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Posts posted by Spodal

  1. On 11/16/2019 at 10:04 PM, DrJack54 said:

    Have you considered a METV. That 6 plus couple of visa exempt border entries. Easily done.


    On 11/17/2019 at 12:35 PM, treetops said:

    Don't let what's written on their website put you off.  I don't satisfy the two requirements you quoted and I'm sure there are many more in the same boat but I was still issued a METV just a few months ago. 


    21 hours ago, Sheryl said:

    Yes don't rule put METV just because website requires employment. See what the Embassy or Consulate says.



    18 hours ago, rhodie said:

    As above I think you should try to get an METV. Worth it if it works. 


    Unfortunately though things change pretty quickly.


    Thank you to @DrJack54, @treetops, @Sheryl@rhodie@ChristianBlessing, @BritTim for the added information about the METV.  I will contact the Thai Embassy and/or regional consulate office(s) in the USA to see if they might accept some Vanguard Brokerage statements documenting income and assets in lieu of an employment letter (since, as stated, I am truly retired now and cannot provide the latter).


    All that said, I am trying to understand the advantages of the METV vs. just obtaining a SETV and one VE entry.  Based upon forum feedback, I will NOT stay in Thailand in 2020 beyond 5 months.  Period.  


    My goal is to visit Thailand annually each year as part of an overall 10 months spent oversees.  The ability to return the following year and visit again (for another 5 months, hopefully) is what's important to me -- NOT a one time max out of time in country for 2020 or attempting to "live" in the place.  I can spend the other months in the Philippines or Malaysia -- both of which I like also.


    Bottom line then:  If I want 5 months in Thailand -- either:

    • 1 METV.....OR.....
    •  1 SETV + and 1 border bounce will do the trick. 

    Can you all tell me why the METV is superior? (FYI: I fully understand the differences in how the two visas work.  I am asking more from the point of view of how Thai immigration sees it).  In other words, is the METV just better because:


    • Thai Immigration views it as more financially rigorous to obtain = must be a "better" visitor for Thailand? 
    • Do they simply prefer METVs because they know the holder must have returned to his/her home country to obtain it?
    • Is the METV just outright better than the SETV/VE option because it avoids all together any "visa exempt" entries?  Are those always frowned upon vs. entering on a Visa?

    Please enlighten me 🙂




  2. 11 hours ago, Sheryl said:

    People staying more than 6 months of the year in Thailand on tourist visas or combo of TV and visa exempt do risk getting denied. Doesn't happen to everyone but does happen to some and we get reports of this frequently enough.


    9 hours ago, rhodie said:

    You seem flexible enough so for now you will have no problem with the above options. 5 months is very doable.

    Good luck.



    4 hours ago, ananda23 said:

    As long as you don´t spend more than 180 days per year you´ll be fine so any combination of SETVs and land border bounces with/without extension will work. Just stay under 180 days. Anything over that and there is a high chance you will run into some kind of trouble. So either stay under 180 days or consider the 5 year Elite visa for maximum flexibility and no hassles if you can easily afford it. Maybe do it with tourist visas next year and decide after you´ve spend some more time in Thailand how you´ll proceed.


    It's Morning here in the USA now & I'm back on the forum reading the overnight comments.  Thanks again to all who have posted their insights and opinions.  One things seems clear:  6 months/180 days appears to be the absolute annual limit on SETV/VE combinations.  For that reason, I'm ruling out any stays beyond that time frame.  No problems.....no objections.  At the same time, I am also ruling out the Elite option in the near term (2-3 year horizon).  Yes, I can afford it -- but I don't see it as a good fit now for at least 3 reasons:


    • Not enough time spent in Thailand yet to make a long-term, 5 or 20 year commitment
    • Aging parents in the USA: 79 and 81, possibly necessitating a return to the US within the next 5 years
    • I'm just not sure I will ever want to "live" in Thailand along the lines of how some people use the EV.  Certainly I have ZERO intention, for example, of ever buying property in the country, ever starting a business there, or putting down roots.  I like to visit each year for an extended period, but I don't want to "live" in Thailand.

    So, here's our verdict so far:

    • Visits beyond 180 days = Off the table
    • EV for now = Off the table

    That means the 2020, 2021, and 2022 annual visits will be:

    • 90 days < My Annual Visit < 180 days.

    The million dollar question for which there seems to be less consensus is whether you can pull of a repeated (i.e. one time annual visit) of 4 or 5 months (instead of a simple 90 day SETV & extend). Do we have any more opinions on the feasibility of either of the two items below?


    2.    Home country SETV, Enter & Extend.  1 land border bounce = 4 months in country annually

    3.    Home country SETV, Enter & Extend.  1 land border bounce & extend = 5 months in country annually


    I should note that my arrival into Thailand will likely NOT be via either of the Bangkok airports.  I tend to like the Northern part of Thailand & Issan the best.  Therefore, I can easily plan my annual trips to arrive into the Chiang Mai airport directly (on an international flight).  Or, alternatively, I can easily plan to fly directly to Vientiane, grab a few day's rest, and transit into Thailand annually via the Nong Khai land border crossing.  Likewise -- if we can get some consensus that a one time border bounce per year is ok -- I would almost certainly do that land border bounce at one of 3 locations:

    • Nong Khai
    • Mae Sai
    • Chiang Khong




  3. 2 minutes ago, BritTim said:

    If this is not obvious to you, be aware that the unofficial rules on use of tourist visas and visa exempt entries is subject to change at any time. Maybe, certain airports will start using stricter criteria. Maybe (though I doubt it) long term tourists will once again be welcomed.


    The reason I suggested the 20-year Thailand Elite is because it almost certainly means you will not need to worry about rules changes for a long time. Although it is a substantial chunk of change up front, 50,000 baht a year for peace of mind on visa issues does not seem excessive, and will allow you to dispense with border runs and extensions just for the sake of extending your stay (which themselves involve cost). The main reason for ruling out the Thailand Elite option would be a fear that you might change your mind about wanting to spend substantial time here. Obviously, that makes the up front cost a much greater consideration.

    Good points, insight, and advice all around.  There may, in fact, be a time in the future where the Elite option makes sense.  I have not ruled it out.  However, for several reasons, I don't think that time is now -- if for no other reason than I have not spent enough time in the country of Thailand to make a determinitive decision for the long term.  While I greatly enjoyed my initial 90 day stay there in 2019, that doesn't (in my book) form a sound basis for making a 5 or 20 year long-term commitment.  Then again, I have been accused by a woman or two over the years of having "commitment issues." 😉 Haha. All joking aside, I do thank everyone for their advice. 


    The real question at this point seems to be what is the maximum (per annual) length of stay using SETV/VE entries (until such time as a more firm decision might be made to pursue the Elite option).   The consensus here seems to be that 180 days/6 months is the absolute limit.  I can and do accept those limitations -- no problem.  The question now is simply how much of a "safety margin" a person like me should give even that 180 day threshold.  As mentioned, I really have no desire to be denied entry, go through that inconvenience, etc.  That as the case, what I keep asking is if the 3 options shown below are therefore all acceptable since they are all < 180 days. 


    1.     SETV, Enter & Extend = 3 months in country

    2.    SETV, Enter & Extend.  1 land border bounce = 4 months in country

    3.     SETV, Enter & Extend.  1 land border bounce & extend = 5 months in country


    We are talking 3, 4, or 5 months.  Pick your flavor.  If the only "safe" option these days in Thailand is one SETV with a single extension (90 days total), that's how I'll plan the 2020 trip.  However, if options #2 and #3 (for 4 & 5 months, respectively) are also "safe" options, I'll plan the 2020 trip that way.  Thanks in advance for opinions on this more narrow question -- the information I really need at this point in time.





  4. 7 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

    As you do not want to deal with possible denial of entry you need to either reduce your time in Thailand or go for 5 year Elite.


    People staying more than 6 months of the year in Thailand on tourist visas or combo of TV and visa exempt do risk getting denied. Doesn't happen to everyone but does happen to some and we get reports of this frequently enough.

    While understanding that you do not speak as an official of Thai immigration, I nonetheless appreciate the clarity you have offered.  Thank you.  It appears that the "magic" red flag number seems to be around 180 days/6 months in Thailand per calendar year.  At that point, immigration's heighten scrutiny of one's motives and activities kicks in and there exists an elevated risk of denial of entry.   If others agree with that assessment, please chime in!   The more consensus, the merrier!


    In the mean time, let's step back a moment.  IF that assessment IS correct (i.e. 180 days = potential trouble)-- and let's just be purely hypothetical here --- is it fair to say that the following 3 scenarios are all equal then? 


    1.     SETV, Enter & Extend = 3 months in country

    2.    SETV, Enter & Extend.  1 land border bounce = 4 months in country

    3.     SETV, Enter & Extend.  1 land border bounce & extend = 5 months in country


    In other words, option 1, 2, or 3 should be ok? At this point, I am not confident that I would pursue anything beyond one SETV and one extension (90 days total) for 2020.  However, I'd like to know if #2 and #3 are still in the "in the green" -- so to speak?




  5. 17 minutes ago, The Fat Controller said:

    Just my opinion, it seems to be the cumulative time in the country that is the issue, once you near 180 days trying to effectively live half the year in Thailand, then your "tourist" status comes under more scrutiny.


    Especially true of the bright people that put "Live in Pattaya" on their social media profiles !



    Appreciate you offering up your insights.  Personally, I just don't want to deal with the inconvenience of being denied entry, an unplanned return flight, etc., etc.  It's simply not worth it to me.   If the standard for immigration scrutiny is now staying in country close to 180 days in a calendar year, I'll give that threshold a wide berth.  That would, however, seem to still allow individuals to exercise one SETV and 1 extension (90 days total) per calendar year?  Does anyone on this forum have reason to believe that one SETV and 1 extension (90 days per calendar year) is too much?  Can we do that once annually, on a repeated basis, without expecting problems from immigration?

  6. 45 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

    Have you considered a METV. That 6 plus couple of visa exempt border entries. Easily done.


    14 minutes ago, The Fat Controller said:



    Don't forget that the O-A Visa now requires you to purchase health insurance from a THAI company on the approved list, so factor that into your financial calculation.


    My previous 5 entries on SETV were not extended, I spent about half the year in Thailand and half in my home country, when I entered on my Non 0 Single Entry 3 weeks ago, the Immigration Officer said she might not have let me in on a Tourist Visa.


    Things are changing.


    The 20 year Thailand Elite Visa at 1 million Baht would seem to suit you best.

    Indeed things may be changing and that's ok.   If the new reality is that using multiply SETV is just not permissible, I can live with that.  I don't have my heart set on a firm 4, 5 or 6 months per year in Thailand.  If that were doable with SETVs and a combination of border bounces, I'd do it.   If not, I won't plan it or even attempt it.  In that case, I will just incorporate Thailand as one of several countries I'll visit on my annual 10 month trip to Asia.  That seems to be what people are saying.  If you want to visit annually to Thailand now, you can only count on one SETV being honored in a calendar year?  Is that correct? 

  7. METV poses a problem per the Thai Embassy in Washington DC.  Requires either of the items below related to employment or businesses.  I truly am retired (no LLCs, side businesses, etc.).  Therefore, METV is not an option. 


    Just to remind folks here, I don't have my heart set on 7 months in Thailand each year.  Yes, the more, the better.  However, I am just really trying to find out what is a "safe" amount of time to spend in the Kingdom on an annual basis?  If the answer is just one SETV and one extension (90 days) or one SETV and 1 border bounce (120 days), I am ok with that.  I am not objecting.  I will simply allocate more time to another destination.  I am not looking to push the limits, only to understand what they are.  Are we at the point where just one SETV and 1 extension (90 days total) is really all that you can get away with in a year?   


    8. A letter proof of employment ( **we don’t accept pay stubs**)

    10.For self-employed, business license or business registration indicating the applicant’s name


  8. Thanks to all those who have replied.  All advice is appreciated :). I personally can't see that a 20 year EV makes sense.  In just 7 years, I could easily quality for an O-A.  EV 5 year is a close call, I do agree.  However, if I could just as easily spend 4-5 months a year in Thailand with 1 easily obtained SETV (in my home country) and do 1 land border bounce, is it worth it to get a 5 year EV?  I tend to think not.   As per my post, I don't have my heart set on spending the full 10 months in Thailand.  The longest option I've proposed is 7 months annually (1 SETV, 2 land bounces, & extensions).  If that pushes the boundaries too much when done on an annual basis, that's ok.  No objections.   But what then are the lower limits which are still doable?  Are we at the point where just one SETV and 1 extension (90 days total) is really all that you can get away with in a year?   

  9. Sorry in advance for the long post.  Thanks in advance to those members who take the time to read it and offer advice. 


    I am a 43-year-old American.  Retired early last year – December 31, 2018 -- after 18 years as a corporate pilot.  No kids, no wife, no alimony – so it was doable.  I had simply become tired of 5 am departures and hot-tempered executives constantly pushing the boundaries of safety to get there “NOW!!!!”


    Today, I’m ok financially.  Not wealthy, but there’s enough in my portfolio to go the distance.  I’m living modestly and enjoying my life much more now versus daily 6 hour butt rides crisscrossing the US hauling pricks to business meetings😊


    Anyway, upon retiring, I took a 9-month trip to Southeast Asia to see about living in that region of the world.  Went basically everywhere – Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Lao.  Liked them all.  However, Thailand was my favorite.  It was my first trip EVER to the Kingdom.  Arrived on a SETV issued at Kuala Lumpur.  Extended it once for 30 days.  Left exactly on my 90th day – July 24th, 2019.  Traveled around Asia some more.  I then came back to the US a few weeks ago at end of October to tidy up a few loose ends and sell my home.


    Going forward, January and February of each year will always be in the USA.  My parents are 79 and 81.  I’m their only child.  I like to see them for a few months each year during their birthdays.  So, that leaves 10 months of the year March – December that I would like to spend oversees.  I would like to spend a sizable chunk of that time in Thailand, if possible. For the remainder of the 10 months, I will happily go to some other countries in the region and enjoy those places for some variety. 


    Due to my parent’s advancing age and the potential need to return to the US permanently if health concerns develop, the Thai Elite Visa is not a good fit at this time.  Maybe in the future…


    For now, I’ll be working within the confines of the current SETV & Visa Exempt entry process (and immigration’s increased enforcement).    

    All that said, here’s the criteria:


    • I want to spend as much of the 10 months (March-December) in Thailand as possible.
    • I WILL repeat the same plan in the coming years…2021, 2022, 2023, etc., so this is not a “one time” plan for 2020.   It is about sustainability year after year.  That’s the KEY.
    • I am NOT interested in pushing the boundaries so far as to get denied entry. 
    • I am NOT interested in getting sent back on some unplanned return flight and sitting in a detention center. 
    • I am NOT interested in going to all different kinds of embassies and consulates in neighboring countries to try to obtain visa after visa. 


    So, with the criteria above, what is the maximum safe stay in Thailand that I can get away with each year and not have problems with Thai immigration? 


    Please tell me your choice and why.  


    NOTE:  I will always arrive on a SETV issued in my home country (USA).


    1.      SETV, Enter & Extend = 3 months in country

    2.      SETV, Enter & Extend.  1 land border bounce = 4 months in country

    3.      SETV, Enter & Extend.  1 land border bounce & extend = 5 months in country

    4.      SETV, Enter & Extend. 2 land border bounces & 1 extend = 6 months in country

    5.      SETV, Enter & Extend.  2 land border bounces & 2 extend = 7 months in country

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