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Posts posted by bangkokgalaxy

  1. 2 hours ago, Peter Denis said:

    So the question is:

    >> Will IO at CW accept a record of at least 1 monthly-income transfer of at least 65K with foreign origins proven, as sufficient for meeting the financial requirement when applying for the 90-day Non Imm O - retirement Visa?  Or do they also require that the source of that foreign income, comes from pension, and/or that it backed-up by an embassy-issued income-letter?

    Anybody willing to share experience on the above?

    Thanks, everyone, for your help.


    My top option, if possible, is still getting an O (vs an OA) without returning back to the USA.


    If anyone has experience applying for a first time Non Imm O in Bangkok (or anywhere else in the Thailand or SE Asia), using Thai bank statements only showing international transfers, no proof of pension, and no embassy letter or income affidavit, feedback would be most appreciated.

    • Like 1

  2. 12 minutes ago, Peter Denis said:

    2. Apply for the cheapest possible thai IO-approved health-insurance policy (6.000 THB premium from LGM Insurance), which will be good for 1 year stay, and might be extended for a 2nd year so that you can benefit from the OA Visa benefits (no need for money in a thai bank-account) also during the 2nd year

    ....and, keep my current Cigna plan to ensure I have sufficient coverage. BTW, I've checked with Cigna, and there's no issue having 2 insurance policies as long as you only make claims on one policy at a time. 

  3. 6 hours ago, Peter Denis said:

    b) Just recently - andfinally - a somewhat affordable thai IO-approved health-insurance policy is on offer which only costs 6.000 THB for people in the 51-60 age bracket.  Content-wise that policy is worthless, but you could consider it simply as an entrance-ticket to meet the OA health-insurance requirement.

    Thank you. I hadn't heard about that.


    But, I did get a quote for good coverage from Luma that meets the immigration long-stay requirements. An Aetna Platinum Plan with

    THB 30,000,000 per injury/ illness and 40k Outpatient runs 110,00 Baht a year (which is about 25% more than the expat plan we currently have with Cigna). 


  4. 6 hours ago, Peter Denis said:

    but some offices like Saraburi, Petchabun and Jomtien insist on a pension statement accompanied with an embassy income-statement when using the monthly-income-transfer method

    The income is not from a pension or social security. Almost nobody has a pension in the US anymore, let alone at 50 years old. And being a US citizen, can no longer get an income verification letter from the embassy.


    Had planned on applying in Bangkok, using a record of international transfers to a local Thai Bank. Will this work?

  5. For the record, this for a US citizen (no more income affidavits).


    So, to use the 65k income method, do the following:


    1) Upon turning 50, enter Thailand on a Visa Exempt, go to immigration with the necessary paperwork and (to the point) include copies of Thai bank statements showing international transfers into a Thai bank (in our case, it will be 12 months)




    2) Upon turning 50, go to a local consulate (Kuala Lumpur? other?), submit paperwork and copies of Thai bank statements showing international transfers into a Thai bank? 



  6. I was recently told that, for first timers, there's no way to use the income method when you apply for an O Visa

    inside Thailand. So, even if you've been putting 65k a month into a Thai bank for 12 months, you'll still have to

    use the 800k method with no other options for using 65k than getting an OA in your home country.


    Is this true? How can someone use the 65k/month method to get an O Visa for the first time? Does the UK

    or any other consulate provide O Visas for US citizens?


    Moreover, if one does get a first time retirement OA visa in their home country (where a consulate accepts

    local monthly income statements) can one later convert that OA to a O using monthly income method?


    Would welcome any clarification.


  7. Addendum to my original post:


    I called the law firm that (I thought) suggested the new double entry visa as a good option for my friend (a US citizen). They clarified their advice (I misunderstood - they were not suggesting the "new" double entry visa).


    In short, they said because my friend had only 2 Ed Visas in last 1.5 years, and no history of back to back tourist visas, she could go to the UK, apply online for a tourist visa, and select "2" for the "Number of Entries" field.


    Once the UK embassy approved the visa, then it would be possible to:


    reenter Thailand by air for 60 days

    go to immigration and get a 30 extension

    leave and come back for another 60 days

    go to immigration and extend for 30 days


    TOTAL = 180 days on a tourist visa 


    He suggested it would "probably" work, and even if they pressed, they'd most likely only issue a warning and let her in anyway.


    Does this sound plausible?

    • Haha 1

  8. I just read about this new visa but can't find anything on how (or where) to actually get one. A local lawyer

    mentioned this was a good option if I can travel to a consulate outside of SE Asia (Europe, USA, etc).


    Has anyone had one of these new visas and where did you get it? Are these available in France, Spain or UK?



  9. I originally had an O Visa.


    For the first issue with TransferWise, my bookkeeper didn't properly allocate the transfers as "For long-term stay" and they coded several as domestic transfers. To get documentation, I went to my bank, Bangkok Bank, and got a letter showing all the properly coded transfers were from the US. Then, I went to Kasikorn (the partner, 'pass through' bank used by Transferwise) and got a letter showing that the improperly coded transfers were indeed international because money flowed from the USA, to Kasikorn to Bangkok Bank. 


    For the second issue, the IO showed leniency on my only having 11 total transfers (I missed Jan 2019). 


    Siam Legal wasn't exactly cheap (30k), but it worked. I was ready to give up after another local legal firm (to remain unnamed), told me there was no way an IO would bend on either of my issues. So, whatever happened it worked. And I didn't have to fly back to the USA to get an OA, along with Thai health insurance, etc. So, I'm happy.  

  10. Hello Everyone. After a lot of worrying, I got my 1-year retirement extension last month at BKK immigration.


    I had two issues that could have given me big problems: I only had 11 months of bank statements showing international transfers; and, I'd used Transferwise all year to wire money from overseas, but several of my bank statements were not coded properly to show they were international transfers.


    I ended up using Siam Legal and was satisfied with their service. For anyone facing similar issues, I can vouch that, as least in my case, that they got the job done. 

    • Like 2

  11. Hello Everyone,


    Can anyone confirm that the KL Thai consulate offers Non-O visas for retirement? My lawyer has suggested they do, and that one of his recent clients was able to get a 3-month Non-O (using the 65k per month income method, and with only 6-months of bank statements vs 12 months).


    Can anyone confirm this, including that they only require 6 months of bank statements? I can't find this anywhere on the consulate website. And they also do not answer their phones. 


    **One last question: Is it true that the US Embassy in KL still offers income affidavits? This was mentioned in a recent post (but nobody verified)



    • Like 1

  12. Hello,


    In April, my friend wants to attend a school to take advanced an Thai language course. She's already studied beginning Thai (9 months) and beginning Chinese (going on 9 months)) on consecutive Ed Visas, the second of which ends on April 1. 


    She now wants to take an advanced Thai language program when her current visa ends in April. She is serious about wanting to become fluent in Thai over the next 18 months as she will retire here in November 2020 (after her 50th birthday).


    She's currently attending an accredited local language school, but given the pushback from immigration over the past 6 months she's worried this will be an issue when she applies for advanced Thai in a couple months. Her school has warned all studies to expect pushback from immigration on Ed Visas.


    That said, my friend is serious about wanting to become fluent in Thai. She wants find schools with more advanced studies in Thai language, and is willing to commit the extra time and money to both learn the language (and also face less scrutiny from immigration).


    What schools or universities offer these types of programs that are accepted by immigration in 2019? Is it only schools like Chulaongkorn with Bachelor and Master's degrees, or are there other schools that are not considered 'visa mills' and offer top notch learning and are taken seriously by immigration? How does one know the difference? 



  13. On 12/4/2019 at 4:44 PM, ubonjoe said:

    If you enrolled in a school that offered more advanced studies than you current school you should not have a problem getting another non-ed visa and extensions.


    Which specific schools have "more advanced studies" in Thai language? (and face less scrutiny from immigration?) 


    My friend wants to get her second Ed Visa for advanced Thai in April and wants to become fluent as she will retire here in November 2020 (after her 50th birthday).

  14. Hello everyone. I've been dutifully transferring 65k into my Bangkok Bank account from the US for the past year. I'm going to immigration soon to get an retirement extension.


    But...I noticed my bank statements say "Interbank Transfer via SMART" not FFT. I've also read that Bangkok Bank can't/won't provide a letter verifying that these are indeed originating in the US (because they've passed through a third party Thai bank before making it to my Bangkok Bank account).


    Has Bangkok Bank found a way to provide the documentation that states these are international transfers? If not, what are my options before visiting immigration?

  15. "I rushed to SCB and got a letter from them showing the 3 transfers to BKK Bank as international, and went back the following Monday to CM Immigration, and they refused to look at it. And as my previous Extension had expired the day before (on a Sunday), they told me I needed to leave the country..."


    Did they refuse to look at the bank letter because "your previous extension had expired" or because they won't accept the bank letter that confirmed your international transfers? I



    I have the same issue with my bank statements (they show as SMART transfers) Today, a visa agent insisted that I get a bank letter that will clarify that all my transfers came from international sources would suffice. 


    Does anyone know if immigration accept the bank letter?

  16. Unfortunately, the funds weren't transferred in January because of a bookkeeping oversight.


    Transferwise is what my bookkeeper has been using to move money from my US bank to Bangkok Bank: https://transferwise.com/us. It's definitely coming in from overseas. 


    Regarding your suggestion to transfer money in early January and visit immigration after my visa expires on Jan. 1, that would force me to overstay by several days. Wouldn't that be setting me up for problems?

  17. Hello Everyone,


    My first Non-O Retirement Visa expires on 1/1/2020 (for which I used an income affidavit from the US Embassy in 2018).


    Since February 2019 I've been making monthly 65k transfers from the US into Bangkok Bank. As a detail, the bank statement notes these transfers as "Interbank Transfers via SMART (I use a company called TransferWise).


    The big question: when I apply for an extension in a couple weeks, I will have only 11 months of transfers completed by mid-December. What should I expect and what are my options?


    Here's what I've gathered from my research:


    Go To Bangkok Immigration/Use monthly income + bank balance. Before I apply for my extension in a couple weeks, can I first transfer an additional 100k baht from the US on December 1, then combine that with my 11 monthly transfers? This would be 11 transfers @ 65k + an exra 100k Baht bank balance. I've heard that getting approval for the "monthly transfers + bank balance" method varies from office to office. 


    Income sources other than a pension. My transfers originate from my US bank and derive from passive overseas business income, not a pension or social security (I've heard some immigration offices want a letter validating the source of income, so I don't know how to handle that if it comes up)


    If Bangkok rejects, go to KL. If I first apply in Bangkok - and immigration does not approve - I've heard that Kuala Lumpur only requires 6 months of monthly 65k transfers to receive a 3-month retirement extension. Has anyone had experience with this?


    Then, if I extend for 3-months in Kuala Lumpur, I'd continue making 65k deposits and reapply for 1-year extension in Bangkok after the 3-month extension expires and I have the required 12 months of transfers in place.


    Other options if these fail? I need to determine my fallback plan if these do not work prior to Jan 1.


    Are there other embassies that accept either "11 months of 65k transfers" or the "transfers + bank balance" method? 


    If all else fails, can I extend my current retirement visa for 30 days, until end of January, when I'd have the final 12th transfer in place?


    Like so many of us, the end of income affidavit letters caught me by surprise. I was also counting on some "leniency" for being one month short, based on public immigration statements earlier this year.


    Thank you in advance!





  18. Hello everyone,


    I am preparing to visit immigration in two weeks to convert my Non-O to an extension for retirement. The Non-O was issued in late August; I have a 90-day entry stamp on Oct. 4 that extended me until Jan 1, 2019. 


    Here's the question: I am moving in one week from a hotel to a condo unit which is independently owned by a non-Thai national represented by a local realtor. I am trying to confirm the paperwork requirements for getting the extension of stay, and both the realtor and the condo owner do not really understand the process.


    When I got my Non-O in Penang in August, to fulfill the housing requirements I submitted 1) a Thai National ID from the local hotel owner of my current residence, 2) a letter on the hotel's letterhead (signed by the manager), confirming the date I moved in and the end date of my current rental contract, and 3) a letter (written in Thai) which appears to be the Address Registration form TM30.


    Given that the new condo owner is a non-Thai, the realtor only says she can provide his overseas passport. Also, for the landlord letter confirming my rental agreement (as was provided to me by my current hotel), will this be a simple letter from the condo owner, or a more formal letter from the condo building, signed by the condo manager, and on their letterhead? Finally, I assume the TM30 form will apply the same as at my current hotel...they just need to fill it out and provide me a copy.


    As usual, it's difficult getting a clear answer around these technicalities, and hope to avoid a day at immigration only to find out the paperwork is not acceptable. Any input or clarification you can provide would be most appreciated.


    Thank you!

  19. Hello Everyone. I am in the process of finalizing my retirement visa and can't figure a few essential details for the next step to convert to a one year stay based on retirement. Here's what's happened so far:


    -August 23: Went to Penang and obtained a 1-year Non-Imm O (multiple entry). I provided an income affidavit letter from the US embassy, bank statements from my US bank (I do not have a Thai bank account), and a letter from my Bangkok landlord (Penang consulate kept all copies)


    -Oct 3. I left and returned to Thailand after a 2 week trip to the US and was stopped at airport immigration upon returning. They said I needed to convert my Non-Imm O for retirement if before I leave and return to Thailand. They gave me a new 90-day stamp until Jan 1.


    -I am preparing to go to Bangkok immigration office to convert to a one year stay based on retirement. But, what paperwork will I need to present?


    I only have funds in US banks (which sufficed at the Penang consulate). Will the Bangkok immigration office accept US bank statements? Or...do I now need to open a Thai bank account, assuming I can, and deposit 65k for 3 months in a row (I do not want to use the 800k all at once approach).


    And, finally, have I complicated the application date by entering/leaving Thailand before the end of the first 90 day stamp which commenced in late August? If I have to wait to go to immigration until the last 30 days of my entry stamp, which date to I use to time that out...8/24 or 10/3?


    Thanks in advance for any clarification!



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