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wealthychef

How long does it take to renew a retirement visa at immigration in Bangkok?

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Hi, it's time for me to go get a 12 month renewal of my retirement visa.  I am a US citizen.  I know I have to go get the statement of income from the US embassy.  Once that is done, can someone point me to a walk-through so I have the right forms and don't waste a trip to the heinous immigration office?  Thanks for any help, and apologies if this is a duplicate.  I searched google and this website and after about a half hour could not find what I'm asking for yet so I thought I'd ask here.  

Side note of interest, I tried to contact a visa service (speedy-visa.com), thinking to pay for convenience and save some time, and the impatient man on the phone there was really quite unkind and unhelpful, adamant that they don't do "hand holding" service and berated me for not reading his website closely enough.  Bad taste in my mouth.  He hung up on me without a goodbye.  I recommend avoiding speedy visa "services" if you want kindness and service, unless you are desperate and a bit masochistic.  

Thanks for any help.  

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1 hour ago, BritTim said:

If you want hand holding in Bangkok, Bangkok Buddy (http://bangkokbuddy.com/) is fine. They have a contact at Chaeng Wattana who does a good job. You will need to attend immigration, but they will set up an appointment, and transport you there and back.

Thanks for the tip!  :-) 

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1 hour ago, partington said:

Firstly, although it seems pedantic, you should use the correct terminology so that you fully understand what you are doing and so people know what you are referring to exactly.

 

You are not renewing a "visa": a visa is a permission to enter a country at a border, which you obtain outside a country in order to be allowed to enter, and the period of validity of a visa is the time within which you will be allowed to enter the country using it (except under very restricted circumstances involving a nominal 'conversion' of a tourist to a non-imm O visa which is instantly used and therefore not valid). The period of validity of the visa does not refer to how long you are allowed to stay in the country, merely how long you are allowed to use it to enter the country.

 

When you go to immigration to apply for an extension of the period you are allowed to stay on the grounds of retirement, you are not renewing a visa: you are asking for the time you have been allowed to stay after entering on that visa to be extended. You will not have a valid visa at this point, that is you will not be allowed to enter at a border with your one year permission to stay intact. This is because you no longer have a visa, and will be allowed entry on a visa waiver, which for most countries only allows you to stay 30 days.

 

To answer your question specifically:

I did my retirement extension at Chaengwattana Bangkok last week.  I arrived at 8am, and had the extension by 10:30 am, with only 25 people waiting before me.

 

You need the filled in TM7 form (titled 'application for extension of stay in the kingdom'  not 'application for visa'!) 

 

a 4cm X 6cm recent photo on white or grey background .

 

Photocopies of passport photo page, visa page, last entry page and TM 6 departure /entry card: also last retirement extension stamp if you have one.

 

Letter from Embassy detailing income. 

[EDIT : You should probably bring any documentary evidence of income just in case they ask, on the better safe than sorry principle, not because they are likely to ask.]

 

I would take Bank book and photocopies of it even if applying entirely on the basis of income in case they ask.

 

Need bank letter stating account balance if applying by combination of income/balance, and update bank book on day of application, with photocopy of updated page .

 

Proof of address (asked for if this is your first application, but not usually after that, but take it anyway)

Sign the photocopies at the bottom.

 

That was all I needed.

You will need to apply for a re-entry permit if you intend to leave Thailand during any period of your extension when your visa is no longer valid.

 

 

Thank you very much for your clear description and quick reply.  

However, now I'm confused by your "clarification."  You said

 

Quote

you are not renewing a visa: you are asking for the time you have been allowed to stay after entering on that visa to be extended. You will not have a valid visa at this point, that is you will not be allowed to enter at a border with your one year permission to stay intact. This is because you no longer have a visa, and will be allowed entry on a visa waiver, which for most countries only allows you to stay 30 days.

 

I frequently exit and re-enter, and previously my visa was a multiple-enty visa.  The term of the visa expires at end of Feb.  I need to extend my permission to stay as well as permission to exit and enter at will.  You have just made things more confusing for me.  Definitely the visa expires at end of Feb.  Are you saying I don't need to renew that?  <deleted>, thanks.  

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  I frequently exit and re-enter, and previously my visa was a multiple-enty visa.  The term of the visa expires at end of Feb.  I need to extend my permission to stay as well as permission to exit and enter at will.  You have just made things more confusing for me.  Definitely the visa expires at end of Feb.  Are you saying I don't need to renew that?  , thanks.   

 

 To keep it simple, you are not renewing a visa. You are applying for an extension of stay. If you have plans to leave the country, additionally you will need to purchase a reentry permit which is an additional cost. You can purchase a single reentry permit, good for one out and return, or a multi reentry permit, if you plan to leave the country more frequently.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

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7 minutes ago, SpokaneAl said:

 To keep it simple, you are not renewing a visa. You are applying for an extension of stay. If you have plans to leave the country, additionally you will need to purchase a reentry permit which is an additional cost. You can purchase a single reentry permit, good for one out and return, or a multi reentry permit, if you plan to leave the country more frequently.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

 

Thank you for the clarification.  You are incorrect about one thing:  I am renewing my visa, as well as applying for an extension of stay.  I'm actually doing both because yes I have plans to leave the country.  

Your post should be pinned as a permanent fixture to inform people of the process of renewal of visas and entry permits.  Thanks again. 

EDIT:  given that I am applying for both things, are there more documents I need to prepare?  

Edited by wealthychef

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21 minutes ago, asiaexpat said:

To answer your question about "how long does it take", that depends on the day and time you go to CW. Two weeks ago I went on a Tuesday and arrived at 9AM. I finally got to see the first officer at 1:30 PM. Finished process at 2:30 PM. Never know how long until you get there.

Sigh, that's my concern.  Thanks for sharing that.  I have also heard it's a good strategy to arrive after lunch and get a number, as they try to clear the lines before leaving for the day.  I tried it once and it worked pretty well.  

I do note that the other person that it went quickly for got there at 8AM but I'm not willing to suffer to that level.  :-)  

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  Thank you for the clarification.  You are incorrect about one thing:  I am renewing my visa, as well as applying for an extension of stay.  I'm actually doing both because yes I have plans to leave the country.   Your post should be pinned as a permanent fixture to inform people of the process of renewal of visas and entry permits.  Thanks again. 

EDIT:  given that I am applying for both things, are there more documents I need to prepare?  

 

 

 I don’t think so. You are applying for an extension of stay based on retirement. There is no more visa for you. Purchasing the reentry permit will allow you to leave and return while you maintain your extension of stay.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

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53 minutes ago, SpokaneAl said:

 I don’t think so. You are applying for an extension of stay based on retirement. There is no more visa for you. Purchasing the reentry permit will allow you to leave and return while you maintain your extension of stay.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

<redacted my own reply as it is redundant>

Edited by wealthychef

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30 minutes ago, BritTim said:

As others have tried to emphasize, there is a  high risk of getting something wrong until you understand the difference between a visa and a permission to stay.

 

Your visa has an 'enter before' date. This determines when you are able to use it to enter the country. When you enter Thailand, you are given a permission to stay that has its own expiry date ('admitted until').  When you leave Thailand, your permission to stay ends but, if you have an unexpired visa, you can enter later and get a new permission to stay. Usually, if you want to stay longer than the admitted until date of your current permission to stay (and you do not have an unexpired multiple entry visa that you can use by exiting and returning to Thailand to receive a fresh permission to stay)  you want to go to an immigration office inside Thailand to ask them to extend your permission to stay (giving you a later admitted until date).  The immigration office will not give you a new visa to leave and re-enter Thailand to get a new permission to stay. What they will give you on payment of an application fee is a single or multiple re-entry permit which enables you to leave and re-enter Thailand without losing your current permission to stay.

 

OK, thanks.  That is such a confusing bureaucratic soup!  But to summarize: 

1.  I'm getting an extension of permission to STAY

2.  I'm getting a re-entry permit to LEAVE and RE-ENTER without losing permission to stay.  

Pointless bureaucracy if you asked me, and there is a reason everyone is confused I think about this.  It is really great to have this clarified.  Thanks again

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18 hours ago, wealthychef said:

 

Thank you very much for your clear description and quick reply.  

However, now I'm confused by your "clarification."  You said

 

 

I frequently exit and re-enter, and previously my visa was a multiple-enty visa.  The term of the visa expires at end of Feb.  I need to extend my permission to stay as well as permission to exit and enter at will.  You have just made things more confusing for me.  Definitely the visa expires at end of Feb.  Are you saying I don't need to renew that?  <deleted>, thanks.  

If you currently have a one year multiple entry visa valid until the end of Feb then you should be able to do a "border-run" before the end of Feb and get one year from that date. You would then need to get a re-entry permit if you wanted to leave the country. I am not an expert but this is my understanding of how the one-year visas work.

 

Actually all visas work the same way. The valid from/to date is when the visa is valid to enter the country. You are then allowed to stay in the country for the length of time allowed by the visa. That could be 60 days for a 60 day tourist visa or one year for a one year retirement visa. 

Edited by scuba2day

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