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Jambo

My Visit to Immigration today

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My wife and I arrived at Immigration at 8.30am and we finally returned home at 4.15pm.

The bit in between was an absolute nightmare.

I may joke but I am old school and I dressed appropriately unlike 80% of everyone else.

We were second in the queue for Retirement extensions and I have done this many times before so I knew the documentation was spot on. I handed the file to the wee guy in Immigration who started going through highlighting all the relevent sections until he got to the letter from the Bank showing just over 800K. Below that was my wife's marriage certificate as the account is in joint names and they asked for a copy of the marriage certificate last year. He then stated

"Account in joint names therefore you need 1,600,000 baht in the account"

After I regained the power of speach I then said

"I collected my new pasport 10 days ago after all the visa stamps had been added. Just to make sure I told the lady sitting next to you that I would be coming in next week to do my Retirement extension using the 800K deposit route. " They happily accepted 800K the previous year in joint names. Just added the bit about seeing the marriage certificate.

Looking specifically at his assistant I added "I asked you if I needed to bring a copy of my wife's marriage certificate and you said if the account was in joint names then YES and a copy of her ID card."

He then looked at me and actually said "In your country you make the rules. In Thailand we do."

I told him I agreed with that but you have to know the rules first and you have just changed one.

He then asked me if I had another account with 800K in it. I told me no but I do have with me a savings account showing in excess of 800K going through it as retirement income in the last 12 months. I do not use the book and only had it made up the day before and it just showed totals and most of my pension is paid quarterly not monthly. So they basically ignored that savings account.

The best I could get was a 60 day extension subject to us going to the bank and changing the account to a new one in my name only.

We then got shunted around various desks filling in umpteen forms. One of them included a check list of items required before granting a 60 day extension. One of those required Sai to go to the Amphur and obtain a "Family Certificate". The reason why is beyond me because it is my extension and nothing to do with Sai. Time we got to the Amphur it just closed for a one hour lunch break.

I eventually have the 60 day extension to my last Retirement Visa.

I asked "As I am going to visit my family in Scotland at the beginning of August do I have to get a rentry visa? Three times the lady on that desk told me I did not need that as I have an extension to 6 October. Three times I pointed out that the extension was to 6th September not October and that I was returning to Thailand on 17 August. I said I was woried what Immigration at the Airport would do. Her Supervisor corrected the lady and they agreed I would need a rentry visa.

Having the account in joint names was morally right for us as Sai topped up the account with 300K of her own money. You try to do the right thing and it comes back and bites you in the ass.

In 60 days I can have another go at renewing my Retirement extension.

If anyone else has an account in joint names that is going to be used for Visa purposes I would suggest changing it forthwith.

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Posted (edited)

What can be added ?  

Amazing Thailand, land of smiles.

Anyway, hope you get this sorted. It is a pain if one has to stress every year at visa renewal. 

Edit : No way i would put 46,000 euro in a Thai bank. Who knows one day they simply decide that you cant take it out from the country or shit like that.

 

Edited by Thai Spice
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I always had the account in my name only so only ever needed 800,000. I was married to an English girl at the time who also got a visa based on my visa but without needing any extra money. Sounds like being married to a Thai is a negative.

Maybe a marriage visa would work for you or, as said, just change the bank account to your name.

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3 minutes ago, Thai Spice said:

What can be added ?  

Amazing Thailand, land of smiles.

Anyway, hope you get this sorted. It is a pain if one has to stress every year at visa renewal. 

 

I honestly cannot recall anything that has made me feel more stressed in years.

My wife Sai was brilliant keeping me in check and dealing with the various individuals in Immigration that we encountered.

I would not have come out of Immigration today with that extension if I had been on my own.

Sai recently joked with me that Kamagra gel will give me a heart attack. I told her on the way home that a day in Immigration is much more likely to see me off. 🤣

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Glad you kept your cool Jambo, I think I would have lost it and any chance of getting the extension. Fortunately, I never went down the joint bank account route, glad I didn’t.

The more I think about it, I feel we did the right thing In leaving Thailand when we did.

If someone who was as well prepared as you, fall foul of these immigration rules, what hope is there for others in a similar position. 

Better luck on your next visit to immigration mate. 👍

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Can I ask which immigration office it was?

I understand they all interpret the rules differently.

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I went to immigration in Map Ta Phut a couple of months ago to check requirements for a retirement extension as I cannot do the usual marriage extension because I am not in Thailand long enough (needs 28 days to process and I’m only here for 26 each time). I also had the money in a joint account and they told they need double if it is a joint account.
I opened a new savings account in my name only and put 800k in it. It’s giving me 3% interest so not too bad.
For info, Immigration at Map Ta Phut are really nice to deal with and try to be as helpful as they can. It is also very quite, were only about 5 other customers there.


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27 minutes ago, Scotty said:

I went to immigration in Map Ta Phut a couple of months ago to check requirements for a retirement extension as I cannot do the usual marriage extension because I am not in Thailand long enough (needs 28 days to process and I’m only here for 26 each time). I also had the money in a joint account and they told they need double if it is a joint account.
I opened a new savings account in my name only and put 800k in it. It’s giving me 3% interest so not too bad.
For info, Immigration at Map Ta Phut are really nice to deal with and try to be as helpful as they can. It is also very quite, were only about 5 other customers there. 


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I also use that immigration office, and in fact was there today to update my TM30 and get a residence cert for the Amphur tomorrow.  We just moved in to our new house.

I also appreciate how friendly and helpful this office is compared to the last two I dealt with up country.  For example my last retirement extension we showed up at 10:30 with pre-filled forms and documents, and by 11:15 we had the extension in the passport and were on the way to lunch.  But I thought you had to be resident in the area your immigration office covers for retirement and marriage extensions.  So Maptaphut would only service people resident in Rayong province?

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I've read and heard it mentioned many times the account with 800k needs to be in your name only. Knowing this, when I set up the account in my name only I asked about a financial power of attorney so my better half could gain access to the money in the event I'm incapacitated. What the Bangkok Bank person told me was no POA, just add her as a signatory on the account. The bank book only shows my name, but as her signature is on record with the bank she also has full access to the account.

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I also use that immigration office, and in fact was there today to update my TM30 and get a residence cert for the Amphur tomorrow.  We just moved in to our new house.
I also appreciate how friendly and helpful this office is compared to the last two I dealt with up country.  For example my last retirement extension we showed up at 10:30 with pre-filled forms and documents, and by 11:15 we had the extension in the passport and were on the way to lunch.  But I thought you had to be resident in the area your immigration office covers for retirement and marriage extensions.  So Maptaphut would only service people resident in Rayong province?

I live in Ban Chang


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Jambo 

I'm not sure about this but offer it as a thought. 

You need 800K in your bank for the two months up to the extension application. 

You have a 60 day extension, so I think you need the name of the account changed PDQ. If not, the 60 day extension will expire before you can apply with the duly seasoned money. 

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Jambo I liked your point about changing the rules. All anyone can ask for is a fair playing field but it seems the Thais seem intent on moving the goalposts whenever they see fit.

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Dam what a hassle Jambo.....sorry you have to go through this, thanks for sharing this with us. 

With me the following happens:

800k baht in my account with Bangkok Bank....check.

Legitimate Retirement Visa......check.

Rachanee is not on that account, but like Forcebwithu, she has a signature on file and if I "kick the bucket" she gets it...check.

Perhaps I am going the easy way route....we use her friend " Eye" to do all of these types of things and she has done this for the 3 years I was there, she uses the Immigration Office in Chonburi.....I do not do anything except pay her 5k to do this once a year for me. I do the 90 day check myself at Chaeng Wattana and so far so good. 

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Hostile environment for immigrants indeed, now where have I heard that before ...

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11 hours ago, Bazle said:

Jambo 

I'm not sure about this but offer it as a thought. 

You need 800K in your bank for the two months up to the extension application. 

You have a 60 day extension, so I think you need the name of the account changed PDQ. If not, the 60 day extension will expire before you can apply with the duly seasoned money. 

Well after being given the alternatives the only practical one was to go straight to the Bank and open a new account in my name.

We then came back and started the unbelievably protracted process of getting the 60 day extension. I am not being facetious when I say we went from desk to desk finally for Sai to be given a check list of all the items needed for me to have the 60 day extension approved. One of those was to go to the Amphur in Banglamung to obtain this "Family Certificate" the reason for which is totally beyond me. Sods law, when we got there they immediately shut for an hours lunch. 🙂

Your point is well made and is worrying me. They gave me a 60 day extension but it is up to 6 September at which time the account will be open for 59 days.

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14 hours ago, coxyhog said:

Can I ask which immigration office it was?

I understand they all interpret the rules differently.

Jomtien, Soi 5.

Last year they were perfectly happy for the 800K to be in an account with joint names. All they added was a request to have a copy of the marriage certificate.

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no you wont like this Danny, but its always been that thebank account cant be a joint account.  i am sure its worked in the past but it has aways been the regulation that you have to be sole account holder.

bell me if you are having diffs, many ways around this old chesnut

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I believe it is brinkmanship. They ( the Immigration staff ) don't want us to become complacent and assume that we have a right to be here. I don't know if this attitude is encouraged only by the local office manager, or is actually endorsed by Central Government.

I had a Retirement Visa for several years before transferring to a Marriage Visa - the latter would support a Work Permit, the former would not.

The Retirement Visa became procedural. I had a loose leaf folder that I kept all of the paperwork in, just updating it every year before my visit to Immigration. I have a reasonably equipped home office, so I used to do all of my own copying - but I gave that up in year 3 because none of my copies were good enough - they were either not centered on the page correctly, copied the wrong size, or I'd put 2 double page Passport images on the same A4 sheet of paper. Coincidentally, the 3rd year was when Immigration opened a Copy Shop just inside the entrance door to the Left - any excuse to generate extra income I thought ( pardon me if my cynicism is hanging out ! ). Every time I applied for a Renewal, there would be a change in ( the interpretation of ? )  the requirements, which I just had to Grin & Bear.

The change to a Marriage Visa was hard work. It took 2 days. Despite downloading the requirements from the Thai Immigration web site and sliding this "Check List" into the cover of the folder, most of the documents were wrong, or in the incorrect order, or I didn't have enough copies etc etc. On the second day ( a Friday ) it was decided that my Bank Statement ( which I got from the bank the day before, on my way to Immigration ) was 1) out of date, and 2) didn't show any movement in the account. I was told to go back to the bank, Deposit or withdraw THB 1,000 and then get all of the documents reprinted before coming back on the Monday morning. My Visa date was the Sunday, and I was worried about being done for an Overdue Stay if I didn't get the issue resolved that Friday; also, if my Bank Documents dated Thursday were invalid on Friday morning, how was a set of documents dated Friday afternoon going to be accepted on Monday ? So I went to the bank, updated the papers, had lunch and was back in Immigration that same afternoon. Despite having a new Ticket Number and being second in the afternoon cue, I was kept waiting more than 2 hours before being called forward. At which point, everything was painfully re-inspected, before being reluctantly accepted. I was then granted a 30 day extension pending Bangkok's approval of the application ( which actually took just over 5 weeks ).

Every subsequent year, I have had to go through the same rigmarole. It is a pain in the arse, but it keeps me in my place ! Illegitimi non carborundum

FYI, I keep in excess of THB 400k in the Bank, all year round. I might dip into it occasionally, but the balance is always in excess of the ( currently ) required THB 400k. I don't use an agent; If I've got it done, it's been done legitimately, so hopefully can't be challenged.

The OP has my hart felt sympathy, but, it is what it is . . .

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Good job keeping your cool, mate, I'd have lost my rag completely, not that it would have done me any good.

I can only say in way of consolation that it might have been worse, at least they gave you (eventually, I know!) a 60-day period of grace to sort things out. A few years ago I was renewing my retirement extension and there was an elderly Swiss guy who was also living here on retirement extensions, but somehow his 800K had dipped a little bit below that level. They were telling him flatly that he had to leave the country, they could not give him an extension, and the Swiss guy was practically in tears. Eventually that Belgian guy who used to work there came over and I heard them talking as I was sitting nearby, he was saying that this can be sorted out but it's going to cost a lot of money..... Then it was my turn at the counter and I missed the rest.

Look on the bright side, you weren't deported or asked for 50K Baht for the privilege of staying in Amazing Thailand.

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The OP post + post 19 and 20 would have me packing and move to another country. As simple as that.

Married or not. 

Same here, the day it becomes a pain, or I get bored, I am on the move.

Call me cynical, yes , sure. 

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1 hour ago, Thai Spice said:

The OP post + post 19 and 20 would have me packing and move to another country. As simple as that.

Married or not. 

Same here, the day it becomes a pain, or I get bored, I am on the move.

Call me cynical, yes , sure. 

Yes, I think you're right, but if you've invested, say, 7 million Baht in a house or condo and spent years doing it up to suit your taste, if you've spent a million Baht or more on a car and motorbike, plus if you've got a wife and possibly kids, or even just a steady girlfriend, and lots of farang friends and acquaintances around the town, then it's not so easy just to up-sticks and move on. I'm comfortably settled here after 15 years, though I'm becoming dangerously cynical about the place. If I could move across to the Philippines painlessly I probably would, but as I said, it's not that easy for some of us.

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10 minutes ago, Toy Boy said:

Yes, I think you're right, but if you've invested, say, 7 million Baht in a house or condo and spent years doing it up to suit your taste, if you've spent a million Baht or more on a car and motorbike, plus if you've got a wife and possibly kids, or even just a steady girlfriend, and lots of farang friends and acquaintances around the town, then it's not so easy just to up-sticks and move on. I'm comfortably settled here after 15 years, though I'm becoming dangerously cynical about the place. If I could move across to the Philippines painlessly I probably would, but as I said, it's not that easy for some of us.

I understand that.

Personally I never ever stayed 15 y in the same place (well, Belgium from 5 till 18). Longest was 10 y in Thailand and 8 y in HKG.  

Arrived in LOS in 89 for the job, single and with a suitcase, left in 99 as my company moved me back to France, with a wife, 2 kids, 2 dogs and a container of stuff.

Moved back to Asia in 2009 after an agreement with my company that I would only be stationed in Asia for the 7 years remaining before retiring. I was working in VN, but I installed wife and 3 kids in BKK (had she been from another country, it would have been there). Bought a townhouse in BKK for 3 MB, anyway my kids needed a roof for 10 years, but that was written off instantly. Car or motorbike are consumables, bought and sold easily.  

Soon later the wife started to BS, no problem I have my life and I make the money. Kids now all adult, independent, 2 of the 3  self sufficient. 3rd in UNI. What happens to the ex I dont give a hoot.

Family : all in Belgium, I left there I was 18, I am 66 now. Not a issue.

Friends : I have lived / moved all my live, so not important. Acquaintances, I make new ones every time.

Actual Miss : things were clear since the beginning, and still are. When we moved from HKG to Bali we gave it a 50/50 chance for it to work out, not higher. Two years later lets say its 60 / 40. 

Any medical problem, any serious visa issue, any pb between her and me... I move.

My point is "You are NEVER stucked, except if you choice to".

Yes, strangely for a French I am not very romantic. Probably my travels and hectic life has worn that of very fast, replaced by a good dose of cynical lucidity.

My visa renewal and house contract are expiring in October, I already made the decision to extend for 1 year, dont ask me about after that.....

 

But OK, lets keep this very informative tread on topic as I am sure it is very helpful for residents and possible future residents. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Toy Boy said:

Yes, I think you're right, but if you've invested, say, 7 million Baht in a house or condo and spent years doing it up to suit your taste, if you've spent a million Baht or more on a car and motorbike, plus if you've got a wife and possibly kids, or even just a steady girlfriend, and lots of farang friends and acquaintances around the town, then it's not so easy just to up-sticks and move on. I'm comfortably settled here after 15 years, though I'm becoming dangerously cynical about the place. If I could move across to the Philippines painlessly I probably would, but as I said, it's not that easy for some of us.

You have just described me except our house in Bangsaray was a lot less than 7 mille. :default_biggrin:

My life is in Thailand and I am not going anywhere unless they kick me out which seemed to me to have become a distinct possibility yesterday.

I like Bangsaray but I am becoming totally disallusioned with Pattaya. Bright lights - big City does not have the appeal for me it once did when I was a complete slut.

Made a complete reassesment of what is important to me and a quiet life with my wife Sai is beckoning. So a permanent move up country later this year is on the agenda.

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21 hours ago, Thai Spice said:

 

Edit : No way i would put 46,000 euro in a Thai bank. Who knows one day they simply decide that you cant take it out from the country or shit like that.

 

Got it in one....

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