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Permanent Residence. Thai Language Ability?


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I'm considering applying for Permanent Residency in Thailand.

I understand that there is an interview which is carried out in Thai. My Thai language skills are VERY rusty. Is this likely to be a problem?

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I have seen posts stating the language test is only for basic Thai.

Have a look at this ongoing topic about PR.

 

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Questions are basic (at least as of several years ago)- job, family, why you want PR, what donations you make, hobbies, etc. I have a typical list of questions from several years ago and most, if not all questions asked were from this list.

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22 minutes ago, Neeranam said:

If you are married to a thai, you can get citizenship for a fraction of the cost of PR, and you can even get your wife to translate. 

Really?

I thought you you needed PR first before you can apply for citizenship.

 

edit.

I've just checked online. Being married to a Thai woman seems to make the process for citizenship much smoother.

Great information Neeranam. Thanks very much.

Edited by jaiyenyen
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2 hours ago, Bredbury Blue said:

I have decent but BASIC Thai language skills, listening is better than speaking. By that i mean i can get comfortably go round on my own, order things, explain my requirements, understand most of what is said to me, etc. If i listen to the Thai news though, i struggle to follow it as there are many words and expressions i am not familiar with.

 

Everything i had read said the Thai language part wasn't difficult so i thought with a few months Thai language practice before the test i should be good to go, so the the wife and i went to get the forms and ask some questions in November last year at Chaeng Wattana. That was it really, we wanted a set of forms and the wife was going to ask a couple of very simple questions.

 

The lady on the desk though was having none of it. She gave me a right grilling in Thai, when i tried to speak in English she wouldn't permit it. I really struggled with the speed she was talking to me and some of the vocabulary. She basically destroyed me. Honestly, this turned in to being my worst experience with a Thai in all the decades i have been here (and before anybody chips in, yes i know i should be fluent in Thai by now - wish it was that easy though).

 

When my wife tried to assist me by jumping in to the conversation, the lady on the desk was having none of it. She basically reprimanded my wife.

 

To cut a long story short we came out of the Chaeng Watthana Immigration Office feeling like we'd received a right good slap. I decided i would study Thai seriously and we'd go back, my wife decided that no way was she going back. So thank you to the lovely lady on the desk.

 

The outcome was that i will now not bother with trying to get Permanent Residence and will stay on a non-O Support Thai Wife until i pop my clogs!

 

I hope that my BAD experience might be helpful in answering the OP's question "My Thai language skills are VERY rusty. Is this likely to be a problem?".

 

 

 

 

I've received a very different welcome there. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. I would say if the OP treats them with respect and is kind and pleasant to them, they'll do the same in return. Though I've applied a long while back and had it granted years ago, I've still dealt with the same counter as where I applied, and while some faces changed, their attitude didn't.

 

We even took photos together after finishing paperwork, for their job evaluation. And it was honest smiles and thumbs up. To me they were always awesome.

 

So while Thai should be polished up before walking in there (and really, OP, there's only short time to apply in December, usually, so you have plenty of time), and if really worried, get a lawyer to represent you and do most of the talking, while you're preparing for the interview. Interview is conversation. Not Q&A. Like when you get alone in a taxi and the driver starts asking where you're from, what you do, if you're married, etc. If your Thai is at close to 0, start taking cabs with talkative drivers. Switch to communicating in Thai wherever you can, with people around you. You can do it.

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28 minutes ago, tomazbodner said:

I've received a very different welcome there. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. I would say if the OP treats them with respect and is kind and pleasant to them, they'll do the same in return

 

If your comment is meant to imply that my wife and/or I didnot treat the immigration  officer with respect and were not kind and pleasant to her, then that could not be further from the truth.

 

I have been here long enough to know how to deal with thai officials and I would agree with you that, generally, if you keep calm, polite and respectful you will be dealt with similarly, BUT that was NOT how it was at Chaeng Wattana for us - it could have been that we arrived 10 minutes before last ticket so the official was irritated and had had enough for the day or more likely the officer was just having a bad moment and I copped it.

 

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3 minutes ago, Bredbury Blue said:

 

If your comment is meant to imply that my wife and/or I didnot treat the immigration  officer with respect and were not kind and pleasant to her, then that could not be further from the truth.

 

I have been here long enough to know how to deal with thai officials and I would agree with you that, generally, if you keep calm, polite and respectful you will be dealt with similarly, BUT that was NOT how it was at Chaeng Wattana for us - it could have been that we arrived 10 minutes before last ticket so the official was irritated and had had enough for the day or more likely the officer was just having a bad moment and I copped it.

 

I was not implying that. Just saying that your episode should not discourage the OP and he should give it a try anyway. And I think, so should you. Such a small episode of meeting an official on a bad day shouldn't put you off something that could benefit you in the long run. Try again another day, with another officer.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bredbury Blue said:

 

If your comment is meant to imply that my wife and/or I didnot treat the immigration  officer with respect and were not kind and pleasant to her, then that could not be further from the truth.

 

I have been here long enough to know how to deal with thai officials and I would agree with you that, generally, if you keep calm, polite and respectful you will be dealt with similarly, BUT that was NOT how it was at Chaeng Wattana for us - it could have been that we arrived 10 minutes before last ticket so the official was irritated and had had enough for the day or more likely the officer was just having a bad moment and I copped it.

 

When I visited Chaeng about 6 or 7 years ago, the female officials on reception were nasty and did not even know immigration law. When I turned up for something (can't remember what but probably a 90 day report), after the death of my wife, they told me I was in Thailand illegally and that my extension had expired upon the death of my wife. I knew this to be wrong but was shocked all the same. They were really insistent on this point and not at all friendly and showed absolutely no compassion at all.  BTW I am fluent in Thai so language was not an issue.   

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5 hours ago, Bredbury Blue said:

I have decent but BASIC Thai language skills, listening is better than speaking. By that i mean i can get comfortably go round on my own, order things, explain my requirements, understand most of what is said to me, etc. If i listen to the Thai news though, i struggle to follow it as there are many words and expressions i am not familiar with.

 

Everything i had read said the Thai language part wasn't difficult so i thought with a few months Thai language practice before the test i should be good to go, so the the wife and i went to get the forms and ask some questions in November last year at Chaeng Wattana. That was it really, we wanted a set of forms and the wife was going to ask a couple of very simple questions.

 

The lady on the desk though was having none of it. She gave me a right grilling in Thai, when i tried to speak in English she wouldn't permit it. I really struggled with the speed she was talking to me and some of the vocabulary. She basically destroyed me. Honestly, this turned in to being my worst experience with a Thai in all the decades i have been here (and before anybody chips in, yes i know i should be fluent in Thai by now - wish it was that easy though).

 

When my wife tried to assist me by jumping in to the conversation, the lady on the desk was having none of it. She basically reprimanded my wife.

 

To cut a long story short we came out of the Chaeng Watthana Immigration Office feeling like we'd received a right good slap. I decided i would study Thai seriously and we'd go back, my wife decided that no way was she going back. So thank you to the lovely lady on the desk.

 

The outcome was that i will now not bother with trying to get Permanent Residence and will stay on a non-O Support Thai Wife until i pop my clogs!

 

I hope that my BAD experience might be helpful in answering the OP's question "My Thai language skills are VERY rusty. Is this likely to be a problem?".

 

 

 

 

 

The immigration officers (all female in my experience) at CW can be very sharp and condescending. Maybe, this is one time that a far flung immigration office MAY be more amenable and relaxed (if that is an option). Alternatively try to raise your game and learn Thai to a higher standard. 

 

 

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On ‎4‎/‎6‎/‎2021 at 7:26 AM, rimmae2 said:

Questions are basic (at least as of several years ago)- job, family, why you want PR, what donations you make, hobbies, etc. I have a typical list of questions from several years ago and most, if not all questions asked were from this list.

Very nice you have a list, would be helpful if you shared it.

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16 hours ago, MRtommyR said:

I was also warned about not sitting politely or not speaking to the panel with sufficient deference.

Warned by whom?

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On 4/6/2021 at 7:26 AM, rimmae2 said:

Questions are basic (at least as of several years ago)- job, family, why you want PR, what donations you make, hobbies, etc. I have a typical list of questions from several years ago and most, if not all questions asked were from this list.

 

I have changed the most important criteria to bold text.

Edited by VocalNeal
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16 hours ago, GarryP said:

I never went for PR. I thought it far too expensive for what you got from it. I applied for citizenship based on marriage to a Thai. I found the citizenship interviews were overall friendly

The MOI were extremely friendly with me, as were the NIA and Special Branch  police.

I  had nothing but bad experiences with immigration over 25+ years.

Likewise, I thought the price and hassle of PR not worth it compared to Citizenship, which cost only 5,000 baht. 

I understand some married guys don't want citizenship if their original county doesn't allow dual citizenship. 

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I did it about 2 years ago.   My Thai is a long way from fluent but the questioning is basic.  You're not expected to discuss difficult topics. 

 

As a previous poster stated they have a set list of questions they start from.  How long have you been in Thailand?  What's your job? What's your favorite Thai food?  What's your favorite thing about Thai culture?   What's your favorite place in Thailand?  What's your favorite Thai holiday?  What have you done to help Thailand?

 

Its set up that they do lots of people in a day, one after the other, so you're in and out in 10 minutes.  

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I did my interview early 2020 (March i think) there were 5 in the room in the interview and they asked 4-5 questions and filmed it. All very cordial and far better than expected. One of the interviews had extremely rudimentary Thai and he passed to.

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23 hours ago, Bredbury Blue said:

The lady on the desk though was having none of it. She gave me a right grilling in Thai, when i tried to speak in English she wouldn't permit it. I

Kind of a typical experience with a 'government officer'. They wear their important uniform on a 20k a month salary for life. She probably didnt like the look of you or your wife. 

 

Dont give up. Go to language school for 1 yr and go back and apply. Leave your wife at home. You might get a friendlier 'officer' next time. 

 

I have also been treated quite badly by different govt officers here in my time. Not immigration. There are some real odd balls working in the govt departments. 5 yrs ago my wife had to visit a dept to renew her license for work. The receptionist told her to visit the office down the hall on the left. My wife knocked and wolked in. An old bag behind the desk yelled at her to get out. My wife returned to the receptionist. She said 'oh sorry about her....'  

 

The govt could save a lot of money by sacking 1/3 of the public service officers...

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On 4/6/2021 at 2:26 PM, Bredbury Blue said:

The lady on the desk though was having none of it. She gave me a right grilling in Thai, when i tried to speak in English she wouldn't permit it. I really struggled with the speed she was talking to me and some of the vocabulary. She basically destroyed me. Honestly, this turned in to being my worst experience with a Thai in all the decades i have been here (and before anybody chips in, yes i know i should be fluent in Thai by now - wish it was that easy though).

I’m considering PR and spoke to half a dozen people who went last year, including one who’s been here for the best part of 20 years and speaks excellent Thai and is in every way qualified.
 

He too mentioned the person he called ‘dragon lady’ who treated him quite badly. He gave up and has applied for citizenship instead. Unfortunately I don’t have the option as I’m not married to a Thai so am worried about having to run this particular gauntlet.

 

There is a fellow who runs a good website on all of this about getting Thai citizenship and PR. His Facebook page mentioned that last year that they were insisting on quite good Thai skills for PR application. Unfortunately too, one people I know also said her and her colleagues were asked for payments under the table cause they used an agent. 
 

If I had the option I’d skip all this and go for citizenship which seems to be quite civilized compared with the PR stories I heard. 

Edited by kiwiaussie
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2 hours ago, kiwiaussie said:

 Unfortunately too, one people I know also said her and her colleagues were asked for payments under the table cause they used an agent. 

Maybe or probably arranged by the agent to benefit him/her, who did not want to be named or associated in any way. Why use an agent if one is of a Nationality, which has less than 100 applicants?

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On 4/6/2021 at 12:26 AM, Bredbury Blue said:

I have decent but BASIC Thai language skills, listening is better than speaking. By that i mean i can get comfortably go round on my own, order things, explain my requirements, understand most of what is said to me, etc. If i listen to the Thai news though, i struggle to follow it as there are many words and expressions i am not familiar with.

 

Everything i had read said the Thai language part wasn't difficult so i thought with a few months Thai language practice before the test i should be good to go, so the the wife and i went to get the forms and ask some questions in November last year at Chaeng Wattana. That was it really, we wanted a set of forms and the wife was going to ask a couple of very simple questions.

 

The lady on the desk though was having none of it. She gave me a right grilling in Thai, when i tried to speak in English she wouldn't permit it. I really struggled with the speed she was talking to me and some of the vocabulary. She basically destroyed me. Honestly, this turned in to being my worst experience with a Thai in all the decades i have been here (and before anybody chips in, yes i know i should be fluent in Thai by now - wish it was that easy though).

 

When my wife tried to assist me by jumping in to the conversation, the lady on the desk was having none of it. She basically reprimanded my wife.

 

To cut a long story short we came out of the Chaeng Watthana Immigration Office feeling like we'd received a right good slap. I decided i would study Thai seriously and we'd go back, my wife decided that no way was she going back. So thank you to the lovely lady on the desk.

 

The outcome was that i will now not bother with trying to get Permanent Residence and will stay on a non-O Support Thai Wife until i pop my clogs!

 

I hope that my BAD experience might be helpful in answering the OP's question "My Thai language skills are VERY rusty. Is this likely to be a problem?".

 

 

 

 

Same lady (there are two, she is at the second desk) and the exact same same experience, a horrible attitude.  I would not recommend a pre-visit its demoralizing.

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On 4/6/2021 at 4:18 PM, Neeranam said:

If you are married to a thai, you can get citizenship for a fraction of the cost of PR, and you can even get your wife to translate. 

 

How is this possible? First time ever I hear of this. Please share specifics. Very interested indeed.

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2 minutes ago, LazySlipper said:

 

How is this possible? First time ever I hear of this. Please share specifics. Very interested indeed.

It has been allowed since 2008 when they amended the nationality act.

Info can be found here. 

Guidelines and documents required for application for Thai citizenship by naturalization77.51 kB · 283 downloads  

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