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rastlin

My Tourist Visa Extension Experience & Reporting

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5 hours ago, rastlin said:

But the shop next door told me in no uncertain terms I would have to pay a fine

This is the strange part - how would the shop next door know whether the hotel you're staying at had filled out the TM30?

 

Hotels do these online every day, it's a very simple process and I've done it myself registering myself in the past on behalf of a half witted owner using her immigration account when she couldn't get her computer to work properly.

 

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Don’t go to next door office. They are business and their goal is to squeeze money from you for visa. All you had to do is to enter to the immigration office. Pick up the form. Fill it and make copies at the copy machine. Then you go to the desk where you have usually 2 ladies just in front of entry door . Show them the form and you will get a number. Wait for you call. If any problem just follow instructions from IO. Not from agents who try to charge you extra fee for nothing. Anyway if you don’t like the Thai system you can still go to Vietnam next year :) !! Trust me we are all fed up too with this tm30 !

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, rastlin said:

I had the feeling that everyone was trying to shake me down for some money.

Yes, sounds like it.

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30 minutes ago, Pacific Traveler said:

Never had a problem ( knock on wood) at the Jomtien IO. But that Legal assistant office next to Immigration is not an honest operation.  For a picture or a copy OK, over priced but convenient.   Don't let them handle your business with immigration or even let them near your paperwork.   I asked them about help with getting my Driver's license and Motorcycle license.  (I have both in the US) They wanted 25,000 bhat each.  Another company in Pattaya helped for only 3000 for both, they were very nice professional and knowledgeable.  That legal office next to Jomtien Immigration is not trustworthy in my opinion.  *****WARNING *****

You would be surprised how many people think that office is the immigration office. Old guy in my condo block still thinks it is, he is not sure what the big building next door is, lol.

Thats where some of the ridiculous reports and prices come from.

 

(25k would be the price for not having any exsisting license, not sitting a test etc)

Edited by Peterw42
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Even though I'm on a retirement extension that is an interesting report, thanks OP and well handled approach of the situation you faced. I've only ever used that office for copies but the information flow to you is a pretty damning indictment of their business practice. I just wonder if this whole TM30 situation is a convenient temporary revenue earner catching the unaware or unsure to compensate for a downturn in business in other areas. The only way I can think to tighten your case in the OP's situation would be to ask the hotel for a printed copy of their submission of his details to immigration prior to his extension application. Hopefully tourists staying longer than 60 days will be aware of the requirement and not leave themselves open. 

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16 hours ago, rastlin said:

 

 

According to my hotel, they claim to have reported as required. I asked when I got back to my room.  But do I know this for sure?  No, I suppose I do not. But like I said they copied my passport on check in and that is what they told me.

 

And to be fair to immigration, as I reported I paid 1900 Baht.  There was no fine.  At no point was I ever asked for anything other than that amount, at the very end of the process.  And at least of this writing the hotel has not been fined.  I also asked them that.  

 

But the shop next door told me in no uncertain terms I would have to pay a fine;  I also got that paper I quoted and was told the various things mentioned in my post by the immigration agent, namely "the hotel did not report me" and I did not report when I "left and returned".  This was what I was told by the agent and I have to say it felt like a fine was forthcoming.  But that is just the impression it left with me. In fact there was no fine.

 

Like I said before, the process left a bad taste in my mouth.  I am a *tourist* extending a 60 day tourist Visa legally obtained in my home country.  I stay in a hotel. I do not live here. I am not planning to live here. (And deal with these people every 90 days, no way!)  I am not on any type of long term stay Visa.  So whether or not it was reported when I checked in to the hotel, I just don't see how that should be my problem. 

 

Why should they even bring this matter up to people extending Tourist Visas?  Fine the hotel if something was done wrong, not the dumb (me) tourist who is just here on holiday.  In the future I plan to just stay 60 days.  The 30 extra days of money I would spend on the extension in Thailand I will just spend elsewhere.  I don't plan to go back into immigration any time soon.

 

 

they feel guilty about fining another thai person for something so stupid. so they figure hopefully the rich farang will pay without questioning anything and everyone is happy. non civilized country here so law and order go out the window.  

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It sounds like everyone in the food chain, including the copy shop next door, is preying on foreigners confusion & fear to rake in some free money.  They can just randomly say "Landlord didn't file the TM-30" and (1) They may well be right, or (2) Even if they are wrong, you have no way to know definitively that the hotel filed.  Even if the hotel told you they filed, how would you know? 

I would say 8 times out of 10, the muddled farang will pay the "fine" (i.e., graft).  You did the right thing in standing your ground. 

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Thank you for sharing this story about what is an obvious scam.  The really worrying thing for me is that it seems that also INSIDE the Immigration Office they are playing along with this scam.

In my opinion we should not just let it go just because Rastlin stood his ground and escaped from the scam.  I am pretty sure that the majority of tourists coming for an extension of stay, would fall into this trap and pay the scam-money.

Possible actions to escalate the matter are:

- Sending several copies of this whole story to the Jomtien Immigration, so that they can investigate (after all Immigration is part of the Thai Police).  Several copies < e-mail / regular mail > to ensure that it reaches the appropriate level;

- Sharing this story with the local press, so that they also can investigate (a nice scoop);

- When no response or interest to investigate from Jomtien Immigration nor local press > inform national Immigration Office.

Would be good if there are ThaiVisa Forum members wtih access to higher Immigration officers, so that they can share this obvious corruption.

Note: I am not living in Jomtien, so would be difficult for me to escalate this further, but I am enraged that this takes place and hope that a TVF member reporting to Jomtien, will take it up!

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