Thousands of Thai people have arrived in the seaside town of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan to get the opportunity to catch the glimpse of His Majesty the King on his 86th birthday on Dec 5.
The Royal Household Bureau announced that a royal audience will be granted at Rajpracha Samakhom Pavilion in Klai Kangwon Palace at 10.30am on a live broadcast. Members of the royal family, civil servants and royal guards will gather to wish His Majesty the King a happy birthday.
Hundreds of well-wishers have lined both sides of Phetkasem road leading to Klai Kangwon Palace. Some of them have brought maps and tents as they intended to sleep overnight there. Some people even arrived on Monday.
BANGKOK: -- The Thai Immigration Bureau has announced that the foreign wives of expats with a one-year retirement visa will in future need their own separate pension income or cash in a Thai bank.
In the past, these wives have been able to “join” their husband’s visa by simply showing a marriage certificate and a current non-immigrant visa in their passport. It was not necessary for both partners to show their own income or cash.
Under the revised guidelines, both foreign partners in a marriage will separately need to demonstrate yearly income in the first country of at least 800,000 baht equivalent or maintain separate bank accounts of the same minimum amount, or provide a combination of both.
Letters from an embassy are still required as proof of the income whilst the 800,000 baht in a Thai bank must have been there for three months prior to the application (2 months 1st application) and be supported by a letter from that financial institution.
The toughening up of the rules on retirement visas is believed to have been caused by concerns that some farang-farang marriages are not genuine or may have broken up.
The requirement for each partner to show evidence of 800,000 baht in cash or income, or a combination of both, is seen as the best guarantee from an Immigration Bureau viewpoint. Nor is it possible for a married couple to present a joint bank account. Each partner is now treated as a separate entity.
Some visa specialists say that the move is aimed at strengthening immigration regulations ahead of the onset of the ASEAN Economic Community in two years’ time which is likely, in the medium term, to lead to more migration across the regional 10-member block.
There has been concern in the Immigration Bureau for some time that mere possession of a marriage certificate is not proof of the ongoing relationship and could be used simply to gain a long-term visa. The new ruling also applies to same-sex marriages or civil partnerships now performed in some countries, though not yet in Thailand.
Separately, the British Embassy has confirmed that none of its provincial staff is empowered any longer to provide notarial services. Those Brits requiring income letters for the Immigration Bureau must now deal with the main embassy in Bangkok or find another local consulate willing to provide the service.
The German honorary consul in Phuket stated recently he believes that his office could provide some such services for Brits but that he was seeking formal permission from Berlin. It may take some time before European Union consulates in places such as Pattaya, Koh Samui and Phuket feel confident enough to fill the gap left by the retreat of the British Embassy from provincial Thailand.
An expat who has been living in Thailand for 12 years plan a 999-km run in one month to raise a fund to stop the dog meat trade and care for rescued dogs, Soi Dog Foundation said. The foundation, which has been working to help street dogs in Thailand, said Neo Lothong Kum from the Pattaya Animal Coalition (PAC) will be participating in the "Thailand Run 999 km in 30 Days" from the 17th January until the 19th March, 2014.
The run will commence in northern Thailand and finish in Pattaya. He will be accompanied by fellow runners from overseas and locally, the foundation said.
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