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UK govt petitioned to reinstate proof of income letters for British expats in Thailand


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UK govt petitioned to reinstate proof of income letters for British expats in Thailand

 

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A petition has been started that aims to persuade the UK government to abandon plans to stop issuing proof of income letters to pensioners and other applicants. 

 

The move was announced by poster "richiejom" on Thaivisa who said that the petition received 12 signatures in its first hour. 

Other posters in the thread called for people to sign up. 

 

Some British people in Thailand feel that their consular services are being degraded and they feel abandoned. 

 

This comes despite claims made last year by the British ambassador who promised "top notch consular services". 

 

The petition states:

 

Reinstate Pension/Income Letters at Bangkok British Embassy
 
As of the 12th of December 2018 British Citizens can no longer request a proof of income letter required to obtain a Retirement or Extension based on Marriage visa in Thailand
Other Countries (sic) Embassy's have an option to sign an affidavit that your income is true.   
 
The British Embassy has stated that this is because the Thai Immigration require proof that they cannot provide yet the current income letter already covers the embassy legally.  
 
The British Embassy has left us to resolve this with Thai immigration


The Thai immigration has not made any announcement and still requests the letter. Failing this Retired or Married Brits may be forced to transfer between £9-18,000 to a Thai bank as proof.


Earlier in the week in one of the most closely followed issues on Thaivisa this year, the embassy said they were not verification experts and expats and retirees should in future arrange to have funds in Thai banks to satisfy visa requirements. 

 

The last applications for income letters would be taken in December. This followed a meeting between the British embassy and Thai immigration in May in which the embassy said that the Thais expected the embassy to verify all sources of income.

 

Some British people have said that the embassy is well within their rights to stop the service under the circumstances but other Brits feel they have been abandoned. 

 

Thaivisa contacted the embassy to say that many Thaivisa members have expressed concern at what they see as the eroding of consular services provided to British nationals.

 

Thaivisa sought a statement on the above concerns from the consular section or perhaps the ambassador himself. 

 

The embassy replied as follows: 

 

"We do not have a statement at the moment. If your members have any questions or concerns regarding the consular services, they can send e-mail to [email protected]. Our consular team will take action on this".

 

In September 2017 in an interview in "Expat Life in Thailand" published on Thaivisa the British ambassador Brian Davidson, 54, who took up the post in June 2016 said that the mission of the embassy could be summed up in three aims.

 

These were promoting a free and open society in Thailand, building stronger partnerships for mutual prosperity and, thirdly, "providing top notch consular and embassy services to all who avail of them". 

 

When contacted yesterday over claims made by the British embassy that the US authorities were also to follow suit in stopping the issuing of income letters the embassy advised Thaivisa to contact the US Embassy press office.

 

As of press time Thaivisa has yet to receive a reply from that office.

 

The above mentioned petition  can be accessed at: 
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/230120/sponsors/new?token=DK30K4e4lQKtLa3JO0h8 

 

 
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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2018-10-12
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20 minutes ago, webfact said:

The embassy replied as follows: 

 

"We do not have a statement at the moment.

No great surprise there. Do very little and comment about the shrinking services even less.

In the meanwhile expats can apparently sink or swim on their own.

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My thoughts are that the Embassies should provide them, but only to those who can provide actual proof of their income.  I can't speak for any Brits, but I know a couple of Americans who get the Income Verification from the U.S. Consulate here in Chiang Mai, who do not meet the financial requirements. And this is what Immigration wants to eliminate. If you're legal, no problem.  If you're not, your out of here, as it should be. 

 

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It is about time that you Brits got off your ass and did something; your outrage has been palpable but your actions nil.

 

I would also organize an direct e-mail to your respective members of Parliament; it isn't hard to find their addresses in these modern days. I know for a fact that every letter sent to an MP is logged and (usually) responded to; your taxes pay for them, give them a kick!

 

If you are not happy, and there are several thousand of you (?), then a campaign via the Web is useful and doable. Put up or shut up.

 

Give' em hell, Brits

 

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Just now, Samui Bodoh said:

It is about time that you Brits got off your ass and did something; your outrage has been palpable but your actions nil.

 

I would also organize an direct e-mail to your respective members of Parliament; it isn't hard to find their addresses in these modern days. I know for a fact that every letter sent to an MP is logged and (usually) responded to; your taxes pay for them, give them a kick!

 

If you are not happy, and there are several thousand of you (?), then a campaign via the Web is useful and doable. Put up or shut up.

 

Give' em hell, Brits

 

Having lived here 12 years, I don't have a member of parliament to email!

 

But I agree with the gist of your post.  We need to inundate the british embassy and Jeremy Hunt (head of FO) with emails and letters questioning their unilateral decision to stop providing the letters REQUIRED by Thai Immigration.

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Wait till the Thai government charges UK government aiding and abetting fraud. International incident. Farang

retiirees go to jail then deported. It could get nasty.

 

It's all about pushing foreigners out. Less moaners when a Hun Sen style government is established her in months to come

 

All the whingers don't care about intl diplomacy or integrity of the embassy. If they can't get THAT paper, they're done here so it's balls to walls boys...

 

Embassy aint gonna backtrack lol. You bet in true British fashion this has been well thought out and weighed accordingly

 

Wake up it's all about fraudsters so all of you quit acting like Snow White

 

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A couple of questions.  Does anyone know how many foreigners in Thailand are here on a retirement visa?

 

How many British are here on a retirement visa?

 

How many British use the income letter for their retirement visa?

 

Are any of these numbers big enough to generate a response from the British Embassy or Thai Immigration?  If the numbers are too small do they even care?

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25 minutes ago, ozmeldo said:

Wait till the Thai government charges UK government aiding and abetting fraud. International incident. Farang

retiirees go to jail then deported. It could get nasty.

 

It's all about pushing foreigners out. Less moaners when a Hun Sen style government is established her in months to come

 

All the whingers don't care about intl diplomacy or integrity of the embassy. If they can't get THAT paper, they're done here so it's balls to walls boys...

 

Embassy aint gonna backtrack lol. You bet in true British fashion this has been well thought out and weighed accordingly

 

Wake up it's all about fraudsters so all of you quit acting like Snow White

 

The worrying part is that I suspect you believe this load of old tosh 😲!

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It is such a "no brainer".

 

I read somewhere that the average retiree costs the NHS about 7,000 or 8,000 pounds a year in medical costs. And I can believe it based on some of my now deceased parents friends who were in the doctors surgery almost every week with a new complaint.

 

The British government should be bending over backwards to help British retirees stay overseas. Every retiree that is forced back to the UK will add extra stress and cost to the overloaded National Health Service.

 

And furthermore they should be giving all pensioners the State pension increments to encourage them to stay overseas. In fact they should pay pensioners extra to retire overseas. Such short sightedness!!!

 

 

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Forget the petitions. Look at the reasoning behind the decision.

 

Immigration require irrevokable proof that the foreigner does receive the income that is stated on the letter. The British Embassy are not able to provide that proof.

 

It is NOT the Embassies fault.

 

It is quite easy to fabricate a document for submission the the Embassy showing you are in receipt of £xxx, which is not true and it is highly likely this has been done on many occasions, giving rise to Immigration requiring proof rather than just a letter certifying the information given to them.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Just1Voice said:

My thoughts are that the Embassies should provide them, but only to those who can provide actual proof of their income. 

Thanks for the thought, but I see no point in this.

 

If I'm able to prove to the embassy that I have sufficient income, it ought to be just as easy to provide that same proof to Thai immigration.

 

Put simply, I can do it myself and save 52 pounds and I've long wondered why that hasn't always been possible.

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Any expat who lives here based on an Non-Imm OA (Retirement) using the "Income" method has been used to using a stat-dec and immigration has been accepting these alone and not requiring any other details. If the US, UK, Australian, Canadian Consulates are not willing to state that they have verified what is written in the stat-dec then there is no point in obtaining one and Immigration should then allow applicants to provide their own information and they should get out their calculators and exchange rates. I was informed by someone who has just been to Immigration that 3 months' worth of overseas bank statements, overseas income statements, or Thai bank statements should be sufficient, but the staff might rebel at all this extra work. Immigration must clarify things and inform us of what is required, before some of us get turned away simply because the process is unclear. The procedure should be the same for all countries. 

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4 minutes ago, prakhonchai nick said:

Forget the petitions. Look at the reasoning behind the decision.

 

Immigration require irrevokable proof that the foreigner does receive the income that is stated on the letter. The British Embassy are not able to provide that proof.

 

It is NOT the Embassies fault.

 

It is quite easy to fabricate a document for submission the the Embassy showing you are in receipt of £xxx, which is not true and it is highly likely this has been done on many occasions, giving rise to Immigration requiring proof rather than just a letter certifying the information given to them.

 

 

Heavy sigh....

 

It has been pointed out time and time again that all (?) Embassies are in the same position re. verification - but only the brit. embassy has made the decision to stop issuing the REQUIRED proof of income letters.

 

Therefore, it IS the brit. embassies fault that they (alone...) have taken this unilateral decision to leave a number of their citizens here up shit creek!

 

It's quite possibly true that a few have fabricated documents - but I suspect only a tiny minority have done this, as it would be far easier to pay a dodgy agent to 'get round the rules' using the 'money in bank' route.

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1 hour ago, Just1Voice said:

My thoughts are that the Embassies should provide them, but only to those who can provide actual proof of their income.  I can't speak for any Brits, but I know a couple of Americans who get the Income Verification from the U.S. Consulate here in Chiang Mai, who do not meet the financial requirements. And this is what Immigration wants to eliminate. If you're legal, no problem.  If you're not, your out of here, as it should be. 

 

"My thoughts are that the Embassies should provide them, but only to those who can provide actual proof of their income."

 

You've somehow missed the point that the brit. embassy requires documentation to support the applicants 'proof of income' claim.

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22 minutes ago, prakhonchai nick said:

Forget the petitions. Look at the reasoning behind the decision.

 

Immigration require irrevokable proof that the foreigner does receive the income that is stated on the letter. The British Embassy are not able to provide that proof.

 

It is NOT the Embassies fault.

 

It is quite easy to fabricate a document for submission the the Embassy showing you are in receipt of £xxx, which is not true and it is highly likely this has been done on many occasions, giving rise to Immigration requiring proof rather than just a letter certifying the information given to them.

 

 

Absolutely correct and my understanding is the UK state pension is not enough (currently circa 30,000 THB per month) to cover either the 40/65k month requirement set by Thai Immigration.

 

I have a feeling it's the guys under state retirement age ie. 50 something who don't have access to a state funded pension that have caused Thai Immigration to really question how they are being funded and when Thai Immigration asked the Embassy to be their police force the Brits said go to hell.

 

Why should any Embassy get into this mess of verifying documents from multiple sources that could be fraudulent. 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, peter14 said:

Well... those people are part of economy.  Some will leave.  I know already 5 or 6 moving to Cambodia...life is much easier there

And how would you feel if in your home country anyone could simply get on a plane and land in your country and live happily ever after spending a mere 65k a month or better yet 800k in a bank account ?

 

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Oh come on does anyone believe the British embassy is anything but a jolly for civil servants who have performed well in the UK and hence get transfers to nice destinations,enjoy garden partys with cucumber sandwiches,please don't think they are here to work or actually help British citizens.

Of course if you dont perform well in Uk,you can expect to be posted to Dagestan or somewhere,they regard us as more an annoyance than anything else,it's why i always use my Aussie passport.

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6 minutes ago, Luckysilk said:

And how would you feel if in your home country anyone could simply get on a plane and land in your country and live happily ever after spending a mere 65k a month or better yet 800k in a bank account ?

 

Well, in my home country, people walk across the border, get sanctuary status, steal social security numbers, work under the books, receive free medical care, get free educations, can get free welfare if they have a child who then becomes head of household for welfare purposes, and get up to several thousand dollars for the earned income tax credit, which isn't an actual tax credit but an outright cash grant.  And then to cap it all, have politicians demanding they all get an immigration amnesty and permanent residence.  None of this even takes into account the freebies given to people under TPS.  I wonder how many Thai visa overstays have taken advantage of all this?  I bet quite a few have.

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37 minutes ago, Moonlover said:

Thanks for the thought, but I see no point in this.

 

If I'm able to prove to the embassy that I have sufficient income, it ought to be just as easy to provide that same proof to Thai immigration.

 

Put simply, I can do it myself and save 52 pounds and I've long wondered why that hasn't always been possible.

 

Except, historically and up to today, Thai Immigration could care less about any other "proof" you might be able to provide. They ONLY and ALWAYS wanted to see an Embassy Income letter. If you don't have that, at least until now, nothing else mattered.

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I cannot see how this is going to make any difference whatsoever, even if the British Embassy  rescind and agree to issue the letters.

 

The letters as far as it would appear are worthless to the Thai Immigration in the form that they are currently issued.

 

I may be wrong but I interpret this as the Thai government requesting a formal document that CAN BE GUARANTEED to be a correct assessment of an applicants income. Even if the Embassy continues to issue the current letter, they have already stated that they CANNOT GUARANTEE that the information is correct.

 

All Thai immigration need to do is to refuse to accept them as genuine proof of income - This seems to be the way they are pushing. Everyone knows that for years the American and the Australians have been in the enviable position where they are able to receive a visa extension based on a letter from their embassy that bares absolutely no guarantee as yo their true income.

 

Basically, while everyone else has had to comply with the 400 or 800K in a Thai bank, or proof of 40K or 65K per month income, these other countries citizens could just pluck a figure out of the air, with no documents to back it up, and yet their embassy would give them a "Proof of Income" letter, which up until now has been good enough for Thai Immigration.

 

This to me is where the main changes lie. The Immigration are no longer willing to accept letters from the embassies unless they are genuine and guaranteed.

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2 hours ago, Just1Voice said:

My thoughts are that the Embassies should provide them, but only to those who can provide actual proof of their income.  I can't speak for any Brits, but I know a couple of Americans who get the Income Verification from the U.S. Consulate here in Chiang Mai, who do not meet the financial requirements. And this is what Immigration wants to eliminate. If you're legal, no problem.  If you're not, your out of here, as it should be. 

 

Those who purger themselves by lying, face fines and imprisonment by the US, let alone what the Thai Government can do.  I meet the financial threshold and cannot comment about others.

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1 hour ago, rak sa_ngop said:

It is such a "no brainer".

 

I read somewhere that the average retiree costs the NHS about 7,000 or 8,000 pounds a year in medical costs. And I can believe it based on some of my now deceased parents friends who were in the doctors surgery almost every week with a new complaint.

 

The British government should be bending over backwards to help British retirees stay overseas. Every retiree that is forced back to the UK will add extra stress and cost to the overloaded National Health Service.

 

And furthermore they should be giving all pensioners the State pension increments to encourage them to stay overseas. In fact they should pay pensioners extra to retire overseas. Such short sightedness!!!

 

 

Anyone now under sixty wont get their pension till they are over 67. Its all about making us stay not leave so as we spend the money in the UK.. I still believe thst soon to get the UK pension you will have to live in the UK. Its comming.

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21 minutes ago, Chicken George said:

Section 265. Punishment

 

Whoever, forges a document of right or official document, shall be punished with imprisonment of six months to five years and fined of one thousand to ten thousand Baht.

Yes, and that is about as likely to happen as enforcing laws against pirated software, which, if memory serves me, was in vast use at a certain organization a few years ago.  Don't remember seeing anybody brought up on the following:  "Any company found to have used pirated software will be charged with violating Section 69(1) of the Copyright Act and fined between 20,000 and 200,000 baht. Distributors of pirated software will face stiffer penalties of six months to four years in jail, plus fines of between 100,000 and 800,000 baht."


 

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