Friday, September 20, 2019

End of income verification letters spells big trouble for expats

Oct 09. 2018
Facebook Twitter

1,805 Viewed

News that the British embassy in Bangkok is to cease issuing income verification letters – the last date for applying is December 12 – comes as no surprise. 

It has long worried officials there that they don’t know whether claimed income is true or not. The website asks for supporting evidence, for example a UK bank statement, but freely admits there is no investigation at all. 

Meanwhile, immigration authorities expect embassies to verify meaningfully, which would be impossible in a short time scale. The appointment of a new hardline immigration chief in Bangkok may not be a coincidence to the timing here. The bigger issue is whether other embassies – including those which don’t even ask for a bank statement – will follow suit.

It looks like we are moving to a scenario where farang married to Thais must keep their cash here to qualify for repeat one-year extensions of stay. 

Maybe Cambodia has the answer. There, a multi-entry, one-year visa costs around US$285 (Bt9,400) and virtually no documentation is required. But if you run out of money or need medical treatment, expect the worst. 

Barry Kenyon

Pattaya

 

Tags:
Facebook Twitter
More in Lifestyle
Editor’s Picks
Top News