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BANGKOK 21 July 2019 03:51
ExTexan

Is this the Thai version of "The chicken and the egg"?

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I moved to ChiangMai in Jan 2016.  I arrived on a tourist visa, converted it to Non-O, and then to a retirement visa.  As an American, to satisfy the money requirement, I could go to the US Consulate in CM, raise my right hand and swear to whatever income I wanted, and get an affidavit confirming that as fact.  I've used that method for every renewal since.

 

In 2019, the US Consulate stopped providing that service.  I had never bothered to get a Thai bank account, so I don't have *any* deposit history to show.  I had to leave Thailand on June 17, 2019, as I was unable to renew my retirement visa, and am writing this from Kuala Lumpur.  Before I left, I visited a branch of BKK Bank and asked if I would be able to open an account when I returned on a Non-O visa (which I hope to get here in KL).  So far, the answer has been "no".

 

So before I can get a retirement visa, I need to show Immigration a ledger from a Thai bank showing 6 months (soon to be 12 months) of deposits for at least 65,000 THB.  But according to BKK Bank, I can only open an account if I already have a retirement visa.

 

Can anyone shed any light on this situation?  How have others gotten around this conundrum?... legally, that is.

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It can indeed be chook and ova, some bank employees just don't want the hassle of dealing with a farang. The fact that you are American and FATCA comes into the frame just makes matters worse 😞

 

Go to a different bank / branch.

 

Bangkok Bank does have a list of requirements to open an account lurking on their website somewhere.

 

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Bangkok Bank branch on ground floor of Kad Suan Keaw mall has a reputation for being foreigner friendly.  Try there.

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OP...as for bank account. I opened one recently. An FD account as I have decided to put 800k in Thai bank and just leave it there for annual extensions. Anyway I had trouble opening an account even though I already had savings ac with light blue bank. I went to bangkok bank and they wanted statement from embassy. etc. I went to few with Thai gf. Thanks to suggestions from TVF that basically said shop around (as one post above mentioned). I finally had luck at green K bank. All I needed was passport. I had my lease but don't recall much interest in it. Very easy.

As for your extension... thinking you need start over. Either obtain non o outside los or enter and do "conversion" to non o at CW imm. 

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There is no government regulation preventing foreigners from opening an account. As far as immigration cares, this is possible.

However, it is up to the bank to do so or not. And this varies from branch to branch.

So, not quiet chicken and egg, but a realistic problem in an underdeveloped county.

On a side note: with a sizable deposit you should not have a problem in HQs of banks.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, ExTexan said:

Before I left, I visited a branch of BKK Bank and asked if I would be able to open an account when I returned on a Non-O visa (which I hope to get here in KL).  So far, the answer has been "no".

Every branch is run as an independent kingdom.

If you like the Bangkok Bank, visit another branch or ten, each one will give a different answer.

 

Bangkok Bank, just get an existing customer to sign the recommendation.

Edited by BritManToo

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visa agents and attorneys have contacts at banks that will open accts for you, regardless of your entry status (visa exempt, tourist visa, non O, etc...).  but you'll have to pay a fee for the 'service'.  likely in the 3,000 range.
 
here is the link for bangkok bank:
 
https://www.bangkokbank.com/en/Personal/Other-Services/Foreign-Customers/Bangkok-Bank-Accounts
 
you'll see they mention (for those w/o work permit) a passport and a letter from your embassy but that usually isn't enough.  you'll need another one of the items in the list.  looking further down you'll see 'trusted individual such as a Bangkok Bank staff member'
 
that's where the connection comes in btwn the agent/attorney and the bank staff member.
 
you can also offer to buy some type of insurance product, which i believe is 3,000 to 5,000thb.  supposedly, if this product is bought, the bank employee doesn't need to get any addtl approvals to open an account (all other requirements are waived).
 
you can also try a bunch of different banks on your own if you have the time and the patience.
Best advise I saw today. Tired of meaningless advice like 'try different banks' as if to open an account one has to aimlessly wander in the scorching sun of Thailand and visit different banks'. How ridiculous it sounds. People are yet to grasp the idea of buying previlege. You can buy any previlege you want anywhere in the world. Just need mullah.

Sent from my JKM-LX2 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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16 hours ago, Crossy said:

It can indeed be chook and ova, some bank employees just don't want the hassle of dealing with a farang. The fact that you are American and FATCA comes into the frame just makes matters worse 😞

 

Go to a different bank / branch.

 

Bangkok Bank does have a list of requirements to open an account lurking on their website somewhere.

 

For foreigners

1. Foreigner with a work permit

  • Passport
  • Work Permit
     

 2. Foreigner without work permit

  • Passport
  • A reference letter issued by one of the following institutes or organizations or required document
    • Embassy located  in Thailand 
    • An overseas bank where the customer holds an account sent via SWIFT 
    • Trusted individuals such as a Bangkok Bank staff member or customer, director of a private company, permanent residence in Thailand, government or private educational institutes located in Thailand trusted by the Bank
    • Trusted companies, e.g., an employment letter from the company if the customer is in the process of applying for a work permit.
    • Document showing ownership of a fixed asset such as a condominium sale/purchase agreement (a condominium which is acceptable to Bangkok Bank) Or a property reservation agreement valued at 100,000 baht or more with a reference letter from the property developer that is acceptable to Bangkok Bank.

https://www.bangkokbank.com/en/Personal/Save-And-Invest/Save/Savings-Account

 

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16 hours ago, Crossy said:

It can indeed be chook and ova, some bank employees just don't want the hassle of dealing with a farang. The fact that you are American and FATCA comes into the frame just makes matters worse 😞

 

Go to a different bank / branch.

 

Bangkok Bank does have a list of requirements to open an account lurking on their website somewhere.

 

Can certainly endorse that. When first came to Thailand opened an account with Krungthai in Bangkok. However now live in Chumphon and the pet phase I get with most problems is "you have to go to your original branch'. 

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8 hours ago, onera1961 said:

Best advise I saw today. Tired of meaningless advice like 'try different banks' as if to open an account one has to aimlessly wander in the scorching sun of Thailand and visit different banks'. How ridiculous it sounds. People are yet to grasp the idea of buying previlege. You can buy any previlege you want anywhere in the world. Just need mullah.

yeah, it is sad but true.  sometimes it is easier to just pay some money and get it done.  and you don't even have to try another bank, in many cases, just grab another queue number in the same bank and hope you get another officer.  that is how random it is.

 

i'd certainly recommend going it on your own for at least a couple banks but after that, it just isn't worth it.  and if you buy the insurance, at least you get something for the money (in addition to getting the account opened).

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When I first arrived in Thailand I got an account at Kasikorn which was the first bank I applied to. I had a brand new O-A visa that was 5 days old. They were reluctant to open an account because the visa "was too new?". My Thai girlfriend was with me and said a few words including using her address and they promptly opened the account. I've been very happy with Kasikorn ever since. Weird advice but if you have thai friend then bring them with you. Maybe a few tactful words from them will get you an account. I have a friend though, here on a tourist visa, that had to try a dozen banks before one eventually agreed to open an account with him.

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