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virgomjh

OA Visa application in UK - queries about rental income route

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I am planning to relocate in a few months to live in Phuket long term. I am under 58 and do not receive a state or private pension but I do have a rental income over Bht65k per month. As I am under 65 and do not receive a state pension my understanding is that I cannot apply for a single or multiple entry non O visa from within the UK, and that my two route options are

a. Apply for a 60 day tourist visa in the UK, extend for 30 days in Thailand, apply for a Consular Income Letter from the UK Embassy in Bangkok, apply to convert it to a 90 day non O visa at the local Phuket (or Bangkok) immigration office to a Non O visa, and then apply at Phuket immigration for a 12 month retirement extension.

b. Apply for a 12 month multiple entry Non OA visa in the UK and extend that for a further 12 months by flying out of Thailiand and re-entering before the expiry date.

My preference at the moment is to go route b and apply for the Non OA visa in the UK. I realise that I will have to prove to Thai Immigration in the UK that I meet the income requirements, and provide notarised proof of income, medical certificate and police report, but it seems marginally less hassle than route a, and it would be great to enter with the certainty of nearly two years reprieve before having to make further applications.

However, the London Thai Embassy explanation of the Non OA requirements is not as clear as it could be. See requirements link http://thaiembassyuk.org.uk/?q=node/51 .

The Thai Embassy never picks up the phone, and I have several questions that I have been unable to resolve through internet searches. Can anybody help me with these basic queries on the Thai Embassy’s explanation of the requirements?!

1. It is clear that bank statements and a validating Bank Letter are required for the B800k deposit route, but it states that an ‘’Income Certificate’’ is required for the income route, with no mention of requirement for a Bank Letter or bank statements.

a. What is an Income Certificate?! I understand the term Income Letter which is required from British Embassy for 12m retirement extensions within Thailand, but as Consular Income Letters are only issued from the British Embassy in Thailand, I am assuming that Income Certificate and Income Letter are not the same thing?

b. Although it does not state that bank statements will be required for the monthly income route (only the Income Certificate), I feel sure that they will want to see them. Although it is not clearly stipulated as a requirement, should I also proved a Bank Letter with them?

c. If I do have to provide a Bank Letter, how recent does the letter have to be – within 30 days of application for example?

2. I can provide Bank Statements showing monthly rental income in excess of B65k. In addition to the mysterious ‘Income Certificate’ and/or Bank Letter with statements, will further supporting evidence be required such as House Title Deeds or Tenancy Agreement?

3. My rental income is being paid into my joint account with my Thai wife who will be travelling with me. The rental income is from a property solely owned by myself.

a. I have read that a joint account statement would have to show B800k / B65k/m equivalent for each person if both are travelling together. Can anyone confirm this?

b. If this is correct, does anyone know if this would apply when the travelling partner on the joint account is a Thai national? I could arrange for my rental income to be transferred into an account in my name only, but I wouldn’t be able to show a long track of income into this new account given that I want to apply quickly.

Help on any of these points would be greatly appreciated!

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If you decide to do the extension of stay here you can easily get a single entry non-o visa based upon your marriage to a Thai at the embassy or any of the consulates. Then you could apply for the extension at immigration during the last 30 days of the 90 day entry from the visa. You could apply for the extension based upon retirement or marriage.

I assume you could supply a notarized statement of your income with copies of proof your rental income to get the OA visa.

Having a joint account with your wife would not effect your application for the OA visa. There is no requirement for both of you to show financial proof.

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I certainly think that it would be worth your while including a copy of your current tenancy agreement duly certified by a notary public or solicitor with your application docs. I suspect that this might well suffice for income certification purposes in its own right.

And, looking ahead to the time when you need to start applying for annual extensions of stay here, I can definitely confirm, on the basis of personal experience, that the British Embassy here accept tenancy agreements as evidence of rental income for their confirmation letters.

EDIT: It might also be worth your while including a similarly certified copy of your title deeds in case the Embassy require proof of ownership (although the British Embassy here don't need to see these for their income confirmation letters).

Edited by OJAS
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Hi guys thanks a lot for your helpful replies. My brain is truly frazzled after trying to absorb all the info on all the various routes in and the next step extension options without any prior knowledge. It is very reassuring to have such knowledgeable support to clarify some of the many grey areas on this. I thought I would try and get more info direct from the embassy to feedback before replying, and I am happy to say someone at visa enquiries actually picked the phone up.

Here is how it went after my brief explanation of my intention to apply for a non OA visa based on rental income.

‘’Your website says that I should provide an income certificate as proof for monthly income, I am not sure what an income certificate is’’. Reply - ‘’That’s a bank statement’’.

‘’How many months of statements should I show?’’. Reply -‘’Three’’.

‘’Do you need me to provide any other supporting evidence like a tenancy agreement’’. Reply - ‘’No we don’t accept that – just bank statements’’.

‘’My rent is being paid into a joint account with my Thai wife, will I need to show funds for her too’’. Reply ‘’No that’s not a problem’’.

I had a few more questions but I felt I had used up my quota and left it at that. So, for proof of income I just need to provide three months notarised bank statements showing the rental income going into my joint account. I have probably read too many threads on visa applications, but I can’t help worrying that I might be asked for more when I get to the kiosk at the Embassy in London. I think I will take your advice OJAS and take a notarised copy of the tenancy agreement and title deeds just in case. But at least the mystery of the ‘’income certificate’’ has been solved.

For the Bank Letter, does the bank simply have to confirm that the statements are genuine and confirm the balance? I can see a problem getting this letter dated close to the Embassy application visit date if I have to have it notarised afterwards. I suppose I could get a mini statement from an ATM on the visit date – do you think this would suffice?

I’m not clued up yet on the notarisation process.

The website says that certification by a ‘’Public Notary or solicitor’’ is required, and provides a link to a particular solicitor. It is reassuring to read the forum note on another thread by an applicant who had all his documents notarised by his local solicitor in two hours and his application was accepted. I am guessing the key is to shop around and find the right solicitor?

Thanks again for your help on this.

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Thanks a lot Ubonjoe for your suggestion regarding the non O entry route based on my marriage. Sorry, I forgot to say that I married my Thai wife in the UK only, so I don’t have a Thai Marriage Certificate required for the non O entry route on that basis. As I can’t go the Non O 65+, pensioner route either, I think I am correct in saying that the only option to the OA route in my case is to enter on a 60 day Tourist Visa and convert that to a 90 day non O in Thailand, then hang the 12 month retirement extension onto that. It does seem odd that a 50 - 65 year old can get a retirement non O within Thailand if they meet the financial requirement, but not in the UK.

I may have to fall back on this route if I hit problems on the OA route, and I would be grateful if you could clarify some concerns that I have about entering on Tourist Visa and converting that to a non O.

1. The Thai Embassy website strongly emphasises that Tourist Visas can only be used for the purpose of tourism. As converting from a TV to a non O does appear to be a well trodden route and within the rules, is it ok to declare the real purpose on the entry/departure card and if asked by the airport immigration officer?

2. Do you know if Phuket Immigration Office can offer conversions from a TV to a non O – I am reading that some local offices have been prevented from doing this and are redirecting conversion applicants to apply for this in person at the embassy in Bangkok?

3. If I use rental income on the non O / extension route, will I need to show any fund transfers, or just the Consular Income Letter? If I do, will I encounter problems opening a bank account if I enter on a Tourist Visa?

4. I am planning to take a lease on a Phuket property prior to arrival so that I have somewhere definite to live. It is owned by a British national. Is it correct that if you present a lease agreement for proof of address on this route and the owner of the rented property is a foreigner, immigration have recently started asking for a signed copy of the owners passport and work permit? It could be very awkward if I enter into a lease and then have to ask the owner to provide these for my proof of address, so I would have to check he has the documents in advance. Either way, I don’t think that would go down too well somehow. I don’t know what weight to attach to the reports on this subject, have you heard of this requirement to provide a copy of the property owner’s work permit?

It would be great to be able to see a clear way through on this optional route and any help on ways around these potential pitfalls would be greatly appreciated.

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Thanks a lot Ubonjoe for your suggestion regarding the non O entry route based on my marriage. Sorry, I forgot to say that I married my Thai wife in the UK only, so I don’t have a Thai Marriage Certificate required for the non O entry route on that basis. As I can’t go the Non O 65+, pensioner route either, I think I am correct in saying that the only option to the OA route in my case is to enter on a 60 day Tourist Visa and convert that to a 90 day non O in Thailand, then hang the 12 month retirement extension onto that. It does seem odd that a 50 - 65 year old can get a retirement non O within Thailand if they meet the financial requirement, but not in the UK.

I may have to fall back on this route if I hit problems on the OA route, and I would be grateful if you could clarify some concerns that I have about entering on Tourist Visa and converting that to a non O.

1. The Thai Embassy website strongly emphasises that Tourist Visas can only be used for the purpose of tourism. As converting from a TV to a non O does appear to be a well trodden route and within the rules, is it ok to declare the real purpose on the entry/departure card and if asked by the airport immigration officer?

2. Do you know if Phuket Immigration Office can offer conversions from a TV to a non O – I am reading that some local offices have been prevented from doing this and are redirecting conversion applicants to apply for this in person at the embassy in Bangkok?

3. If I use rental income on the non O / extension route, will I need to show any fund transfers, or just the Consular Income Letter? If I do, will I encounter problems opening a bank account if I enter on a Tourist Visa?

4. I am planning to take a lease on a Phuket property prior to arrival so that I have somewhere definite to live. It is owned by a British national. Is it correct that if you present a lease agreement for proof of address on this route and the owner of the rented property is a foreigner, immigration have recently started asking for a signed copy of the owners passport and work permit? It could be very awkward if I enter into a lease and then have to ask the owner to provide these for my proof of address, so I would have to check he has the documents in advance. Either way, I don’t think that would go down too well somehow. I don’t know what weight to attach to the reports on this subject, have you heard of this requirement to provide a copy of the property owner’s work permit?

It would be great to be able to see a clear way through on this optional route and any help on ways around these potential pitfalls would be greatly appreciated.

You do not have to be married in Thailand to get a non-o visa at an embassy or consulate. They will accept your UK marriage certificate as proof you are married to a Thai when you apply for it. To apply for a one year extension of stay based upon marriage at immigration you would have to register your non Thai marriage at an Amphoe to obtain a Kor Ror 22 marriage registry.

.1/2 Irrelevant since you can get a single entry non-o to apply for an extension based upon retirement.

3. All you need is a income letter from the UK embassy. You apply for the income letter by post. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-obtain-a-pensionincome-letter-for-thai-immigration

You may want to open a bank account tor bring your funds into the country. It should not be a problem if you have a non-o visa plus your wife can be a reference to open the bank account.

4. I don't recall any reports of Phuket immigration wanting the owner of a property to have a work permit (only reports are for Pattaya). You will certainly need a rental agreement. copies of their passport and some proof of ownership such as a house or chanote.

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For the Bank Letter, does the bank simply have to confirm that the statements are genuine and confirm the balance?

As I recall from my own OA visa application to the London Embassy in 2008, the bank letter merely confirmed that I held an account with them. It certainly didn't confirm my current balance as is required by Immigration here when using the 800,000 THB bank balance method of proving finances at annual extension of stay time.

However, it is important that the letter from your UK bank includes their mailing address, particularly if this is not recorded on their statements as a matter of course. As I recall, the London Embassy were especially picky about this.

You do not have to be married in Thailand to get a non-o visa at an embassy or consulate. They will accept your UK marriage certificate as proof you are married to a Thai when you apply for it. To apply for a one year extension of stay based upon marriage at immigration you would have to register your non Thai marriage at an Amphoe to obtain a Kor Ror 22 marriage registry.

Just beware, though, that your local amphur may well require an Embassy-certified copy of your UK marriage certificate as a prerequisite to registration in Thailand. And since the British Embassy here no longer certify marriage certificates for this purpose, you will then need to go through the cumbersome legalisation process described by ubonjoe in post #4 on this thread: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/911581-retirement-visa-uk-wife-as-dependant/

Furthermore the amphur may require the end result of this process to be translated into the Thai language by a certified translator. But at least you should have up to 2 years to get this all sorted out should you go down the OA visa route!

Edited by OJAS

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Hi Ubonjoe thanks for clarifying that I can I apply for a non O based on my UK marriage to my Thai wife. The Hull Thai Consulate advice page completely threw me on this. http://www.thaiconsul-uk.com/pdf/v3-extra-evidence-for-ni-visas-2016.pdf. They state that the evidence required for this application is a ‘’Copy of Original Thai Marriage Certificate (front and back)’’, with no mention of a UK certificate. I called the consulate to enquire about this and they did confirm that a UK marriage certificate is acceptable.Got to say the Hull consulate always picks up the phone and the lady that I spoke to was very approachable and friendly. I asked why they hadn’t stated ‘’copy of UK or Thai Marriage Certificate’’, if in fact either was acceptable. Apparently it is because most applicants that they deal with have not married in the UK and only have Thai marriage certificates. Lucky for me I am not a gambling man because I would have put my house on it being the other way around.

It is good to know that I could enter on a non O based on my marriage then do a 12m extension based on either retirement or marriage. Thanks for your post on the other thread referred to by OJAS regarding the legalisation of UK marriage certificates – that was very useful. Extending based on marriage does look a lot more complicated than extending for retirement. However I think I will get my marriage certificate legalised here through the UK legalisation office and Thai embassy so I have it in hand for the future. If the certificate is legalised in the UK this year, just wondering if I need to have the documents stamped at the MFO within a certain timescale or can I defer that step until I need it?

Thanks also for confirming that the Income Letter will suffice for an income based extension, and evidence of monthly transfers won’t be needed. I will be transferring funds of course, but at least I won’t have to worry that the amounts tally with my stated monthly income amounts etc. And it is good to hear that Phuket Immigration are not yet requesting the work permits of the foreign owners of accommodation rented by extension applicants. I still feel uncomfortable about having to ask the house owner for a copy of his passport and the house chanote. Are landlords generally used to this sort of request from tenants?

After taking all your feedback on board, the non O / retirement extension route does appear to be a bit more straightforward than I thought, and it really is a toss-up between that option and the non OA route. I do like the idea of dealing with the paperwork over here in familiar territory without as much time pressure, and having nearly two years stay in hand before I depart, so I am still leaning toward going the OA route and using the Non O route as plan B.

Thanks again for your help and I will let you know if there are any developments that may be of interest.

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Hi OJAS, thanks for the notes on the marriage route discussed in my reply to Ubonjoe and for your tips on the Bank Letter for the OA route. You say it ‘’certainly didn’t confirm your current balance’’ - is that because you didn’t want that to be included or is it just standard for them only to confirm that you are an account holder? If it is optional, is it better to ask them to confirm the balance at the letter date?

Regarding the requirement for notarisation, the Thai Embassy website says that certification is required ’’ by a Public Notary or solicitor’’. Just in case this is confusing anyone else, having checked this out it seems that all Public Notaries are qualified solicitors or barristers, but not all solicitors are qualified Notary Publics. The website should just say by a Public Notary, because it is not an either or. Fortunately for me I have just discovered that my solicitor just happens to be Notary Public as well, which was a pleasant surprise as opposed the various unpleasant surprises I have encountered on my recent searches.

I feel that I am at last getting a clear understanding and the best way forward, and I am very grateful to you and Ubonjoe for your help with my questions.

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Hi OJAS, thanks for the notes on the marriage route discussed in my reply to Ubonjoe and for your tips on the Bank Letter for the OA route. You say it ‘’certainly didn’t confirm your current balance’’ - is that because you didn’t want that to be included or is it just standard for them only to confirm that you are an account holder? If it is optional, is it better to ask them to confirm the balance at the letter date?

It was my UK bank's standard letter, and no option was offered to me for the current balance to be specifically confirmed in it. In any event you should bear in mind that a UK bank statement will not, of course, include any transactions which have taken place on the account after its date of issue.

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I'm interested to read that a rental agreement is proof of income for a certification letter from some embassies. I had always assumed (since it's almost always prefaced with the word "retirement") that the income had to be of a passive nature ie. dividends, interest income or a State pension

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Hi OJAS, thanks for the notes on the marriage route discussed in my reply to Ubonjoe and for your tips on the Bank Letter for the OA route. You say it ‘’certainly didn’t confirm your current balance’’ - is that because you didn’t want that to be included or is it just standard for them only to confirm that you are an account holder? If it is optional, is it better to ask them to confirm the balance at the letter date?

It was my UK bank's standard letter, and no option was offered to me for the current balance to be specifically confirmed in it. In any event you should bear in mind that a UK bank statement will not, of course, include any transactions which have taken place on the account after its date of issue.

Thanks for the information OJAS - I guess they just want a verification that I am an account holder at the bank from which the statements are issued, and the statements will be used to verify income. Useful to hear that it must show the banks address so I will be careful to double check that.

Just looking at the medical certificate in more detail - the embassy website says it should have a validity of at least three months. Am I correct in assuming this means that it must be dated within three months of the date of application?

When I read the eligibility notes on the site it says simply that the applicant 'must not have any prohibitive diseases' but having taken a closer look at the certificate that the doctor must sign it also requires him to confirm that the applicant 'is in good mental and physical health free from any defect'! Yet another unpleasant surprise. How many of us arrive at the age of 50+ free from any defect? I am generally healthy but I cannot say that I have absolutely no defect and I really don't know whether my GP will be comfortable signing this. I guess I will just have to hope he will take a view.

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Just looking at the medical certificate in more detail - the embassy website says it should have a validity of at least three months. Am I correct in assuming this means that it must be dated within three months of the date of application?

When I read the eligibility notes on the site it says simply that the applicant 'must not have any prohibitive diseases' but having taken a closer look at the certificate that the doctor must sign it also requires him to confirm that the applicant 'is in good mental and physical health free from any defect'! Yet another unpleasant surprise. How many of us arrive at the age of 50+ free from any defect? I am generally healthy but I cannot say that I have absolutely no defect and I really don't know whether my GP will be comfortable signing this. I guess I will just have to hope he will take a view.

Your assumption about the medical certificate being dated within 3 months of the application date sounds right to me.

If it's any reassurance to you, obtaining the necessary doctor's signature proved pretty straightforward in my case. I was seen by a doctor at my local surgery whom I hadn't dealt with before, and she was happy to sign the certificate on the basis of a thorough medical examination which consisted of her eyes moving from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet!

I get the impression that UK doctors are more laid-back about signing forms of this nature than their counterparts in the USA, for example, in view of the litigation culture which seems particularly prevalent on their side of the pond.

Edited by OJAS

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