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New requirement to notarise your degree at your embassy

Discussion in 'Visas and extensions of stay' started by magnumforce, 1 Oct 2015.

  1. ttompatz

    ttompatz Just another teacher

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    1. Change of status from TR to non-B IN Thailand
      or
    2. obtaining your TCT license for the 1st time
    requires authentication of your academic credentials by one of several means (as discussed many times on this forum).

    .
     
  2. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I work for a private school (via an agency, unfortunately...), and I and a number of other teachers were instructed to authenticate our degrees recently (both UK and Ireland unis). I'm working there 3 years and this is the first time it has been requested by the local immigration office (Nakhon Ratchasima). One teacher was turned away and told to return with an authenticated degree copy before they would complete his application.

    I went last week to complete my authentication/legalization process, below you'll find a brief outline of my experiences as it may differ slightly to the original / commencing post of this thread.

    Firstly, I visited my embassy (Ireland) in Bangkok. I arrived there at 9.30 am, submitted my documents (they requested a letter addressed to them and signed, outlining what service I request), at a cost of 1,800 baht. The authenticated copy was available to pick up on the same day at 14.30.

    The following morning I took a taxi to Changwattana (and I was dropped outside the wrong building by the taxi driver, I then had to take a motorcycle taxi to the correct one, the Department of Consular Affairs, see photo below). The legalization dept. is located on the third floor (I saw zero signs in English and had to ask at a nearby information desk, but they were very helpful and had good English skills). On the third floor at the top of the stairs you'll find the initial information / check-in desk which opens at 8:30am. A crowd of around 20 people were already waiting when I arrived at 8am. Once this first line of 'check-in' desks opened people began to line up here. You submit your documents and application form here for a spot-check (I assume you can download the application form from a website - mine was emailed to me by my agency), they'll also check that you have photocopied the info and visa pages of your passport too (nobody bothered to tell me that I needed to do this either, so I had to go back downstairs to the 2nd floor, here you'll find a photocopying service at 5 baht a page). Once you receive your numbered ticket you take a seat once more and await your number call.

    After about 30 minutes I was called to a set of booths/windows to the left of the initial help-desk. Here they check your documents again and receive payment for the service you require. I chose the fast-track/same day option which cost 400 baht.

    I was then instructed to sit down once more and await my name to be called out. After another 20 minutes I was called once again to a numbered booth, given my change and instructed to return between 14.40 and 16:30 on that same day.

    ****NB. I have not been instructed to translate any documents into Thai, and did not do so on this day. My colleague, who also completed the same process and submitted said documents to immigration did not have to complete any Thai translation of documents and did not experience any issues with the local immigration office on processing his work permit and visa****

    I returned to the same department on that day at 16:05, I handed my receipt to the sole assistant remaining at the information desk and was instructed to pick up my document at the collection booth on the far-left wall. This whole process took less than 10 minutes to complete.

    I hope this information is useful to any future 'authentication/legalization virgins', it would have been quite useful to me but nobody bothered or deemed it important enough to inform me of the intricacies of the process. I stayed in accommodation near Siam in Bangkok, and took the BTS to Mo Chit, then took a taxi from there (taxi was about 100 baht). This is probably the easiest travel option to avoid traffic congestion when traveling from the city centre. I stupidly took a return taxi to MBK around 11am to kill time while waiting to pick up my docs again that evening, traffic was heavy and I lost over an hour stuck in it and 200 baht for the luxury of said experience also.

    I took a scan of some posters I found inside the building, I've posted them below along with a photo of the correct building to go to, they may be useful for future reference. On my return journey to finally pick up my document I just zoomed in and showed the taxi driver the name of the building in Thai on the photo and I was dropped to the door without issue this time :smiling

    DG


    Legalization Service (English).jpg


    Legalization Service (Thai).jpg

    Department of Consular Affairs.jpg
     
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2017
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  3. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    First of all thanks a lot for all your info and the time to post it.

    Do you think this Immigration rule is really local or a national rule that will be slowly but surely enforced nationwide?

    I consider degre authentication that you swear that it's real in front of Embassy officials. However, one could lie or am I wrong and naive?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. ttompatz

    ttompatz Just another teacher

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    You could lie but lying under oath to a consular officer carries the same penalties as lying under oath in a court or other official body at home (ie: penalties for perjury).

    Perjury is a criminal act that occurs when a person lies or makes statements that are not truthful while under oath.
     
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  5. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for this, ttompatz.
     
  6. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea to be honest... My director maintains that it's a knee-jerk reaction/fallout from the Erawan bombing in 2015.

    Personally, I'm glad to have it over and done with as I don't want the headache of multiple return visits to the local immigration office on a document wild-goose chase

    DG
     
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  7. natewill

    natewill Active Member

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    FWIW, I think our local Lampang Immigration office is requiring it from everyone. This may be one of those (so, so many) regulations that are enforced however the local boys see fit to do so. I won't know myself until the middle of next month, but there are a few other teachers locally that are being asked to do this authentication/certification song and dance. Some of these are tourist->nonimmB teachers, and some are nonimmB renewal teachers....
     
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  8. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    Thank you natewill I have today ordered a sealed document from my university as a precaution
     
  9. Gor Blimey Guvnur!

    Gor Blimey Guvnur! What the duck ! Staff Member

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    Can only chip in to say this is unheard of as a requirement in Nakhon Pathom immigration ...last visit was December for new non B and no mention.
    However, when I obtained my 3rd waiver from TCT in 2014 they also isssued a letter saying that further waivers/ full licences must be accompainied by this notarisation too .... went for and obtained a 4th without this lol.
    It does appear that the rule is there but some immigration offices and maybe some TCT officials apply the rule and others do not ... ahh the consistency in Thailand eh.
    :lost it
     
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  10. kiwidrew

    kiwidrew Active Member

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    I just renewed my Non B and WP at the beginning of this month and was not required to show notarized documents from my embassy. Perhaps it's a Jomtien thing. Consistency of rules surrounding visas etc is seriously lacking in this country.
     
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  11. natewill

    natewill Active Member

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    Attached is a snapshot of the results of a phone call between our asst director and the local immigration
    office, FWIW.


    Untitled-1.jpg

    So maybe everybody has to do it one time? not sure....
     
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  12. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    I renewed my waiver at khrusapa as well as my work permit and Non imm B visa at Nakhon Ratchasima recently and none of them required a notarised degree certificate. Just another example of inconsistently requiring an expensive document. A degree and three pages of transcripts is going to cost 7200, plus the cost of travel, hotels and inconvenience. I'm expecting to have to provide these and/or a copy of sealed transcripts for khrusapa, when I apply for my full licence, although I've been told that they only want your highest qualification, which for me is the DipEd from IFUGAO. Quite often the documents they request need to be recent, so the annual tiresome paperwork ordeal could become expensive too.

    It could be that theres been a problem with someone at your school and they're checking all the other teachers, as I haven't heard of anyone else in Korat ever needing these documents. There does seem to have been a general tightening of the rules, particularly for a new non imm b visas in Laos etc. This year expect the hospital to do a proper and more expensive medical check including blood tests which can take a day or two.

    I have absolutely no problem with them checking degrees, police backgrounds, health etc. but some consistency would make things much smoother for teachers and the immigration officials themselves. Some of these documents take time to order and if you're not told until you turn up, you can be up shit creek without a paddle.
     
  13. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Well-Known Member

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    No previous problems with any applications/teachers at my school, this rule just spontaneously appeared out of nowhere. They only requested the degree parchment to be authenticated and not the transcripts, so I'm assuming it was an issue with a fake degree(s) - possibly from a school in the same region?

    As for medical checkup costs, I already pay enough to Bangkok hospital for this service so I hope you jest...?! ;)

    One thing that always puzzled me was why they have never asked me for a Thai police background check and insist on a home country one every time - a place I don't live in anymore...

    DG
     
  14. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    Quite a few hospitals now require a full medical before they'll issue a medical certificate. I'm not sure whether it's something that's been demanded by immigration or whether they just realised that they could make a 500 baht from each teacher that comes in. Smaller clinics still check your pulse and take your money.

    I've only been asked for a police check once at nakhon ratchasima immigration and I got the distinct impression that the officer was asking for it out of spite or laziness because I'd made her do some work. Luckily I had mine with me as I always take absolutely everything with me.
     
  15. ttompatz

    ttompatz Just another teacher

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    Sort of off-topic but relevant....

    Police check - now needed for a NEW visa application (including a change of employers) or a change of status (TR to non-B) whether done in country or at an embassy/consulate.

    Authenticated degree -
    • needed for a change of status.
    • sometimes needed for a new visa or WP based on being a "teacher".
      • sometimes avoided when the WP is based on being a "curriculum consultant" or other non-educational related position (TA).
    • often asked for when applying for a visa waiver.
      • DFA and embassy red ribbons and MFA authentication is now required for Filipinos.
      • sealed. "official" transcripts are usually accepted in lieu for NES teachers.
      • an affidavit of authenticity coupled with MFA certification will suffice if university issued, stamped, and sealed documents are not available.
    • required when applying for a license .
    • may be asked for when applying for a license renewal.
    I wish there was a more definitive answer but with us having about 120 foreign staff coming from about 8 different nationalities to deal with in 10 difference provinces this has been our experience.
     
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