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BANGKOK 18 August 2019 23:58
OthmarB

Need advice on best visa before I turn 50

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Posted (edited)

I'll be retiring to Thailand on the 26th of August this year (departure flight) and will be turning 50 in mid January of 2020, so I have about 5 months before I can apply for a non-O based on retirement. I originally planned to apply for a METV here in America, but the 15 day processing time (when you factor shipping delays) worries me, also the real possibility of the visa being denied. I have also read on another forum that you must not only provide proof of your original flight reservation but also in-out flights for each of the 60 days when you depart Thailand--this can't be right, can it? At any rate, the METV seems too iffy to me now, so am looking for any advice as to what my best options are to pass this 5 months before I can apply for the non-O.

 

Also, when I booked my flight I just selected a date on November 14th that got me the best ticket price, since I wouldn't be using the return ticket anyway, but now I'm wondering if the late return date could cause me problems when applying for another visa (ie, SETV), or a tourist visa stamp. Should I change the return date for the ticket to a date BEFORE the visa/stamp expires. Does it matter? Thanks!

Edited by OthmarB

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I did end up changing my return ticket date to Sept. 24th. 

 

One scenario I was thinking:

 

Enter Thailand on visa-on-arrival, get a 1-month extension on that = 2 months. Before that expires, take a 2-3 week trip to Vietnam. Apply for a SETV there = 2 months plus 1 month extension. Total = 5 months. I turn 50 on January 16th. Would this work? THE SETV requires a return ticket out of Thailand so I'm not sure how I'd handle that. Just get a cheap flight-out ticket to wherever? 

 

I'm trying to avoid having to apply for a SETV or METV in the States since it is now the 18th of July, the processing time alone can take "a minimum of 15 days" and then there is the shipping back and forth delays. So I'd be pushing my luck if I need to depart on the 26th of August, at which time I might be bereft of my passport.  

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1 hour ago, OtinPattaya said:

so I'm not sure how I'd handle that. Just get a cheap flight-out ticket to wherever? 

Just buy a throw away ticket for $50

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, OtinPattaya said:

the processing time alone can take "a minimum of 15 days" and then there is the shipping back and forth delays.

Instead of wasting time in this forum, just apply for a SETV. I am 100% sure you will get your passport with visa before the end of the month

Edited by onera1961

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3 minutes ago, onera1961 said:

Instead of wasting time in this forum, just apply for a SETV. I am 100% sure you will get your passport with visa before the end of the month

That's what i was thinking-just pull the trigger on the SETV. I have a full month. I can't imagine it would take longer than that. 

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1 hour ago, onera1961 said:

Just buy a throw away ticket for $50

Why?

Several airlines in the US have a 24 hr free cancel policy.

Book it, then print out the confirmation, then cancel.

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I think the original plan with the METV is the best plan. You get what 3 x 60 days = 6 months. Then carry one with your original plan.

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i applied for an SETV via mail from the consulate in Los Angeles many times.  it never took longer than two weeks to get my passport back (i was in the seattle area at the time).

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4 minutes ago, buick said:

i applied for an SETV via mail from the consulate in Los Angeles many times.  it never took longer than two weeks to get my passport back (i was in the seattle area at the time).

Many thanks for this reply. I was hoping someone with past experience with the LA consulate and the SETV would relate his own experience. 

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when you applied for the setv in LA, any weird requirements or suggestions?

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i looked into getting an METV from the los angeles consulate but they wanted a 'proof of employment letter'.  since i was retired, that wasn't possible.  i think i read some people got around this issue in some way but i can't recall how.

 

getting an SETV from LA and then another one from a country in the region (vietnam or laos) wouldn't be too rough.  then you can convert your tourist entry into a non imm O at your local immigration office in thailand.  some offices don't do the conversion though, so keep that in mind.  not sure where you plan to live.

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3 minutes ago, OthmarB said:

when you applied for the setv in LA, any weird requirements or suggestions?

very straightforward stuff.  copy of bank statement showing at least $700 and proof of return flight.  sometimes i had a real return flight within the 60 day period and other times i just bought a 'throw away' ticket on thai air asia.  they have some very cheap one way fares from bangkok to KUL.

 

as i recall, you've got to use USPS for the delivery to los angeles and include a return envelope via USPS.  no Fed Ex.  so the toughest part of the process was going to the post office.  never enjoyed the post office.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

You could also apply for a single entry tourist visa at one of the honorary consulates in person if one is near you.

See: https://thaiembdc.org/royal-thai-honorary-consulates-general-in-the-u-s/

Hi, ubonjoe, unfortunately, none of the consulates are even remotely close to me. New York, Washington, or LA. I hail from Arizona. 

Edited by OthmarB

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