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Thai citizen moving back to live in Thailand. Anything that needs to be cleared?


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My mum was born in Thailand. She moved to the UK around 30 years ago and has lived here since. Now she wants to go back to live in Thailand permanently. 

 

To do this, is there anything special that needs to be cleared with the Thai government or immigration? Does she need to inform someone or apply for something? Or can she just hop on a plane to Thailand and then just stay there indefinitely?
 

She currently holds a valid Thai passport (and British one too). 

 

Thank you very much. 

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2 minutes ago, NanaSomchai said:

As far as I'm aware, there is nothing that needs to be done; just make sure she enters the Kingdom with her Thai passport and that's literally it!

Thank you.


I hope it is that easy! I know foreigners have to declare their length of stay and can face fines if they overstay. I'm just not sure how or what applies to Thai's who are returning to the country. 
 

Yes we were also discussing this passport situation:-

I thought it would be safer to book her ticket using her Thai passport. But she said it's better to book using her British passport to exit the country, and then she will present her Thai passport when she lands in Bangkok.

We are still trying to figure out what is best in this regard.

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Beats me why anybody wants to move back to Thailand after such long time my Thai wife has been in OZ for about 20 years and will never move back, I migratet to Australia  40 years ago and I would never go back to my home country but it is up to her I guess.

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16 minutes ago, NanaSomchai said:

What I would do is, use a different approach.

 

Based on the few tidbits of information you gave us, I assume that your mother is either near retirement age or already retired, what I would do then is apply for all the retirement benefits/pension she would be entitled to in the UK, get the weekly/monthly payments rolling in, then "drive" to a neighboring country such as France, Belgium or the Netherlands then fly from there to Thailand using her Thai passport.

 

That way the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK is still inclined to think your mother is still living in UK, reaping the (very few) benefits it has to offer while living abroad in Thailand cashing it in using her debit cards anywhere in the Kingdom.

 

With the current openly racist and xenophobic "elected" government in the UK, the last thing you want to do is give Tories any info/intel either about you or your whereabouts, anything that might be used against you to jeopardize either your rights to live/abode/work/study in the UK or anything that can be deemed detrimental to your benefits income.

 

But again that's just me.

 

You need to talk about those things with her above anything else.

 

TL;DR: Don't tell them you have relocated outside of the UK, they don't need to know. The less they know about you, the better.

Hi, I really appreciate this type of info. 

Firstly let me clarify, she lived in UK (in Northern Ireland) for about 15 years and then moved to Ireland for about 20 years. 

She is about 6 or so years off from Irish pension age. 

From what I have looked at, it is possible to receive an Irish pension whilst living abroad. Though my mum says otherwise and has stories from her friends who have not received a pension in similar circumstances. 

In any case, her pension age is a good 6 years away and she is afraid she will die before she even receives pension money. That is why she is adamant about moving to Thailand this year, so she can enjoy life in her home village with her family. 

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1 hour ago, JUNEGLOBE said:

Thank you.


I hope it is that easy! I know foreigners have to declare their length of stay and can face fines if they overstay. I'm just not sure how or what applies to Thai's who are returning to the country. 
 

Yes we were also discussing this passport situation:-

I thought it would be safer to book her ticket using her Thai passport. But she said it's better to book using her British passport to exit the country, and then she will present her Thai passport when she lands in Bangkok.

We are still trying to figure out what is best in this regard.

if she exits using her British passport she will need to have a return ticket within 30 days or a visa to enter Thailand. If she does not the airline can refuse boarding.

 

 

Edited by Chris.B
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2 minutes ago, Chris.B said:

if she exits using her British passport she will need to have a return ticket within 30 days or a visa to enter Thailand.

 

Not if she exits using her British passport in say London Heathrow but then submits her Thai passport to the immigration officer at the Suvarnabhumi airport, as a Thai citizen entering the Kingdom with her Thai passport she is exempt from any form of immigration control therefore there would be no need for either a return ticket or a visa to enter the Kingdom.

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1 hour ago, NanaSomchai said:

You're welcome, that was the intent.

 

Would the pension age be the same in England or Scotland? 6 years is very close to "the finish line", she's almost there technically speaking.

Not sure. Not sure why it matters? She's only worked in Northern Ireland and Ireland, and I think only qualifies for an Irish pension. 

She doesn't have the money to live in England or Scotland if that's what you mean. Sorry not sure how to interpret what you said here. 

 

It is possible or at least it should be possible, but again as I've stated with the current government and it's mindset, I would not be surprised if things change for the worst.

 

Precisely. Your mileage may vary. Honestly with her being so close to retirement age, I wouldn't dare the devil. As the saying goes "Don't fix what isn't broken".

She lives alone in a small, smelly, flooded/damp apartment. This is a large reason why she wants out. She keeps saying what kind of life does she have here, now, with no money coming in, and that she could die before pension age anyway.  

She's said she would give up her pension if she had to. She just wants to go home and can't stick another 6 years living how she living. 

 

1 hour ago, NanaSomchai said:

 

That's where you need to chime in and help her in any ways you can.

I do what I can but ultimately I don't have the kind of money that would effect her decision either way, really. 

 

Honestly, I'd hate to be the one breaking it to you but after nearly 30 years spent away from "home", it is safe to assume that the UK is now the place she should be calling home. I understand the appeal/need/desire to return to the home village to stay with her family but in reality once you've taken off the rose tinted glasses, there are so many drawbacks to living a rural life after a good 30 years, things have changed a lot as well in Thailand (many not for the better) and even in the village everyone has their own life to take care of and carry on.

She's visited her village fairly frequently over the years for 1 or 2 month holidays. She knows what she is getting into. 

I went with her one time. I was surprised her families homes didn't have an oven, or potato peelers, and they kept their toothbrushes in the holes of the brick in the walls. Haha. I enjoyed my time immensely for the one month I was there (mostly due to her side of the family being a good laugh), but yeah I couldn't see myself living there personally. But I wasn't raised in a Thai village either. 

 

Plus after 30 years in the UK, there's a very strong chance a couple of months in, she might feel "home sick" and may want to return to her home... in the UK.

 

There you have it, it feels like a runaway or a quick not-so-well-thought getaway back to Thailand, where she will ultimately be facing other issues once the novelty has wore off. It looks like you need to step in and carry your mother on your shoulders for the next 6 years at the very least. Probably not the answer you were looking for, but it is what it is.

 

There you have it.

 

This entire thread just took a new turn, sure she can relocate to Thailand by all means, she is well within her rights to do so, but she has more to lose in the process than anything to gain from it. What you need to do is seek other venues and see what your options are within Ireland, Scotland, England and the likes until she reaches retirement age and the pension payments start rolling in, based on how much she has worked/contributed to the UK society her pension would most likely afford her a decent retired life in Thailand, let alone in a rural village where rent isn't an issue.

 

Yeah no, the thing is 30 years is a long time, things change, people change, I do not know the extent of your family and the relationship she has with them but I wouldn't trust anyone even from my close family to "help me" with things in my daily life, specially not after being gone for so long. Again I hate to play devil's advocate here but if she's genuinely convinced that extended family relatives are going to help her over a prolonged period of time (until her very end?), she's probably fooling herself off.

She keeps in contact with them frequently and has visited them every few years or so. They seem fairly close knit, and they all live close together. And they all own plots of land in this village apparently. 

She says they all built their own houses and they are going to help her build her own, too. They will also happily let her stay in their homes too. 

I have no idea what typically thai families in villages are like, but these lot do seem fairly close? They all live close by and see eachother everyday. 

 

What I would do between all this COVID-19 stuff, the upcoming political turmoil Thailand might face within the next year due to yet another rigged election and the uncertainty of where our World is headed, the best thing to do is; stay put. Play the clock for the next 6 years, get the retirement paperwork stuff done then retire to Thailand.

 

This is clearly not the right time to do it. But then again that's just me.

Yeah I brought some of this up to her. But fact is she has no money coming in and isn't in a good living situation. That's why she wants out.

She is past the consideration stage at this point. She wants me to book her tickets asap.

 

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1 hour ago, NanaSomchai said:

Not if she exits using her British passport in say London Heathrow but then submits her Thai passport to the immigration officer at the Suvarnabhumi airport, as a Thai citizen entering the Kingdom with her Thai passport she is exempt from any form of immigration control therefore there would be no need for either a return ticket or a visa to enter the Kingdom.

Is one method better than the other for any particular reason? 

We've decided on using her Thai passport all the way there as that seems simplest, but if there arguments are the other method I would be interested in hearing them. 

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6 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

It is easy to do. She uses her UK passport to depart there. She would show her Thai passport to the airline to prove she does not a need a visa to enter Thailand.

Then she only shows her Thai passport when arriving here.

She would apply for a Thailand Pass as Thai a national.


Is there a benefit to using her UK passport at all? 

Why not just use her Thai passport the whole way? This is what we were planning to do so I would love to hear reasons for either way!

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6 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

She needs here UK passport to when leaving the UK to prove she was legally in the UK.

Ah, I didn't realise that. 

In that case then we will book everything under her Thai passport number and her being Thai nationality. But she will carry both passports on her and if anyone at the airport/immigration asks she can always just present both passport. Sound good? 

We were looking at booking Qatar Airways flights tonight and entering your passport number and expiry date was optional, but it did ask for your nationality. 

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3 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

She needs her UK passport to when leaving the UK to prove she was legally in the UK.

Right, but then the UKVI and any subsequent UK/British government offices/branches with access to the UKVI database would know with certainty that she left the UK on that specific date, which then could have negative ramifications on her benefits claims in the future, remember she's only 6 years away from being eligible for retirement pensions.

 

Which is why in this particular case I would strongly advise against leaving proofs/tracks/evidences/trails all over the place that she departed the UK at all.

 

Driving her through Dover, Kent then taking a PMO ferry across the English Channel into Calais, France which from then she is a 3 hours drive away from CDG Paris airport would leave far less tracks of her departure from the UK specially post Brexit as the EU and UK do not share any database unless requested by respective authorities.

 

I'm sorry if I'm sounding all secretive, borderline paranoid but I do not have any trust into our current governments specially post Brexit.

 

She might be seen as a naturalized British citizen, at least for the time being... but with xenophobes like Johnson and Patel at the wheel, well... the future of those having dual citizenship doesn't bode well, but yes, I digress.

 

My two cents.

 

Edit: For what it's worth she can also fly CDG to BKK on Qatar Airways.

 

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Dual citizenship/2 PPs is a very common situation. I have UK & Australian PPs. In Thailand I'm on my UK PP. When I used to frequently fly back to Australia prior to the 2020 lockdowns I'd exit Thailand with my UK PP, use the Australian PP to enter Australia (otherwise I'd need to obtain a visa), use it again to depart Australia, then re-enter Thailand with the UK PP because that has my visa & re-entry stamp. 

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10 hours ago, JUNEGLOBE said:

My mum was born in Thailand. She moved to the UK around 30 years ago and has lived here since.

 

9 hours ago, JUNEGLOBE said:

let me clarify, she lived in UK (in Northern Ireland) for about 15 years and then moved to Ireland for about 20 years. 

Is she in the UK or Ireland?

 

If she was working in the UK and has 10 years or more of NI contributions, she will be able to claim a UK pension (when she reaches that age) which is payable in Thailand.

 

 

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1 hour ago, grain said:

Dual citizenship/2 PPs is a very common situation. I have UK & Australian PPs. In Thailand I'm on my UK PP. When I used to frequently fly back to Australia prior to the 2020 lockdowns I'd exit Thailand with my UK PP, use the Australian PP to enter Australia (otherwise I'd need to obtain a visa), use it again to depart Australia, then re-enter Thailand with the UK PP because that has my visa & re-entry stamp. 

I am very much aware of dual citizenship being a very common situation (as I hold a triple citizenship), my concern is the UK one.

 

46 minutes ago, Eff1n2ret said:

The airline will only be interested in her admissibility to Thailand, and her Thai passport will be fine for the whole trip.

That is 100% correct, factual and accurate. The airline needs to make sure her mother qualifies for a 100% guaranteed entry into the Kingdom of Thailand before embarking the flight otherwise she would have to be sent back to the UK (or back to the point of origin/departure) at the expense of the airline, showing a valid Thai passport will reassure the airline the passenger has pretty much a guaranteed access to Thailand.

 

46 minutes ago, Eff1n2ret said:

The OP should warn her mum to keep her UK passport well out of sight when she arrives at Thai immigration. Some Thai Immigration Officers don't like  the notion of dual nationality and would insist on stamping her UK passport as a visitor.

As I have strongly suggested and advised her above, once entering Thailand, she should queue up at the Thai citizenship line with the other Thais and show her Thai passport and preferably ONLY that one, she will get instant access to the Kingdom, a Thai immigration stamp with the date will be applied to her Thai passport then she's on her way to collect her luggage, no questions will be asked.

 

Again, the less the governments know, the better. The Thai government doesn't need to know she's also a British citizen.

 

Do. Not. Show. Your. British. Passport.

 

23 minutes ago, Captain Monday said:

No airline agent can demand "onward ticket" if she also shows Thai passport.

Correct. Factual. Accurate statement.

 

She is a Thai citizen returning home, as long as; the passport has not been altered in any ways (scratched, watered down, glued, deteriorated in any ways), the passport is valid, the passport RFID embedded chip is readable and the passport bares at least one remaining empty blank page, she's good to go.

 

19 minutes ago, chickenslegs said:

If she was working in the UK and has 10 years or more of NI contributions, she will be able to claim a UK pension (when she reaches that age) which is payable in Thailand.

This. I cannot stress how important this is. Do not shrug this off. She needs to figure out what her pension rights are prior to her departure back to Thailand, even if we're looking at 200£ a month (giving arbitrary numbers again), she needs to look into it above anything else, get the payments rolling in ASAP then only after that, start booking her tickets and arrange her return to the village.

 

Money is number one.

 

Edited by NanaSomchai
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4 minutes ago, NanaSomchai said:

 

 

Correct. Factual. Accurate statement.

 

She is a Thai citizen returning home, as long as; the passport has not been altered in any ways (scratched, watered down, glued, deteriorated in any ways), the passport is valid, the passport RFID embedded chip is readable and the passport bares at least one remaining empty blank page, she's good to go.

 

 

 

I have read for many years a Thai citizen can legally enter Thailand on a expired passport even.

My bestie is US Thai citizen living in America. Under law she must enter and leave US on US passport.

She shows her Thai passport in Thailand on arrival. Dual Nationality very common and not inconsistent with US laws. I don't know anything about UK pensions but if I had a decent lifetime payment on the horizon as the OP subject I would be taking steps some to ensure I get properly enrolled!

 

https://travel.state.gov/

{U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport to travel to or from a country other than the United States is not inconsistent with U.S. law}.  

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8 minutes ago, Captain Monday said:

I have read for many years a Thai citizen can legally enter Thailand on a expired passport even.

What are they (the Thai immigration) going to do to her anyway? She probably "looks" Thai, she most likely speaks Thai fluently and very much likely-so have also a Thai ID card on her. Even with an expired passport she probably could get in regardless. Unless she has criminal records and is wanted for questioning in the Kingdom, they kind of have to let her pass through. The Thai constitution warrants it.

 

8 minutes ago, Captain Monday said:

My bestie is US Thai citizen living in America. Under law she must enter and leave US on US passport.

That is correct the US laws are very specific and pedantic, but then again the law is the law.

 

8 minutes ago, Captain Monday said:

I don't know anything about UK pensions but if I had a decent lifetime payment on the horizon as the OP subject I would be taking steps some to ensure I get properly enrolled!

This. 1000%. Get her enrolled, make sure no documents are missing, every documents are properly accounted for, every forms have been dully signed, copies of whatever statement they require, I would even go as far as waiting for the first monthly payment to arrive in her bank account THEN only afterwards hit the road.

 

Money is number one, besides she WORKED for it, she EARNED it.

 

Edited by NanaSomchai
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11 hours ago, JUNEGLOBE said:

My mum was born in Thailand. She moved to the UK around 30 years ago and has lived here since. Now she wants to go back to live in Thailand permanently. 

Slightly off topic,

Have you got your Thai passport and ID yet?

Easier to do while your mom is still living in the UK/Ireland.

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I wanted to say that perhaps she could visit (if she has travel funds) and see if her family are as welcoming as she hopes. Maybe they think she is wealthy. And leaving UK before she has access to a pension is not very wise. I hope she can see the wisdom in being prudent and unemotional.🌸

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If she is not in a blue book somewhere then she will not be accepted as a Thai citizen as they do not take a Thai passport as proof of Thai citizenship if it was issued before the year 2000 when they first started compiling passport data on to computers.. This happened to a Thai friend of mine who was in the UK for over 50 years. They simply said that the passport could be a forgery and they do not have any records to check back that far.

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10 minutes ago, chockchai12 said:

If she is not in a blue book somewhere then she will not be accepted as a Thai citizen as they do not take a Thai passport as proof of Thai citizenship if it was issued before the year 2000 when they first started compiling passport data on to computers.. This happened to a Thai friend of mine who was in the UK for over 50 years. They simply said that the passport could be a forgery and they do not have any records to check back that far.

If their passport was not valid i can see that being a problem.

I think she is probably in a house book. If the passport has been issued in recent years and is still valid it will be accepted.

She might even have a Thai ID card.

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12 hours ago, JUNEGLOBE said:

We've decided on using her Thai passport all the way there as that seems simplest, but if there arguments are the other method I would be interested in hearing them. 

That I would suggest is your only viable option.

As mentioned leaving the EU on a British passport would invoke the regulations pertaining to a visitor to Thailand, and the same on entry to Thailand.

She would need to have the UK passport when clearing EU immigration as it may be asked for. I assume from what you said she will be traveling from Ireland 

A Thai passport will clear some of the hurdles in respect of TP.

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