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Non-Immigrant-O-Visa at Thai Embassy in Penang. NEW Requirements!


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Just came back from Penang. I went there to apply for a Non-O Visa Single Entry valid for 90 days. I had all required documents, e.g. updated bank passbook with 800,000 BHT  for more than 3 months and a letter from my bank, confirming that I have sufficient funds on my bank accounts. I went to Banana Visa Service (recommended) with all my documents and the lady there told me me that I need a letter from my embassy confirming that I'm retired. She said the Thai Embassy is now asking for this additional document, even if you have a bank passbook with a balance of 800,000 BHT and a letter from your bank. I couldn't believe it and I went to Jim's Place and asked him whether it was true that I need a letter from  my embassy. He said it's true and the reason the Thai Embassy is asking for the letter is money laundering... I went back to Banana Visa Service and the very helpful lady made some phone calls and she finally arranged  my visa at a special price without the letter from the embassy.  Before I went to Penang, I was told  by an agent in Phuket that all I need is my bank passbook with the required balance OR a letter from my embassy confirming that I receive the required pension of ??  Really confusing. 

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Problem is, how to prove you're retired.

 

At the U.S. Embassy, American Citizen Services section, guess you could just sign a $50 notary stating that you're retired.  The ACS isn't guarantying anything, except that it was you signing the affidavit.

 

https://th.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/notaries-public/

 

Mac

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7 minutes ago, Thanyaburi Mac said:

Problem is, how to prove you're retired.

Many people have obtained proof of a small amount of income from their embassy for the proof. Others have done affidavits/statements stating they are retired.

Savannakhet Laos has the same requirement.

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2 hours ago, YetAnother said:

i see, so if i Say i am retired, then i can no longer launder money; sounds like more weak, largely pointless thinking from thai immigration

Agree entirely - there is no logic for this at all, and a stat-doc wouldn't prove retirement, anyway. 

 

My first thought was that the consul in Penang was having money-problems, again (has done other "pay extra" things in the past) - but as this is also required in Savanahket, I suspect it is being ordered out of Bangkok. 

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4 hours ago, YetAnother said:

i see, so if i Say i am retired, then i can no longer launder money; sounds like more weak, largely pointless thinking from thai immigration

Immigration has nothing to do with that.

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I had a real issue trying to start all the "retirement" visa stuff. I initially hired an agency who will remain nameless; they charged me 19k baht and botched the whole thing up. When I tried to get them to fix THEIR mess, they said they could but it would cost an additional 21K baht.

 

I then went to the U.S. embassy to ask precisely what the requirements were, and the representative replied "We don't have that information here." When I made them realize politely but firmly that I wasn't going to leave until they helped me, explaining how the above had happened to me, they found someone who explained to my satisfaction what was required.

 

Seven years later and still happily here in LOS.

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8 hours ago, dusktilldawnman said:

Just came back from Penang. I went there to apply for a Non-O Visa Single Entry valid for 90 days. I had all required documents, e.g. updated bank passbook with 800,000 BHT  for more than 3 months and a letter from my bank, confirming that I have sufficient funds on my bank accounts. I went to Banana Visa Service (recommended) with all my documents and the lady there told me me that I need a letter from my embassy confirming that I'm retired.

I don't get it! So, now you have to be of retirement age in your own country to 'retire' in Thailand??

 

First a big tra-ra: "We want foreigners to retire in Thailand. They can get a visa for this, once they are 50 years old."

 

I doubt, that my embassy would give me such a letter if not retired back home, so instead of 50 years old, I will have to wait till I'm 67 (retirement age in my country) to get a retirement visa??

 

Thanks Thailand, Cambodia and other neighbouring countries look more interesting every day!

Edited by StayinThailand2much
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17 minutes ago, StayinThailand2much said:

I don't get it! So, now you have to be of retirement age in your own country to 'retire' in Thailand??

No where has that been said.

It only to get a single entry non-o visa for being 50 or over at 2 nearby consulates if you using the 800k baht money in the bank option . If you have proof of income from your embassy that is all that is required or it can be shown as proof you are retiredif using the money in the bank option.

 

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39 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

No where has that been said.

It only to get a single entry non-o visa for being 50 or over at 2 nearby consulates if you using the 800k baht money in the bank option . If you have proof of income from your embassy that is all that is required or it can be shown as proof you are retiredif using the money in the bank option.

 

Well, then I won't be able to use this kind of visa, as I don't have income from abroad. No government pension until I'm 67.

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8 minutes ago, StayinThailand2much said:

Well, then I won't be able to use this kind of visa, as I don't have income from abroad. No government pension until I'm 67.

I think you could probably to do a statement that you are retired by doing a affidavit or statutory declaration that would be accepted. 

There is also no requirement for the income to be from a government pension.

You can also get non immigrant visa entry at an immigration office with only the 800k baht in the bank. No need to prove you are retired.

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Hi ubonjoe. I live at my own expenses and I don't get pension from my home country. How can I bring a letter from my embassy stating I'm retired? In my opinion the rules for obtaining a non-o 90 days single entry are bring your passbook along with a letter from the bank stating you have sufficient funds (800,000 BHT)  OR  a letter from your embassy stating you get pension from your home country. When you have 800,000 BHT on the bank, whey do they need a letter from the embassy, for Christ's sake.

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7 minutes ago, dusktilldawnman said:

Hi ubonjoe. I live at my own expenses and I don't get pension from my home country. How can I bring a letter from my embassy stating I'm retired? In my opinion the rules for obtaining a non-o 90 days single entry are bring your passbook along with a letter from the bank stating you have sufficient funds (800,000 BHT)  OR  a letter from your embassy stating you get pension from your home country. When you have 800,000 BHT on the bank, whey do they need a letter from the embassy, for Christ's sake.

As wrote before at least twice you can do a statement you are retired at your embassy. 

And also as I wrote in my last post you can get the non immigrant visa entry at an immigration office by only showing the money in the bank.

You would have to ask them why they want it.

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14 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

I think you could probably to do a statement that you are retired by doing a affidavit or statutory declaration that would be accepted. 

There is also no requirement for the income to be from a government pension.

You can also get non immigrant visa entry at an immigration office with only the 800k baht in the bank. No need to prove you are retired.

I doubt, whether my embassy would accept the affidavit or statutory declaration.

 

May look into the other option you mentioned: that would be a visa conversion from a tourist visa then??

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24 minutes ago, StayinThailand2much said:

I doubt, whether my embassy would accept the affidavit or statutory declaration.

The only have to notarize your signature on them not accept it.

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 I think the point of the notarized affidavit from your home country Embassy is not that it constitutes 100% proof, but it does expose you to a number of possible penalties if you commit perjury in the document. In signing you agree that "The U.S. Embassy does not guarantee the contents of my own sworn statement. Under penalty of perjury, I assume full and complete responsibility for the veracity of the claims herein."
I think Thai immigration finds the penalty, " ...

shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.", not to mention cancellation of  Thai visa, revocation of permissions, and deportation, is sufficient to deter casual diddling about,
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4 minutes ago, Bill Miller said:

I think the point of the notarized affidavit from your home country Embassy is not that it constitutes 100% proof, but it does expose you to a number of possible penalties if you commit perjury in the document. In signing you agree that "The U.S. Embassy does not guarantee the contents of my own sworn statement. Under penalty of perjury, I assume full and complete responsibility for the veracity of the claims herein."

I was not writing about a income affidavit. Just a sworn statement you are retired.

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7 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

I was not writing about a income affidavit. Just a sworn statement you are retired.

The same penalties apply for any affidavit you sign at the embassy, Joe, whether for income, residency, retirement status, etc. All of those are affidavits. From the US Embassy web site:
"An affidavit is a sworn statement. Affidavits may be used in many different situations for many different purposes. Using our blank affidavit form for Bangkok (PDF 59KB) or for Chiang Mai (PDF 35KB), you can write out almost any statement you may wish to make."
I.E. it can be used as a statement that one is retired. Will a given Thai IO accept such? Good question, eh? 

I am not sure why you assumed I was talking about an income affidavit. 

Edited by Bill Miller
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3 minutes ago, Bill Miller said:

Will a given Thai IO accept such? Good question, eh? 

It would not be used at immigration. Only at 2 Thai consulates would it be needed. Just the embassy stamp on it is enough for them. Others have used a sworn statement.

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10 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

It would not be used at immigration. Only at 2 Thai consulates would it be needed. Just the embassy stamp on it is enough for them. Others have used a sworn statement.

I look to you for great information on most subjects, Joe, but I think you are being a little... off on this.
I do not care where or for what purpose one is using a "sworn statement", it is by definition, both by the dictionary and legally, especially if the US Embassy authorized notary has stamped it,

an affidavit. That is why it is accepted by IO, consulates, etc.

I quoted the pertinent information and links.
Why you want to object to this I do not understand.
P.S., I did, ipso facto, use one three months ago at the Royal consulate in Savannakhet. The officer there looked at it and said "What is this?" , so apparently not needed there, but I had it in case having experienced enough of "Oh, you need this..." at Jomtien.

 

Edited by Bill Miller
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I had to return to Australia last year for surgery and unfortunately my visa based retirement expired , when i returned to Phuket in May i came in on a 30 day visa on entry. I  was informed that immigration in Phuket would for a fee of 1,900 convert my visa on entry into a 90 day Non 0 then i would have to wait until the last 30 days to extend it into a 1 year visa based on retirement. My problems started when i went to the immigration and a rude officer there told me bluntly that i would have to go to Penang to obtain a Non 0 and start the whole process off again . I have since found out this is incorrect and immigration could have converted my visa to a Non 0 , an office in Patong i was told about said they could get me retirement extension for 25,000 but i am very fortunate not to have gone that route. My friend used the same office and was recently detained at Bangkok whilst leaving the country. He was informed that the Non 0 was in fact a fake stamp and had his visa canceled , he was then informed he was on overstay and was deported. I myself took a minivan down to Penang and went to the consulate , i just showed proof of 800,000 in the bank and when i showed them i had previously had two extensions based on retirement this was enough for them to accept i was retired and i was granted a single entry Non 0 . I applied for the 1 year extension in August and everything was fine.   

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24 minutes ago, Brick Top said:

I had to return to Australia last year for surgery and unfortunately my visa based retirement expired , when i returned to Phuket in May i came in on a 30 day visa on entry. I  was informed that immigration in Phuket would for a fee of 1,900 convert my visa on entry into a 90 day Non 0 then i would have to wait until the last 30 days to extend it into a 1 year visa based on retirement. My problems started when i went to the immigration and a rude officer there told me bluntly that i would have to go to Penang to obtain a Non 0 and start the whole process off again . I have since found out this is incorrect and immigration could have converted my visa to a Non 0 ...

A conversion is 2000 Baht, but I understand.  So I guess we can add Phuket to the list of Immigration Offices which refuse to do Conversions - or at the very least, make it very difficult to do them.  Too bad Bangkok won't...:

  • Force local offices to Follow The Rules
  • Let us get our conversions done in Bangkok (like they used to), without having to temporarily move there
Edited by JackThompson
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8 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

A conversion is 2000 Baht, but I understand.  So I guess we can add Phuket to the list of Immigration Offices which refuse to do Conversions - or at the very least, make it very difficult to do them.  Too bad Bangkok won't...:

  • Force local offices to Follow The Rules
  • Let us get our conversions done in Bangkok (like they used to), without having to temporarily move there

That was in May so they may of not been doing them then or he got an officer that was unaware it could be done.

Before immigration did a directive or whatever that all offices should do the conversions it could be done in Bangkok if your local office was not authorized to do them. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎20‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 7:48 AM, ubonjoe said:

The proof that you are retired has been a requirement for quite some time now. It seems the agent in Phuket gave you some bad info.

 

 

I've just spoken with the British Embassy in Bangkok and they know nothing of such 'proof of retirement' letter, they will only issue a letter confirming your pension / income.

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On ‎20‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 2:50 PM, dusktilldawnman said:

Hi ubonjoe. I live at my own expenses and I don't get pension from my home country. How can I bring a letter from my embassy stating I'm retired? In my opinion the rules for obtaining a non-o 90 days single entry are bring your passbook along with a letter from the bank stating you have sufficient funds (800,000 BHT)  OR  a letter from your embassy stating you get pension from your home country. When you have 800,000 BHT on the bank, whey do they need a letter from the embassy, for Christ's sake.

I am in the same position and the British Embassy in Bangkok will not issue a 'proof of retirement' letter.

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On ‎20‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 7:40 AM, BritTim said:

That is ideal, but there are plenty of Thai consulates which are virtually impossible to communicate with by phone or email. Many of us will research initially via the Internet and, if there is reasonably up to date reliable information about the consulate in question, just hope nothing has recently changed.

 

Indeed, the Thai Consulate website for Penang is only in Thai and they do not respond to emails.

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