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OA extension (marriage) in Suphanburi - report


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First, a shout-out to @Peter Denis, who provided me with tons of info and answered all my questions. Thank you! Somebody give the man a medal, please.

 

About 2 months ago we first went to the IO to enquire about my options. I have a non-imm OA visa with permission to stay expired in early July. It was a strange feeling, as the office was fully staffed, but hardly any clients showed up. They advised me to do a border run, re-enter visa exempt and see them to convert it to non-O, so I could get a 1-year extension without the need for health insurance. Quote: "nobody gets OA retirement extensions, because of the expensive insurance." They also advised against marriage extension, because of the extensive documentation requirements.

 

At this point I pointed out that land borders were closed to foreigners, to the best of my knowledge. This seemed to surprise them and after some phone calls they confirmed this. But: "Don't worry! If the borders are still closed towards the end of the new exemption period, just come to us and get a 60 day extension."

 

So, with the 26 Sep deadline approaching we went back. First, they put a stamp in my passport, stating that I was allowed to stay until 26/9 (one page gone). Then the shock: to "just" get a 60 day extension, our NZ marriage cert needed to be certified by the embassy in Bkk, then translated and certified by a ministry, also in Bkk. It seems they never considered that we might have been married outside Thailand...

 

Now, they changed their advice: I should get a marriage extension, since I needed the paperwork anyway. Alternatively, I could fly out and come back. I pointed out to them that this option required me to go into quarantine and was far more complicated and expensive than just buying the <deleted>' health insurance. My wife disagreed with me...

 

They gave us an A4 page with a detailed list of all the documents required for the extension. In Thai only. They obviously expect the Thai spouse to do the legwork.

 

And so she did it all by herself. Visit to embassy, ministry and Amphoe office in Bkk for the final document (Kor Ror 22, I think). Her advice: don't try to do this at a local amphoe office. In Bkk they know how to do these things and so it is quicker. 2 nights with a friend in Bkk, who also got roped in as one witness. There was a scare: the ministry's web site stated that one of the requirements for issuing the cert is to have 2 weeks remaining on the visa, which I didn't have any more at this point. Processing could take up to 10 working days. The requirement was ignored, it seems and my wife talked them into issuing it after one day! As a former admin manager she knows what buttons to push with office workers. 😄

 

My only contribution to the whole process consisted of screwing the new house number to the wall (cracking 3 corners in the process, duh) and signing hundreds of pages of documents. Oh, and paying the 1900B. In Suphanburi you get your 100B change without asking.

 

I now have two more stamps in the passport: one in Thai, saying that I previously had a "Covid-19 visa" and have now applied for a long-stay extension (another page gone) and another, saying I had to contact the office in person by 16 Oct to find out whether my application had been approved (another half page). Underneath that a post-it note with a stamp in Thai, incl. a phone number we are to call, instead of showing up at the office.

 

There are 2 peculiarities in Suphanburi:

 

  • Bank documents can be 1 week old.
  • They want four pictures printed 2 per A4 page with an ordinary colour printer, not photos glued to blank pages. (Saying that handling the pages with glued-in pix makes it more difficult and they actually copied our pages for their files.) 1 pic must show the house number, another the whole house.

 

Then I asked when I had to file my 90-day report. And since I lost my departure card, with the new number could I not do the next one online? The lady helpfully printed out the 90-day receipt, showing the next date as 15 Dec and stapled it into the passport. The number problem was solved by her writing the old number onto the new card and stapling it in as well ("So you cannot lose it again.").

 

Results all around and Service with a smile!

 

Now I can put my feet up ... oh wait, no: my driving licences need renewing!

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Thanks for the report.

And good to hear that you have a really helpful IO at Suphanburi.

Even if they gave you some not well-thought through advice, they did this to help you.

So after the under consideration period (applicable for all marriage extensions) you will be on a 1-year extension of stay based on your original Non Imm O-A Visa for reason of marriage. 

A 1-year extension for reason of marriage requires indeed (much) more admin/paperwork than an extension for reason of retirement, as you need to provide the evidence that you are still married to your thai wife and there is the under consideration period before it is approved.

But the up-side is of course that the financial requirements are way lower than for a retirement-extension, and of course you got rid of the useless Thai IO-approved health-insurance requirement. 

> Re the 90-day report - PM me if you need some info on how to do it on-line.  It's real easy and only takes 5-10 minutes.

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Hi Beddhist [and to you Peter],

 

Great to see Suphanburi still as friendly and helpful as I found them when we lived in Doem Nang Buat.  We moved just up the road to Han Kha and now are in Chai Nat province.  Immigration here is so small when I went to do my 90 days at the end of July the lady cleaning the office had to go and find an Immigration Officer to do it!

 

It's nice when people let us know of good experiences rather than just bad ones.  

 

Beddhist - I have sent you a pm. 

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19 hours ago, beddhist said:

There are 2 peculiarities in Suphanburi:

 

  • Bank documents can be 1 week old.

I personally wouldn't call that a "peculiarity" in the negative sense! Most offices insist on bank docs being obtained on either the same day as an annual extension of stay application, or no earlier than the day before.

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4 hours ago, Peter Denis said:

Re the 90-day report - PM me if you need some info on how to do it on-line.  It's real easy and only takes 5-10 minutes.

Thanks again, but fortunately for this one I don't need any help. I have already done several and using Lastpass I have both pages set up so it fills them in for me, almost no typing required.

 

@OJAS: No negative sense was intended and you made me curious (English is my 2nd language), so I looked it up:

 

peculiarity:

noun, plural pe·cu·li·ar·i·ties.

a trait, manner, characteristic, or habit that is odd or unusual.
oddity; singularity; eccentricity.
a distinguishing quality or characteristic.
the quality or condition of being peculiar.
 
Nothing negative in that definition on dictionary.com, so I missed an opportunity to learn something new. 😉
What I meant is: it's different from what is reported elsewhere.
 
PS: immigration police just showed up with 1 h advance notice. Questions were asked of my wife, pictures were taken (with us wearing masks...) and they were on their way again. I don't expect any further problems (famous last words, knocking on head wood).
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