Pattaya Legal Corner: A Thai baby was born overseas

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Q: I am a Canadian citizen with a Thai wife, but our baby was born in Canada. Can we get a Thai passport for the baby?
A: Yes you can. But first, the baby’s foreign birth certificate must be registered separately in Thailand and there are several other easy-to-follow legal steps, including proof of local address, to acquire the necessary documentation. It is best to refer to a lawyer competent in this legislative area.

Q: I want my UK diplomas to be certified authentic but the Thai notary wont dab them. What can I do?
A: A Thai lawyer or notary cannot authenticate documents issued outside the country for common sense reasons. You will also find that embassies are in a similar position – they do not have a database of degrees awarded by universities abroad. If you check your embassy’s website you will see that there is a procedure, but this will involve sending or bringing the certificates back to the UK. The advice to potential teachers here is to have your qualifications validated while you are still in the home country.


Q: I’m in France but I can’t withdraw money from my Thai bank account to send abroad. Why is it?
A: All Thai banks have broadly similar procedures, although the details may vary. You would be expected to go to the bank in person if you want to transfer money in the way you describe. It’s something impossible to delegate, I’m afraid. You write in your email that you are terminally ill. Assuming you have a will, your executor will be able to obtain probate once you sadly pass away.

Q: I need the Thai Internal Revenue Service to sign and stamp a form so that I don’t pay tax in Sweden which is my home country. But they wonI do not do it.
A: The Thai tax office can only certify the tax you have paid. They can’t sign a form saying you don’t pay tax here. You say in your post that you have a one year extension of stay based on retirement so you are not working here in Thailand. You cannot pay tax when you have no locally generated income. If you owned a condominium and rented it out, this could be an avenue to explore, but you must be registered with the Thai tax authorities.

Q: If I am at a pool party when it is raided by the police, can I be arrested and what is the penalty?
A: It’s up to the police on the scene to decide. For the moment, the authorities seem to limit court appearances to managers, owners and employees. If you are arrested, you could be deported, but a fine may be more likely. Blacklisting is another possibility, but is generally not done to be a customer. However, you would obviously be breaking the law knowing full well the dangers. The only sensible policy is to limit your alcohol consumption and attendance to premises that prohibit alcohol after 9 p.m.

Q: If I get a residence certificate from Thai immigration, does that prove that I live here?
A:
No. A certificate of residence issued by the immigration office simply indicates that you presented proof of residence when it was issued. The word “residence” in this context is much narrower than you might expect and is used primarily for opening bank accounts, buying or selling vehicles, and obtaining a driver’s license. Proof of the length of your stay in Thailand is shown on your visa. The only exceptions are ‘permanent residents’ who do not have a visa expiry date in their passport, although they will need a re-entry permit if they leave the country.


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