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CM Immigration Q&A (2018)


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On 11/11/2018 at 10:51 AM, KhunBENQ said:

Monday through Friday (English is not my first language).

 

"Monday to Friday" is fine in British English. It's only the US variant which uses "through". 

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Nonsense posts removed.   This is not a topic for "fun" or stupid quips or a place to try out poor attempts at humour. Any further instances in this topic and they will be dealt with ha

Questions and Answers on all ""Immigration" issues in Chiang Mai.   Posts that are off topic, argumentative, etc. will be aggressively removed to keep this topic with useful information

Until we get actual first-hand reports from applicants extending O-A visas at Chiang Mai Immigration, I think links to threads about other peoples' experiences overseas or in other provinces isn't rel

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22 hours ago, SiamAndy said:

I was there in the morning and then I had to go back home to get additional documents that they requested. I came back in the afternoon a few hours later and had to sit and wait about another hour and a half to be seen again. By the time I left it was almost 6PM and the staff there were the same people I saw in the morning.

 

I went there for my reentry permit today at 11 am and it was finished at 12:30 pm.

 

So I asked the immigration officer in my broken Thai.

 

1. Is it true that you guys work until 8 pm? Answer: Yes.

 

2.Did you guys get a salary raise because you have to work 14 hours per day? Answer: No.

 

3. Are there 2 work shifts? No.

 

I don't know what's the Thai word for work shift so I am not sure whether they understood what shift means.

 

I pity them....

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9 hours ago, EricTh said:

 

I went there for my reentry permit today at 11 am and it was finished at 12:30 pm.

 

So I asked the immigration officer in my broken Thai.

 

1. Is it true that you guys work until 8 pm? Answer: Yes.

 

2.Did you guys get a salary raise because you have to work 14 hours per day? Answer: No.

 

3. Are there 2 work shifts? No.

 

I don't know what's the Thai word for work shift so I am not sure whether they understood what shift means.

 

I pity them....

You could have tried English, most of them speak it fairly well.

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1 hour ago, Thailand said:

You could have tried English, most of them speak it fairly well.

I switched to Thai after discovering the lady could only utter one-word sentences in English when asking me. So I won't consider that as 'fairly well' ..

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I applied for my 1 year marriage extension just before these big changes. I came down to the city from my home (200kms away) early and then the chore I was doing got cancelled so I went in to immigration 1 day before my temporary extension was ending, stamped as 14th. "But you're a day early' says the guy at reception. He passed me to the person of undetermined sex at the counter who chanted "you're a day early". Is it wrong to not wait for the very last day before going in to see if the long extension has been granted? Does everyone wait till that last day? If I left it till then and had a breakdown on the long journey to their office they'd give me a boll.....,  good talking to. 

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On 11/12/2018 at 12:05 PM, Cheesekraft said:

Is there any facilities to photocopy passport, take photo etc on site or nearby?

 

 

Another approach is to make a few dozen photos and photocopies of passport and etc before you ever visit immigration.    This makes it so easy to be prepared for the  visit.

 

One time expense for a cost you know you'll incur later.

 

 

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On 11/13/2018 at 3:14 PM, Amplish said:

Just went this morning for my retirement extension, arrived at 6:00 and was done by 9:45, as number 12 in the queue. They started processing people around 7:00. The officers take retirement applications in queue #8, but these are also serviced by staff in #7 if they don't have anything to do. There is no discernible queuing early in the morning, before a staff member start handing out queue numbers around 6:40. As usual the longest wait is for the signature of the responsible officer, after checking of submitted documents at 3 subsequent desks. They take a picture which is added to a digitised application form (they seem to scan and use machine reading), which then has to be signed as 'security' as the officer explained.  The subsequent re-entry permit took another half hour, 25 minutes waiting for my number to be called and 5 minutes for them to check documents and stamp in the re-entry permit while I watched them. They had reached number 24 of the retirement queue by 11:00, while I waited for a friend to also finish who came in at 9:00. It would seem that on a quiet Tuesday one could just walk in on a normal time and still be processed relatively quickly.

 

Note that photocopies needed to be made across the street at the LPG station not on the premises of the Immigration Office.

 

I also chatted with a few of the staff (in Thai) and got confirmed that it is one shift and indeed most seem to wander in 7:30 and if required need to stay until 20:00. That is likely unsustainable long-term, although obviously none of the officers I asked seemed to be bothered by it. It is their duty one of them told me...

The bottleneck created by having to wait for the authorized signature has always been my complaint.  Simply authorizing other IO to complete the entire process and signature would speed things up dramatically. 

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That is indeed great news that the immigration now is open from 6am to 8pm.

Now we can go there at 5am to get the last number and wait until 8pm for our turn.

Amazing Immigration. Thanks for the extra hours to speed up the visa process, that clearly solved all issues🙂 

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12 hours ago, Sp4wnY said:

That is indeed great news that the immigration now is open from 6am to 8pm.

Now we can go there at 5am to get the last number and wait until 8pm for our turn.

Amazing Immigration. Thanks for the extra hours to speed up the visa process, that clearly solved all issues🙂 

I think you need to read a few more posts.

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11 hours ago, chingmai331 said:

Photocopies easily available across the highway at the 'SPA'.  Really shi**ty signage there but persevere.

I went in to Immig on Friday 11 am. Truthfully, after 5 yrs of chaos, the current scene is beyond good.  Like 'fabulous' coz the cops seen organized, the counter work in order, the number system excellent...in and out on a schedule.

 

Pay first.  Of course.

A pay as you enter system for what service was that?

 

But yes, looking good - at the moment.

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On 11/3/2018 at 6:23 PM, SiamAndy said:

 

Hi Nancy,

 

I did try the BK bank in KSK. They told me I need a Non Imm O visa, then I can open it. Is there a particular bank officer there that I should ask for?

 

Thanks.

Try the Thapae branch.

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On 11/6/2018 at 6:18 AM, Thailand said:

"Free" residence certificates can be obtained within 24 hours by most agents for around 1000baht.

Once you've established a residence this is the best way to go: 

 

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On 11/2/2018 at 4:25 PM, davehowden said:

while dropping of my passport for my 90 day report,they told me that the latest info they have is that the income letters will only be accepted till Dec. 31 (essentially Fri. Dec.28.)

If that's the case, about 1/3 of the expats on Non-O visa extension are going to be freaking out, especially those with extensions ending in the first Quarter of 2019. 

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3 hours ago, connda said:

If that's the case, about 1/3 of the expats on Non-O visa extension are going to be freaking out, especially those with extensions ending in the first Quarter of 2019. 

Ubon Joe who many regard as the "Guru" on all Imm matters,and rightly so IMO, stated recently on another thread that Imm should clarify what the situation really is and does it pertain to ALL offices country wide.The thread is on the main Thai Visa page and some people really are "freaking out"

Can hardly blame them.

 

 

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10 hours ago, connda said:

If that's the case, about 1/3 of the expats on Non-O visa extension are going to be freaking out, especially those with extensions ending in the first Quarter of 2019. 

My understanding may be wrong, but I thought it was that the Consulates will only do them through the end of this year, but that would make them good at least through January I would think. Also, if you have statements showing your pension and/or social security, wouldn't Immigration accept those? It's all gotten rather confusing it seems so I just keep 800,000 baht in an account. It would be a real tough situation if the rules switch and you're not prepared. Also heard that if you have a marital dependent then a joint 800,000 account no longer works, but it has to be 1.6 million baht, so why have a dependent visa? 

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On 11/19/2018 at 12:32 AM, cusanus said:

. Also, if you have statements showing your pension and/or social security, wouldn't Immigration accept those?  

 

Don't you understand that there are more than 100 countries in the world with different documents, pension, social security schemes etc. You can't expect the same Thai immigration officer to recognise each and every document structure and many in different languages. Moreover, many of these documents can be faked.

 

They can only recognise Thai bank letters because they see them everyday and most importantly, it's in their native language.

 

That's why Thai immigration request the various embassies to verify these documents for them which the US, UK, Australia should have done in the first place.

 

 

 

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The embassies opened up a can of worms when in their infinite wisdom announced they would cease issuing "Income Affidavit Letters."  What on earth are these people thinking.  To top that, it is my understanding Chiang Mai Immigration, is considering not accepting the required monthly income we make that is deposited monthly in our US bank accounts.  

 

I was told by an immigration officer they plan on requiring all foreigners applying for a one year retirement visa to deposit 800,000 baht in a Thai bank or if married to a Thai, you are required to deposit 400,000 baht in a Thai bank or transfer 65,000 baht monthly into a Thai bank.  All three ideas is poor money management at best.  

 

There is no one on this planet in their right mind comes to Thailand to conduct their banking.  Most people will use Singapore, Swiss, or US banks for obvious reasons.

 

I have lived in Thailand for over ten years.  Other than my required visits to CM Immigration, I have really enjoyed living in this country.  I like the people, food, medical, and ease of traveling to Europe, and Asia.  

 

Personally, I am waiting for the dust to settle regarding this possible financial requirement change before moving to another country.  What I won't do is deposit money into a Thai bank, that is just partially insured, and could be confiscated by the Thai government just to continue living in Thailand.

 

 

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On 11/19/2018 at 12:32 AM, cusanus said:

My understanding may be wrong, but I thought it was that the Consulates will only do them through the end of this year, but that would make them good at least through January I would think. Also, if you have statements showing your pension and/or social security, wouldn't Immigration accept those? It's all gotten rather confusing it seems so I just keep 800,000 baht in an account. It would be a real tough situation if the rules switch and you're not prepared. Also heard that if you have a marital dependent then a joint 800,000 account no longer works, but it has to be 1.6 million baht, so why have a dependent visa? 

Where did you hear that?

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2 hours ago, CMNightRider said:

The embassies opened up a can of worms when in their infinite wisdom announced they would cease issuing "Income Affidavit Letters."  What on earth are these people thinking.  To top that, it is my understanding Chiang Mai Immigration, is considering not accepting the required monthly income we make that is deposited monthly in our US bank accounts.  

 

I was told by an immigration officer they plan on requiring all foreigners applying for a one year retirement visa to deposit 800,000 baht in a Thai bank or if married to a Thai, you are required to deposit 400,000 baht in a Thai bank or transfer 65,000 baht monthly into a Thai bank.  All three ideas is poor money management at best.  

 

There is no one on this planet in their right mind comes to Thailand to conduct their banking.  Most people will use Singapore, Swiss, or US banks for obvious reasons.

 

I have lived in Thailand for over ten years.  Other than my required visits to CM Immigration, I have really enjoyed living in this country.  I like the people, food, medical, and ease of traveling to Europe, and Asia.  

 

Personally, I am waiting for the dust to settle regarding this possible financial requirement change before moving to another country.  What I won't do is deposit money into a Thai bank, that is just partially insured, and could be confiscated by the Thai government just to continue living in Thailand.

 

 

It's only 800,000 baht and it's insured by the Thai government.  Admittedly, the insurance is for bank failure and Thai banks do a miserable job of protecting their customers for things like their employees stealing from customer accounts or an unauthorized person using a customer's ATM card.  

 

The way to protect against this is to deposit the 800,000 baht into a "fixed account" where there is no ATM card attached to the account nor is the account accessible via online banking.  Also these fixed accounts earn an OK interest rate, better than similar "certificate of deposit" accounts in the U.S.

 

Personally, I like my local Bangkok Bank branch, their online banking, the ease of paying local bills online from one of their more "risky" savings accounts (according to CM Night Rider) and knowing that I have a reserve of money here in Thailand for emergencies.

 

As for those "risky" Bangkok Bank savings accounts, I handle them the same way I handle our U.S. credit union accounts and credit cards, i.e. I logon every day or two and check activity.  Actually, some of the accounts and credit cards are set up to send emails for any transaction over $5 and I should get around to getting them all set up this way.  You can do this with Bangkok Bank, I believe. 

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2 hours ago, Thailand said:

Where did you hear that?

Believe it was this forum, or at least another on Thaivisa.com. If it mattered to me I would pay a special visit to Immigration and make a personal inquiry. 

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2 hours ago, NancyL said:

It's only 800,000 baht and it's insured by the Thai government.  Admittedly, the insurance is for bank failure and Thai banks do a miserable job of protecting their customers for things like their employees stealing from customer accounts or an unauthorized person using a customer's ATM card.  

 

The way to protect against this is to deposit the 800,000 baht into a "fixed account" where there is no ATM card attached to the account nor is the account accessible via online banking.  Also these fixed accounts earn an OK interest rate, better than similar "certificate of deposit" accounts in the U.S.

 

Personally, I like my local Bangkok Bank branch, their online banking, the ease of paying local bills online from one of their more "risky" savings accounts (according to CM Night Rider) and knowing that I have a reserve of money here in Thailand for emergencies.

 

As for those "risky" Bangkok Bank savings accounts, I handle them the same way I handle our U.S. credit union accounts and credit cards, i.e. I logon every day or two and check activity.  Actually, some of the accounts and credit cards are set up to send emails for any transaction over $5 and I should get around to getting them all set up this way.  You can do this with Bangkok Bank, I believe. 

You have always maintained a positive attitude Nancy.  Complying with this ridicules requirement to deposit 800,000 baht (approximately $24,000) in a Thai bank for any extended time period you would be lucky to keep up with inflation.  The same amount of money deposited into a S&P Index Fund, with re-investing your dividends you can expect to double your money within six to eight years.

 

Another problem for many older American retirees, is for survivors to repatriate this money back to the US when you pass away.  I think the Thai government is counting on this.

 

One would have to look long and hard to find any financial planner or investor who would recommend banking in Thailand, especially if the end goal is just to obtain a one year retirement visa with all the nonsensical reporting that goes along with it, lol.

 

I read recently the Thai tourism industry has been wondering what happened to all the Chinese tourists.  If Thai Immigration adds these new financial hurdles for American retirees, I believe they will be wondering what happened to the American retirees as well.  Instead of reading all these travel articles about how wonderful retiring to Thailand is, travel writers will be changing their tune and directing people elsewhere.    

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4 minutes ago, Dante99 said:

Why do so many people insist on writing as though a deposit of 800,000 or 400,000 is the only alternative when that is not true? Are they really that unaware or ignorant or is the compulsion to bitch and moan just overwhelming?

Probably because there are some CM immigration officers who are telling people this along with sending monthly 65,000 baht deposits to a Thai bank.  

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