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davidge

New Immigration Chief promises crackdown on corruption

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davidge

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30355828

 

New Immigration head clamps down on visa ‘tips’

nationalOctober 04, 2018 18:56

By ThaiVisa 

 

The new head of Thai immigration, Maj-General Surachate Hakpal – known as “Big Joke” in the media – has begun implementing his tough anti-corruption message at immigration.

The signage going up nationwide is clear and unequivocal: No Tips. 

 By this he means no more back-handers to corrupt immigration officials or the agents who collect the tea money from tourists and either pass it on or keep it for themselves.

 Pictures posted on the Immigration Facebook page showed a permanent sign at an airport that said: No Tips please. The message was also in a graphic with Royal Thai Police insignia behind and “The Immigration Bureau” at the bottom. 

 It was also in Thai and Chinese. 

Another stuck on a window at an immigration office clearly stated in English that visa fees were just Bt2,000 – no more.

At Sadao on the Thailand-Malaysia border, a printed sign on a counter said “No Tip” while an accompanying sign said “No other fees charged in passing this border”.

Surachate started his job as immigration commissioner on Monday after his move from deputy chief of the Thai Tourist Police Bureau where he was involved in many highly publicised crime busts. 

One of his first statements as he moved to his Immigration desk was to announce an end to the practice of border officials taking bribes of Bt300. 

 Local media was saying that the practice had become the norm, with agents charging tourists Bt2,300 for their visas. 

 It was reported that sometimes the fees were kept by the agents themselves but other times they were passed on. 

Thus, even honest officials felt they were being tarred with the brush of being corrupt.

Surachate also vowed to go after all agents and their customers nationwide involved in procuring visa extensions with fake documents. 

He was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday over the arrest of Yupin Jantakhat, 55, who was acting as a visa extension agent. She has been charged with falsifying tax documents for the purpose of seeking visa extensions for her clients. 

Two Nigerians, who were not named, presented the false papers at the government immigration offices in Chaeng Wattana. 

Local media reported that Yupin was handling visas mostly for Indians, Pakistanis and Nigerians. 

Yupin was arrested in Soi Dan Samrong, North Samrong after the paper trail led to her residence there.

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Straw

Startled that no one else has responded to this. Its going to put a lot of these visa "agents" out of business when you have to apply yourself. 800,000 in the bank with zero shenanigans for a lot of people will mean end of days in Thailand for many "expats"

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Billyboy294
Posted (edited)

I was going to post this brief version but have had problems getting Addicts to open.

Visa Agent Wanted by Police.                                                       Bangkok Post 5 Oct 2018.

  "Two senior immigration officials were transferred to inactive posts Thursday while undergoing a probe into their alleged involvement with a gang of visa-renewal brokers that has been the subject of a recent crackdown.

Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn, the newly appointed Immigration Bureau (IB) commissioner, signed an order to transfer the officials to the bureau's operation centre and ordered an investigation into their alleged links with the gang, a source said.

Pol Maj Gen Surachate previously received a report about the officials' alleged connection with a suspect wanted by police for assisting a number of foreigners to obtain their visas to continue staying in Thailand using falsified documents, said the source.

Yuphin Chantakhat, the 55-year-old suspect, was wanted in an arrest warrant dated Oct 1. She was detained previously for allegedly brokering visa renewals for people from various countries including India, Pakistan and Nigeria."

Edited by Billyboy294

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Billyboy294

I wonder if some Immigration Officers at Jomtien are wondering if they will be next for the move to the 'inactive post'.

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KittenKong
On 10/6/2018 at 04:29, Straw said:

Startled that no one else has responded to this. Its going to put a lot of these visa "agents" out of business when you have to apply yourself. 800,000 in the bank with zero shenanigans for a lot of people will mean end of days in Thailand for many "expats"

They will probably just change their business model to include a 90-day loan. Or use the combined income and deposit method which requires no long waiting. It would cost a bit more, but not a lot.

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KittenKong

Let's hope he doesn't forget to stop the biggest scam of the lot: the 300B "fee" for the residence certificate which should be completely free.

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PBear66

Just what a lot of ex pats or wanna be ex pats, including myself do not want to hear, dropping currency and the possible end to visa agents.

Had emailed one who was highly recommended and would have sorted things out. Looks like a long with new guest house rules, another

obstacle has been put in the way of ex pats. Things are changing and not for the best either.

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DaffyDuck
Just what a lot of ex pats or wanna be ex pats, including myself do not want to hear, dropping currency and the possible end to visa agents.
Had emailed one who was highly recommended and would have sorted things out. Looks like a long with new guest house rules, another
obstacle has been put in the way of ex pats. Things are changing and not for the best either.

No, not expats in general, just the ones scamming and abusing the rules. Which is the point.

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davidge

I am unable to start a new topic so am putting this here.

88253992-372B-45DB-B661-74B65FED474B.thumb.png.4a92346dca57b6d78537146c53afe7d3.png

This was mentioned in another thread but I don’t think any of us actually believed it would happen!

Confirmed now.

It’s unclear if this is just something brought in by the Embassy or if it’s been instigated by Thai Immigration and other Embassies will follow suit.

Implications are obvious, and could be very serious for a number of people. Hope any BMs affected can find a way around it.  

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Scuba+
I am unable to start a new topic so am putting this here.
88253992-372B-45DB-B661-74B65FED474B.thumb.png.4a92346dca57b6d78537146c53afe7d3.png

This was mentioned in another thread but I don’t think any of us actually believed it would happen!

Confirmed now.

It’s unclear if this is just something brought in by the Embassy or if it’s been instigated by Thai Immigration and other Embassies will follow suit.

Implications are obvious, and could be very serious for a number of people. Hope any BMs affected can find a way around it.  

Can't people just get it via the link below?

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-obtain-a-pensionincome-letter-for-thai-immigration

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kansuwan

Full text of the Embassy notice here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/british-embassy-bangkok-to-stop-certification-of-income-letters

Simple method would be to arrange a monthly transfer equivalent to THB 65,000 (c. GBP 1,500) from BM's UK bank accounts to a Thai bank account.

I do not understand this from the notice: "The British Embassy Bangkok is stopping the certfication of income letters because it is unable to fulfil the Thai authorities' requirements to verify the income of British nationals" - isn't that exactly what the embassyhas ben doing since the year dot? 

The notice has a reference to www.immigration.go.th/content service_22 see below:  can't see any changes there.

Criteria for Consideration

The alien:
(1) Must have been granted a non-immigrant visa (NON-IM).
(2) Must be 50 years of age or over.
(3) Must have evidence of having income of no less than Baht 65,000 per month; or
(4) On the filing date, the applicant must have account  deposited  (saving / fixed account) in a bank in Thailand of no less than
Baht 800,000 for the past three months. For the first year only, the applicant must have proof of a
deposit account in which said amount of funds has been maintained for no less than 60 days prior to
the filing date; or
(5) Must have an annual earning and funds deposited with a bank totaling no less than Baht
800,000 as of the filing date.
(6) An alien who entered the Kingdom before October 21, 1998 and has been consecutively
permitted to stay in the Kingdom for retirement shall be subject to the following criteria:

(a) Must be 60 years of age or over and have an annual fixed income with funds maintained in
a bank account for the past three months of no less than Baht 200,000 or have a monthly income of
no less than Baht 20,000.

(b) If less than 60 years of age but not less than 55 years of age, must have an annual fixed
income with funds maintained in a bank account for the past three months of no less than Baht
500,000 or have a monthly income of no less than Baht 50,000.

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Scuba+
No. That’s the point. They are stopping the service.
Ah, i thought it was via the UK. People must be worried who haven't got the 800k. I guess they will be forced down the illegal route using an agent

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davidge
1 minute ago, kansuwan said:

Full text of the Embassy notice here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/british-embassy-bangkok-to-stop-certification-of-income-letters

Simple method would be to arrange a monthly transfer equivalent to THB 65,000 (c. GBP 1,500) from BM's UK bank accounts to a Thai bank account.

I do not understand this from the notice: "The British Embassy Bangkok is stopping the certfication of income letters because it is unable to fulfil the Thai authorities' requirements to verify the income of British nationals" - isn't that exactly what the embassyhas ben doing since the year dot? 

The notice has a reference to www.immigration.go.th/content service_22 see below:  can't see any changes there.

Criteria for Consideration

The alien:
(1) Must have been granted a non-immigrant visa (NON-IM).
(2) Must be 50 years of age or over.
(3) Must have evidence of having income of no less than Baht 65,000 per month; or
(4) On the filing date, the applicant must have account  deposited  (saving / fixed account) in a bank in Thailand of no less than
Baht 800,000 for the past three months. For the first year only, the applicant must have proof of a
deposit account in which said amount of funds has been maintained for no less than 60 days prior to
the filing date; or
(5) Must have an annual earning and funds deposited with a bank totaling no less than Baht
800,000 as of the filing date.
(6) An alien who entered the Kingdom before October 21, 1998 and has been consecutively
permitted to stay in the Kingdom for retirement shall be subject to the following criteria:

(a) Must be 60 years of age or over and have an annual fixed income with funds maintained in
a bank account for the past three months of no less than Baht 200,000 or have a monthly income of
no less than Baht 20,000.

(b) If less than 60 years of age but not less than 55 years of age, must have an annual fixed
income with funds maintained in a bank account for the past three months of no less than Baht
500,000 or have a monthly income of no less than Baht 50,000.

My guess is (only a guess) that Thai Immigration have told the Embassy they must absolutely verify all income fully and properly & the Embassy isn’t going to do all the work. 

Hopefully, Immigration offices will accept bank books with the requisite amounts going in each month - though there’s often inconsistency between offices! Some people could be caught out in the short term though as they won’t have the history of the money going in. A lot of people have been using the Embassy letter and only transferring a lower monthly amount to live on.

I’m unclear over the last 2 points in your post. I thought it was only for those grandfathered in under the old system? That is, with continuous Extension Renewals since they arrived years ago when requirements were lower. I may have misunderstood but I thought if someone arrives now at, say 62, they need 800000 not 200000. 

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sinbad5

Lol

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davidge
55 minutes ago, kansuwan said:

Full text of the Embassy notice here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/british-embassy-bangkok-to-stop-certification-of-income-letters

Simple method would be to arrange a monthly transfer equivalent to THB 65,000 (c. GBP 1,500) from BM's UK bank accounts to a Thai bank account.

I do not understand this from the notice: "The British Embassy Bangkok is stopping the certfication of income letters because it is unable to fulfil the Thai authorities' requirements to verify the income of British nationals" - isn't that exactly what the embassyhas ben doing since the year dot? 

The notice has a reference to www.immigration.go.th/content service_22 see below:  can't see any changes there.

Criteria for Consideration

The alien:
(1) Must have been granted a non-immigrant visa (NON-IM).
(2) Must be 50 years of age or over.
(3) Must have evidence of having income of no less than Baht 65,000 per month; or
(4) On the filing date, the applicant must have account  deposited  (saving / fixed account) in a bank in Thailand of no less than
Baht 800,000 for the past three months. For the first year only, the applicant must have proof of a
deposit account in which said amount of funds has been maintained for no less than 60 days prior to
the filing date; or
(5) Must have an annual earning and funds deposited with a bank totaling no less than Baht
800,000 as of the filing date.
(6) An alien who entered the Kingdom before October 21, 1998 and has been consecutively
permitted to stay in the Kingdom for retirement shall be subject to the following criteria:

(a) Must be 60 years of age or over and have an annual fixed income with funds maintained in
a bank account for the past three months of no less than Baht 200,000 or have a monthly income of
no less than Baht 20,000.

(b) If less than 60 years of age but not less than 55 years of age, must have an annual fixed
income with funds maintained in a bank account for the past three months of no less than Baht
500,000 or have a monthly income of no less than Baht 50,000.

Sorry, scanned your post initially now realise you’d already included the ‘grandfathered’ bit in what you posted. I’d read a) and b) without reading 6) before it! :Oops1:

Anyway, on the other point, has any Immigration Office up to now accepted someone on the ‘income’ route without an Embassy letter? I wasn’t aware of anyone just showing their bank book and getting an extension.

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Billyboy294

About a month ago the Austrian Consul told me this was going to happen and i posted it in PA.  He implied it would not affect the Austrians Embassy.

Will  Immigration accept  copies of your UK bank statement showing the equivalent of more than 65,000 baht per month going into your UK account for the last 12 months. That is what the British Embassy has been certifying for the past few years.

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Billyboy294
Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, PBear66 said:

Just what a lot of ex pats or wanna be ex pats, including myself do not want to hear, dropping currency and the possible end to visa agents.

Had emailed one who was highly recommended and would have sorted things out. Looks like a long with new guest house rules, another

obstacle has been put in the way of ex pats. Things are changing and not for the best either.

Or is it just UK expats.

It will be interesting to see whether Visa Agents will still be operating.  I went with a friend to one he has been using for 3 years and it cost 12,000 for a renewal. On behalf of a friend, I asked the girl about first time RV and she said 22,000 Baht. I said would it make a difference as he already had 900.000 in the bank for more than 6 months,and she said 'no differece , as they have 800.000 ready to show..

If you have a RV it might be worth paying £300 (12,000 baht)  rather than transfer £19,000. Assuming the Agents are still working.

Edited by Billyboy294

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davidge
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Billyboy294 said:

About a month ago the Austrian Consul told me this was going to happen and i posted it in PA.  He implied it would not affect the Austrians Embassy.

Will  Immigration accept  copies of your UK bank statement showing the equivalent of more than 65,000 baht per month going into your UK account for the last 12 months. That is what the British Embassy has been certifying for the past few years.

I remember the post - it’s what I was referring to earlier though I couldn’t remember who posted it :rolleyes:

The question you ask is THE question really. It may have to be funds going into a THAI bank account - as the 800000 baht needs to be in a Thai account. Even then, will you need a bank letter or just show your bank book? Will it have to be each month for 12 months or could it be in 3 or 4 lump sums? Will it be the same in each Immigration Office? We’ll see how this plays out.

Edited by davidge

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PBear66
2 hours ago, Scuba+ said:
2 hours ago, davidge said:
No. That’s the point. They are stopping the service.

Ah, i thought it was via the UK. People must be worried who haven't got the 800k. I guess they will be forced down the illegal route using an agent

Except there won't be any agents, or am i missing something.

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Billyboy294
Posted (edited)

There must be hundreds of Visa Agents in Bangkok but it is interesting that the new Chief has singled out one particular lady to be arrested. One wonders if it is because she caters mainly for Indians,  Pakistanis and Nigerians .

Edited by Billyboy294

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Gnorman

Thanks for posting. These threads on change are always an interesting read.

 

 

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f308gt

Sorry if this is a stupid question. 

Can you deposit 800,000 once a year 3 months prior to application and live off it? Or does there always have to be a positive balance of 800,000?

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davidge
8 minutes ago, f308gt said:

Sorry if this is a stupid question. 

Can you deposit 800,000 once a year 3 months prior to application and live off it? Or does there always have to be a positive balance of 800,000?

It needs to be there 2 months before the initial application and then 3 months before each Extension of Stay.

Doesn’t matter how much is there in between.

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splitpin

Will Jomtien immigration stop charging B300 for a Residence Certificate which should be free? under the new no corruption push 

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