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Story Of My Thai Citizenship Application

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I posted this in Camerata's thread on PR but it could equally be applied to citizenship or both together.

I am thinking of writing a letter to new IM, requesting him to help look my case of PR. Will it help or boomerang?

I don't agree with with the poster who said it is likely to put you to the back of the queue. It's anyone's guess but my own is that a letter of complaint about a minor matter sent to the minister at the ministry would never get anywhere near him or the part of the Department of Provincial Administration that handles PR and citizenship applications or anyone in authority. The Interior Ministry is such a behemoth that the minister must receive thousands of letters of complaint on matters ranging from the behaviour of puuyai baan and village defence volunteers to actions of the Provincial Water Authority.

If you want to enquire about an individual case, it is far better to call or get someone with contacts at the MOI to call to ensure that your case hasn't been overlooked. There is no downside to this even if it won't speed things up. It happens every day. At least you can confirm that your file has not been overlooked or mislaid which can and does happen.

On the other hand, if you want to write to the minister to draw attention to the plight of those waiting for many years for PR, there is no absolute imperative to send the letter to the MoI directly or give your name. You can simply ask a Thai friend to send a letter to the minister saying they are concerned on behalf of foreign friends and colleagues about the way the ministry is treating applicants for PR, suggesting that things had deteriorated markedly under the Democrat led government and the previous military appointed government and that you hope Pheua Thai will quickly get the situation back to the days before the military coup when PR (and citizenship) applications were efficiently processed by the MoI within a strict time frame. This would do a great deal to improve Thailand's international image at a time when Pheua Thai is making every effort to improve Thaland's perception by foreign investors, trading partners and tourists - Yingluck is now doing official overseas trips and receiving foreign heads of state back to back. Finally the letter needs to be addressed to the minister at Pheua Thai party headquarters in his capacity as party chairman. There it stands a good chance of being opened by the son or daughter of some wealthy politician doing an internship who may well pass it to a policy wonk or a PR official who may even mention it to the minister as a good way to score points. Note that his Pheua Thai predecessor seemed to view things in exactly this way, since he broke the logjam of PR applications and approved hundreds of citizenships for minorities. Get the idea?

Edited by Arkady

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If you are German and ask the consular officer to certify that you said you want to give up German citizenship when you become Thai, they will take your word for it.

A friend of mine cancelled his Thai citizen application because he did not want want to give up his German passport. Another German I know happily switched his citizenship.

Sent from my LG-P698f using Thaivisa Connect App

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If you are German and ask the consular officer to certify that you said you want to give up German citizenship when you become Thai, they will take your word for it.

A friend of mine cancelled his Thai citizen application because he did not want want to give up his German passport. Another German I know happily switched his citizenship.

Sent from my LG-P698f using Thaivisa Connect App

To be clear you only have to want to. You dont nesseccesarily have to give it up. Well depending on your natural country.

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If you are German and ask the consular officer to certify that you said you want to give up German citizenship when you become Thai, they will take your word for it.

A friend of mine cancelled his Thai citizen application because he did not want want to give up his German passport. Another German I know happily switched his citizenship.

Sent from my LG-P698f using Thaivisa Connect App

This issue always intrigues me. I know that Germany doesn't allow dual nationality so it's a bit more complicated but even if you were to renounce German citizenship, would you not automatically qualify for citizenship if you changed your mind in the future?

Were I to do the same with my own country I can't help feeling that since I was born there, my parents were born there, I look like them, talk like them, and all my family are there, surely they couldn't deny me. Perhaps that's emotional rather than logical thinking on my part?

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I posted this in Camerata's thread on PR but it could equally be applied to citizenship or both together.

I am thinking of writing a letter to new IM, requesting him to help look my case of PR. Will it help or boomerang?

I don't agree with with the poster who said it is likely to put you to the back of the queue. It's anyone's guess but my own is that a letter of complaint about a minor matter sent to the minister at the ministry would never get anywhere near him or the part of the Department of Provincial Administration that handles PR and citizenship applications or anyone in authority. The Interior Ministry is such a behemoth that the minister must receive thousands of letters of complaint on matters ranging from the behaviour of puuyai baan and village defence volunteers to actions of the Provincial Water Authority.

If you want to enquire about an individual case, it is far better to call or get someone with contacts at the MOI to call to ensure that your case hasn't been overlooked. There is no downside to this even if it won't speed things up. It happens every day. At least you can confirm that your file has not been overlooked or mislaid which can and does happen.

On the other hand, if you want to write to the minister to draw attention to the plight of those waiting for many years for PR, there is no absolute imperative to send the letter to the MoI directly or give your name. You can simply ask a Thai friend to send a letter to the minister saying they are concerned on behalf of foreign friends and colleagues about the way the ministry is treating applicants for PR, suggesting that things had deteriorated markedly under the Democrat led government and the previous military appointed government and that you hope Pheua Thai will quickly get the situation back to the days before the military coup when PR (and citizenship) applications were efficiently processed by the MoI within a strict time frame. This would do a great deal to improve Thailand's international image at a time when Pheua Thai is making every effort to improve Thaland's perception by foreign investors, trading partners and tourists - Yingluck is now doing official overseas trips and receiving foreign heads of state back to back. Finally the letter needs to be addressed to the minister at Pheua Thai party headquarters in his capacity as party chairman. There it stands a good chance of being opened by the son or daughter of some wealthy politician doing an internship who may well pass it to a policy wonk or a PR official who may even mention it to the minister as a good way to score points. Note that his Pheua Thai predecessor seemed to view things in exactly this way, since he broke the logjam of PR applications and approved hundreds of citizenships for minorities. Get the idea?

During the long wait for PR from 2006 until this year there were a handful of applicants approved. I know of one case first hand where the applicant had a somewhat tenuous connection to the IM at that time and had just mentioned it to a family member. Soon after that, out of the blue his approval letter arrived.

On a similar note but with citizenship there are legal firms around town that, as long as you meet the basic criteria, claim that they will get you citizenship with a money back guarantee. The fees being touted are in the range of 3-400K. I met with one last year and I think he mentioned a timeframe of 1-2 years. Because in order to apply I would have had to drop my pending PR application, I didn't take it any further so I don't know the details of the fee payment, money back etc.

I know this doesn't address the main issue being discussed here, i.e., getting the whole thing (PR & citizenship) moving more efficiently for everyone but suppose I'm trying to say that I agree with Arkady in that a letter to the IM wouldn't hurt, just unlikely to be effective. It's not the way things work.

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During the long wait for PR from 2006 until this year there were a handful of applicants approved. I know of one case first hand where the applicant had a somewhat tenuous connection to the IM at that time and had just mentioned it to a family member. Soon after that, out of the blue his approval letter arrived.

On a similar note but with citizenship there are legal firms around town that, as long as you meet the basic criteria, claim that they will get you citizenship with a money back guarantee. The fees being touted are in the range of 3-400K. I met with one last year and I think he mentioned a timeframe of 1-2 years. Because in order to apply I would have had to drop my pending PR application, I didn't take it any further so I don't know the details of the fee payment, money back etc.

I know this doesn't address the main issue being discussed here, i.e., getting the whole thing (PR & citizenship) moving more efficiently for everyone but suppose I'm trying to say that I agree with Arkady in that a letter to the IM wouldn't hurt, just unlikely to be effective. It's not the way things work.

I knew someone who applied for PR in 2007 and really pushed a high level connection to intervene with the IM for him. It took him about a year of pushing but he got it in a small batch at the end of 2009, I think, and they were all told to keep quiet about it.

Re citizenship I contacted one of the law firms that has advertised on TV. They were asking for 300k upfront including preparation of documents and someone to accompany you to interviews with a further 200k on success, claiming to provide a fast track service through excellent inside contacts and an expected time horizon of 2 years from application to ID card. Sounded great, although I was somewhat sceptical. At first they were enthusiastic and wanted me to come to their office immediately. Then I told them that I had already applied and asked them to quote a price for their fast track service, excluding the preparation of documents and initial application. After that they took 2 weeks to reply that they would be unable to help me without any explanation. I guess that particular firm is basically a rip off. Their tactic must be coax clients by promising to get everything done in 2 years. They get 300k for the easy work of preparing documents and taking you to interviews. Then they dump you in the queue at the MOI and leave you there, making excuses about changes of ministers etc, if you complain. They probably don't expect to collect the success fee very often - just pulling more suckers in to pay the 300k for easy work they could do by themselves is good enough. Even better if they collect the total amount upfront and leave you to try to sue them to get it back, if they can't deliver. They will certainly have a "reasons beyond our control" let out clause. That is not to say there aren't any law firms or other agents out there that can speed things up for you but that firm obviously couldn't or they would have jumped at the chance of getting a client who had already been passed by Special Branch and having a chance to earn 300-400k just by making a few phone calls. There was another law firm advertising at the time that had exactly the wording in its ads with the same mistakes that I assumed was probably the same firm trying to broaden its advertising.

I know that some folk did withdraw their PR applications to apply for citizenship instead but I would certainly not do it on the promises of one of these law firms. Citizenship even with the help of these guys might take you many, many years. Now the freeze on PR has started to thaw a little, it is probably better to wait it out. If you are married to a Thai, you will be able to apply for citizenship the day after you get PR, if you want, without waiting for 5 years. The law firms should be able to give some references of satisfied customers who got their citizenship within 2 years, if it is really true.

Edited by Arkady
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During the long wait for PR from 2006 until this year there were a handful of applicants approved. I know of one case first hand where the applicant had a somewhat tenuous connection to the IM at that time and had just mentioned it to a family member. Soon after that, out of the blue his approval letter arrived.

On a similar note but with citizenship there are legal firms around town that, as long as you meet the basic criteria, claim that they will get you citizenship with a money back guarantee. The fees being touted are in the range of 3-400K. I met with one last year and I think he mentioned a timeframe of 1-2 years. Because in order to apply I would have had to drop my pending PR application, I didn't take it any further so I don't know the details of the fee payment, money back etc.

I know this doesn't address the main issue being discussed here, i.e., getting the whole thing (PR & citizenship) moving more efficiently for everyone but suppose I'm trying to say that I agree with Arkady in that a letter to the IM wouldn't hurt, just unlikely to be effective. It's not the way things work.

I knew someone who applied for PR in 2007 and really pushed a high level connection to intervene with the IM for him. It took him about a year of pushing but he got it in a small batch at the end of 2009, I think, and they were all told to keep quiet about it. No special fee requested.

Re citizenship I contacted one of the law firm that has advertised on TV. They were asking for 300k upfront including preparation of documents and someone to accompany you to interviews and a further 200k on success, claiming to provide a fast track service through excellent inside contacts and an expected time horizon of 2 years from application to ID card. At first they were enthusiastic and wanted me to come to their office immediately. Then I told them that I had already applied and asked them to quote a price for their fast track service excluding the preparation of documents and initial application. After that they took 2 weeks to reply that they would be unable to help me without any explanation. I guess that particular firm is basically a rip off. Their tactic must be coax clients by promising to get everything done in 2 years. They get 300k for the easy work of preparing documents and taking you to interviews. Then they dump you in the queue at the MOI and make excuses about changes of ministers etc, if you complain. They probably don't expect to collect the success fee - just pulling more suckers in to pay the 300k for easy work they could do by themselves is good enough. That is not to say there aren't any law firms or other agents out there that can speed things up for you but that firm obviously couldn't or they would have jumped at the chance of getting a client who had already been passed by Special Branch and having a chance to earn 300-400k just by making a few phone calls.

Excellent post and advise on using so called law firms.

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During the long wait for PR from 2006 until this year there were a handful of applicants approved. I know of one case first hand where the applicant had a somewhat tenuous connection to the IM at that time and had just mentioned it to a family member. Soon after that, out of the blue his approval letter arrived.

On a similar note but with citizenship there are legal firms around town that, as long as you meet the basic criteria, claim that they will get you citizenship with a money back guarantee. The fees being touted are in the range of 3-400K. I met with one last year and I think he mentioned a timeframe of 1-2 years. Because in order to apply I would have had to drop my pending PR application, I didn't take it any further so I don't know the details of the fee payment, money back etc.

I know this doesn't address the main issue being discussed here, i.e., getting the whole thing (PR & citizenship) moving more efficiently for everyone but suppose I'm trying to say that I agree with Arkady in that a letter to the IM wouldn't hurt, just unlikely to be effective. It's not the way things work.

I knew someone who applied for PR in 2007 and really pushed a high level connection to intervene with the IM for him. It took him about a year of pushing but he got it in a small batch at the end of 2009, I think, and they were all told to keep quiet about it. No special fee requested.

Re citizenship I contacted one of the law firm that has advertised on TV. They were asking for 300k upfront including preparation of documents and someone to accompany you to interviews and a further 200k on success, claiming to provide a fast track service through excellent inside contacts and an expected time horizon of 2 years from application to ID card. At first they were enthusiastic and wanted me to come to their office immediately. Then I told them that I had already applied and asked them to quote a price for their fast track service excluding the preparation of documents and initial application. After that they took 2 weeks to reply that they would be unable to help me without any explanation. I guess that particular firm is basically a rip off. Their tactic must be coax clients by promising to get everything done in 2 years. They get 300k for the easy work of preparing documents and taking you to interviews. Then they dump you in the queue at the MOI and make excuses about changes of ministers etc, if you complain. They probably don't expect to collect the success fee - just pulling more suckers in to pay the 300k for easy work they could do by themselves is good enough. That is not to say there aren't any law firms or other agents out there that can speed things up for you but that firm obviously couldn't or they would have jumped at the chance of getting a client who had already been passed by Special Branch and having a chance to earn 300-400k just by making a few phone calls.

Excellent post and advise on using so called law firms.

Nope.... over my dead body. I also heard that thats why things are not being signed off because there was distrust in the system. Will happily wait, if i am not deemed valuable enough to be a Citizen, then so be it. Not paying one cent to anyone beyond whats legally required.

Got my PR that way, as many did

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Nope.... over my dead body. I also heard that thats why things are not being signed off because there was distrust in the system. Will happily wait, if i am not deemed valuable enough to be a Citizen, then so be it. Not paying one cent to anyone beyond whats legally required.

Got my PR that way, as many did

Historically only the Chinese were obliged to pay extra for PR because there were many more applicants than the annual quota of 100 per nationality which was, of course, designed to curb Chinese immigration that had previously numbered over 10,000 in some years. I believe this was still true up until the 90s but have no idea if it still happens today. Virtually everyone else, including myself, seems to have paid only the official fee for PR which is steep enough, as it is. Some people pay lawyers or other service firms to prepare their documents for them but that is another matter. My point about citizenship was that applicants should be wary of law firms who also offer a simple documentation service which they may disingenuosly misrepresent to be a fast track service in order to justify much higher fees.

It is not surprising there is distrust in the system, given the chronic lack of transparency. A simple solution would be to make the process subject to a judicial process with appeals, rather than a political discretion, and establish strict time lines for each stage.

Edited by Arkady

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My friend lives in country side. He applied for the Thai Nationality base don having a Thai Family. To do so he was told to put his name in a Bangkok Residence book. He did so and applied and everything went through and his application was accepted by the special branch. It has been few months and when he called the Special Branch he was told that his application should go to IM soon.

He is wondering if it would be wise to change his Residence to Country side or leave it to be in Bangkok. problem is Bangkok house of his friend is not always occupied and he is concerned that in case a letter arrives there may be chances it is lost.

Will his application be affected in any way by changing address to upcountry now? What will be wiser to do?

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My friend lives in country side. He applied for the Thai Nationality base don having a Thai Family. To do so he was told to put his name in a Bangkok Residence book. He did so and applied and everything went through and his application was accepted by the special branch. It has been few months and when he called the Special Branch he was told that his application should go to IM soon.

He is wondering if it would be wise to change his Residence to Country side or leave it to be in Bangkok. problem is Bangkok house of his friend is not always occupied and he is concerned that in case a letter arrives there may be chances it is lost.

Will his application be affected in any way by changing address to upcountry now? What will be wiser to do?

It will probably take at least a couple of years until the letter comes from the MoI inviting him for interview but it is definitely best to be registered at an address where there is someone to look at the post every day. As far as I know the MoI just sends out the letters to the registered addresses about 10 working days ahead and makes no attempt to contact applicants by phone or email. If you are abroad and can't get back in time, it's important to be able to let them know to avoid losing your place in the queue or having your application scratched completely. If you cancel ahead of time, they can also give someone else a chance to take the slot. Special Branch also receives the lists of interviewees in advance and, if you have a good contact there, they can warn you to go and pick up the letter but with SB it tends to be a case of "out of sight, out of mind".

On the other hand, I don't think there should be a problem with changing the registered address to outside Bangkok. Those living in the provinces have to file their applications at provincial SB HQs but once the application has been forwarded to the MoI, SBs role is limited to taking your vow of allegiance and issuing your nationality certificate, once you have been approved. That is assuming that your application is not sent back to SB for re-checking your qualifications which can and does happen. For a definitive answer on this, I would ask SB in Bkk directly. At any rate, I would think it advisable that the applicant's registered address tallies with his work place in his WP.

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As we are nearly at the end of the year, it is time to tally up the numbers of newly minted Thais who were gazetted in 2012. According to my research there were 35 naturalisations under Section 10 and 77 women married to Thais who were granted Thai nationality under Section 9, giving a total of 112 for the year. I have excluded the many group naturalisations of formerly stateless minorities born in Thailand who also technically fall under Section 10.

The cumulative figures I have gathered since 2005 are as follows:

2005 Nat 50 W 68 Total 118

2006 Nat 10 W 232 Total 242

2007 Nat 141 W 236 Total 377

2008 Nat 163 W 44 Total 207

2009 Nat 0 W 4 Total 4

2010 Nat 7 W 145 Total 152

2011 Nat 40 W 8 Total 48

2012 Nat 35 W 77 Total 112

2005-12 Nat 446 W 814 Total 1,260

Avg p.a. Nat 55.75 W 101.75 Combined 157.5

Edited by Arkady
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As we are nearly at the end of the year, it is time to tally up the numbers of newly minted Thais who were gazetted in 2012. According to my research there were 35 naturalisations under Section 10 and 77 women married to Thais who were granted Thai nationality under Section 9, giving a total of 112 for the year. I have excluded the many group naturalisations of formerly stateless minorities born in Thailand who also technically fall under Section 10.

The cumulative figures I have gathered since 2005 are as follows:

2005 Nat 50 W 68 Total 118

2006 Nat 10 W 232 Total 242

2007 Nat 141 W 236 Total 377

2008 Nat 163 W 44 Total 207

2009 Nat 0 W 4 Total 4

2010 Nat 7 W 145 Total 152

2011 Nat 40 W 8 Total 48

2012 Nat 35 W 77 Total 112

2005-12 Nat 446 W 814 Total 1,260

Avg p.a. Nat 55.75 W 101.75 Combined 157.5

Thanks for the good work and information, hope next year the process will be moe efficient and quicker. As things are changing in MOI.

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I have just noticed that the OP is now banned from TV. Perhaps that's why he no longer contributes to the thread. laugh.png

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