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1
 

Expat volunteers in Chiang Mai denied visas in work permit standoff


THAIVISA.COM

http://bit.ly/2LHhrGe

Thu 2 Aug 2018, 10:24 am

The head of two foundations in Chiang Mai has revealed to Thaivisa that a standoff between the new head of the Chiang Mai labor office and the city's immigration department is causing trouble for up to a thousand foreigners who are volunteering at charities in the province.

Our source - who has asked not to be named - said that visas were not being issued because volunteers were being denied work permits.

He called it a standoff between the new head of the labor department and Chiang Mai immigration.

Thaivisa understands the labor department in Chiang Mai has not been issuing work permits for foreign volunteers, with immigration then saying "sorry, we can't issue you visas as you don't have a work permit", said the source.

He said this was causing serious problems for long term non-immigrant "O" volunteers and charitable foundations and that as many as 1000 foreigners are affected.?

 

-- © Copyrigh?t Thai Visa News 2018-8-1
 http://bit.ly/2LHhrGe

2
Visas & Immigration / U.S. Consular Outreach to PHUKET Thu 5 Jul 18
« on: June 25, 2018, 10:42:31 AM »


This is about the outreach to PHUKET just in case y'all have an uncontrollable urge to do a little snorkeling and embassy business at the same time!    Or perhaps you know someone near Phuket who might need an outreach but does not receive these ACS messages.



The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is pleased to provide services in Phuket.

Date: 5 July 2018
Time:  12:00pm–3:00pm
Venue: Millennium Resort Patong Phuket
Address: 199 Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150

Hotel phone:   (66) 7 660 1999

  No appointment necessary, services are provided on a first come – first serve basis.

To expedite your service, please arrive with your documents filled-out completely, correctly, and NOT signed. Documents, forms and applications can be accessed by clicking on any of the below listed links.

SERVICES OFFERED AND OFFICIAL EXCHANGE RATES ON 5 July 2018

·     3,630 THB- Renewal of adult passports

·     3,795 THB- Renewal of minor (under age 16) passports

·     4,785 THB- Renewal of first adult passports

·     4,785 THB- Replacement of adult lost/stolen passports

·     3,795 THB- Replacement of minor (under age 16) lost/stolen passports

·     990 THB- Adult passport card

·     495 THB- Minor passport card

·     1,650 THB (per notary stamp)  – Notary– including Income Affidavits

Above fees are based on an exchange rate of 33 THB to 1 USD

PLEASE NOTE: You must bring copies of your passport bio-data page and each supplementary document required with a passport application per the online instructions. Please follow all relevant passport renewal instructions according to above links. Original documents will be returned to the applicant, however, the copies will not.

IMPORTANT: For applications on behalf of minors, the child and both parents must appear in person.

PAYMENT METHOD

Please be advised the U.S. embassy will no longer accept cash (U.S. Dollars and Thai Baht) at Outreach Events for American Citizen Services. This is a worldwide policy, and no exceptions can be considered, please see the No Cash Announcement.

All payments at U.S. Embassy Outreach Events must be made in the form of a BANK DRAFT.

All Bank Drafts must be:

Purchased from Bangkok Bank, Kasikorn Bank, or Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).   (There is no need to have an account at the bank to purchase a bank draft) (Kasikorn Bank calls a “Bank Draft” a “Bill of Exchange”). 

Made out to “American Embassy Bangkok.” (No variations, errors, or typos are permitted. Do not write on or make any markings on the bank draft.)

In the exact amount of Thai Baht (THB) for your total service.

At the official embassy exchange rate at the time of the outreach.

Fees and exchange rates are included in individual outreach announcements and posted on our website.

Submitted at the time of service.

Issued within the last six months.

You can show below information to the bank:

[You can show below information to the bank:

ลูกค้าท่านนี้ต้องการซื้อแบงค์ดร๊าฟ(สกุลเงินบาทเท่านั้น)
โดยจำนวนเงินอ้างอิงตามอัตราแลกเปลี่ยนของสถานทูต
และระบุสั่งจ่ายถึง “American Embassy Bangkok”
รบกวนช่วยอำนวยความสะดวกให้ด้วยค่ะ



Delivery Service: You must purchase and submit a separate 100 THB bank draft. Do not include the cost of the envelope in your total bank draft for services.

Please note:


Cashiers’ checks, personal checks, cash, credit or any other form of payment will not be accepted.

Bank Draft requirement only applies to Consular Outreach Events. Services rendered during normal business hours at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok or the Consulate in Chiang Mai will continue to accept payments made by credit card or cash (THB or USD).

RETURN OF PASSPORT

The Passport Retrieval Process Has Changed! – Beginning 1 July 2018:


Passport Return by Thai Post Registered Mail:
Your new passport will be sent to your mailing address in Thailand through registered mail. ACS will cancel your current passport at the time of application and return it to you.


Purchase a prepaid Thai Post envelope at the outreach event for 100 THB (SEPARATE BANK DRAFT IS REQUIRED). Do not include the cost of the envelope in your total bank draft for servies.

NEARBY PARTICIPATING BANKS:



Bangkok Bank
147 Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Rd
Tambon Patong, Amphoe Kathu
Chang Wat, Phuket 83150



Siam Commercial Bank (SCB)
Jungceylon Shopping Center
Patong Beach, Phuket 83150



Kasikorn Bank
Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Rd
Tambon Patong, Amphoe Kathu
Chang Wat, Phuket 83150



You may use any branch of the three participating banks. The above branches are suggested since they are near the venue.



SPECIAL NOTES

CONSULAR REPORTS OF BIRTH ABROAD AND AUTHENTICATION OF SIGNATURE SERVICES CANNOT BE PROCESSED AT CONSULAR OUTREACH EVENTS.

Starting on October 1, 2017, all beneficiaries and applicants living in Thailand must direct all questions regarding Social Security to SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) in U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines at FBU.manila@ssa.gov. Please visit http://www.ssa.gov for more Social Security information.

For other outreach dates and locations please see http://th.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/consular-outreach/

For information on US Citizen Services please see http://th.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/

For questions please email acsbkk@state.gov

Follow us on Twitter by searching our username @ACSBKK.


3
News Thailand and the World / Gov crackdown on Guesthouses
« on: May 30, 2018, 05:38:56 AM »
Wed 30 May 2018, 12:31 pm

"Guesthouses," usually small family-run hotels have been a cottage industry in Thailand for decades serving budget travelers and lending charm and character to tourist areas. Many travelers prefer the small-scale intimacy, charm and personal service to the more sterile and cold-blooded commercial hotels. To each their own, of course. However, this industry, the livelihoods of generations of guesthouse owners and operators are at risk as the gov moves to make it difficult or impossible for such places to continue to operate in Thailand. Not only does this effect the guesthouse operators but also budget travelers who will have fewer options and my be entirely priced-out of visiting Thailand.  Of course, in our opinion, it would be better for the big hotel operators/owners (many of whom are members of the government) to work hard to provide better service and lower prices rather than colluding to squash an entire industry comprised mostly of innocents with little or no defense against the gov and big business. While undoubtedly there are many levels to this story, I rarely ask my facebook friends to share posts, but I make an exception this time. If you love these little guesthouse facilities or are just opposed to abuse of power from gov and big business PLEASE SHARE this with friends and colleagues. Thanks!  -Rex[/size

THE NATION- Facing a crackdown on unregistered accommodations, the operators of 200 small hotels and guesthouses in Chiang Mai’s Muang district on Friday jointly hired a team of experienced lawyers to petition the court to legalise their businesses, as well as asking for help from related agencies . . .  Read more => http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30346274

4
Mon 14 May 2018, 10:43 am

Here is an interesting an honest post on ThaiVisa.com by  spidermike007 discussing alternatives to Thailand for expats:

"That is exactly the topic that needs to be discussed. I cannot think of a viable alternative, within the restraints of my budget. I have considered spending at least a portion of the year in Spain. No other place in SE Asia is anything I find appealing . . . Read more at http://bit.ly/2Kl70Tw

Where would you go if Thailand went "pear shaped" for expats?

5
Wed 9 May 2018, 10:16 am

PHUKET NEWS
http://bit.ly/2K6ejyC


Penang consulate limits visa applications to 100 per day

PHUKET: The Royal Thai Consulate-General in Penang has announced that it will limit the number of visas issued to just 100 per day, starting from Monday, May 14.

Persons with incomplete documents will not be permitted to enter the building and those found to have had their visa application rejected must not apply until next day, the consulate said in a notice issued earlier today, May 8, marked “ANNOUNCEMENT (visa matters esp. tourists) starting from Monday, 14 May”

Overstays incur a high risk of visa refusal and submission of fake documents will automatically incur a one-year ban on applying for a visa to enter the country, the notice warned.

Visa applications must be filled and signed and photos already attached to the form, and applicants must have the basic required documents:

- copy of passport (+ page with Malaysian immigration stamp)

- evidence of accommodation (hotel booking / house rental agreement)

- travel information (booking of air ticket leaving Thailand)

Financial statements provided must be only in Thai baht, Malaysian Ringgit, US dollars or euros, and only documents in English and/or Thai will be accepted, the notice confirmed.

Visa application and collection times will remain the same, the notice added.

A reason for the new limit on the number of visas issued each day was not given.

For more information, visit the Royal Thai Consulate-General, Penang Facebook page

6
Sun 18 Mar 2018, 10:46 am

THE NATION http://bit.ly/2GGW3ve

More Wi-Fi hotspots for Phuket as plan to tag tourists mulled

Phuket will increase the number of hotspots for free Wi-Fi Internet connection to 1,000 around the island as part of its ambition to turn the island into a “smart city”, the digital economy minister said.

The province may also develop an electronic wristband system for foreign tourists so their identity and location would be known in case of untoward incidents, said Digital Economy and Society Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj.

During the briefing, Thawornwat said the implementation had progressed greatly to achieve the measures of a smart economy, including tourism, health, education, safety and the environment in accordance with the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy. After the briefing, Pichet said smart-city developments included the installation of 1,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots, up from the current 200 hotspots. He said the province also has planned to develop the uses of wristbands to track tourists and to use Big Data to analyse information about tourists’ habits. He said the Phuket command centre would also link to all CCTVs on the island to work with face-recognition software to guard against crimes as well as to collect the data of tourists who use public boat services. This would be done for the sake of their safety. Pichet said the government would provide financial support to the Phuket Smart City project but the province must ensure that each project would be worth the investment. He said some work could be carried out with cooperation from private firms instead of sole investment by the government.

http://bit.ly/2GGW3ve



7
Fri 9 Mar 2018, 9:50 am

Rabies warning nationwide as infection rates ‘much worse’ than before


March 09, 2018 01:00 By THE NATION
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30340506


THE RABIES situation is still considered severe,
as 37 provinces have reported cases since the New Year, resulting in three human deaths.


As of yesterday, the situation in Thailand as reported by thairabies.net showed that at least 345 cases of animal infections had been confirmed this year, while Roi Et was found to have the highest number of confirmed cases, as there were already 69 reported.



According to the rabies infection database, the Northeastern region was still a hotspot for infections, as every province in the lower part of the region had confirmed rabies cases. Three provinces – Roi Et (69 cases), Surin (36) and Yasothon (22) – were the top three provinces for infections in the country.

The situation was also severe in other regions as well. In the South, Songkhla had 17 confirmed rabies cases, the fourth-highest confirmed number of cases. There has also been one death from rabies in Songkhla.

Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang in the South also are concerned about the situation, with one confirmed case of a human being infected with the virus in Trang. In the North, Chiang Rai had the highest number of cases in the region, with 10 confirmed. Almost every province in the East also showed animal infections. In that region, Chon Buri had the most cases with 14 cases reported. Only Sa Kaew and Trat were still rabies-free in the region. Bangkok was also found to have five confirmed cases of animal infections.

It was found that 91.3 per cent of infected animals were dogs and 2.03 per cent were cats. Also, 60.25 per cent of infected animals had owners and only 32.61 per cent were strays. The majority of the infected animals did not have vaccination records or only had vague records.Surge in cases The Livestock Development Department has urged pet owners to vaccinate their pets, while the department has already dispatched teams to vaccinate |dogs and cats in the provinces that were deemed especially at risk. According to statistics, the infection rate this year is much worse than in the previous years, as there have been 178 cases of rabies reported in February compared to only 79 cases in February 2017, 47 cases in February 2016 and 40 cases in February 2015.

Livestock Development Department director-general Apai Suttisunk said that even though there had been a rapid spread of the disease in many provinces, there were 22 provinces that still had not seen reports of infections for three years. Apai said the department was working with the Livestock Development Offices in those provinces to maintain their rabies-free status in line with the criteria of the World Organisation for Animal Health.


http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30340506




8
News Thailand and the World / Police crackdwon on foreigners Soi Cowboy
« on: February 28, 2018, 10:45:23 AM »
Wed 28 Feb 2018, 5:39 pm

Police launch major crackdown on foreigners on Soi Cowboy -
scores of English teachers and visa overstayers arrested



All 78 people arrested were dark in color, they said, as they printed pictures of deputy tourist police commissioner Surachet Hakpal in Bangkok's red light district of Soi Cowboy in the Asoke area at 1am this morning.

Read the rest of the story on ThaiVisa.com => http://bit.ly/2F1a7Oy

9

Makha Bucha Day – Thai National Public Holiday

Thursday, 1 March  2018


From last year

http://www.festivalsofthailand.com/home/thailand-festivals/makha-bucha/


From 2014



10
Reduced to B8,000 firm

Thu 8 Mar 2018, 6:59 pm

Canon eos M10 "mirrorless" camera, near new, complete kit

Cheapest new kit on Lazada is B14,000.  Take this one for B9,000. B8,500. OMG!  Reduced to B8,000

Reduced to B8,000 firm


FREE ScanDisk Ultra 16 GB SD Card

FREE shoulder bag


See the full details in my ad on BahtSold => http://bit.ly/2nVCdn0

Post or PM me with any questions.

Watch the great Youtube video review




11
Open Discussion / "Affordable" shipping container apartments
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:13:47 AM »
Saw a story on Fox Nooze about shipping container apartments, not the same, but something like the one in the photo. Like the one in the photo, they intentionally kept the original exterior for some reason, but the inside was really pleasant and modern with all the usual conveniences.  At 70 M2 not exactly spacious, but adequate, double the size of a small studio in Thailand.

I support this concept. It is elegant, recycles, promotes conservation, and provides housing for people who don't have much money.


At least that is what I thought until the end of the story and learned that they rent for $1,000/month!!!  I guess that is "affordable" for someone earning $42K per year using 30% of monthly income to define "affordable."  20% at $60K was the usual advice when I was younger.   What on earth do the millions earning a lot less than $40K do? 

Whenever I get a little frustrated about my situation in Thailand, this kind of story helps me to feel more grateful than frustrated.



12
Open Discussion / Hard truths living as an expat in Thailand
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:07:45 AM »
Top Ten hard truths of living as an expat in Thailand


"...The down-side is that your perception of western efficiencies and customs are going to be challenged."

Read the full story at Phuket Gazette, then come back here and comment.

https://www.phuketgazette.net/lifestyle/top-ten-hard-truths-living-expat-thailand

13
Movies with English soundtrack this week / The Florida Project
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:01:52 AM »
Fri 2 Feb 2018, 10:53 am


THE FLORIDA PROJECT



STILL PLAYING

Maze Runner: Death Cure

-----------------------------------

NOTE AS PERTAINS TO NOTHING:  I had not been out to the cinema in a couple of months and was vaguely looking forward to Maze Runner.  Maybe I was looking forward more to the popcorn than to the movie.  In any event, 30 min. into the movie, we began to see black pauses in the film for a few seconds at a time.  These became more frequent until the film shut down completely.  They got it started again a few times, but it kept crashing. Finally, on the last shut-down, I lost confidence that they would be able to fix it and walked out!  Shit!   

14



http://bit.ly/2Bvkesm


Sat 27 Jan 2018, 2:05 pm


Phuket Immigration chief urges foreigners to re-register addresses, even if staying off-island just one night



Chief of the Phuket Immigration Offce, Col Kathathorn Kumthieng,
urges foreigners to re-register their addresses, just in case. Photo: Shela Riva


The confirmation follows complaints from long-term expats that they were fined B2,000 for not re-registering their home addresses after travelling within the country.

“By law, it is a requirement to register your address within 24 hours after being registered elsewhere, such as at a hotel or a guesthouse,” Col Kathathorn told The Phuket News this week.

“This is because the hotel or guest house will have to register you, also by law, as residing somewhere other than your residence. So when you return to your residence, you must inform immigration,” he explained.

The same also applies for foreigners living in Phuket who leave the country and return, say for a weekend trip to Singapore.

Col Kathathorn played down concerns for honest, law-abiding expats.

“Although it is the law, if it’s a short stay, for example a day or two, and nothing happens to prompt officials to check then there usually won’t be a problem,” he said, for stays away from home within the country.

“However, if you become involved in an incident and become a suspect in a case for example, not re-registering your address will be a big problem. So it’s better if you do.”

Regardless, although the overall effect for most foreigners caught not re-registering their address each time on returning home to Phuket might be deemed negligible, foreigners will be liable to a B2,000 fine for each infringement and the incident will remain on their immigration record.




Col Kathathorn explained that the requirement for foreigners to re-register their address in Thailand, even if they have lived at the same address for many years, derives from an archaic immigration law, specifically Section 37 (2) of the Thailand Immigration Act of 1979.

Likewise, under Section 38 of the same act, the “master, the owner or the possessor of the residence, or the hotel manager where the alien, receiving permission to stay temporary in the Kingdom has stayed, must notify the competent official of the Immigration Office located in the same area with that hours, dwelling place or hotel, within 24 hours from the time of arrival of the alien concerned. If there is no Immigration Office located in that area, the local police official for that area must be notified.”

“It must be done because it’s the law. It’s the law in many countries,” Col Kathathorn said.

Col Kathathorn explained that in order to re-report an address, the foreigner must come to Phuket immigration offices, in Phuket Town or in Patong, in person and provide their passport, a filled-in TM30 form and a letter of authorisation – or literally a power of attorney empowering the foreigner to register details on the landlord’s behalf – if the landlord is not present.

“If it’s the same address as they were previously staying, the foreigner does not need to bring the rental contract proving their rental of the residence. We will have that information in the system,” Col Kathathorn noted.

“If you have this letter (of authorisation from the landlord), the landlord does not need to come to immigration,” he added.

 

http://bit.ly/2Bvkesm

15

Mon 18 Dec 2017, 9:09 pm

Rex:  I don't drink and I don't like booze . . . but man, this nanny state business is concerning!  Big time!



ALL THE BEER GARDENS HAVE BEEN DECLARED ILLEGAL – AGAIN
By Teeranai Charuvastra, Staff Reporter - December 18, 2017 12:33 pm
 

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crimecourtscalamity/2017/12/18/beer-gardens-declared-illegal/

BANGKOK — A top alcohol regulator said Monday his agency is suing the popular open-air beer gardens at CentralWorld Plaza for violating advertising laws.

The legal action won’t stop there, said Alcohol Control Board director Nipon Chinanonwait, who threatened to crack down on similar events nationwide on the grounds that they entice the public to drink. A trade guild denied Nipon’s allegation.

“Beer gardens themselves are against the law. We have to take action,” Nipon said in an interview. “This is because the form of beer gardens is event marketing. Because, let me ask you, who would open beer gardens without a purpose?”

Nipon’s comment came after he took officials and police to inspect the beer gardens Thursday night at the downtown shopping mall. They are set up annually by major brewers of brands such as Chang, Leo and Singha, and usually feature live music in a festive atmosphere.


Following the raid, Nipon pressed charges against the beer garden organizers for violating Section 32 of a 2008 law that bans attempts to “encourage” drinking. If found guilty, violators face a maximum fine of 500,000 baht.

But Thanakorn Kuptajit, president of the Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association, said beer gardens do not fall under Section 32 because they sell drinks, but don’t advertise them.

“We believe it’s not illegal,” he said. “Do these beer gardens have a license to sell [alcohol]? As far as I know, they do. Since they have licenses, their actions are lawful.”

Nipon also said he plans to take similar action against other beer gardens.

“We already held a meeting with police. They were told that we will do the same all across the country,” the official said. “Police said we can alert any local unit if we see an infraction anywhere.”

Back in 2015, beer gardens were the targets of prosecution under Nipon’s predecessor, Samarn Futrakul, who threatened legal action against the same beer conglomerates, ThaiBev and Boonrawd. Samarn eventually backed off after junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha joined in the backlash, publicly chiding him for going after the multi-billion baht industry.

It is unclear whether the military regime will support or discourage Nipon’s campaign. For the time being, the charges have only been filed against the beer garden organizers instead of the two big brewers.

“We have to take it step by step,” he said.

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