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In July 2019, I received a type O non-immigrant visa based on retirement from the immigration office in Chiang Mai. I am a 66-year-old from the United States and had been granted tourist visas several times. A month after I got the type O visa, I moved to Lampang province. I have gone to the Lampang immigration office a few times since then, to make my 90-day whereabouts notifications and once also to notify of change of address within Lampang province.

 

On Monday, June 29th, I went to the Lampang immigration office again to apply for an extension of stay. This is several days prior to the expiration of my current visa. After a wait of a little less than three hours, it was my turn to be seen. The first comment, without looking at my paperwork, was to ask why I did not have a Thai person with me. My girlfriend had wanted to come with me to the office, but her 18-year-old son had his appendix removed 36 hours earlier, so she was at the hospital with him. When I explained that, the lady at the desk told me, that I could not apply for an extension of stay, unless a Thai person came with me.

 

For what it's worth, both of the two Thai ladies processing extensions of stay that day spoke English quite well. The lady made an appointment to be seen again, that came two days after my visa expires. She assured me, that that would not be an issue. I was clean, well-dressed, and tried to be ultra-polite at every moment. The older of the two Thai ladies working in the office appeared rather hostile toward me, although I don't know why. Before I left, I asked for a copy of the application for extension form to fill out at home before my appointment, but she said, that it must be filled out in her presence.

 

I apologize for the length of my story. I am curious if the encounter seems appropriate to any of you. Since I was alone, when applying for the original type O visa in Chiang Mai, I thought, that applying alone was legal, even if a little inconvenient in terms of communication. I appreciate any attention and comment, that any of you may make. Thank you for your time.

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did you get a visa in July 2019, if so when did you do the yearly extension,

or did you obtain a one year extension of stay based on retirement, if so what type of non imm 'O' visa do you have, 'O' or 'O''A'.

 

you do not need a Thai person to go with you for a retirement yearly extension

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You do not mention where you extended for one year?  A non immigrant O visa only allows a 90 day stay if converting from a tourist visa entry.  And then you report moving to Lampang one month later.  Did you get a one year extension of stay from Chiang Mai and then move to Lampang?

 

I suspect they may want a Thai with you to confirm where you reside.  It is not a general rule to have a Thai with us for retirement extensions of stay.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, lopburi3 said:

It is not a general rule to have a Thai with us for retirement extensions of stay.

It is not any kind of a rule especially as he reports they spoke English.

Sounds like some confusion going on who knows but doubt it was outright discrimination.

But, since you brought it up what color is your skin?  Are you a Black man or Indian or Arab from the US?

Edited by bkk6060
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This was undoubtedly due to house registration that need verification from your girlfriend or it could be due to a missing TM30. I don't know. If unsigned they can't accept them. Doubt if discrimination is an issue because it just creates double work for them. As far as the TM7 (application) it readily available on the Thai Immigration Website. 

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sorry for being incomplete ... I first applied in Chiang Mai for type O non-immigrant visa in April 2019 and was given the one-year stamp in July 2019.  In August 2019, I moved to Lampang.  Before that, I was only on tourist visa.  I am a pale farang, with reddish blond hair going to gray.  In December 2019, I rented a house and went with the house owner to the Lampang immigration office.  The uniformed immigration officer only spoke with the house owner.  The house owner has never asked me to sign a rental agreement or contract.  I just pay him each month.  I was concerned, whether they would demand paperwork about my residence as part of my application for the extension of stay.  Perhaps, I might need to get the house owner to come to the immigration office again.

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25 minutes ago, Jefro Beaudine said:

The house owner has never asked me to sign a rental agreement or contract.

OK it sounds more likely that they want someone to verify your residence is in their area of responsibility - most people would have a lease if not married.  My guess is owner would prefer to remain aloof (no paperwork) so if GF word accepted in place of lease perhaps best to have her go with you.

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The 90-day procedure was handled differently in Lampang that it was in Chiang Mai.  In Lampang, I have never submitted any form myself.  When the immigration officer was done, he tore off the bottom of one of the forms, that he had filled out, and stapled that strip into my passport.  The label on the strip read, Receipt of Notification, and listed a few particulars.  I do not know the number of the form, from which it was torn.

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The process and status of your application seems messy, but to answer the question I don't think you were discriminated against, just unlucky.

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10 minutes ago, Jefro Beaudine said:

The 90-day procedure was handled differently in Lampang that it was in Chiang Mai.  In Lampang, I have never submitted any form myself.  When the immigration officer was done, he tore off the bottom of one of the forms, that he had filled out, and stapled that strip into my passport.  The label on the strip read, Receipt of Notification, and listed a few particulars.  I do not know the number of the form, from which it was torn.

The paper attached to your passport is the bottom of a computer-file generated version of form TM47 - been standard procedure at Lampang since mid-2018.

But only if you first produce a hard copy of TM47 -  In Lampang, I have never submitted any form myself

seems most unusual.

I've never had a problem submitting 90 day forms and extension applications at Lampang, all printed out and completed at home before visiting the office. 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jefro Beaudine said:

The first comment, without looking at my paperwork, was to ask why I did not have a Thai person with me. My girlfriend had wanted to come with me to the office, but her 18-year-old son had his appendix removed 36 hours earlier, so she was at the hospital with him. When I explained that, the lady at the desk told me, that I could not apply for an extension of stay, unless a Thai person came with me.

Maybe this office wants a "Thai guarantor" for applications?  They would have said "bring your landlord, if that was the issue (per another's suggestion).

 

I can guess what kind of "Thai Person" they want to see - and probably not your GF - but please let us know what they say/do when you return with her.

 

And Definitely do show up before your expire-date - don't give them any rope to hang you.

Edited by JackThompson
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1 hour ago, Jefro Beaudine said:

The 90-day procedure was handled differently in Lampang that it was in Chiang Mai.  In Lampang, I have never submitted any form myself.  When the immigration officer was done, he tore off the bottom of one of the forms, that he had filled out, and stapled that strip into my passport.  The label on the strip read, Receipt of Notification, and listed a few particulars.  I do not know the number of the form, from which it was torn.

You should have two tear off strips stapled in your Passport.

One a receipt of filing a TM30 when you registered at Lampang, the other a receipt of your last 90 day report, with the next due report date.

 

It may be possible that when your landlord went with you to register at his address as an alien residing there, your landlord didn't produce his Tabien Baan and ID card as proof of address, but promised to forward it, but never has.

Therefore although they have your address, it has never been confirmed.

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I want to provide an update to my original post. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Since I have less than two years, since deciding to live in Thailand, I am certainly still a novice at negotiating Thai culture. Embarrassing to say, my faux pas are legion.

 

I returned to the Lampang Immigration office yesterday and dealt with the same female officer, who caused me to ponder, whether she held some anti-farang sentiment. Even though my 90-day report was almost six weeks past due, my report date is indicated to be 90 days from yesterday. My lack of a lease or rental agreement on the house, where I live with my Thai girlfriend, was never mentioned. Holding a category “O” visa, there was no mention of medical insurance. The sticking point was the interview with my girlfriend. She was interrogated for almost thirty minutes, as to how we had met, how I treat her and her children, how long we have cohabitated, and how soon I intended to marry her. All of my girlfriend's answers appeared to satisfy. Before we left the office, my girlfriend was instructed to never allow me to come to the Immigration office without her. My category “O” non-immigrant visa was extended for twelve months from yesterday. I was delighted to fork over the paltry 1,900 baht and gave the officer my thanks with a wai.

 

The lady immigration police officer continued to channel the character of the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz”, throughout the entire encounter with my girlfriend and me, but I came to realize, that she also treated her colleagues with the same demeanor. In the end, I believe, that I was not the victim of any discrimination. I don't know how appropriate some of the questions about our personal life might be, but my girlfriend took it in stride, so I suppose I should do likewise. Thanks again and good luck to all of you.

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