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New Special Tourist Visa: A drop in the ocean compared to 2019 as many retirees feel abandoned


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How many thousands long-stay retirees are there in Thailand?  And how many thousand guys supporting a Thai wife, children, and family.  And yet we are continually told that these demographics don't am

As someone who has a non o retirement extention and visited my elderly Mother in the UK early March I have not been allowed to return. The Thai government rules are that I must have 800 000 Thai

they've got to start somewhere, give them a chance to at least get this up and running then the numbers should scale upwards easily

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16 hours ago, curious297 said:

Here is my take on this topic

 

  • I've lived in Thailand for over 16 years. Fully compliant with a Non B Working Visa which is was just renewed and valid until late 2021.
  • I have a business which before Covid was worth in the region of 60 Million THB.
  • Employ over 15 Thai staff.
  • Pay all my Thai taxes and licenses yearly.
  • Have bought over 5 properties ranging from 5 million to 18 million THB.
  • Put my child through British standard schooling for over 14 years.
  • Purchased over 4 new cars, each one costing over 1 million THB each.

 

I visited immigration to confirm what to do about my Non B visa after the visa amnesty is over on the 26th September. I was informed that I need to write to my embassy / consulate and request a support letter to extend my Non B visa. I did this and was informed by the embassy that they will issue me a letter within 5 working days. It is written on the embassy's site that this letter is actually for British citizens that are "Stuck" in Thailand and not for people like me that are actually living here full time. 

 

I was informed this letter, once I have receive it and take it to immigration, this will allow me 30 days extension for the price of 1,900 THB!!!! I normally pay round 1,500-2,000 THB for flights every 90 days to receive my entry stamp however, now I must pay 1,900 per month + Support letter and Beg visit immigration to process my request to stay!!

I will have to do the same "Support letter" process month on month (if this is even possible) to stay here in Thailand as currently, nobody can cross Thai boarders as I would usually do every 90 days to renew my entry stamp. 

 

This is proof that no matter how many years you live in Thailand, no matter how millions you have invested in the Thai economy, whether you employ many thai staff, pay your taxes etc, you are just a glorified tourist. 

 

What if I can only get one embassy support letter?  According to Thai immigration, without this support letter, I must leave Thailand post haste, effectively ruining my business, No one to take care of my properties, will have to take my child out of university and more. This is bloody ridiculous!!! 

 

Immigration know I have lived here for almost 20 years. Myself and immigration have a full history of my yearly visas, work permit renewals, 90 day re-entry visa stamps etc, yet I am still just a tourist.

 

A simple solution:

 

  1. Anyone that has proof of living in Thailand for let's say over 5 years, would have complete amnesty during this Covid from having to do 90 day reporting, no need to renew visas or at least be able to renew your visa at your local immigration office.
     
  2. Automatic permanent residency for those living here legally longer than 5-10 years.

Well I understand this is not Utopia and will never happen in my lifetime so I guess it's wishful thinking on my part. It would be very interesting if say the UK reciprocated the same 90 day rules to Thai's, having to leave the UK as us expats do here. Better still, all thai operated companies within the UK must employ 2-3 British citizens for every Thai working within said company, you can only imagine the outcry. Oh, and God forbid if one of your employees listed under your work permit stops working in your company for any reason, less than 90 days before your visa renewal, effectively invalidating your visa.


OK, Enough ranting.

 

For those British Citizens whom need to get a support letter from their embassy please read the following:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Email:  Bangkok Documentary Services at - [email protected]

 

This mailbox is for applications for the following consular services: 

 

1.             ED visa support letter  

2.             Supporting letter for Thai Nationality application  

3.             Submission of Affirmation of Marital Status and supporting documents prior to appointment -Please allow 2 working days for us to reply to your email 

 

Consular letter relating to the death of a British National in Thailand (funeral directors only).  A member of the team will be in touch with you as soon as possible to organise preparation and collection of documents. 

  

Visa Extension Letters 

 

The British Embassy can issue a letter to support applications to extend existing visas for British Nationals who require a letter to: 

 

1.       Apply for a Non-Immigrant visa OR 

2.       Those who are unable to travel to their country of residence due to border closures or the FCDO advises against travel to that country. 

 

To apply, reply to this email with:  

  1. Copy of the biodata page of your passport 
  2. Entry stamp in to Thailand 
  3. Proof of residence in a third country e.g. visa (if applicable) 
  4. Supporting documents relating to your long-term visa application e.g. marriage certificate, employment contract (if applicable) 

  

You will receive an auto-reply from us once we have received your documents. Please ensure your email is less than 5MB. 

 

We will issue you with a letter within 5 working days of receiving all supporting documentation. 

  

The British Embassy will not be issuing a visa extension letter to British Nationals in Thailand on short-term visas who can travel to their country of residence. 

  

Please use our contact form for other consular enquiries www.gov.uk/contact-consulate-bangkok 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I hope this helps you and good luck.

 

I'm confused.

 

You have a business.

 

Why don't you use it to get your Work Permit and yearly visa that can easily be managed from within Thailand every year.

 

For all the money you have invested, you could have structured things much better and had zero visa issues. 

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21 hours ago, GeorgeCross said:

they've got to start somewhere, give them a chance to at least get this up and running then the numbers should scale upwards easily

Exactly. Maybe someone can explain how this statement from the article

"the target is 300 a week or 1,200 a month"

 

justifies a previous statement in the article

"The TAT and the tourism ministry have been hyping up their STV (Special Tourist Visa) as a way to kickstart the Thai economy".

 

To some, anti government sentiment justifies anything.

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10 hours ago, spidermike007 said:

Nearly everyone I know spends at least that every month here. Some, far more. Some less. You cannot even qualify for a retirement visa on less than 65,000 a month. 

That must be in Bangkok, or in Phuket.

 

Here in Isaan I wouldn't even know how to spend more than 3,000 baht a day, every day!

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24 minutes ago, Noah K said:

I have been retired since February 2019 and I have been living in Chiang Mai with my partner since February 2020. I don't work, I don't break any laws, but I do spend money, lots of money. I don't want special treatment, but I would think special consideration should be given to those foreigners that wish to retire and live here in Thailand. No matter how you slice it, it is a boost to the Thai economy. My hope is that the Thai authorities realize that sooner than later. I have some ideas, I spent most of my career in the Orlando area. I can't think of a bigger tourist destination. Maybe the Thai Tourism Authority would open a suggestion box? Just a Thought.

 

Your youthful optimism brings a tear to my eye, Newbie.

 

We were all like you once...

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I really don’t get what the Thai officials have done for the past few months and their strategy to bring tourists back in 2020. 
Firstly there were quite a number of foreigners residing in Thailand on various different visa’s of which many are quite complicated.  Given the current world situation and the tourism economics in Thailand why did the government pretty much chase out a large percentage of those foreigners and are still telling them today that they have to leave by the 26th of this month. These people are renting accomodation, spending money in supermarkets, restaurants, bars, gymnasiums etc  They are Covid free and in a small way keeping some businesses open, employing staff etc. So on one hand the Thai government is trying to attract new tourists they are chasing out those already residing here!  How does this make sense or is that a “foreign” word to Thai officials! 
What would have been so much more sensible after the First amnesty ended would been to have offered these foreigners 30 day renewals at the normal fee back in July and there would currently be thousands more Covid free money spending foreigners residing in Thailand. Can anybody explain the strategy that Thailand has adopted by continually chasing out these people and what the reason is? 

 

 

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19 hours ago, mlkik said:

I expected wrongly that people on retirement extentions would be allowed to register for repat flights in the near future. 

Some people have said that this new tourist visa will be ideal for people like myself. I dissagree as I have an extention that is valid for another 4 months and a re entry permit. Why should I have to change this and apply for a tourist visa ?

Why would you be wrong in your expectation?

There has been no indication that people with extension, or any other current visa, would not be allowed to travel under any new initiative. Those without any visa would only get what the embassy will issue at the time.

if you are wrong at all I believe it is in referring to such flights as "repat", "Charter" or "Special" possibly if not scheduled.

 

You are making unsubstantiated assumptions and this is how rumours start.

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Plenty of better alternatives to Thailand are slowly becoming available. 

 

Caribbean Countries Open For American Tourists:

Antigua and Barbuda

Aruba

Bahamas

Barbados

Belize

Bermuda

Cayman Islands

Dominican Republic

Jamaica

St. Barths

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Maarten

Turks and Caicos

 

https://www.traveloffpath.com/caribbean-countries-open-for-american-tourists-this-winter/

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24 minutes ago, paul1804 said:

I really don’t get what the Thai officials have done for the past few months and their strategy to bring tourists back in 2020. 
Firstly there were quite a number of foreigners residing in Thailand on various different visa’s of which many are quite complicated.  Given the current world situation and the tourism economics in Thailand why did the government pretty much chase out a large percentage of those foreigners and are still telling them today that they have to leave by the 26th of this month. These people are renting accomodation, spending money in supermarkets, restaurants, bars, gymnasiums etc  They are Covid free and in a small way keeping some businesses open, employing staff etc. So on one hand the Thai government is trying to attract new tourists they are chasing out those already residing here!  How does this make sense or is that a “foreign” word to Thai officials! 
What would have been so much more sensible after the First amnesty ended would been to have offered these foreigners 30 day renewals at the normal fee back in July and there would currently be thousands more Covid free money spending foreigners residing in Thailand. Can anybody explain the strategy that Thailand has adopted by continually chasing out these people and what the reason is? 

 

 

This is a really good question and I hypothesize the following: it's a "control" issue by the questionably legitimate and insecure government of a still developing country where everything goes by rote and rules and face and the only thing they are sure of is obey the guy next above you. Never lose control! Don't let the guests take charge! They want everyone to know they and not the visitors are the ones in charge, even if they are cutting off their nose to spite their face. Knowing who the boss is, is the most important consideration. Agreeing that what you say makes sense would be far behind. Having said that, they may still change their collective "minds" by the 26th if they can make it seem like a toss-off aside.

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2 hours ago, chrisandsu said:

This is a really good post . Can you imagine if Thailand opened up completely and Thailand didn’t test and then  these same holiday makers who are so desperate to get back to Thailand came back after a holiday to their home country testing positive ? Thailand would get black listed from the whole world for being totally incompetent . They really can’t win in this  situation .

Like they wanted to blacklist me in medieval Germany for bringing the oh-so-dangerous Japanese encephalitis from Thailand into GerMoney? 

This bloody Japanese encephalitis isn't even contagious face-to-face. 

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21 hours ago, curious297 said:

Immigration know I have lived here for almost 20 years. Myself and immigration have a full history of my yearly visas, work permit renewals, 90 day re-entry visa stamps etc, yet I am still just a tourist.

 

A simple solution:

 

We need governments to step in at this point and represent their citizens. Where is our governments lobby in Thailand? All I see is Thais getting the exact same treatment as everyone else while giving us garbage back in Thailand.

 

My simple solution:

 

Western governments should give Thailand a 1 year window to present more favorable options to their citizens and if they fail to comply halt all new visas for Thai nationals, liquidate Thai ownership in properties and begin deportations.

 

Start first with people that have status like the children of politicians that send their kids to University in the UK. Thailand is for the Thais they say? Then Thai school is good enough for your children. I'm sure the royal family owns properties all over Europe, they should be put on notice for eviction. Maybe the military generals own stocks in the USA? Force them to sell at market rates and then ban them from owning stocks in the future. Etc... etc...

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6 hours ago, Puzzler said:

My partner's home is a 4 bedroom, detached house where I could safely self-isolate for 2 or more weeks. That would be fine. But expecting me to pay some over-inflated prices to stay in a hotel is ridiculous, insulting and unnecessary. If anyone in authority reads this please take one minute to consider people such as myself.  We don't deserve to be penalised and should be welcomed with open arms. Thank you.

Man i completely agree with you, unfortunately not all people will do as they are required.

As soon as they can they are out and about.

So again unfortunately sometimes they have to make hard decisions to allow for the muppets that won't play fair.

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7 hours ago, Puzzler said:

My partner's home is a 4 bedroom, detached house where I could safely self-isolate for 2 or more weeks. That would be fine. But expecting me to pay some over-inflated prices to stay in a hotel is ridiculous, insulting and unnecessary. If anyone in authority reads this please take one minute to consider people such as myself.  We don't deserve to be penalised and should be welcomed with open arms. Thank you.

I think if you fully costed out a like for like service it would be  substantially more  expensive to quarantine at home 

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6 hours ago, ExpatOilWorker said:

Plenty of better alternatives to Thailand are slowly becoming available. 

 

Caribbean Countries Open For American Tourists:

Antigua and Barbuda

Aruba

Bahamas

Barbados

Belize

Bermuda

Cayman Islands

Dominican Republic

Jamaica

St. Barths

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Maarten

Turks and Caicos

 

https://www.traveloffpath.com/caribbean-countries-open-for-american-tourists-this-winter/

Yeah and for Europeans and Scandani's there is also boat loads of options with similar or lower prices than Thailand.

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