Jump to content
TBoneTX

Hypothetical Question about Potential Dowry

14 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Gentlemen,

 

A buddy has begun corresponding with a Thai lady.  She's 38 years old, is an independent professional, and has never been married, although she had a live-in boyfriend for several years.

 

For long-range planning, my buddy is wondering whether a dowry would be required, and if so, approximately how much (in local currency and converted to dollars, please).  Thanks in advance for your input.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TBoneTX said:

For long-range planning, my buddy is wondering whether a dowry would be required, and if so, approximately how much (in local currency and converted to dollars, please).  Thanks in advance for your input.

This article should serve your buddy as a general guide of what to expect.

 

https://www.thethailandlife.com/sin-sod

 

and this article published in the Bangkok Post is an interesting read:

 

https://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/social-and-lifestyle/1511998/marriage-at-any-price

Edited by JoelThai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TBoneTX said:

A buddy has begun corresponding with a Thai lady.

 

I also recommend he read a copy of "Thailand Fever".   It is meant to be read by both the Thai lady and the American Man.   The book is translated in both English and Thai.   It is very helpful in understanding the differences between the two cultures which are often 180 degrees apart.   I don't think I would be here now without both myself and my fiancee having read it.

 

https://thailandfever.com.  

 

The book is also available for purchase from Amazon, although unfortunately there is no e-book available.

Edited by JoelThai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well not really a dowery just for show normally given back. It’s becoming more common that nothing is expected.

 

Any rate it shouldnt be much since keep in mind what would a Thai pay?

 

However for a laugh he should ask the lady in question. Depending on her answer it will speak volumes on the type of lady she is.


ROC Timeline

Service Center: Vermont

90 Day Window Opened....08/08/17

I-751 Packet Sent..............08/14/17

NO1 Dated.........................

NO1 Received....................

Check Cashed....................

Biometrics Received..........

Biometrics Appointment.....

Approved...........................

 

IR-1/CR-1 Visa

I-130 NOA1: 22 Dec 2014
I-130 NOA2: 25 Jan 2015
NVC Received: 06 Feb 2015
Pay AOS Bill: 07 Mar 2015
Pay IV Bill : 20 Mar 2015
Send IV/AOS Package: 23 Mar 2015
Submit DS-261: 26 Mar 2015
Case Completed at NVC: 24 Apr 2015
Interview Date: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Approved: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Received: 03 Oct 2015 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, cyclone27 said:

However for a laugh he should ask the lady in question. Depending on her answer it will speak volumes on the type of lady she is.

 

In most cases, It is not about what "type of lady she is", and more about the social economic class that the lady was born into and the education that was provided to her.  This is not to say all ladies are good.   There was a recent published story in Thailand where a woman was frequently re-marring so she could demand and collect the sin solt.  But that is certainly not typical.  

 

In Thailand,  a family of farm laborers are more likely to expect and require a sin sod than an educated "middle class" family.  Depending on how the friend of the OP feels about this tradition, and the family expectation of his girl friend in receiving a sin sod, it is a good idea to understand family expectations now to avoid problems deep into the courtship.  If he can not or does not feel comfortable meeting those expectations, if is best to move on and look for another lady and save himself and his girl friend from heart break later on.

 

In the case of the original poster, it sounds like his girl friend is well educated, suggesting her family is also.   If she is not currently supporting or helping to support her parents, then a sin sod would more likely be ceremonial (i.e. offered to be returned at the end of the wedding ceremony).  But if the family is currently depending on her to supplement their monthly income, the expectation of providing a "gift" of sin sod at marriage is much more likely.

 

 

Edited by JoelThai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very educational -- thanks, guys.  I'll pass along this valuable information and the links.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tradition in Thailand is that the kids support the parents in their old age.   Every Thai I've ever met sends monthly payments to their parents, and that's because most older Thais typically have very little, and get little or nothing from the government in their old age.   I've known my fiancee for more than 15 years.  Her parents are not wealthy.  I'm happy to help with the monthly payment to her parents as I am extremely fortunate to have met such an incredible person.  She absolutely insists that sin sod is neither expected or required by her or her parents.   And it's for these reasons we will hand them an amount that I've determined is generous and appropriate.        

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the extra insights.

 

My buddy learned that the girl's parents are elderly and live in the poorest area of the country (I don't have access to the region or town name).  He was to tell me (but hasn't yet) about whether she's the oldest, has siblings, etc.

 

She's apparently very interested in my buddy and contacts him every day.  She's eager for him to visit (= unlikely anytime soon) and has inquired about applying for a tourist visa to the U.S.  In regard to the latter, I told him that the chances of a single woman's getting a tourist visa from a desperately poor country are typically remote, and that she must show considerable ties to home plus have a good previous international travel history.

 

Can one of you comment further about the realistic prospects of her being granted a tourist visa?  Thanks.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, TBoneTX said:

Can one of you comment further about the realistic prospects of her being granted a tourist visa?  Thanks.

 

@Loren Y attempted to obtain a tourist visa for his Thai fiancee without success, although they did receive their K1 Visa without any problems.   He may be able to comment further about his experience in his attempt to get a tourist Visa for her.   

Edited by JoelThai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, J.  If he doesn't pop by, I'll send him a PM or research his relevant posts.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know plenty of Thais who received US visas but they are highly educated and tick the boxes that the US like to see.


ROC Timeline

Service Center: Vermont

90 Day Window Opened....08/08/17

I-751 Packet Sent..............08/14/17

NO1 Dated.........................

NO1 Received....................

Check Cashed....................

Biometrics Received..........

Biometrics Appointment.....

Approved...........................

 

IR-1/CR-1 Visa

I-130 NOA1: 22 Dec 2014
I-130 NOA2: 25 Jan 2015
NVC Received: 06 Feb 2015
Pay AOS Bill: 07 Mar 2015
Pay IV Bill : 20 Mar 2015
Send IV/AOS Package: 23 Mar 2015
Submit DS-261: 26 Mar 2015
Case Completed at NVC: 24 Apr 2015
Interview Date: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Approved: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Received: 03 Oct 2015 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the recommendation @JoelThai. On the tourist Visa aspect I did attempt to get her a tourist visa first because I wanted her to see what America was like before she made the commitment to live here( Marriage wasn't really in the cards yet). Tourist Visas are pretty hard to get. I have many Thai friends who have gotten visas, but they are Teachers, and some well off business owners who have had success with a multi-entry visa. My fiancee is from a North Eastern town about 5-6 hours outside of Bangkok. She has some education, but mainly worked on a farm her whole early life and when we met the first thing my Thai friends had told me was if I am serious about this relationship was to get her some English Lessons. I signed her up for levels 1-8 of beginners English that was about 16-18 weeks of schooling at 1 hour a day , and it was a big game changer for her. She was able to get a pretty good job " By Thai standards" at a local resort because of just being able to cater to the influx of English speaking tourists. So that is something to consider to help, and it benefits you also because my Thai is not the best by a long shot, and it helps with communication, and seemed to impress the CO at the K1 interview that she could get by in English if needed, maybe not fluently, but better than the average for sure. The links above are definitely good references. I did just buy the book mentioned about 2 weeks ago and was able to get thru it in about 2 days. Maybe 6 hours of reading, but I enjoy reading, and it was a good book, but my fiancee has not read it yet, so I don't have her input on it.

 

Now, on the Sin Sod side of things as I can speak from experience. My fiancee had been married previously ( Arranged marriage), and also has a son who is grown now. Her mom really likes me ( More than her she says, I think she is exaggerating, but her mom does like me), and we had the talk about sin sod. Now according to the Thai standards it is based on many things mostly how well off the family is, and they main purpose of it is so the Family can " Save Face" in the town they live in. It is more prevalent in the smaller towns still as most haven't come around to the more current ways where like many have said it is more for show and the money is usually returned by the parents as a gift to the new couple, and it is expected to an extent. Talking with her mom a Sin Sod of around 300,000 Baht ( 9500 USD) would have been what was asked for for her daughters hand in marriage when she was first married. Since she was married before that brings her value down to about 100,000 Baht ( 3200 USD), and since she had a child it basically brings her value to zero like the one article said above because she is no longer " Pure". This is not me talking now, I don't see a person ( Especially my fiancee) as something that can be bought, but it is the customs that have been instilled for hundreds if not thousands of years in their culture. Her mom was really cool about the whole thing and didn't expect anything from me, but we agreed on 10,000 Baht ( 300USD) that I presented to her in a special envelope that my fiancee said was used for SIn Sod in front of her closest friends and family from the town that she lived in. I don't think it was ever mentioned the amount that was in the envelope, but just to keep with tradition, and to let her mom " Save Face" in the small town that is was I did. As also mentioned in the above posts her mom is 70-71 years old, and is completely supported by her 4 daughters from what I can tell. They all send money to their mom monthly ( 2000-3000) baht each so she is able to live. The dedication to family in Thailand is like nothing I have seen in any other parts of the world, and I see it as a good thing that parents are taken care of by their children when they get older because it isn't like they have a 401K or a retirement plan. My fiancee would skip things she needed to make sure she managed to send her mom the money she needed for support. I honestly believe she would not eat for a week if that is what it took to help her mom out, the dedication is that serious. They believe in supporting their parents no matter what from what I have seen, and of course that is the second thing I agreed to. Since when she comes here she will not be able to work for a good 6 months at least waiting on a EAD/AP card I agreed to cover her 2-3 thousand baht she sends her mom until she gets a job and is able to send it herself. It will be about 100 USD a month I will transfer into her moms bank like she has been doing for years while she has been working in Thailand, and that can kinda be considered as part of the sin sod in a way, and I have no problems with it, and as soon as she gets a job she will take over sending the money to her mom again. I have explained to her that living in America is more expensive than there and to keep a realistic idea of how much you will be able to send to "Help" her mom out, as I think she thinks she will be making millions here and sending her mom tons of money, but I think I have gotten the reality of things across to her and her mom.

 

So the best thing for your friend to do is once he meets her family to sit down and talk about it with her parents. As awkward as it is honesty because it is like you are haggling for a used car and not the woman you want to spend your life with, from my experience talking about it is expected and I had my fiancee translating for me the whole time ( Glad she took those English classes), and after you get over the awkwardness of it, I think he will find everything will work out for the best. By taking about it with them it will definitely earn him a good deal of respect with her parents that will go a long way in the long run. Respect is pretty important also in the Thai culture, and being the Farang outsider any respect you can earn is a bonus. When I visit her home town the change is definitely noticeable from when I made that first visit to now, a few years later I am treated differently compared to then. You wouldn't think you would notice, but word must travel fast around town, and it is a good thing to have some " Street Cred" LOL. when you go to visit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks, Loren.  I'll refer my buddy to your highly enlightening post.

 

Meanwhile, he has written me the following:

"She is the youngest of, I believe, 4 siblings.  She has a brother and I believe 2 sisters.  One sister is divorced and has a child. That sister is poor.  The brother is not married.  I don't know much about the other sister.  I will find out more."

 

He'll obviously have some learning, research, planning, and conversing to do.  And people wonder why international relationships feature extra components of complexity!


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm told that the refusal rate for B visas is 20% for Thailand.  This compares with 28% for Ecuador and 78% for Cuba.  I would have bet a large dowry sin sod amount of money that the refusal rate would have been far higher.  Interesting.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×