At the time of writing (October 12), it appears that the British embassy’s decision to cease issuing income verification letters for one-year extensions of stay was panicky.
The website informed us that the American embassy would follow suit, but there has been to date a deafening silence there. No other Bangkok embassy has taken the British bait.
So what’s the British rush to compromise its own citizens? Obviously, UK lawyers have stressed – as they have been doing for many years – that there is no way they can guarantee the truth of all income statements made. This ancient history, of course, is true of other embassies and is well known to Thai authorities.
Maybe we are at the start of a serious crackdown which will create a mass exodus of farang from the kingdom. Maybe. In any case, the immigration bureau rules for one-year, retirement extensions are said to be under review.
However, the British embassy – by jumping the gun and apparently in diplomatic isolation – has simply spread confusion across the expat community. Perhaps it is simply part of the British government’s obvious strategy to curtail front-line consular services across the board. British expats don’t vote, so why bother?