given. I suggest you visit your provincial Special Branch office and then visit Special Branch HQ in Bkk, which is always a good idea to obtain information about the process and documents required anyway. Then you can take a view on whether it is worth adding another obstacle in what is already a very difficult process by applying to a provincial SB that has no dedicated staff to handle nationality applications. Otherwise get on someone's tabien baan in Bkk or move over the border.

Arkady, have been reading your very informative posts for a while. I know you've applied for the citizenship. Would like to know what's your timeline of the application. Have you already been interviews by IM?

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I am hoping to apply early next year (after I have 3 years of tax returns). Does anyone know if the special branch accepts applications from Samut Prakan? I'm right on the boarder near the Suvarnabhumi airport

I can't recall seeing approvals with a Samut Prakarn address but it's possible. Officials in provinces neighbouring Bkk should be more clued up but that is not a given. I suggest you visit your provincial Special Branch office and then visit Special Branch HQ in Bkk, which is always a good idea to obtain information about the process and documents required anyway. Then you can take a view on whether it is worth adding another obstacle in what is already a very difficult process by applying to a provincial SB that has no dedicated staff to handle nationality applications. Otherwise get on someone's tabien baan in Bkk or move over the border.

Arkady, have been reading your very informative posts for a while. I know you've applied for the citizenship. Would like to know what's your timeline of the application. Have you already been interviews by IM?

The whole process from application to ID card took me 5 years. 3 years of that was waiting for interview, calling occasionally to check they hadn't mislaid my file. After that the rest went relatively smoothly. Not one of the fastest or slowest applications. There seems to be no rhyme of reason why some people, like the OP, take 3 years and others take 7 years or more, except for the fast track cases with high level connections that may take less than 2 years. SB once showed me a naturalisation certificate they had just printed out for a Korean guy who had been waiting 11 years! The current interior minister has an explicit policy to make it faster and more transparent but, once he is out of the way, you can be sure that the bureaucrats will revert to type.

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I am hoping to apply early next year (after I have 3 years of tax returns). Does anyone know if the special branch accepts applications from Samut Prakan? I'm right on the boarder near the Suvarnabhumi airport

I can't recall seeing approvals with a Samut Prakarn address but it's possible. Officials in provinces neighbouring Bkk should be more clued up but that is not a given. I suggest you visit your provincial Special Branch office and then visit Special Branch HQ in Bkk, which is always a good idea to obtain information about the process and documents required anyway. Then you can take a view on whether it is worth adding another obstacle in what is already a very difficult process by applying to a provincial SB that has no dedicated staff to handle nationality applications. Otherwise get on someone's tabien baan in Bkk or move over the border.

Arkady, have been reading your very informative posts for a while. I know you've applied for the citizenship. Would like to know what's your timeline of the application. Have you already been interviews by IM?

The whole process from application to ID card took me 5 years. 3 years of that was waiting for interview, calling occasionally to check they hadn't mislaid my file. After that the rest went relatively smoothly. Not one of the fastest or slowest applications. There seems to be no rhyme of reason why some people, like the OP, take 3 years and others take 7 years or more, except for the fast track cases with high level connections that may take less than 2 years. SB once showed me a naturalisation certificate they had just printed out for a Korean guy who had been waiting 11 years! The current interior minister has an explicit policy to make it faster and more transparent but, once he is out of the way, you can be sure that the bureaucrats will revert to type.

You are saying you have already received thai citizenship? I was under the impression that you are still waiting approval !

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I hope the moderators allow this post even though it is in Thai language. It is certainly applicable to this subject. The below is the flow chart of the process for a general/ordinary person under Section 10 of the Nationality Act. The whole process seems rather confusing. I wonder where everyone is in the whole chain.

การขอแปลงสัญชาติเป็นไทย ของบุคคลต่างด้าวทั่วไปตามมาตรา ๑๐ แห่ง พ.ร.บ.สัญชาติ พ.ศ.๒๕๐๘

post-19515-0-58579800-1437705023_thumb.p

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Seems like several more timelines have been put into the timeline. Previously the only one was the time for Special Branch and other police departments to vet applications before forwarding them to the MoI, which was 90 days. The chart shows how an already convoluted process is made even more convoluted for applicants residing in the provinces.

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