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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawUS Embassy Thailand to No Longer Provide Income Affidavits for Thai Marriage Visas

US Embassy Thailand to No Longer Provide Income Affidavits for Thai Marriage Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai marriage visas and specifically Income Affidavits issued by the US Embassy in Bangkok or Chiang Mai; Thailand generally. That being said, we are also discussing basically the end of those income affidavits.

In the past, it was possible to go down to the US Embassy, obtain a notarized affidavit stipulating one's income, get that notarized document legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then go ahead and request an extension of stay based on the Affidavit of Income. The issuance of those Affidavits by the US Embassy is coming to an end pursuant to a recent press release from the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand dated October 26th 2018. The title of the press release: US Mission in Thailand to Cease Providing Income Affidavit. Quoting directly "Effective January 1, 2019, the United States Embassy in Bangkok and the US Consulate General in Chiang Mai will no longer provide an Income Affidavit and will not notarize previous versions of the Income Affidavit. The Royal Thai Government requires applicants to meet a minimum income threshold to obtain a non-immigrant long-stay Visa. While the Thai Government has previously relied on income affidavits to demonstrate this fact, the US Government has no mechanism to confirm individual incomes and cannot legally claim to do so. Because the US Government has no means of confirming a US citizen's income, a notarized affidavit from the US Embassy has never met the requirement to prove a minimum income level for a non-immigrant O, OA or OX long-term stay Visa. There are other methods for US citizens to demonstrate they are eligible for this Thai Visa category. US citizens residing in Thailand should refer to the Thai Government for information about verifying the income moving forward. For the most current information US citizens should check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Thai Embassy in Washington DC or their local immigration office."

So that pretty much sums it up. The US Embassy starting Jan 1, 2019 will no longer issue Income Affidavits in association with Thai marriage visas. So income affidavits often times were utilized by individuals who would go ahead and have their income stipulated in the Affidavit, they would sign it, that signature would be notarized and then that document would oftentimes be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and used as a document to go ahead and prove up one's ability to finance oneself here in the Kingdom and finance one's spouse and possibly children as well and go ahead and obtain a visa extension in the O category. Again this is being discontinued so from 2019 onward, at least for Americans, we are not going to see these income affidavits being used in any broad manner to go ahead and get these visas extended. 

It should be noted as we previously discussed in another video about 2 weeks ago on this channel, speculating about this very turn of events, there is and always has been this disconnect between the function that the Embassy is providing, namely simply a notarization or authentication of a signature and what Thai immigration is looking for, which is some kind of verification of the income or the data contained in the income affidavit itself. It has always been something of a grey area. That gray area has now been cleared up. Unfortunately this will likely result in some inconveniences for those who are looking to stay in Thailand particularly on a Thai marriage Visa.

We are going to try and make some other videos hopefully contemporaneously to this one where we explain possible alternatives to undertaking a visa extension here in the Kingdom in order to maybe provide some options for those who are looking to maintain their presence in the Kingdom and may have to go ahead and re-shift their financials etc. in order to keep status and remain in the Kingdom in the foreseeable future.