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My Girlfriend Stateless.


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Hi all,

 

My girlfriend is having troubles getting her ID in Thailand. She is from Myanmar and has no ID or passport. All she had was a photo copy of some type of work permit when she first come here about 10 years ago. Nearly 3 years ago I helped her get her Non Thai pink ID through an agent. They are no longer issued and are being replaced by a CI (certificate of identity). Her "work permit" part of pink ID (back) has expired and she was told by her consulate here in Chiang Mai to go back to Myanmar because if she was caught she could and  probably would be deported. At this time she was told the CIs are not been issued and will start again at a later date. We have been to a number of places trying to get something to make her legal. We were at her consulate the other week and they wanted some document from Myanmar to say she was from there, but she has nothing. She really needs to go home and get something but is hesitant as she is from a hill tribe and not very wordy and usually stuffs things up when she goes to do things alone. I have seen where you can get a Thai ID if you have lived in Thailand 10 years or more but again she has no proof of that.

 

Anyone had any experience with this type of situation. Any type of valid information will be greatly appreciated.

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The first thing that you should do is to clarify if it's possible for her to get a Burmese passport:

- If she can get a passport, she isn't stateless, she just doesn't have a passport. In this case she should sneak back to Myanmar without getting arrested and sent to IDC, get a passport and then a visa for Thailand.

- If she can't get a passport in Myanmar, then she is stateless. Stateless people in Thailand have nearly no rights, and i think currently there is not much she can do about it, maybe in the future this will change: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_nationality_law#Statelessness

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23 minutes ago, allane said:

From what the OP has said, I think my idea is not going to work, but I offer it here, in case I am wrong.

if she is ruled to be eligible for a Burmese passport, that likely can be issued at their consulate in Chiang Mai or Embassy in Bangkok. The problem is that she has nothing to prove she is Burmese.

Might the Embassy accept her pink Thai ID card as evidence that she is not Thai (and hence, Burmese), if she can corroborate that in some other way) ? Does she know any Burmese citizen, legally in Thailand, who knows her well enough to sign an affadavit as to who she is, and where in Burma she comes from ?

Possibly a Burmese language test, written and spoken ?

Unfortunately the consulate want documents to prove she is from Myanmar, which she doesn't have. She sowed them her pink ID and motor bike license but no good. She does not know anyone and I have emailed a few groups of people supposedly there to help Myanmar people but they don't reply and she can not read or write.

 

I did read a story on Stickman by a British guy in a similar situation and it took a fair bit for his girlfriend to do. Unfortunately my gf does not have the patience, understanding or ability to do alone. We have used agents before but she usually just gets ripped off. Recently she was given a name of some \one in Wiang Haeng that could get her ID at a cost of 47,000 baht. We went there and spent 4 days but just got stuffed around. Fortunately we did not pay then any money.

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58 minutes ago, jackdd said:

The first thing that you should do is to clarify if it's possible for her to get a Burmese passport:

- If she can get a passport, she isn't stateless, she just doesn't have a passport. In this case she should sneak back to Myanmar without getting arrested and sent to IDC, get a passport and then a visa for Thailand.

- If she can't get a passport in Myanmar, then she is stateless. Stateless people in Thailand have nearly no rights, and i think currently there is not much she can do about it, maybe in the future this will change: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_nationality_law#Statelessness

Thats what we have been trying to find out but keep going around in circles. We go somewhere and talk to her in Thai and I can not understand then she can't relay that information back to me as she forgets very fast or doesn't understand.

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So it seems to be uncertain if she can get Burmese citizenship.

In this case i would recommend that you ask her what her preferred outcome is and then try to go down this path, to me it sounds like you tried a mix of both:

1) Being recognized as Burmese

2) Being recognized as stateless in Thailand

If it were me i would go for 1), because 2) doesn't really help with anything

 

If she decides for 1) then you have to do research in Myanmar. First you have to figure out where she was born / lived in Myanmar

Was her birth registered anywhere? Many years ago on a mountain probably not, but who knows.

Did she ever do anything official in Myanmar which might have left official documents anywhere?

Are her parents still alive? Do they have any documents to prove that they are Burmese?

These are just the first things that came into my mind, probably many other things to check.

All this is of course very difficult if she can not legally cross the border and can't read / write the language. If she grew up on a mountain she might not even speak burmese properly, so when she talks with people in the city they might not really be willing to help this "foreigner"

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34 minutes ago, jackdd said:

So it seems to be uncertain if she can get Burmese citizenship.

In this case i would recommend that you ask her what her preferred outcome is and then try to go down this path, to me it sounds like you tried a mix of both:

1) Being recognized as Burmese

2) Being recognized as stateless in Thailand

If it were me i would go for 1), because 2) doesn't really help with anything

 

If she decides for 1) then you have to do research in Myanmar. First you have to figure out where she was born / lived in Myanmar

Was her birth registered anywhere? Many years ago on a mountain probably not, but who knows.

Did she ever do anything official in Myanmar which might have left official documents anywhere?

Are her parents still alive? Do they have any documents to prove that they are Burmese?

These are just the first things that came into my mind, probably many other things to check.

All this is of course very difficult if she can not legally cross the border and can't read / write the language. If she grew up on a mountain she might not even speak burmese properly, so when she talks with people in the city they might not really be willing to help this "foreigner"

She can speak and understand Thai better than she can Burmese. Her father is still alive and lives in a village not far from the army border crossing near Doi Angkan. Don't know her village name. On further "interrogation" apparently she wasn't even born in Burma and doesn't know where she came from. She did go back to her Burma home a few years back with my assistance but nothing happened. I thought it may have just been a money grab, and probably was, but now things are tightening and it is getting difficult and scary for her. I have been trying to get her to go home again and try to get what info/documents she can but she is scared to do so for a number of reasons, and I am sure some of which I don't know. I am really getting lost as to what to do.

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"Nearly 3 years ago I helped her get her Non Thai pink ID through an agent. They are no longer issued and are being replaced by a CI (certificate of identity). Her "work permit" part of pink ID (back) has expired and she was told by her consulate here in Chiang Mai to go back to Myanmar because if she was caught she could and  probably would be deported."

 

Deported for working illegally?

 

Deported for anything else?

 

 

 

 

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This is not meant to be negative. Her background seems very unclear. Is it possible that she is Rohingya. If that was case her situation would be even more difficult. Given that they have very limited rights with Myanmar. Im not sure, but I don't think they can even obtain pp. 

Certainly sounds like she is between rock and hard place. Perhaps might explain why so few replies to the OP. The "stateless" option I can't imagine would count for much in Thailand. 

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1 minute ago, Enoon said:

 

"Nearly 3 years ago I helped her get her Non Thai pink ID through an agent. They are no longer issued and are being replaced by a CI (certificate of identity). Her "work permit" part of pink ID (back) has expired and she was told by her consulate here in Chiang Mai to go back to Myanmar because if she was caught she could and  probably would be deported."

 

Deported for working illegally?

 

Deported for anything else?

 

 

 

 

She has not worked for 4 years as I have been looking after her but her consulate told her she could be deported for no valid ID.

 

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2 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

This is not meant to be negative. Her background seems very unclear. Is it possible that she is Rohingya. If that was case her situation would be even more difficult. Given that they have very limited rights with Myanmar. Im not sure, but I don't think they can even obtain pp. 

Certainly sounds like she is between rock and hard place. Perhaps might explain why so few replies to the OP. The "stateless" option I can't imagine would count for much in Thailand. 

She could be anything. Maybe I used the term stateless incorrectly but just meaning she has no true ID. Well she has the pink ID but because on it says she is from Myanmar and thats now invalid.

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2 minutes ago, Dazinoz said:

She has not worked for 4 years as I have been looking after her but her consulate told her she could be deported for no valid ID.

 

 

And the only documentation that would allow her to get a new one has to be obtained in Burma?

 

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1 minute ago, Enoon said:

 

And the only documentation that would allow her to get a new one has to be obtained in Burma?

 

I don't know and that why I am asking on here for people with experience in this. We just keep going around in circles.

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2 minutes ago, Dazinoz said:

I don't know and that why I am asking on here for people with experience in this. We just keep going around in circles.

 

You need to accompany her back to her "Burma home" and find her origins.

 

Start from there.

 

Maybe a little "creativity" required to get her over the border.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Enoon said:

 

You need to accompany her back to her "Burma home" and find her origins.

 

Start from there.

 

Maybe a little "creativity" required to get her over the border.

 

 

I did accompany her to the Thai/Burma army crossing but was told I can't cross. Honestly if we crossed at Techalek, which is probably the closest I don't know if she could find our way to the village.

 

Obviously my concern is getting myself into trouble as well as getting her ID. She once told me it would not be safe for me (farang) going to her village.

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That pink ID card that "says she is from Myanmar" might be worth something at her Embassy. Did she have to show a passport/ID card to get it ? If whatever she showed was good enough for the Thai govt., it should be good enough for the govt. that issued it.

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43 minutes ago, Dazinoz said:

On further "interrogation" apparently she wasn't even born in Burma and doesn't know where she came from.

Does the father know where he did come from? Is he Burmese citizen (has some form of identity document) or is he stateless?

 

21 minutes ago, Dazinoz said:

She has not worked for 4 years as I have been looking after her but her consulate told her she could be deported for no valid ID. 

If she is stateless she can't be deported, where should they deport her to? Myanmar wouldn't accept a random person who is deported to them.

 

10 minutes ago, Enoon said:

Maybe a little "creativity" required to get her over the border. 

And before crossing any border i would confirm that she is really from Burma, maybe that's just what she thinks.

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3 minutes ago, allane said:

That pink ID card that "says she is from Myanmar" might be worth something at her Embassy. Did she have to show a passport/ID card to get it ? If whatever she showed was good enough for the Thai govt., it should be good enough for the govt. that issued it.

She showed the consulate in Chiang Mai, not interested. All she had to get that was a photo copy of an old Thai work permit she had when things were easy to do. Not easy now.

 

She claims she had a passport before but I don't believe she did as she often uses the wrong terminology for things. Visas, work permits, IDs are all "passports" to her.

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4 minutes ago, ocddave said:

Your situation is so complicated, I'm not sure I would do anything but find a Thai Immigration Lawyer and start getting some real answers that make sense.

The answers have to come from his GF or her father, a lawyer can't figure it out on his own. So i think this would just be a waste of money

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Concerns about crossing the border acknowledged. To establish her village location:

1: get her a cheap Android phone.

2: connect with her on LINE.

3: show her how to drop and share a pin on Google maps (means zoom in and drop a pin at your current location). This is one long press to drop a pin and two clicks to share, anyone can do it.

4. send her across the border she knows to her village.

5. she shares her location pin to you on Line.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Dazinoz said:

She showed the consulate in Chiang Mai, not interested. All she had to get that was a photo copy of an old Thai work permit she had when things were easy to do. Not easy now.

 

She claims she had a passport before but I don't believe she did as she often uses the wrong terminology for things. Visas, work permits, IDs are all "passports" to her.

Many hill tribe people have relatives on both side of the border. If your girl friend can find village in Thai side belongs to the same hill tribes as she is from, she can convince the village headman to add her to house registration in exchange for some money and apply pink ID for hill tribes. Person holding pink ID for hill tribe can apply for Thai citizenship after ten years. This is how many hill tribe folks at the border are holding dual citizen ship in both Myanmar and Thailand.

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2 minutes ago, NotYourBusiness said:

Concerns about crossing the border acknowledged. To establish her village location:

1: get her a cheap Android phone.

2: connect with her on LINE.

3: show her how to drop and share a pin on Google maps (means zoom in and drop a pin at your current location). This is one long press to drop a pin and two clicks to share, anyone can do it.

4. send her across the border she knows to her village.

5. she shares her location pin to you on Line.

 

 

She already has iPhone, has Line but last time she went to her village no phone signal. Had to go 20 km to a village that did to message me. But I guess that would still help and maybe there is signal in her village now. 

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Does she know somebody that speaks Thai and Burmese from Myanmar that enter at the crossing you mentioned and have them find her father to get some info about where she was born the nationality of her mother and etc. It could be her mother was Thai.

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3 minutes ago, sanmyintmaung said:

Many hill tribe people have relatives on both side of the border. If your girl friend can find village in Thai side belongs to the same hill tribes as she is from, she can convince the village headman to add her to house registration in exchange for some money and apply pink ID for hill tribes. Person holding pink ID for hill tribe can apply for Thai citizenship after ten years. This is how many hill tribe folks at the border are holding dual citizen ship in both Myanmar and Thailand.

I really need to convince her to go home again.

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There is a person I know who makes a living as a tour guide and handyman. Works in Chiang Mai and elsewhere. He is stateless. Originally Vietnamese, speaks perfect Thai, fluent English, Chinese and Japanese. AFAIK he gets to stay in Thailand by doing a lot of border crossings, although I don't know how he does that without a passport. PM me, maybe he can give you some advice IF he agrees to do it.

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You really only have two options at this stage.

 

If you suspect she is from Myanmar then all migrants from there need to go back and undertake ‘nationality verification’ where they go back and get their IDs updated and then a passport can be issued for them to return to Thailand. 

 

Without this they they are unable to apply for the non-immigrant LA visas anymore and can’t get sponsored for the work permit that comes with this under the migrant labour scheme. 

 

The local department of labour office usually has the step by step outline of how to do all of this. 

 

If you suspect she is a from a minority hill tribe then the Thai government has been promoting getting everyone Thai ID cards to prove thai citizenship. 

 

You’d be best to approach an NGO like this one to ask for assistance.

 

 

Edited by samran
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2 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

Does she know somebody that speaks Thai and Burmese from Myanmar that enter at the crossing you mentioned and have them find her father to get some info about where she was born the nationality of her mother and etc. It could be her mother was Thai.

She had some phone numbers but she is shocking at keeping any type of records. Change her phone and number and lost all contact including her fathers. He also had her number but she failed to tell him when she changed so he has no way to contact her.

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4 minutes ago, Lacessit said:

There is a person I know who makes a living as a tour guide and handyman. Works in Chiang Mai and elsewhere. He is stateless. Originally Vietnamese, speaks perfect Thai, fluent English, Chinese and Japanese. AFAIK he gets to stay in Thailand by doing a lot of border crossings, although I don't know how he does that without a passport. PM me, maybe he can give you some advice IF he agrees to do it.

PM sent. Thank you.

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