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BritTim

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  1. There is one factor that is important to take into account. The cost of living in Thailand is far lower than in the Western world. You would have a pretty miserable life in, say, New York on $1,000 a month. In Thailand, you are certainly not living the high life on such an income, but can be perfectly comfortable if living responsibly.
  2. I suspect the standards at the Immigration Detention Centre may not quite be up to the level you are expecting (though your board and lodging will be free).
  3. This is all speculation, but my own belief is that the following will emerge over the next four to six months: The globe will be separated into infected areas (countries with uncontrolled community transmission) and uninfected areas (countries that may experience a small number of cases in people being monitored, but with the virus eliminated in the general population). There will be agreements that allow reasonably free travel between countries where the virus is controlled. Travel from infected countries to go elsewhere will be extremely difficult until an effective vaccine has been developed. Visas will be required, and mandatory quarantine enforced on arrival at your destination. Thus, if you believe your home country will be able to completely control the virus within the next few months (as countries like New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea have done) then returning to Thailand may be reasonably easy. The status of the virus in Thailand at that time will determine how easy it is to travel out of Thailand to other countries.
  4. There can be reasons to be in home country if you have family or close friends to look after you. Otherwise, Thailand is one of the very best places in the world to be as an elderly person in poor health. The idea of being in a UK care home makes me shudder.
  5. Depending on your speciality, you might be able to sort something out with a Thai employer. Some of the big multinationals pay expat specialists well over 120k. Assuming you do not qualify for this (admittedly small) pool of plum jobs, there is a chance you could work something out with a Thai Chinese company. They can usually understand a good opportunity when they hear one. You could offer them a few hours of free consulting, and in return have them put you on their books as a part time employee. You would cover the salary (and tax on the salary) so they actually even end up with you as a tax deductible item without it costing them anything other than some paperwork. This would be way cheaper and simpler than setting up your own business. The challenge is researching and finding the right companies to approach. Of course, you would stay with your current overseas employer.
  6. Assuming you do not have Thai customers or do work for Thai companies, digital nomads (people working online within Thailand for overseas clients/employers) are tolerated in practice. While not apparently legal according to Thai labour laws, the Thai authorities are aware that there is no suitable legal route for cases such as yours. I would suggest getting a Non O visa based on your Thai spouse followed by one year extensions on the same basis. You can then quietly work from home without any likely issues.
  7. I know of two companies that tried to open representative offices in Thailand (specifically to skirt the requirement for Thai employees). Both companies had their applications denied. The Thai authorities want to see proof that the representative office will benefit Thailand, and they are hard to convince.
  8. As with extensions of stay for those on Non-OA visas issued before October 31st 2019, I believe it is a question of how the announcement is interpreted. Interpreting it as retrospective to those already in Thailand would be very unfair, but it would not be the first time Immigration perpetrated something like that.
  9. If you apply for a Non O visa within Thailand, it gives you a 90-day stay. You can then extend this further for an additional year but usually (without the use of an agent) only during the last 30-45 days of your initial 90-day stay. You then get a re-entry permit to ensure the extended one-year permission to stay remains valid for your return. This ought to work, but I am unsure you could have the process complete before July 31st. Is your departure date flexible, perhaps to mid August?
  10. Time to start using a lawyer, perhaps. That will overcome the language barrier, and an immigration lawyer ought to understand the differences between "visa", "permission to stay" and "extension of permission to stay". A possible area of concern (not related to anything that has gone before): the small print on health insurance for those here on Non O-A visas suggests that your entry can be retrospectively cancelled if you were here after 31 October 2019 without the required health insurance. While this has not yet been raised, if you are in the middle of a power struggle between Immigration and Thai Elite, I would not be surprised to see this emerge. It would be incredibly unfair but, depending on the interpretation of the announcement, you could have a genuine problem.
  11. It is all speculation. My own view is that close relatives of Thai nationals, along with permanent residents and essential workers are likely to receive priority when limited entry of foreigners is allowed again. That might, perhaps, be in August. No one can say what the conditions for entry might be at that time. Right now, if your Thai family member is a personal friend of the Prime Minister, you would have a chance of a special exception being made to permit your return. A mere Ambassador would have no power to authorise your return.
  12. It can mean giving the agent your passport (for the 90-day report) and then not seeing the passport again for days as the agent arranges for the 90-day report to be processed by a friend in the immigration office at Nakorn Nowhere. Some people will not care, but others feel very uncomfortable being without their passports.
  13. Sorry for the confusion. I meant "agent" in its meaning of a customer service representative.
  14. There are two possible issues here: (Most likely) Your contact at Thailand Elite is confused. This is not unusual. People have a habit of calling every stamp in your passport a "visa". This commonly causes confusion. Your Thailand Elite contact is probably not very intelligent, and may also have difficulty understanding English. (Possible) At around this time last year, there was evidence of conflict between Thailand Elite and Immigration, with Immigration looking for excuses to deny entry on Thailand Elite and taking many months for approvals. I believe this was because Immigration was looking for a bigger piece of the membership fee. Maybe, something similar is going on now. Regardless, @ubonjoe has given you the correct information. In your position, my next move would be to try to get a statement from Immigration yourself to the effect that those on entries from Non-OA visas do not need money in the bank to cancel permission to stay stamps. Since you have never had an extension of your permission to stay from an immigration office, there is no need to demonstrate that you satisfied the requirements for such an extension. Perhaps, you could visit Chaengwattana and talk to the desk that handles Thailand Elite there. Hopefully, that will be enough to satisfy your mentally challenged Thailand Elite agent.
  15. The 60-day extension does not require financial proof. Only the one-year extension has financial requirements.
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