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BANGKOK 19 July 2019 06:59
HauptmannUK

Alternative to Non-O ME from UK (married to Thai)

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Posted (edited)

The withdrawal of the Non-O Multi-Entry for UK passport holders is going to inconvenience me, and I am sure a lot of others who are married to a Thai or have children in Thailand.

I am 50+ and early-retired but still do a little work in China from time to time.  I'm married to a Thai lady and we are based in the UK but we spend a fair bit of time in Thailand (not more than 6 months in any 12 months and not staying more than 2 months at a time). We plan to relocated full-time to Thailand in 2-3 years' time.

Up to now I have obtained Non-O multi-entry from London (based on marriage to a Thai).  This has been very convenient because, for example, I could come to Thailand for a week, then go to work in China for a couple of weeks, then back to Thailand to meet up with the wife for six weeks etc, and then we both head back to UK for a couple of months before coming back to Thailand again.   All very flexible and no need to show flight bookings or make extensions of stay etc.

 

Now the Non-O ME is gone.  I am aware that ME is still available from nearby countries, but I guess that will be stopped in due course.

 

What are my alternatives? I don't want to have to book flights before getting a visa because we often travel last minute.  I have considered Elite Visa - but seems poor value at £2k/year.

 

How about getting 30-day visa exempt and then extending another 30 days at the local immigration office?  Is that possible to do say 3 times in a year? I wouldn't exceed 6 months in Thailand. Does the entry officer need to see a flight out of Thailand within 30 days to give the visa exempt stamp?  That would be another annoyance.

Or could I convert my current unexpired Non-O ME into a retirement visa here in Thailand?  i.e. obtain a retirement visa and then get a multiple re-entry permit.  I could show pension statement from my pension provider in the UK, but I wouldn't want to send THB65k a month to Thailand every month or keep THB800k in the bank here.

 

Any suggestions?

Edited by HauptmannUK

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Posted (edited)

Available in Suvannakhet and HCMC.

Why worry about what might happen in the future?

You could die in a car accident tomorrow.

 

Backup plan,

Transfer 40k into your Thai bank account every month so you can get a marriage extension of stay.

Edited by BritManToo

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8 minutes ago, HauptmannUK said:

Now the Non-O ME is gone.  I am aware that ME is still available from nearby countries, but I guess that will be stopped in due course.

There is no reason to expect ME visa availability to end AFAIK.  There has always been a local Consulate providing and believe this will continue - although the location may change, as it has in the past.

 

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1 minute ago, lopburi3 said:

There is no reason to expect ME visa availability to end AFAIK.  There has always been a local Consulate providing and believe this will continue - although the location may change, as it has in the past.

Are you saying we're still going to be able to apply at our local Consulate and by-pass the online procedure?

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4 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

Available in Suvannakhet and HCMC.

Why worry about what might happen in the future?

You could die in a car accident tomorrow.

 

Backup plan,

Transfer 40k into your Thai bank account every month so you can get a marriage extension of stay.

Looking for something that doesn't require me to go to another country or tie up money in Thailand.  When we come its basically an extended holiday so we like to relax, drive around Thailand to meet some family and friends etc - don't really want the bother of going to another country just to get a visa.  I suppose first trip of the year could be 30 days visa exempt in Thailand and then we do another month in Vietnam and get an ME at the same time.  We both like VN.

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2 minutes ago, ThaiBunny said:

Are you saying we're still going to be able to apply at our local Consulate and by-pass the online procedure?

I am saying exactly what I posted - that the ME O visa will likely remain available for issue to those married at a Thai Consulate in the region.  Not sure of your meaning but guess it refers to the queue assignment method currently used in Vientiane?  That is another issue.

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15 minutes ago, ThaiBunny said:

Are you saying we're still going to be able to apply at our local Consulate and by-pass the online procedure?

Not in the UK if that is what you are thinking.

He was writing about ones near here.

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14 minutes ago, HauptmannUK said:

When we come its basically an extended holiday so we like to relax, drive around Thailand to meet some family and friends etc - don't really want the bother of going to another country just to get a visa. 

Make one of the drives to Mukdahan and cross the bridge to Savannakhet Laos to apply for the multiple entry non-o visa at the consulate there. Just one night in Savannakhet if you cross the bridge early morning, apply for the visa and then stay to pick up your passport the next afternoon.

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I think the, in the region, consulates will collapse under the demand.

 

UK consulates are able to take applications in person for non-O single entry, so I could get a rail card and go to Glasgow every time I go back.

 

The, in Thailand, options don't seem to be practical, would they give you a married extension with a multi entry permit, when you don't really want to stay longer than 90days.

 

The single entry is not much use, to allow in region trips, if the opportunity arose, or would they let you back in on a visa exempt, till the next booked flight back to the UK comes up.

 

I can only think, single entry, and try and have the son over to the UK as much as possible in the main school holiday..

 

Hope you find a solution I can copy OP 😐 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ubonjoe said:

Make one of the drives to Mukdahan and cross the bridge to Savannakhet Laos to apply for the multiple entry non-o visa at the consulate there. Just one night in Savannakhet if you cross the bridge early morning, apply for the visa and then stay to pick up your passport the next afternoon.

Yes, I've thought about that. But on 30-day visa exempt entry does entry officer want to see a flight out of Thailand within the 30 days?  Coming for, say, two months and explaining to the entry officer that you plan to go to Laos/Cambodia etc for a Non-O might raise eyebrows?

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5 minutes ago, HauptmannUK said:

Yes, I've thought about that. But on 30-day visa exempt entry does entry officer want to see a flight out of Thailand within the 30 days?  Coming for, say, two months and explaining to the entry officer that you plan to go to Laos/Cambodia etc for a Non-O might raise eyebrows?

Immigration seldom asks to see a flight out within 30 days of arrival. It is the airline that can ask for it to check in for your flight. A low cost one way ticket to anywhere can be used to overcome that if needed.

 

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6 hours ago, UKresonant said:

I think the, in the region, consulates will collapse under the demand.

 

UK consulates are able to take applications in person for non-O single entry, so I could get a rail card and go to Glasgow every time I go back.

 

The, in Thailand, options don't seem to be practical, would they give you a married extension with a multi entry permit, when you don't really want to stay longer than 90days.

 

The single entry is not much use, to allow in region trips, if the opportunity arose, or would they let you back in on a visa exempt, till the next booked flight back to the UK comes up.

 

I can only think, single entry, and try and have the son over to the UK as much as possible in the main school holiday..

 

Hope you find a solution I can copy OP 😐 

 

 

You would still need to scan and email your documents to the consulate and wait for them to obtain pre-approval from London before they can issue a visa. They contact you once the approval is obtained. I know you said you would apply in Glasgow but their website doesn't contain much information where as the Hull consulate website I have posted the link too, is freshly built with the latest up to date information and is nicely laid out.

http://www.thaiconsul-uk.com/non-immigrant-visa-cat-o-married.php
 

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