Retirement visa help

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mark550455
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Retirement visa help

Post by mark550455 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:52 pm

I would guess that this subject has been touched upon on numerous occasions. I am looking at retiring in Thailand, I am 56 and have all the funds and a pension large enough to meet current requirements: I have tried going down the path of obtaining an O-A long stay Visa (1 year) but obtaining one from London appears to be a nightmare. I have therefore looked at other options by converting a Multiple Entry Visa (6 months) into a O-A Visa (1 year) whilst in Thailand. I picked this up on the internet, however it is from 2014 and I need to clarify if the advice is still current:

'A Tourist Visa can indeed be converted first to a single entry Non-Immigrant Type O and then when there's 30 days or less remaining a yearly extension of stay based on retirement can be applied for.

It's basically what I call a "three-step-process" (at least here in Bangkok it takes three visits to Immigrations to do it, I dunno what other Immigrations Offices do, I only deal with Bangkok Immigrations).

You need to have at least 15 days left on your Tourist visa when you apply to convert that to a Non-Immigrant Type O. You also need to meet the financial requirements of either 800K in a Thai bank or a letter from your embassy stating you get at least 65K baht a month from you country or a combination of the twl. Believe me IF you go the Embassy letter for this the Immigrations officer will ask you for proof that you really get the money (pension statements, SS direct deposits etc are fine). The reason they do this is because they know people from the US can put any amount on the Embassy letter they want. If you go the banked money route you don't need to have it seasoned at all. It just needs to be 800K in a Thai bank.

First Step; You go to Thai Immigrations in Bangkok, (section C1) pay a 2000 baht fee, you're applying for a "change of visa" w/form TM86. Your documentation is accepted and you're told to come back to Immigrations 2 weeks later. Your paperwork is set upstairs for "review" during that time. It's my experience that IF they take you're money and your paperwork you've pretty much gonna get the visa. I've never seen someone denied after they took payment and paperwork and if you don't meet the qualifications they won't take your money or your paperwork.

Step Two; You return to Thai Immigrations two weeks later, give them your passport, they stamp a single entry Non-Immigrant Type O visa into it, stamp used on it, then give you a new "permission to stay until" stamp dated 90 days out.

Step Three: When there are 30 days or less on your permission to stay stamp (usually about two months after "step two"), you go to Immigrations w/form TM7 and your documentation to qualify for a yearly extension of stay based on retirement. Again 800K in the bank for 60 days (because it's your first ever yearly extension), a letter from your Embassy stating you get 65K baht a month (this time they don't ask for proof) or a combination of the two, a medical certificate, and 1900baht. It's a pretty painless process.

You went from a Tourist Visa, to a Non-O, to a yearly extension of stay based on retirement in three visits to Immigrations; totally cost for visa fees 3900 baht. Oh once you get that far don't forget to buy a re-entry permit before you leave Immigrations other wise if you need to leave Thailand during the year and don't have one you're extension would be canceled.

BTW a Tourist Visa is a "real visa" that you got BEFORE you showed up here and it let you in for 60 days (don't confuse a 30 day visa exempt stamp like you get at the airport with a real visa). Still even on a 30 day visa exempt stamp you can do the same process, it's just a different form TM87 because you're not converting a Tourist Visa to a Non-O, you're applying for a Non-O w/out a visa'

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by caller » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:18 pm

I haven't read all of your post as I was surprised to see you say getting an OA from London, 'appears a nightmare'. Why do you think that? It seemed pretty straightforward to me.
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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by mark550455 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:55 pm

Thanks for your response. Firstly I have tried calling them and waited 30 mins on each occasion with no success. There are hoops you need to jump through for the 1 year visa, which involves Criminal and clinical clearance, not that I have any issues with that, but a long trip to London apposed to a short trip to Hull for an over the counter visa taking 1 hour, seems a no brainer if I can do the rest in Thailand. I think the main advice I am asking for is the ability to convert a tourist Visa to a OA Visa in Thailand as from what I read it is a simpler process.

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by Nereus » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:22 pm

You need to give yourself a break and forget about an O-A visa.
Get a 90 day tourist visa and convert it to a non-immigrant O visa when you get here.(you need to do this with at least 15 days still remaining on the tourist visa) If you are going to use the bank deposit method, then you need to put the funds in a local bank immediately you arrive. When you convert the tourist visa you will get 90 days. Before the end of the 90 days go to immigration here and get a 1 year extension based on your non-immigrant visa. There are no hoops to jump through extending to 1 year, providing you have the correct financial documents.

O-A visas are only issued in your country of residence, NOT here.
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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by caller » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:44 pm

And the British Embassy now only provide the income statement via snail mail and they will require evidence of your pension / income.
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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by HHTel » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:57 am

caller wrote:And the British Embassy now only provide the income statement via snail mail and they will require evidence of your pension / income.
Hasn't that been the case for some years? I use that service every year and the turnaround is 3 - 5 days via EMS and no trips to BKK.

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by RCer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:10 am

There is no requirement to prove a clean criminal and driving record when applying for a visa here?

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by caller » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:30 am

HHTel wrote:
caller wrote:And the British Embassy now only provide the income statement via snail mail and they will require evidence of your pension / income.
Hasn't that been the case for some years? I use that service every year and the turnaround is 3 - 5 days via EMS and no trips to BKK.
I was simply pointing out to the OP that it's not as described in the example he gave.
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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by HHTel » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:52 pm

Agreed. On the one hand he talks about the embassy in London then on the other, the problems of an income letter for a US citizen.

He's a little confused.

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by Nereus » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:25 pm

HHTel wrote:Agreed. On the one hand he talks about the embassy in London then on the other, the problems of an income letter for a US citizen. He's a little confused.
Well, to be fair, he is quoting something that he has read on the Internet. Cannot see where he mentions getting a income letter for a US citizen? Where he is confused, is insisting on asking about an O-A visa that he calls a retirement visa, and what he actually needs.
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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by HHTel » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:32 pm

IF you go the Embassy letter for this the Immigrations officer will ask you for proof that you really get the money (pension statements, SS direct deposits etc are fine). The reason they do this is because they know people from the US can put any amount on the Embassy letter they want.

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by handdrummer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:08 pm

immigration has never asked me for proof of income and yes, I put whatever number I like on my u.s. embassy form. however, when I go to renew my yearly retirement visa my wife does all the talking, I sit there like a smiling dumb farang and the officer seems relieved to be speaking thai and not having to deal with another dumb farang. there are advantages to appearing dumb.

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by mark550455 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:49 pm

Thanks guys for your help. My mind is at rest, and it seems reasonably straight forward. Cheers

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by barrys » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:47 am

Does someone have some up-to-date knowledge and advice please?
A friend of mine in entering Thailand on a single-entry tourist visa.
He would like to apply for a 1 year visa based on retirement (financial conditions already met) during his stay.
Is that possible?

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Re: Retirement visa help

Post by lomuamart » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:03 pm

Yes it is, but he needs to upgrade his tv to a Non Imm O first. To do that, there need to be at least 15 days left on his permitted to stay date from the tv. He'll need to prove income/savings and all the rest and the visa will be upgraded accordingly.
Think he should then have another 90 days permitted to stay (from the new O visa) and within the last 30 days of that, he applies for the annual extension as normal.
Therefore, two trips to Imm, two proofs of income/savings etc.
Perfectly possible with one extra stage built in.

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