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Report from the field:

Tuesday morning completed the yearly renewal of my Non Imm. O, marriage visa. Fifth time for me since moving to Thailand, second time in Chiang Mai. Arrived at 5:45am, no problem finding parking out front. Waited inside till 6am when que numbers were handed out.  Got que #I 3. Was called at 8:45am. I thought I had everything needed, as I’ve done this a few times now, but this was the first time I was asked to produce the copy of the signed marriage affidavit from the US Embassy, that we used to get our first Kor Ror 22 (the Thai marriage certificate for marriages outside of Thailand). Just the day before we updated our Kor Ror 22 at our local amphoe, which may or may not have been necessary, but she wanted the document from the Embassy too. Thankfully I was able to produce it as I always bring everything I’ve got, just in case. Was told by the officer that the couple just before us had the same issue but couldn’t produce it. So be sure to bring every document that was used to get any document they want. They also wanted my hand drawn map to include the Thai names of the roads, not just, “108” to “121” etc. Had to make a trip to the copy place just outside which took about 15 minutes, as the line there can be long. Completed everything and out by 9:45am. All in all not a bad experience provided that I had everything they wanted.  Cheers.

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8 minutes ago, JohnOates said:

Report from the field:

Tuesday morning completed the yearly renewal of my Non Imm. O, marriage visa. Fifth time for me since moving to Thailand, second time in Chiang Mai. Arrived at 5:45am, no problem finding parking out front. Waited inside till 6am when que numbers were handed out.  Got que #I 3. Was called at 8:45am. I thought I had everything needed, as I’ve done this a few times now, but this was the first time I was asked to produce the copy of the signed marriage affidavit from the US Embassy, that we used to get our first Kor Ror 22 (the Thai marriage certificate for marriages outside of Thailand). Just the day before we updated our Kor Ror 22 at our local amphoe, which may or may not have been necessary, but she wanted the document from the Embassy too. Thankfully I was able to produce it as I always bring everything I’ve got, just in case. Was told by the officer that the couple just before us had the same issue but couldn’t produce it. So be sure to bring every document that was used to get any document they want. They also wanted my hand drawn map to include the Thai names of the roads, not just, “108” to “121” etc. Had to make a trip to the copy place just outside which took about 15 minutes, as the line there can be long. Completed everything and out by 9:45am. All in all not a bad experience provided that I had everything they wanted.  Cheers.

Same BS I went through some years back.  They kept asking for new documents never needed before and then the ridiculous draw a map nonsense.  They really don't like those here on a marriage visa.  If you can qualify for the retirement visa do it like I did.  Better yet,  get out of CM and deal with a normal IO that will process your visa extension in 20 minutes or less with no hassle.

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This is from my own experience.

 

1. Woke up at 5:30 am

 

2. Reached immigration at 6:00 am and got a number 5 for retirement + medical queue

 

3. Immigration started to receive my application at around 8:15 am. The lower-grade officer took 15 minutes to check all the documents and I have to sign two additional documents that weren't required in past years. Paid my fees and told to wait.

 

4. I have to wait until 9:10 am before the higher-grade officer could sign my visa and return my passport. So all together, the wait was slightly longer than 3 hours.

 

The two new documents I had to sign were

 

1. A declaration that my visa will be cancelled if I/we break the terms and conditions such as working illegally and some other conditions.

 

2. If I/we overstayed after my visa will be expired in the future, then I/we will be banned from entering Thailand for x number of years. If you go there personally and report that you overstayed, then the penalty is lighter as below.

eg.

more than 90 days - banned for one year

more than 1 year - banned for three years.

more than x years - banned for 3+x years.

 

There are too many 'bans' so I can't remember all of them.

 

However, if we were arrested and prosecuted for overstaying, then the penalty is even heavier than the above number of years.

 

I think all these new procedures are necessary because there were too many foreigners overstaying their visa and were most probably implemented after Big Jok became the head.

 

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18 minutes ago, EricTh said:

 

This is from my own experience.

 

1. Woke up at 5:30 am

 

2. Reached immigration at 6:00 am and got a number 5 for retirement + medical queue

 

3. Immigration started to receive my application at around 8:15 am. The lower-grade officer took 15 minutes to check all the documents and I have to sign two additional documents that weren't required in past years. Paid my fees and told to wait.

 

4. I have to wait until 9:10 am before the higher-grade officer could sign my visa and return my passport. So all together, the wait was slightly longer than 3 hours.

 

The two new documents I had to sign were

 

1. A declaration that my visa will be cancelled if I/we break the terms and conditions such as working illegally and some other conditions.

 

2. If I/we overstayed after my visa will be expired in the future, then I/we will be banned from entering Thailand for x number of years. If you go there personally and report that you overstayed, then the penalty is lighter as below.

eg.

more than 90 days - banned for one year

more than 1 year - banned for three years.

more than x years - banned for 3+x years.

 

There are too many 'bans' so I can't remember all of them.

 

However, if we were arrested and prosecuted for overstaying, then the penalty is even heavier than the above number of years.

 

I think all these new procedures are necessary because there were too many foreigners overstaying their visa and were most probably implemented after Big Jok became the head.

 

I had to sign those 2 forms as well when obtaining my extension of stay back in May before Big Jok made his changes

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9 minutes ago, jeffandgop said:

I had to sign those 2 forms as well when obtaining my extension of stay back in May before Big Jok made his changes

 

When I did my extension last year in 2017, they were not needed. 

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37 minutes ago, jeffandgop said:

I had to sign those 2 forms as well when obtaining my extension of stay back in May before Big Jok made his changes

So did we in September.

 

Also be prepared for the IO's asking for anything and everything nowadays as they surely can't be happy with current situation, longer hours and more scrutiny, at least for the moment.

The agents still seem to be operating freely so that side of things has not changed- but no tips! 😁

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This is from my own experience.
 
1. Woke up at 5:30 am
 
2. Reached immigration at 6:00 am and got a number 5 for retirement + medical queue
 
3. Immigration started to receive my application at around 8:15 am. The lower-grade officer took 15 minutes to check all the documents and I have to sign two additional documents that weren't required in past years. Paid my fees and told to wait.
 
4. I have to wait until 9:10 am before the higher-grade officer could sign my visa and return my passport. So all together, the wait was slightly longer than 3 hours.
 
The two new documents I had to sign were
 
1. A declaration that my visa will be cancelled if I/we break the terms and conditions such as working illegally and some other conditions.
 
2. If I/we overstayed after my visa will be expired in the future, then I/we will be banned from entering Thailand for x number of years. If you go there personally and report that you overstayed, then the penalty is lighter as below.
eg.
more than 90 days - banned for one year
more than 1 year - banned for three years.
more than x years - banned for 3+x years.
 
There are too many 'bans' so I can't remember all of them.
 
However, if we were arrested and prosecuted for overstaying, then the penalty is even heavier than the above number of years.
 
I think all these new procedures are necessary because there were too many foreigners overstaying their visa and were most probably implemented after Big Jok became the head.
 

How did you meet the money requirement?


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Looked much better than prom this morning took longer to climb the 3 flights of stairs than it did to do my report back the ground floor looked busy but not over crowded so far impressed 🤔

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20 minutes ago, sammieuk1 said:

Looked much better than prom this morning took longer to climb the 3 flights of stairs than it did to do my report back the ground floor looked busy but not over crowded so far impressed 🤔

TM30?

 

What provision is there for those that cannot climb 3 flights of stairs?

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3 hours ago, Thailand said:

So did we in September.

 

Also be prepared for the IO's asking for anything and everything nowadays as they surely can't be happy with current situation, longer hours and more scrutiny, at least for the moment.

The agents still seem to be operating freely so that side of things has not changed- but no tips! 😁

 

I saw a banner in front of the building with Big Jok photo and the 'no tips' wording.

 

What about those agents who go through the back door and liase with the officers privately. That's still considered 'tips'.

 

The poor guy checking my application was obviously not well, sneezing occasionally. He took 2 hours just to check 4 applications.

 

I thought they have two shifts instead of one?

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On 10/31/2018 at 9:07 AM, Dante99 said:

The translation I read does not say that, it says "should not exceed six months" which seems to mean that it could be less perhaps at the discression of the officer?  Perhaps the problem is with the translation?  

That's exactly right,"should not exceed 6 months" doesn't necessarily mean it can't be,at the discretion of the officer,much less than that. Given this current situation with the U.S.(and UK,and now Oz) not issuing income letters after the end of the year, the big question as of Jan. 1 will be if, or for how long,the income letters obtained in Nov, or Dec. will be accepted. Indeed,when I inquired about this yesterday at OS Visa (who is in continual contact with C.Mai Imm.) 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.) Ive got my appt. at the US Consul for the letter on Dec. 20,while my current extension good till Feb.11,2019. Of course,only time will tell. Hope something definitive on this issue of income letter validity will be issued by C.Mai Imm. before (in my case) Dec.20. Of course,sometimes it's "hope in one hand.spit in the other....

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6 minutes ago, harpman88 said:

That's exactly right,"should not exceed 6 months" doesn't necessarily mean it can't be,at the discretion of the officer,much less than that. Given this current situation with the U.S.(and UK,and now Oz) not issuing income letters after the end of the year, the big question as of Jan. 1 will be if, or for how long,the income letters obtained in Nov, or Dec. will be accepted. Indeed,when I inquired about this yesterday at OS Visa (who is in continual contact with C.Mai Imm.) 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.) Ive got my appt. at the US Consul for the letter on Dec. 20,while my current extension good till Feb.11,2019. Of course,only time will tell. Hope something definitive on this issue of income letter validity will be issued by C.Mai Imm. before (in my case) Dec.20. Of course,sometimes it's "hope in one hand.spit in the other....

Yes this is very disappointing that we have to show the 400,000 or 800,000 baht in a Thai Bank

It makes you wonder if they actually want us here

After all we are the ones that are helping keeping their economy going

Very shallow thinking

As someone said to me to day

This is just getting the Immigration all sorted out before the election

IMHO

 

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19 minutes ago, EricTh said:

 

I saw a banner in front of the building with Big Jok photo and the 'no tips' wording.

 

What about those agents who go through the back door and liase with the officers privately. That's still considered 'tips'.

 

The poor guy checking my application was obviously not well, sneezing occasionally. He took 2 hours just to check 4 applications.

 

I thought they have two shifts instead of one?

"Immigration started to receive my application at around 8:15 am. The lower-grade officer took 15 minutes to check all the documents and I have to sign two additional documents that weren't required in past years. Paid my fees and told to wait."

 

?

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12 minutes ago, harpman88 said:

That's exactly right,"should not exceed 6 months" doesn't necessarily mean it can't be,at the discretion of the officer,much less than that. Given this current situation with the U.S.(and UK,and now Oz) not issuing income letters after the end of the year, the big question as of Jan. 1 will be if, or for how long,the income letters obtained in Nov, or Dec. will be accepted. Indeed,when I inquired about this yesterday at OS Visa (who is in continual contact with C.Mai Imm.) 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.) Ive got my appt. at the US Consul for the letter on Dec. 20,while my current extension good till Feb.11,2019. Of course,only time will tell. Hope something definitive on this issue of income letter validity will be issued by C.Mai Imm. before (in my case) Dec.20. Of course,sometimes it's "hope in one hand.spit in the other....

So CM IO have arbitrarily decided not to honour the normal 6 month validity of income letters, OR maybe OS Visa are pulling your plonker and trying to drum up trade cos I bet income letters being used via them WILL be good for 6 months!

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24 minutes ago, davehowden said:

So CM IO have arbitrarily decided not to honour the normal 6 month validity of income letters, OR maybe OS Visa are pulling your plonker and trying to drum up trade cos I bet income letters being used via them WILL be good for 6 months!

 

I sure hope you're right,but then again,hope in one hand..

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42 minutes ago, harpman88 said:

That's exactly right,"should not exceed 6 months" doesn't necessarily mean it can't be,at the discretion of the officer,much less than that. Given this current situation with the U.S.(and UK,and now Oz) not issuing income letters after the end of the year, the big question as of Jan. 1 will be if, or for how long,the income letters obtained in Nov, or Dec. will be accepted. Indeed,when I inquired about this yesterday at OS Visa (who is in continual contact with C.Mai Imm.) 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.) Ive got my appt. at the US Consul for the letter on Dec. 20,while my current extension good till Feb.11,2019. Of course,only time will tell. Hope something definitive on this issue of income letter validity will be issued by C.Mai Imm. before (in my case) Dec.20. Of course,sometimes it's "hope in one hand.spit in the other....

I was talking with a consular officer at U.S. Consulate-Chiang Mai today and she says they've received verbal OK from Bangkok Immigration that Income letters will be honored for six months. And yes she knows that sometimes Chiang Mai immigration makes their own rules concerning validity, so they are trying to receive written verification about this point from Bangkok.

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3 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

The only way you or anyone is going to "know" is to ask the Office concerned directly, get it from "the horses mouth", so to speak.

Anything else is pure speculation, and will vary dramitcally from Office to Office to region etc as is the norm with these issues.

Exactly.

 

Or an official response from immigration central at which point ChiangMai imm can then make up their own version.

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1 hour ago, NancyL said:

I was talking with a consular officer at U.S. Consulate-Chiang Mai today and she says they've received verbal OK from Bangkok Immigration that Income letters will be honored for six months. And yes she knows that sometimes Chiang Mai immigration makes their own rules concerning validity, so they are trying to receive written verification about this point from Bangkok.

Thanks Nancy, at least that's an encouraging sign. Of course, assuming that the letters will honored into January and beyond, that will still leave us with what will be accepted as evidence to support the income stated. One will only know when they actually go in for the extension and find out what the deal will be for their particular case.

 

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2 hours ago, Thailand said:

"Immigration started to receive my application at around 8:15 am. The lower-grade officer took 15 minutes to check all the documents and I have to sign two additional documents that weren't required in past years. Paid my fees and told to wait."

 

?

 

He took 15 minutes to process mine because I looked at my watch.

 

But I was only called after more than 2 hours waiting, and there were only four people before me.

 

Either the officer took a lot of breaks in between or the previous applicants made a lot of errors and took a long time to understand the new 'ban' documents.

 

At least I didn't have to sit on the floor at Promenada from 6 to 8:30 am like in the past. I was waiting all the while inside the building and I snapped a few photos.

 

Efficiency hasn't gone up but the queuing system sure has improved. There is only one physical queue and not multiple confusing physical queues.

 

Each of us were given different logical queues starting with different alphabets corresponding with different services.

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Hello All,

 

I arrived in Chiang Mai about 2 weeks ago on a Single Entry tourist visa. I will be applying for a 90 day Non Immigrant O visa at Chiang Mai immigration once I get the income affidavit from the American Consulate in a few days (I do have supporting bank statements showing the required income as well).  Can I use the same affidavit to later apply for the 12 month extension of stay based upon retirement? Would that involve using a photocopy for the application for the 90 day Non Immigrant O and then using the original to apply for the 12 month extension of stay based upon retirement?

 

Or would it be best to get 2 original income affidavits from the American Consulate just in case since I will not be able to get an affidavit after December 31st?

 

Thanks very much for any guidance you can provide!

 

 

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1 hour ago, SiamAndy said:

I arrived in Chiang Mai about 2 weeks ago on a Single Entry tourist visa. I will be applying for a 90 day Non Immigrant O visa at Chiang Mai immigration once I get the income affidavit from the American Consulate in a few days (I do have supporting bank statements showing the required income as well).  Can I use the same affidavit to later apply for the 12 month extension of stay based upon retirement? Would that involve using a photocopy for the application for the 90 day Non Immigrant O and then using the original to apply for the 12 month extension of stay based upon retirement?

Or would it be best to get 2 original income affidavits from the American Consulate just in case since I will not be able to get an affidavit after December 31st?

I'm pretty sure you'll have to get the non-O outside Thailand, Vientiane or Penang, then you have 90 days to apply for the retirement visa. That's what I had to do years ago. I thought the income letter was good for only 30 days, but others say otherwise, but why bother if you you have the bank statements showing the right amounts? You'll need a letter from the bank the first time around and a transaction on that day showing in your book. The easiest is to get the retirement visa in the US before coming to Thailand. 

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2 minutes ago, cusanus said:

I'm pretty sure you'll have to get the non-O outside Thailand, Vientiane or Penang, then you have 90 days to apply for the retirement visa. That's what I had to do years ago. Also, the income letter is good for only 30 days, so you can't use that and just why would you if you have the bank statements? You'll need a letter from the bank the first time around and a transaction on that day showing in your book. The easiest is to get the retirement visa in the US before coming to Thailand. Not doing that caused me a world of hurt and money. 

Yes it was that way in the past but now there has been talk and I think confirmation that you can get the non+o done here in Thailand.  Also the income letter is good for 6 months, not 30 days. But nobody knows what TI will be doing about verification of income, it is all speculation until actual history is accumulated.

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3 hours ago, SiamAndy said:

Hello All,

 

I arrived in Chiang Mai about 2 weeks ago on a Single Entry tourist visa. I will be applying for a 90 day Non Immigrant O visa at Chiang Mai immigration once I get the income affidavit from the American Consulate in a few days (I do have supporting bank statements showing the required income as well).  Can I use the same affidavit to later apply for the 12 month extension of stay based upon retirement? Would that involve using a photocopy for the application for the 90 day Non Immigrant O and then using the original to apply for the 12 month extension of stay based upon retirement?

 

Or would it be best to get 2 original income affidavits from the American Consulate just in case since I will not be able to get an affidavit after December 31st?

 

Thanks very much for any guidance you can provide!

 

 

 

Your bank statements outside Thailand don't count because those documents can be faked and Thai immigration officer have no time to verify.

 

Unless you can get bank statements and a letter (written in Thai) from a  bank in Thailand, that would be authentic because Thai letters are controlled.

 

Similarly, American embassy won't verify your bank statements too because they can't. They will still issue a letter to you regardless. The validity period of the letter is subject to change with more and more  embassies closing the loopholes.

 

Best way is to transfer your money to  Thailand unless you  want to just live in Thailand for only one year. Then you might as well get an education visa to learn Thai.

 

End of next year, many people who used the embassy's income letter route won't be staying anymore ...because they just don't  have the money.

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2 hours ago, cusanus said:

I'm pretty sure you'll have to get the non-O outside Thailand, Vientiane or Penang, then you have 90 days to apply for the retirement visa. That's what I had to do years ago. I thought the income letter was good for only 30 days, but others say otherwise, but why bother if you you have the bank statements showing the right amounts? You'll need a letter from the bank the first time around and a transaction on that day showing in your book. The easiest is to get the retirement visa in the US before coming to Thailand. 

There was a recent report of someone converting a tourist visa to a non-O at CM Immigration very easily.  This used to be a difficult process to do at CM Imm.  The cost for the conversion is 2000 baht.

 

As mentioned CM Imm may not be impressed with overseas bank statements.  It would be best to open a bank account in Thailand and transfer 800,000 baht soon so that it can age for at least 2 months, the length of time needed for the first extension of a non-O.  After that the money should age at least 3 months.

 

The income letter should be OK for the initial conversion but money in the bank in Thailand will be the best way to secure future extensions since the situation is so unsettled about what EXACTLY CM Imm will accept next year for proof of income once Consulate/Embassy letters are discontinued.

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34 minutes ago, NancyL said:

There was a recent report of someone converting a tourist visa to a non-O at CM Immigration very easily.  This used to be a difficult process to do at CM Imm.  The cost for the conversion is 2000 baht.

 

As mentioned CM Imm may not be impressed with overseas bank statements.  It would be best to open a bank account in Thailand and transfer 800,000 baht soon so that it can age for at least 2 months, the length of time needed for the first extension of a non-O.  After that the money should age at least 3 months.

 

The income letter should be OK for the initial conversion but money in the bank in Thailand will be the best way to secure future extensions since the situation is so unsettled about what EXACTLY CM Imm will accept next year for proof of income once Consulate/Embassy letters are discontinued.

 

Thank you to all who replied!  I did talk to an agent who confirmed that a conversion to a 90 day non immigrant O can currently be done at CM immigration. With possible changes afoot I do plan to open a Thai bank account, but right now it is a catch 22 situation as 3 of the biggest banks here (at KSK and Maya) that I asked require a Non Imm O visa (among other things) to open a bank account.

 

So based on what Nancy mentioned, One original affidavit should be enough for both the application for the 90 day Non Immigrant O and the subsequent  conversion/application for a 12 month visa based on retirement.  I just wanted to confirm that.

 

 

 

 

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On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 11:45 AM, Thailand said:

You would think the agent would have reminded him of that facility-not! :smile:

 

Best suggestion, call in and ask at the info desk at the front of the office, pick up a form at the same time if the service is still available.

Prepared to go in next week was just trying to save making 2 trips.Nothing on their web site,not even a "Priority Lane" form to download

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1 hour ago, SiamAndy said:

 

2 hours ago, NancyL said:

There was a recent report of someone converting a tourist visa to a non-O at CM Immigration very easily.  This used to be a difficult process to do at CM Imm.  The cost for the conversion is 2000 baht.

 

As mentioned CM Imm may not be impressed with overseas bank statements.  It would be best to open a bank account in Thailand and transfer 800,000 baht soon so that it can age for at least 2 months, the length of time needed for the first extension of a non-O.  After that the money should age at least 3 months.

 

The income letter should be OK for the initial conversion but money in the bank in Thailand will be the best way to secure future extensions since the situation is so unsettled about what EXACTLY CM Imm will accept next year for proof of income once Consulate/Embassy letters are discontinued.

So based on what Nancy mentioned, One original affidavit should be enough for both the application for the 90 day Non Immigrant O and the subsequent  conversion/application for a 12 month visa based on retirement.  I just wanted to confirm that.

Oh yeah, I forgot, you can get the non-O in Thailand now. But think the 800,000 baht must be on deposit for at least 90 days. Originally, I had no trouble getting an account at Bangkok Bank on a tourist visa, explaining the non-O was pending and I needed to bring in the moolah, so you might give that a try.  It looks like the income letters may not suffice among other things, so I keep 800,000 baht in the bank. As for overseas bank statements, yeah, kind of scary isn't it, because you can't be sure what they'll approve or not. Originally, I got the non-O/retirement visa just by showing overseas bank statements with recurring income and periodic transfers and a bank letter, but was always a bit nervous so started keeping 800,000 baht in a fixed account. That's surely the most secure method. 

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