Hello, everyone I am Chifumi Maeda,
a Japanese female president living in Bangkok.
Thank you, guys, for visiting this
“True comments from Japanese female presidents living in Thailand” blog
I’ve talked about “How to apply for permanent residency in Thailand”.
I would today, on this blog, like to talk about the “Interview” that
you will have to go through after applying for the Thai permanent residency.
Details of interview for the Thai permanent residency application
I’ve submitted the application documents for permanent residence
to the Immigration Bureau in December 2011
and two months later, in February 2012,
I was contacted by the Immigration Bureau for an interview.
All interviews will be conducted twice.
In my case, I applied as a spouse of a Thai permanent resident (husband: Japanese nationality),
so in February 2012, after I applied, I had an interview with my husband for the first time.
The 2nd interview was on my own in March 2012, one month after the 1st interview.
Interviews are as follows.
1st interview (Feb. 2022. Together with my husband.)
On day, all of the sudden, an express mail came in.
The interview is on appointment base.
It was an instruction to come to the Immigration Bureau with my husband,
together with necessary documents that I need to take with me.
The necessary documents are the ones that I’ve submitted
when applied for the permanent residence.
They call it an interview but it was just to show my face
and to check if all of the documents are in order.
In a private room, being interviewed while sitting on sofa,
the officer in charge of our interview was putting down our reply on a paper which took about an hour.
This is what they’ve asked me.
where did we got married?
when did we get married?
where did we met with each other?
when was it that we met with each other?
what are my parents’ names?
what are the jobs that my parents are engaged in?
where were we born?
These were the questions that they’ve asked me.
And they asked us while we were interviewed if we had a photo that we took together.
This is to prevent applying for the status under fake marriage.
Therefore we’ve submitted several photos that we were taken together.
2nd interview (march 2021. On my own.)
The 2nd interview was on March 2012, one month after my 1st interview which I went alone.
Just as the 1st one, you will receive an express mail mentioning
when and what time they want you there at their office.
The interviewing date is 2 days from the date of the reception of the express mail.
The letter mentions the date and the time of the interview.
The purpose of the interview, so it mentioned in the letter,
is to see the interviewee’s “Thai language ability” and to see the “understanding level of Thailand”.
Before the interview, they check if the documents are all in order and take photo of the interviewee
and then they give number slip. You will be waiting for your turn in a waiting room.
I was No. 33.
There seems to be the nationalities of the applicants were Chinese, Indians, and Japanese
which was only myself on the day when I had my interview.
Come to think of it, I think there were also few British nationals as well.
The interview takes place one by one after they call you according to your number in a meeting room.
Even when you came with someone,
he or she may not enter the room and as the entrance to and the exit of the room is separated,
you have no chance to have a contact with the person waiting for you to finish your interview.
There were 6 other people besides the Director of Immigration Bureau.
The person in charge of taking photos during the interview, video man, note taker, all in all 7 officers.
As it is an official interview, they were all in army uniform.
I felt pressure as you are being interviewed by 7 officers at once.
However, they are not trying to pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable
but they had nice smiles on their face and it was almost like a chitchat session.
They start with very easy questions
but when they know the level of your Thai language understanding,
several people start talking you at the same time.
It was really like a chitchat conversation
and I was answering to questions one by one not able to follow whose question it was.
This is of the conversation that I thought that I will never forget.
What is your name?
My name is Chifumi Maeda.
What is your nationality and where were you born?
I am Japanese. I was born in Yamagata prefecture.
Located on the northern edge of the Honshu Island.
Were you impacted by the earth quake and tsunami?
(topic was on the earthquake in 2011.)）
The earthquake was in Miyagi prefecture
which is our neighbor prefecture
and it shook us a lot however,
the Yamagata prefecture lies on the other side of the island,
we experienced no tsumani.
That was very fortunate….
How long have you been living here in Thailand?
Are you married?
I’ve been living in Thailand since 1998.
I am married.
Tell us what industry sector is your husband’s company in.
Have you ever worked here in Thailand?
Yes I have.
At the time when I came to Thailand,
I was teaching Japanese language
in Suwanklarb Witthayalai School.
That is very interesting….
Where is the school located?
In Samut Prakan province.
What kind of Thai food do you like?
I like Isaan foods.
(Note: Isaan is Northeastern part of Thailand.
And then the room was in a surprising mood)
You like Isaan foods?
How about somtam?
I like Sup Nok Mai (=Bamboo salad).
(the room was filled with laughter. It is a maniac local food.)
This is very hard to find…. (With a laugh)
Where did you have it?
It was when I was working in school,
as many of my colleague comes from Roi-Et in Isaan,
they prepare Isaan foods for us and they told me that
“This is the Isaan food”
and shared the food with me.
And what’s more to that is that,
“We will teach you Isaan diarect”
and taught me their local Issan language.
Oh, can you speak Isaan diarect?
Give a shot please.
(Isaan is a diarect from Northeastern Thailand.)
Where have you been to?
What did you buy?
Oh, the other market sells that for a cheaper price…
Have you eaten yet?
No, not yet.
Ok, why don’t we eat together?
My interview session ended with this,
and the officer told me the following before I left the room.
“Chao si pai sai?”
It means where are you going now? In Isaan dialect which I left the room with a laughter.
And other question they had for me were as following.
Are you making any donations?
Where in Thailand have you been to?
What of Thailand do you like?
Why do you want to stay in Thailand permanently?
Do you communicate in Thai at home? Or do you use your mother tongue Japanese for that?
And they also mentioned that… “Your husband is making good money…”.
So I told them that to be honest,
I do not know how much he makes, and they said
“Oops, did I opened the Pandora Box?” please forget what I said just now. Oh but if I ask you to forget,
you will never forget it I think (with a laugh),
so I replied by saying
“Thank you very much for the interesting information,
I will ask my husband how much he makes as soon as I saw him! (With laugh)”,
and someone said it is international truth that wives are strong…”
It was more like funny chitchat from their personal interest rather than an interview.
A friend of mine asked me if I had to sing “Thai national anthem”
but no need to sing for the application.
But when you are applying for the Thai nationality, you need to sing the anthem.
This is my personal impression
but I think it is best that you make daily Thai conversation
rather than not speak the language at all to impress the interviewers.
So, I talked about interview to be granted with the permanent residency.
I hope this article will help those who want to acquire permanent residency rights in Thailand.