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Can anyone clarify the "Volunteer Visa"?


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I have noticed several agents mentioning this visa, saying that it is good for a full year and renewable. The implication from one agent is that it could be used as a de factor "retirement visa", but details are scarce. There is certainly no shortage of possibilities to volunteer for some worthy causes. The Hand To Hand Foundation is one example. The scanty information given, does not indicate whether the organization must be a government, NGO, religious or other private organization. What's interesting is the lack of any need to verify income in the byzantine method now required. Any information would be helpful. My income exceeds the amount usually required, so that's not the. problem. The constantly-changing regulations may remain more stable for the "Volunteer visa".  Previously, this visa was for a maximum of six months and I am not sure if it was renewable. I was thinking that this might eliminate the need to pay an agent a high fee to process the paperwork. Either way the lack of playing games with a Thai bank would be moved out of the way. Any takers??

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When you bribe someone to get a visa which you don't deserve, you will make it more difficult for proper volunteers to get a visa in the future because they will become more strict.

With an agent-assisted volunteer visa, the only thing that you "volunteer" is a tidy amount of money. There's no volunteer work involved whatsoever.   

I am currently on a "agent assisted volunteer visa" not issued in my home province. I have done TM30, 90 day reports, and i actually had 2 residence certificates issued in my home province. No problem

Posted Images

The requirements to apply for a 90 day non-o visa at immigration is here.

https://bangkokimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/09.pdf

 

The requirements a extension of stay follows as shown in the clause of the immigration order for them.

image.png.29b3362819460809ab38374f97e3e20c.png

 

 

Edited by ubonjoe
changed police order clause posted before to correct one
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OP, your age? 50+ or under 50.

Also how did you last enter Thailand..

Visa exempt, setv etc etc.

Edited by DrJack54
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And after getting this "agent-assisted visa", could I move around and live wherever I want to in Thailand or am I more or less restricted to the location where the visa has been issued?

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4 minutes ago, bodo said:

And after getting this "agent-assisted visa", could I move around and live wherever I want to in Thailand or am I more or less restricted to the location where the visa has been issued?

You can go wherever you want.

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And is the risk of getting into trouble with this volunteer visa the same as for an "agent-assisted retirement visa"?

 

And could I with such a retirement visa also move and live freely around  Thailand or am I restricted to the area where the visa has been issued?

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1 hour ago, DrJack54 said:

OP, your age? 50+ or under 50.

Also how did you last enter Thailand..

Visa exempt, setv etc etc.

Age is 71. I entered Thailand initially on a tourist visa and went to Laos to change it to a Non Immigrant "O" visa. I have not been out of the country for several years but re-entered Thailand by plane after a short trip to Cambodia. I had the usual "re-entry permit", when I arrived.

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41 minutes ago, FritsSikkink said:

When you bribe someone to get a visa which you don't deserve, you will make it more difficult for proper volunteers to get a visa in the future because they will become more strict.

How does that work do tell and is there a glut of volunteers to Thailand?

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8 minutes ago, Nickelbeer said:

Age is 71. I entered Thailand initially on a tourist visa and went to Laos to change it to a Non Immigrant "O" visa. I have not been out of the country for several years but re-entered Thailand by plane after a short trip to Cambodia. I had the usual "re-entry permit", when I arrived.

So currently you are on annual extensions based on retirement?

The best option is to obtain annual extension yourself based on retirement. That has financial requirements as you would know. 

 

If you prefer not to meet those requirements or cannot then you can use an agent. Since you only need the extension that would cost ~ 16k.

Edited by DrJack54
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

The requirements to apply for a 90 day non-o visa at immigration is here.

https://bangkokimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/09.pdf

 

The requirements a extension of stay follows as shown in the clause of the immigration order for them.

image.png.3ef06d9f8091912fd067fdec8da74aad.png

 

 

I had a lengthy e-mail discussion with the agent and he contends that the requirements cited above are outdated and have been changed to a yearly-renewable visa. I am inclined to believe ANYONE on this forum rather than an agent, but it seems unlikely that such an agent would run the risk of prison by advertising a bogus visa. It would appear that anyone having the facts would not even need to use an agent. It would be like the old days of paying about 2000 baht for a visa and then doing the usual 90 day reports for a year until renewal time. He says there are no requirements to leave the country every ninety days, only to report. Comments welcome.

Edited by ubonjoe
corrected quoted text
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13 minutes ago, Nickelbeer said:

I had a lengthy e-mail discussion with the agent and he contends that the requirements cited above are outdated and have been changed to a yearly-renewable visa.

Edit: I posted the wrong clause the first time but the 1 year extension still has special requirements.

Post and quote of it is now correct.

Edited by ubonjoe
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1 hour ago, DrJack54 said:

You can go wherever you want.

Would that be the case ? Given that a volunteer visa is linked to an organisation and the location of the organisation, I imagine there would be dramas if you had a visa to volunteer in a pattaya orphanage and started doing 90 day reports in phuket

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1 hour ago, bodo said:

How to find these "special" agents?

just google Thai volunteer visa, also if you are on facebook the adds pop up all the time

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2 hours ago, DrJack54 said:

So currently you are on annual extensions based on retirement?

The best option is to obtain annual extension yourself based on retirement. That has financial requirements as you would know. 

 

If you prefer not to meet those requirements or cannot then you can use an agent. Since you only need the extension that would cost ~ 16k.

I am absolutely not going to play "bank merry go round". I am uninterested in propping up Thai banks with my funds. I suppose I will have to continue to pay "tea money". to stay here. The process is certainly easy, but one has no certitude as to when this option may suddenly be unavailable. It simply seemed to me that a volunteer visa with no financial requirements, might be something that an expat could handle on his own. I am in touch with a number of NGOs and "helping hand" type organizations. Seems they would be eager to take on new volunteers and charge a nominal price for paperwork. The reasoning behind this visa must be entirely an effort to funnel more dosh to IO.

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2 hours ago, Nickelbeer said:

Age is 71. I entered Thailand initially on a tourist visa and went to Laos to change it to a Non Immigrant "O" visa. I have not been out of the country for several years but re-entered Thailand by plane after a short trip to Cambodia. I had the usual "re-entry permit", when I arrived.


Then you should be asking for a yearly extension of stay based on retirement.

Feel free to send my team a message via LINE.

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7 hours ago, Olmate said:

How does that work do tell and is there a glut of volunteers to Thailand?

Do some reading, google might help

Edited by FritsSikkink
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15 minutes ago, Phillip9 said:

 

Often the agent will file your 90 day reports in the province where your visa was issued.  This may already be included in the price of the visa.

 

These visas are frequently issued in random provinces of Issan, so almost nobody ever lives in the province were they are issued. 

That just sounds even more bogus than the situation already is. How are they doing 90 day reports without your passport, what happens when you need a resident cert etc.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Peterw42 said:

That just sounds even more bogus than the situation already is. How are they doing 90 day reports without your passport, what happens when you need a resident cert etc.

I agree its shady, but so is the whole idea of paying for a volunteer visa and then not actually volunteering. 

 

They are probably just filing the 90 reports by mail.  I imagine it's impossible to get a residency certificate.

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