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USNret

Check my understanding - Non "O" (marriage)

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Hi everyone.  Been retired a couple of years, living around the world but only visiting Thailand briefly.  It's getting to be that time to think about living here long-term with my Thai wife.  We are presently in Japan, and planning to move to Thailand around April 2020.  So I want to test my understanding of the best approach. 

Since it seems like Retirement extension has gotten much harder, I am leaning towards Non-O since my wife is Thai. We have Japan resident cards so I believe I can apply at the Thai embassy in Tokyo. As near as I can understand, this must be in person (not by mail) which means an overnight trip (no biggie).  It looks like they want 18 months remaining on my U.S. passport when I apply since I'll get getting the multi-entry visa; so I will have to first get a new U.S. passport which has only about 12 months on it right now.  This one CAN be done by mail from the U.S. embassy in Tokyo.

Ok, so I get the new U.S. passport, then make an appointment with the Thai embassy, collect all the required paperwork, money order, etc. and get my multi-entry non-O Thai visa.  This is good for one year, right?  That means, 1 year from when?  From when the visa is issued, or from when I enter Thailand?  After I get the visa, what is my deadline for entering Thailand?  

With all that behind us, I guess I look forward to a lifetime of renewing the visa, or extension of stay, whatever they call it, every year.  I will need 400,000 THB in a Thai bank account in MY name only (cannot include my wife's name).  I should be able to do that after moving to Thailand and since I won't be a tourist, I should have no problem finding a bank that will open an account for me.  I have plenty of income, but the income method looks to be either "too hard" or maybe "impossible" since the U.S. embassy does not certify income anymore.  I'm not sure how to prove, to the satisfaction of immigration, about my bountiful income.  I have no problem just dumping 400,000 in an account and letting it rot.  Not happy about it, but I guess that's the price of a carefree lifestyle. 

I know there is more, but is my basic understanding ok?  Are there any fatal flaws, or am I missing an even easier approach?  Thank you.  

 

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A multiple entry non-o visa allows unlimited 90 day entries for a year from the date it issued. You have to leave the country every 90 days to get a new entry.

Your best option would be a single entry non-o visa that will allow one 90 day entry. Then during the last 30 days of that entry you could apply for a one year extension of stay at immigration. You would need 400k baht in a Thai bank for 2 months on the date you apply for the extension. To prove 40k baht income you would need at least one transfer of at least 40k baht into a Thai bank from abroad.

If you needed more time to open the bank account and have the money in the bank for 2 months you could apply for a 60 day extension to visit your wife.

If you get the extension you would not need to leave the country unless you wanted to. You just do 90 day report to immigration.

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Thanks Joe, that's just what I needed to know. I guess it's cheaper to do the monthly transfer.  The way I calculate, putting 400,000THB ($13,000 USD) costs me about $75 in lost earnings each month compared to keeping that money invested.  The worst case wire transfer is $25/mo and I can probably find a cheaper route than that.  

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2 minutes ago, USNret said:

The worst case wire transfer is $25/mo and I can probably find a cheaper route than that.  

Gong by your using name it appears your are retired from the US Navy. You could set up a direct deposit account at Bangkok bank here and have your retirement pay transferred via their New York city branch. The fees are much lower than SWIFT transfers.

Info here" https://www.bangkokbank.com/en/Personal/Other-Services/Transfers/Transferring-Into-Thailand/Transfer-money-from-US-to-Thailand-via-Bangkok-Bank-NewYork-branch

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I will look into that.  I thought I'd heard on this forum that Bangkok Bank of NY was shutting down or restricting that option. Cheaper is better, and also if I can automate the monthly transfer, that's better yet.  The credit union I currently use won't automate it; I have to call & read them over the phone our ungodly Thai mailing address which they inevitably get wrong (they won't copy & paste from earlier transactions) so I dread this call every time I have to do it.  Definitely seeking a better way! (yes, I know about Transferwise, but from U.S. to Thailand appears problematic). 

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7 minutes ago, USNret said:

I thought I'd heard on this forum that Bangkok Bank of NY was shutting down or restricting that option.

It is still working. But the transfers must be in the international IAT code for ACH transfers. I received info that DFAS has started using the IAT code now for direct deposits to the New York branch.

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13 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

It is still working. But the transfers must be in the international IAT code for ACH transfers. I received info that DFAS has started using the IAT code now for direct deposits to the New York branch.

I'm looking at the BBNY site. It looks like they can perform this service, and you do not need an account with them.  You can continue to use your own bank, with BBNY as intermediary to your Thai bank account.  That makes it a lot easier for me as I have all my finances centralized and hate to set up more accounts just to manage transfers. I will continue to look into this.

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I was given lots of great advice when I first posted this question last April.  Things are still tracking.  Our plans have accelerated and the wife & I will move to Thailand on January 10, 2020, a few months earlier than originally planned.  We live in Japan right now and have Japan residence cards. 

UbonJoe recommended that I start out with a single entry non-o visa which I was happy to do until just now, I looked at the website for the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo here: http://site.thaiembassy.jp/en/visa/type/275/

 

A painful application process involving a 2-hour trip to Tokyo to apply (costs about US$200 R/T with tolls & gas).  But the worst of their requirements is that, because I am applying in Japan and I am not Japanese, they want someone living in Japan to sign a letter of guarantee.  They need to attest they would provide my financial support should I need it and be responsible for my behavior.  I have co-workers here in Japan who, by then, will be ex-coworkers and there is no way I would ask anyone to sign such a letter.  Not that I'm a person of bad repute, but it's just ridiculous; why should someone in Japan who is not sponsoring my visa sign a letter guaranteeing my behavior?  I'm sorry, I just won't ask.

So this means back to Plan B, enter Thailand visa-exempt for 30-days, get a 60-day extension while I'm there, quick quick open a bank account & transfer in THB400,000 from the U.S.A., then apply for the extension of stay for marriage before the 90 days is up.  If for some reason I don't do all this in time to get the 2-month seasoning of my money, I guess I could fly out of Thailand and back in for another 30 days and that should give me all the time I need to get my ducks in a row.

Wife & I do not plan to have a 1-year lease anywhere; we are looking at a series of AirBNB rentals around the country ranging from 30-90 days each time.  We would have a permanent "home base" in Bangkok, the father-in-law's house, and I know he would support us with the paperwork & ID card if we need to show residence.  Would this plan work? 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, USNret said:

So this means back to Plan B, enter Thailand visa-exempt for 30-days, get a 60-day extension while I'm there, quick quick open a bank account & transfer in THB400,000 from the U.S.A., then apply for the extension of stay for marriage before the 90 days is up.  If for some reason I don't do all this in time to get the 2-month seasoning of my money, I guess I could fly out of Thailand and back in for another 30 days and that should give me all the time I need to get my ducks in a row.

You will need at least a single entry non-o visa to apply for the one year extension.

It is possible to apply for a 90 day non immigrant visa (category O) entry at a immigration office. The 400k baht will need to be in the bank on the day you apply for the visa. See: https://www.immigration.go.th/content/service_79

Then during the last 30 days of the 90 day entry from the visa you can apply for the one year extension of stay based upon marriage. The 400k baht will need to be in the bank for 2 months of the day you apply.

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1 hour ago, ubonjoe said:

You will need at least a single entry non-o visa to apply for the one year extension.

It is possible to apply for a 90 day non immigrant visa (category O) entry at a immigration office. The 400k baht will need to be in the bank on the day you apply for the visa. See: https://www.immigration.go.th/content/service_79

Then during the last 30 days of the 90 day entry from the visa you can apply for the one year extension of stay based upon marriage. The 400k baht will need to be in the bank for 2 months of the day you apply.


Thanks Joe.  That sounds a lot easier.  Saves me an expensive trip to Tokyo and also avoids that goofy "guarantor" letter.  

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A friend in a different forum said since it's so hard for non-Japanese to get a Thai visa at the Thai embassy in Japan, instead I should send my passport to the Thai consulate in Portland OR.  He said they provide quick service and will send it back to me with a non-O 90 day single entry visa.  I like this plan a lot!

Then he added another statement:    "A 90 day OA visa is much easier to convert to a retirement or marriage visa."  Can anyone explain why this is so?  What makes the conversion easier for my 1-year extension of stay?  Thanks

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4 hours ago, USNret said:

A friend in a different forum said since it's so hard for non-Japanese to get a Thai visa at the Thai embassy in Japan, instead I should send my passport to the Thai consulate in Portland OR.  He said they provide quick service and will send it back to me with a non-O 90 day single entry visa.  I like this plan a lot!

Then he added another statement:    "A 90 day OA visa is much easier to convert to a retirement or marriage visa."  Can anyone explain why this is so?  What makes the conversion easier for my 1-year extension of stay?  Thanks

Sent an explanatory PM.

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Wife took a look at the Thai immigration website showing all the immigration offices.  She says the closest to our home in Onnut is Sathorn.  Or "maybe" Suvannabum. 

When applying for the 1-year extension for marriage, can we use any immigration office of our choosing?  Or is it determined by our address and we have to go the "correct" office?  Does anyone use Suvannabum? I never hear discussion of that office on this forum.  I hear a lot about Chaeng Wattana (mostly bad).  

If we can pick & choose which office to visit, any recommendations on the "best" one in Bangkok?  Or could we even use Hua Hin? (we will be vacationing in HH during our 3rd month in Thailand so if I have to submit the request the 1-year extension for marriage, it might necessitate an overnight trip back to BKK).   

Thanks! 
 

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14 minutes ago, USNret said:

When applying for the 1-year extension for marriage, can we use any immigration office of our choosing?

You can only do it at the designated province for where you are living. If you have a Bangkok address the office in Chaeng Wattana is only one you can use,

 

17 minutes ago, USNret said:

Or could we even use Hua Hin? (we will be vacationing in HH during our 3rd month in Thailand so if I have to submit the request the 1-year extension for marriage, it might necessitate an overnight trip back to BKK).   

No you could not do it in Hua Hin unless you changed your address to there and stayed until the extension is approved.

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