Monday, March 21, 2011

More Immigration Fun

Its always fun when working with the government.  What's even more fun is when you get to deal with two governments.  

We decided that we wanted to have the kids get their Thai citizenship.  They would have dual citizenship, which would make living in Thailand easier; eliminating the need for getting them a visa each year.  The kids are eligible for Thai citizenship based on the nationality of their mother.

In order to grant citizenship, the Thai government wants an official birth certificate, as well as a translated in Thai.  This is certainly a reasonable request.  In addition to the translation, however, the want a notarized document from the U.S. Embassy stating that the birth certificates are legitimate.  This presents a problem, because the U.S. Embassy will not verify the validity of the documents.  Perhaps this is because  the birth certificates are issued by the States and not the Federal government.    What the U.S. Embassy will do is take $50 and notarize a document where you state the information on the birth certificate.  They make no assurances as to the accuracy of the data, but only that the person attested that these facts were true.  

So we have the problem that the Thai government is requesting something that the U.S. government won't provide.  And its not as if the U.S. won't do it because we don't have the proper documentation; they simply will not do it.  Tim ran into the same issue when registering our U.S. marriage in order to change the name on her passport.  Then she was finally able to convince the clerk to accept the notarization.  It looks like she will have to do the same thing this time.  

I understand the reason that Thailand would request this, and the reason that the U.S. Embassy won't provide it.  The bottom line is that we are not the only ones who have gone through this, and they need to work something out.  This involves children getting their Thai citizenship, which they are legally entitled based on their mother.  Its absurd to deny citizenship to one of your people based on a foreign Embassy's unwillingness to verify a document's accuracy, particularly when the document was not issued by that foreign government, but rather a state in it.  

My hunch is that we will get this resolved, but it will just be more difficult than it needs to be.  I'll let you know.

1 comment:

Allen in AK said...

Loved to see the Scout pictures. I am a scoutmastr in Juneau Alaska and my 14 yr old son and I are going to Thailand in December. Are scouts a popular thing in Thailand? He is going to try and do his Eagle project as a fundraiser for initially a school in Chumphon, and it seems to be expanding to include a school on Koh Tao and one in Sawi Whattaya. A friend who has taught there said the schools were poor and need supplies so he is going to do a fundraiser and then we will buy the stuff once there and take it to the schools. Any advice?