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  1. #1
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    Default Complete Thai visa guide for 2019 – Thai visas, immigration, & staying in Thailand

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    A Great post...full of information.

    Many Thanks

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    Brilliant article. I was wondering what the best way to retire to Thailand was - he suggests standard Visa exempt tourist entry (if asked why you are visiting you'd have to lie though and say it is a holiday? That is not ideal) then convert to 90 day Non-O in Thailand, then extend for a year. What isn't clear also, is from what date you need to show the 800k Thai Baht in the bank from.

    I do have a Thai wife but that route is much more complicated and needs approval in Bangkok each year. The retirement extensions are approved at local offices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray8472 View Post
    Brilliant article. I was wondering what the best way to retire to Thailand was - he suggests standard Visa exempt tourist entry (if asked why you are visiting you'd have to lie though and say it is a holiday? That is not ideal) then convert to 90 day Non-O in Thailand, then extend for a year. What isn't clear also, is from what date you need to show the 800k Thai Baht in the bank from.

    I do have a Thai wife but that route is much more complicated and needs approval in Bangkok each year. The retirement extensions are approved at local offices.
    If asked you can say you are going to convert to a Non- Immigrant "O" Visa or you can get one in your home country or a neighboring country before arrival in Thailand. Both extensions are applied for at your local office which is determined by your Thai address (you dont need to visit BKK unless your Thai address is in BKK) Its not really complicated for a Non-Immigrant "O" Visa extension based on marriage to a Thai national, but can vary from year to year on what they specifically want to see and can also vary from one office to another, you need to show 400,000 THB in a Thai Bank which must be in your own name two months prior to applying. The results can take 3 to 4 weeks but they give you another extension that will cover this period if necessary. The retirement extension is less troublesome and takes less time, but need twice the amount of money in a Thai bank plus now will need Medical Insurance every year as things stand at the moment. The money in my Thai bank I made sure I had in 3 months prior this year, to be on the side of caution.
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    Silly question what is the actual requirement financially for a retirement visa based on marriage and is that just the amount required in the bank or does it involve tea money? I have been assuming that 1.5 million baht will eventually become the new amount dependent on the new government.
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    You can't have a retirement visa, or extension of stay, based on marriage. You can have an extension of stay based on retirement, or an extension of stay based on marriage. Currently retirement extensions require ฿800,000 deposited in a Thai bank account in your name only for 2 months prior to your first application. The money needs to now still be there three months later, and then not drop below ฿400,000 for the rest of the year. They will check that when you apply for the next one. Marriage extensions require ฿400,000 for 2 months prior to the application in a Thai bank in your name only and there is no requirement to keep it in there afterwards, although some offices do require to see it still in there after the 30 under consideration period. All extensions cost ฿1,900. If someone asks you for tea money, report them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisaket View Post
    If asked you can say you are going to convert to a Non- Immigrant "O" Visa or you can get one in your home country or a neighboring country before arrival in Thailand. Both extensions are applied for at your local office which is determined by your Thai address (you dont need to visit BKK unless your Thai address is in BKK) Its not really complicated for a Non-Immigrant "O" Visa extension based on marriage to a Thai national, but can vary from year to year on what they specifically want to see and can also vary from one office to another, you need to show 400,000 THB in a Thai Bank which must be in your own name two months prior to applying. The results can take 3 to 4 weeks but they give you another extension that will cover this period if necessary. The retirement extension is less troublesome and takes less time, but need twice the amount of money in a Thai bank plus now will need Medical Insurance every year as things stand at the moment. The money in my Thai bank I made sure I had in 3 months prior this year, to be on the side of caution.
    I think the insurance only applies to Non-OA Visas at the moment, but I think that is still not 100% clarified. Anyway if it became a requirement for retirement extensions I'm sure it would also apply to marriage extensions. Let's see. In a year's time when I apply, it may all be totally different !

    The 800k baht is not a problem. As I understand it yes you do it at the local immigration office but they have to send it to BKK for approval. But a retirement one they approve on the spot. And with marriage visa you may need witnesses like a neighbour, and photos etc. Certainly will be do-able, but if retirement is less hassle I'll go that route.

    You say 2 months before for the 800k baht. So I can convert to the Non-O without having the money in the bank, but pretty much straight away I then have to put it in the bank so it is there in good time for the 1 year renewal at the end of the 90 days. My plan would be anyway to get it there even earlier.

    bifftastic, we will be based in and around Chiang Rai as well. My wife is in Mae Chan currently, and we have land in Chiang Saen as well. The plan was to build a house there but I'm not sure of that at the moment.

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    Do not rely on the new 2 months before rule replacing three. I know somebody who had to leave and get a new non immigrant O visa because his office would not accept the 2 month rule, even though he was right. Never expect them to know what new rules are, it takes ages for them to filter down

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    I just picked up my new Extension - Non Immigrant "O" (based on marriage to a Thai national) on Friday just gone and as Biff pointed out it was a requirement this time to have my Bankbook updated on Friday along with photocopies, the Bankbook and copies were handed in along with my Passport.
    The link for the new mandatory Medical Insurance : https://longstay.tgia.org/ this does not affect Non-Immigrant "O" Visas / Extensions atm, Only Non-Immigrant "O-A" (Retirement) Visas / Extensions, but you may have insurance from outside Thailand but needs be at least on par with the Thai requirements.
    I believe (unless things have changed) you may hold the equivalent of 800,000 THB in a foreign currency in a Thai Bank IE in Pound Sterling.
    ray8472 you are correct about photos, they will require some but you never know from one year to the next what they want IE last year they were not interested in photos of me and Mrs outside our complex with the name showing, but this year they required that, last year wanted a solo photo of me inside our unit at the door, this year the required both of us. Another requirement would be if have Sprogs (we dont) that would be a photo of the Family unit.
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    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave&Lek View Post
    Do not rely on the new 2 months before rule replacing three. I know somebody who had to leave and get a new non immigrant O visa because his office would not accept the 2 month rule, even though he was right. Never expect them to know what new rules are, it takes ages for them to filter down
    It's not a new rule, but some offices do insist on three months. even though they shouldn't. It's obviously of little use standing there saying they shouldn't but it's always advisable to pop in to your local immigration office well before you need to actually get the extension just to make sure you have all their specific requirements. Most offices have a handout with what they require on it. Gives you time to make sure, and time to put anything right before your current permission of stay runs out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray8472 View Post
    bifftastic, we will be based in and around Chiang Rai as well. My wife is in Mae Chan currently, and we have land in Chiang Saen as well. The plan was to build a house there but I'm not sure of that at the moment.
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    Previously it was 2 months for the first extension then 3 months for subsequent extensions, From the first of march this year it is meant to be 2 months for subsequent extensions, but some offices still insist it is 3, while others know of the new rule and allow for 2.

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    Apologies for asking. In the original post it says another way to stay in Thailand long term is to marry a local. What about if I’m already married to a Thai lady? Can I use this as my reason for staying please? I’m talking about staying forever by the way. Many thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yanto View Post
    Apologies for asking. In the original post it says another way to stay in Thailand long term is to marry a local. What about if I’m already married to a Thai lady? Can I use this as my reason for staying please? I’m talking about staying forever by the way. Many thanks
    Yes you can hold a immigration status based on marriage to a Thai national.
    I have a Non-Immigrant O visa extension (12 months per time) based on marriage to a Thai national.
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    sisaket, can I ask how that works please and what I’d need to do in terms of qualifying, financials etc? Thanks

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    Premium Member sisaket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yanto View Post
    sisaket, can I ask how that works please and what I’d need to do in terms of qualifying, financials etc? Thanks
    Each immigration office can have slightly different interpretations and these can change slightly from what they want to see from year to year IE my Immigration is Bangkok, that may have slightly different interpretations than say Chonburi.
    But the basics are the same, have to apply for the extension from with-in TH, will need your own Thai bank account (not joint) will need 400,000 THB minimum 2 / 3 months before application and not go below before you know the result, IE will want to see a new bank statement on the day of application and on result day, will want to see your bank book, and on the day of application a letter from the bank that confirms its your own account (I have my own account with KTB and my branch is in the immigration complex)
    You need to fill the forms (TM 7) with up to date photo and take in person, you need take your wife as they will interview her, your Mrs will need Thai ID card and copy, house registration and copy and she needs to supply a supporting letter, your marriage certificate and copy, a Khor ror 2 to prove your still married (I did nt need this year, but did last) will want to see photos of you and Mrs inside / outside of your place of residence IE our Condo, showing the number etc also if you have kids need a family photo at the residence (we dont have sprogs), need a map of your residence printed out IE google maps, last year asked my Mrs to draw one as well, I have plans of the area, complex, building , floor and our unit, I take them all, let them pick out what they want, need your passport and copy of photo page and with relevant stamps plus landing card, the fee (non refundable) 1,900THB, if successful you dont need go out of TH, but will need to report to immigration each 90 days (done mine yesterday 13th) if you do go out of TH you will need to buy a Re-Entry Permit before exiting TH or your extension will be invalid when you return, I normally get a multi-entry but due to COVID-19 I just got a single this year.
    Bangkok immigration produce flyers / leaflets with their latest requirements / documents, I normally go get one a week before applying as things can and do change.
    If you will be based in Roi-et you need to find out from their immigration on what their definitive list of documents needed will be.
    bangkok mags

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