British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

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#1 British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:27 pm

British Embassy to stop issuing income certification letters

October 8, 2018

From January 1, the British Embassy in Bangkok will no longer be providing British nationals with letters confirming their income.

This letter has previously served as a supporting document for obtaining a Thai retirement or marriage visa. The British Embassy Bangkok is stopping the certification of income letters because it is unable to fulfil the Thai authorities’ requirements to verify the income of British Nationals.

British Nationals should now demonstrate that they have an amount of at least 800,000 THB in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the visa application, or a monthly income of at least 65,000 THB transferred into an account in Thailand for a retirement visa.

For a marriage visa, the amounts are 400,000 THB in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the visa application, or a monthly income of at least 40,000 THB transferred into an account in Thailand.

A bank statement should be used as the supporting document for obtaining a Thai retirement or marriage visa.

All British Nationals concerned should note that the last date for income letter applications is 12 December 2018.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/brit ... me-letters

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#2 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:11 pm

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Posted by Travelerjim on the Sawatdee board: https://sawatdeenetwork.com/v4/showthre ... ifications
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What Should I Do Now?

You should now show that you have the income required by the Thai authorities by transferring the minimum funds needed into a Thai bank account.

That seems to me to be poorly worded and confusing. What, exactly, does that mean? Does it mean UK citizens must now meet the 800,000 baht requirement or does it mean that UK citizens can place at least the 65,000 baht per month minimum into a Thai bank account, do so every month, and somehow prove to Immigration's satisfaction they will be able to transfer at least the minimum every month for the duration of the visa?

The 800,000 baht requirement is fine if you've got it and can afford to let it sit untouched in a Thai bank account for at least 3 months. But what if you don't have it or can't afford to let that amount of money sit there for 3 months, but you do have the minimum monthly income of 65,000 baht coming in?

What does the UK government have against their expats? It seems like every time I turn around they keep making it more and more difficult for their citizens to even be expats.
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#3 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby fountainhall » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:57 pm

Gaybutton wrote:What does the UK government have against their expats? It seems like every time I turn around they keep making it more and more difficult for their citizens to even be expats

I agree. That notice is totally misleading. Placing Bt. 65,000 in an account is surely not proof of being able to do so over the following 11 months.

As to the UK government, it has been reducing its services to expats over the last few years. It used to be possible to get passports renewed here. That took about a week. Then around 2012 we were told that all Thailand expat renewals would have to be done at the Hong Kong consulate. Just as I was preparing to send all the paperwork to Hong Kong, there was another announcement that Hong Kong would no longer process applications. Henceforth, all renewals had to be processed at an office in Liverpool in the UK. The fee was increased with sufficient added for the new passport to be sent to Thailand by courier!

The bright spark who thought this up forgot that those living in Thailand have to carry passports at all times. Suddenly the rules changed again. When I renewed in 2013, I had to photocopy all the pages in my old passport - every one - and send that bundle to the UK. Because UK citizens also had to get passports issued at the same office, there was a logjam with some people having to wait 6 months to get one issued. Many people missed their holidays as a result.

For Thai expats they once again changed the system and in 2014 established a passport centre in Bangkok but the renewals still have to come from the UK. I am just grateful that I should be able to put off the next renewal for another 3 or 4 years.

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#4 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:58 pm

fountainhall wrote:I am just grateful that I should be able to put off the next renewal for another 3 or 4 years.

Based on the way things have been handled, maybe you better start that process now.

Who in the UK comes up with these changes and more importantly, why?


fountainhall wrote:The bright spark who thought this up forgot that those living in Thailand have to carry passports at all times.

I don't quite understand what you mean. Why would you not have had your current passport while waiting for the new one to arrive?

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#5 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby fountainhall » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:20 pm

Gaybutton wrote:I don't quite understand what you mean. Why would you not have had your current passport while waiting for the new one to arrive?

When passports were issued in Bangkok and then Hong Kong, they provided you with a paper notifying the police that they, the Consulate, had your passport for renewal purposes. We were not allowed to hold on to old passports. Lord knows why not!

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#6 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:03 am

fountainhall wrote:We were not allowed to hold on to old passports. Lord knows why not!

What are you supposed to do when passports are required, such as checking into hotels, conducting bank transactions, exchanging money at exchange booths, getting on an airplane - especially if you're traveling internationally, 90-day address reports, etc?

Along with that, you mentioned that sometimes there are prolonged waits, possibly months, before your new passport arrives. Sheeeesh! You can't even board a plane to return home to the UK.

It seems to me that somebody in the UK is intentionally and needlessly doing everything they can come up with to make life miserable for expats. Even though I'm American, I'm curious about who - and why.

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#7 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby fountainhall » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:49 am

The piece of paper was sufficient to check into hotels and do most other things in Thailand where a passport would normally be required. The one thing it would not let you do was travel. So when travelling you had to go to the Consulate here for some sort of temporary document. I suspect the 90-day reporting was also difficult and I have no idea how that was handled. My passport was renewed after they had done away with that stupid piece of paper and I have never done a 90-day report because I have always travelled outside Thailand at least once in every 90 days.

After they instituted the business of photocopying everything, we retained passports till the new one arrived. So that problem was solved.

The logjam in Liverpool resulted largely when they ceased issuing any passports at all overseas Consulates and attempted to have all passports issued at just one office in the UK. But it was never geared up to handle the volume. Overseas applicants did get priority. It was the poor Brits at home who sometimes had to wait up to 6 months. After angry questions in parliament, the government took steps to alleviate the problem. What those steps were, I don't know.

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#8 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:40 am

fountainhall wrote:when travelling you had to go to the Consulate here for some sort of temporary document.

The question now is for those UK citizens who had been relying on the income certification letter - people who can meet Thailand's 65,000 baht minimum monthly income requirement - but do not have 800,000 baht to keep in a Thai bank account, what are they going to do?

As far as I know, the UK embassy never had programs such as the USA's Outreach. If you wanted the letter you had to go to the embassy to get it. Now the embassy is going to stop providing the letter. I don't understand why. All these years the embassy had been providing the letter without any serious problems. Now, all of a sudden, providing the letter is a big problem - too much of a problem - and the embassy is going to stop providing it.

WHY? What's the hard part about providing the letter? It's not making any sense to me.

I'm waiting for a UK citizen to go to immigration and find out for us how it will be handled once the embassy stops providing the letter. It is difficult to believe that people will actually be evicted from Thailand on that basis, especially since it is no fault of their own.

I'm also curious about how new applicants for the retirement visa will be handled.

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#9 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby Up2u » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:31 pm

"The British Embassy Bangkok is stopping the certification of income letters because it is unable to fulfill the Thai authorities’ requirements to verify the income of British Nationals."... why don't the Brits adopt a system like the Americans (and other countries too), that is using a sworn affidavit. Has Thai Immigration changed policy or is the British Embassy looking for a scapegoat for not providing a service for their expats?

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#10 Re: British Embassy Bangkok to stop Certification of Income Letters

Postby fountainhall » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:30 pm

My gut feel is that the Brits are trying to implement more cutbacks to reduce staff time.

There is an equally pertinent issue that no-one has yet seemed to raise. The amounts required under the monthly and annual payment route have remained the same for quite a number of years. Inflation during that time has picked up. It would not have been unreasonable to see the amounts increased. Yet there has been no increase. I have no idea if an increase is in the works, but it would not surprise me. With the new drive to push more people towards the Thai Elite programme with its higher annual fees, could there be some effect on the existing retirement visa regulations? Merely a thought!


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