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gdhm

Retirement Visa Application Experience (udon Thani)

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Hi Everybody,

Lopburi3 and several others have guided me through the Retirement Application process from within Thailand (by first getting a Visa from outside Thailand (in my case Vientiane, Laos) and then applying for a extension and change to a Retirement Visa form within Thailand.

I was asked by several Forum members (here and on the Khon Kaen Forum) to let you know how I got on with the Retirement application process and I promised I would .

I have been back in Khon Kaen 2 hours and here is the promised report of MY process and experience (to be repeated on the Khon Kaen Forum)

So here goes.

I decided to try Udon Thani (sub Immigration Bureau of Nong Khai) as it is 1 hour's journey less from Khon Kaen. It is open only on Mondays and Fridays from 9am to 3pm (I think its 3pm).

Beware that the Immigration Bureau website under Office's details says its open on Wednesdays as well (BUT IT IS NOT).

OK what happened

I am a belt and braces man, (experiences with Spanish Bureaucracy) and I took every document I thought is important that I have collected (whether listed as required or not), signed and dated photocopies (duplicated), original documents etc.

1) Decided to arrive 8:40am (Opened 9am ON THE DOT), I picked up card number 5, 4 ahead of my wife and myself

2) I do NOT voice ANY views, offer support or proof on conversations and experiences by those waiting in the queue with me BUT but it was clear there is was little confidence in the Udon Thani's Immigration officer's interpretation of the exact requirement rules OR his consistency from one visit to another.

I was told of experiences of Pension income not always being accepted or where in one case 200,000 savings being needed to top up a pension income to 800,000 baht, the person I was speaking to was told he must have 500,000 baht in the Thai bank.

I cannot confirm any of these comments (there may haver been justifiable circumstances for the Officer's extra requirement for all I know).

3) Number 4 left the interview room and my wife and I entered. I said "Sawadee Kap" and sat down, my wife was in the process of sitting down when the officer said ABRUPTLY (sorry but there is no other way to describe it "I Didn't call your number, Go sit down outside". I apologised and left (others outside who heard him raised their eyebrows).

4) We were called 10 minutes later. I said "Sawadee" and the officer at the same time said "Good morning, please sit down"

I gave him my two TM.7 handwritten Retirement Application forms. He glanced at them and said "TM.7 forms printed off the Internet are not acceptable, you need to use TM.7 forms collected from an Immigration office. I answered very respectfully and politely (it was clear this was wise ands I am polite anyway) "I am sorry but I downloaded the TM.7 from the OFFICIAL IMMIGRATION BUREAU website. "No good" he said "I accept you TM.7 THIS time but next time you must use office supplied forms"

5) "Got 2 of everything he said". I said "Yes" and I started giving him my Bank savings books. "I don't want to see these I only need photocopies of the savings books" I gave him photocopies (I was just going to ANYWAY, but astonished he did not wish to verify against the originals).

6) Looking at my original Bank letter confirming the balance in my Savings Accounts he said "I need a photocopy as well I need 2 of everything". I said to him I had just given him TWO original identical bank letters. I could see the 2nd in the forms I had already given him but he did not see it -I decided to give him a photocopy anyway. "You know the breakdown of pension and savings". "Yes" I said "I have written it on a photocopy of the UK Embassy "confirmation of Pension details) letter. It shows a) UK pension amount in GBP and my calculated amount of Thai baht using an exchange rate of 70 baht to 1 UK pound. I have written my Thai Bank savings amount as well total = 1,120,000 Thai baht" "Can I keep the photocopy with your workings out" he asked "Yes of course" I said.

8) The Officer looked at my UK Embassy Official Letter detailing my pension income and gave it back to me saying " I would need it for possible future use (no doubt he was referring OT a future Retirement Visa renewal application)

7) I need 2 photocopies of your wife's House registration (where I assume your address on TM.7 is) AND 2 photocopies of your wife's Thai ID card.

(Phwee!!, lucky I am a belt and braces man (Lopburi3 said "TAKE the wife" even though you are applying for a Retirement Visa extension not marriage Visa). Luckily we had the House registration book with us. (In the OFFICIAL Thai Immigration Bureau list of requirements there is NO SUGGESTION of this being needed (I had envelopes etc addressed to me (just in case) but did not expect my wife's House registration book being needed (as I am not on it). Anyway, WE HAD IT. (What a person having just arrived in Thailand and applying (whilst still staying at a hotel) would have done I DO NOT KNOW)

8) We went away to do the photocopies and went back. The rest of the process went very smoothly. The Officer filled in a kind of SUMMARY sheet (carbonised to produce a copy) giving basic details of items I had provided to support my application (detailing my address, age, amount and reference numbers of the bank savings and amount in UK Embassy Letter detailing my pension, house phone number etc.

The blank form was written in Thai so I did not know what it said (only what was answered) but my wife seemed unperturbed. The Officer He said" I want you AND YOU WIFE to both sign the form" We did so.

I had NO problem with my wife having to sign, BUT I have No Idea why my wife's signature was needed (she was not my guarantor and not responsible for the accuracy of MY RETIREMENT Visa APPLICATION information. As I said earlier I was not applying for a Marriage Visa).

9) I was asked for a 1,900 baht Visa fee and the Officer stamped my Passport for the extension of my Visa taking it up to ONE year from the START of the 90 day Visa I had when I entered his office (taking my visa now up to 18th August 2007).

The Officer also gave me 2 little notices.

i) telling me about the legal need to report my address every 90 days and

ii) the need to make an "application for Re-entry permit" before leaving Thailand for any reason or period if I do not wish my Retirement Visa to be voided on exit. Thus needing me to start a new Retirement Visa application process all over again, from new. BOTH VITAL and GOOD pieces of information we all need to know and be clear about.

I looked at the Passport stamp. I noticed that there was NO reference to the basis for which type of Visa I have been granted.

As the Immigration Officer had had been keen including my wife I REALLY wanted to confirm with him that he has processed a Retirement Visa and not a Marriage Visa. I am sure he has processed a Retirement Visa (as applied for), but I would have liked to just confirm this for my peace of mind BUT I CHICKENED out as I felt throughout like a schoolboy reporting to the headmaster.

I also wanted to ask if I get anything in the post from Thai Immigration to confirm the Visa stamp and the category of Visa that has been granted

Please, If anybody on the Forum knows the answer please let me know. Thanks

The Officer was NOT rude, but he seemed humourless and was cold in manner.

He spoke I obeyed quickly and (as I said) I did not feel able to ask questions or, that they would have been welcomed.

I wish to reiterate in case there is any uncertainty that the Immigration Officer was never RUDE (just not friendly or welcoming)

10) Anyway I have my Visa. Walked out of the Office 10:15am. (process not actually queueing about 15 to 20 ins in total. The Immigration Officer is quick and efficient.

I forgot, One man in the queue said he had heard a whisper that Thai Immigration Bureau are working on the possibility of 90 Day REPORTING being possible via email. (at this moment in time is necessary in person of by post only I believe). I don't know how emails would work because there would be no original signature and therefore no proof who sent the information (maybe the whisper is groundless _ I honestly do not know)

I finish by wishing to thank Lopburi3 again for the sound, helpful, numerous and accurate messages of advice and guidance given to me throughout.

THANK YOU LOPBURI3, You made a worrying process for me, as simple and as easy as it could have been made. I had no surprises along the way (except the officer not liking the Internet version of TM.7 application form and wanting a copy of my wife's house registration. Your advice to take my wife (as they like to see she is aware of everything (even though not necessary) WAS SPOT ON. I am sure the blue print you gave me will be of use to MANY readers.

I hope this precise report is of interest and help.

Kindest Regards to all

Dave

//edit to correct TM number//

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I gave him my two TM.47 handwritten Retirement Application forms. He glanced at them and said "TM.47 forms printed off the Internet are not acceptable, you need to use TM.47 forms collected from an Immigration office.
Dave, by any chance did you print out the front and back of the form on two sheets of paper, versus print them two-sided on a single sheet of paper? If so, I think that was what he objected to. At least, that's why MY printed-at-home forms were rejected.
I looked at the Passport stamp. I noticed that there was NO reference to the basis for which type of Visa I have been granted.
This may confirm your suspicions/fears. The stamp in my passport that extended the period to one year *does* have a separate stamp clearly saying "RETIREMENT":

visa.jpg

One man in the queue said he had heard a whisper that Thai Immigration Bureau are working on he possibility of 90 Day REPORTING being possible via email
There is a procedure in place for one of the forms - not sure if it's the TM47, though - that you can e-mail the day before. I'm not sure what the benefit is? Maybe you don't have to queue when you come in the next day? <shrug>

Regardless, CONGRATULATIONS on your new one-year extension! :o

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I gave him my two TM.47 handwritten Retirement Application forms. He glanced at them and said "TM.47 forms printed off the Internet are not acceptable, you need to use TM.47 forms collected from an Immigration office.
Dave, by any chance did you print out the front and back of the form on two sheets of paper, versus print them two-sided on a single sheet of paper? If so, I think that was what he objected to. At least, that's why MY printed-at-home forms were rejected.
I looked at the Passport stamp. I noticed that there was NO reference to the basis for which type of Visa I have been granted.
This may confirm your suspicions/fears. The stamp in my passport that extended the period to one year *does* have a separate stamp clearly saying "RETIREMENT":

visa.jpg

One man in the queue said he had heard a whisper that Thai Immigration Bureau are working on he possibility of 90 Day REPORTING being possible via email
There is a procedure in place for one of the forms - not sure if it's the TM47, though - that you can e-mail the day before. I'm not sure what the benefit is? Maybe you don't have to queue when you come in the next day? <shrug>

Regardless, CONGRATULATIONS on your new one-year extension! :o

My RV DOES NOT HAVE a stamp saying 'RETIREMENT' in English; however it does have the equivalent stamped in Thai.

If you APPLIED for a RV and were accepted THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE to the best of my knowledge.

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You have a retirement visa - no two ways about it - well done - sit back and relax for the next 364 days.

Tim

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One man in the queue said he had heard a whisper that Thai Immigration Bureau are working on he possibility of 90 Day REPORTING being possible via email
There is a procedure in place for one of the forms - not sure if it's the TM47, though - that you can e-mail the day before. I'm not sure what the benefit is? Maybe you don't have to queue when you come in the next day? <shrug>

I found what I was "remembering". On the Thai Immigrations main page:

Featured Service:

- If you are in Bangkok area and you have an Internet access, you could fill in a TM.8 form and send it to bkk1_reentry@immigration.go.th

- You should e-mail the completed form 1 day in advance.

- You have to submit a 2" photo and pay a permit fee at counter 7, the Immigration Bureau (soi suanplu office.)

Perhaps they will expand the service to permit TM47? Using the downloadable .doc form and completing it in MS Word would be easy enough, but getting the signature on the form would be a problem, unless it were scanned, but how many retirees have a scanner laying around? Hmmm...

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I gave him my two TM.47 handwritten Retirement Application forms. He glanced at them and said "TM.47 forms printed off the Internet are not acceptable, you need to use TM.47 forms collected from an Immigration office.
Dave, by any chance did you print out the front and back of the form on two sheets of paper, versus print them two-sided on a single sheet of paper? If so, I think that was what he objected to. At least, that's why MY printed-at-home forms were rejected.
I looked at the Passport stamp. I noticed that there was NO reference to the basis for which type of Visa I have been granted.
This may confirm your suspicions/fears. The stamp in my passport that extended the period to one year *does* have a separate stamp clearly saying "RETIREMENT":

visa.jpg

One man in the queue said he had heard a whisper that Thai Immigration Bureau are working on he possibility of 90 Day REPORTING being possible via email
There is a procedure in place for one of the forms - not sure if it's the TM47, though - that you can e-mail the day before. I'm not sure what the benefit is? Maybe you don't have to queue when you come in the next day? <shrug>

Regardless, CONGRATULATIONS on your new one-year extension! :o

Hi

I have a stamp on the top right of my Visa stamps which MAY mean retirement. My wifes' Aunt thinks it mean "late portion of life" or "old age" which essentially in normal English means Retirement

see pic (hopefully)

My%20Visa%20stamp.jpg

To answer a question No my TM.47 was ONE piece of paper. Only difference was the Udon Thani office forms had their stamp on them. Maybe the Officer wants their forms used then he can be sure nobody has downloaded and doctored the form and maybe it is not noticed and a Visa is granted when it should not be (JUST guessing)

Regards

Dave

Edited by gdhm

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Interesting that even the rubber stamps for the extension are not the same!

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Thank you Dave very helpful indeed.

Personally, I think you had a pretty good experience. I understand it must have been a bit uncomfortable. But think of what it is like for people moving to the UK? Not just those 'ethnic' tyypes but the Aussies, Canadians, S Africans, NZers etc.

I'll be they get worse mate! Can you imagine HM Immigration saying "ok if you you've got 10,000 Pounds you can live here forever?"

Again, seriously thanks for your update. This is very useful to any of us who may be in your shoes very soon!

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8) The Officer looked at my UK Embassy Official Letter detailing my pension income and gave it back to me saying " I would need it for possible future use (no doubt he was referring OT a future Retirement Visa renewal application)

Did you have to pay the UK Embassy for this letter? Did you have to provide proof of your pension income to the UK Embassy?

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Did you have to pay the UK Embassy for this letter? Did you have to provide proof of your pension income to the UK Embassy?

1) Yes.

Their email info was (extract)

Consular fee for a standard letter is currently Bt 1,763 (plus Bt40 EMS postage if applicable).

The letter will be ready for collect on the next working day after the receipt.

I elected to do the whole thing by post (took 3 days)

2) Yes I needed to supply the UK Embassy with a details summary letter from my pension company on its official headed paper. The UK embassy extracts the information provided to declare the annum income in their UK Embassy letter.

**********

I have JUST noticed I have been referring to my Retirement applicaiton form as TM.47.

SILLY ME (that is the 90 day reporting form reference) I mean't to say I used form TM.7

SORRY for any confusion

Regards

Dave

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