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Urgent, Thai consulate not letting my wife get a visa.


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12 minutes ago, hogfrog said:

If we do have to go where is that? At the main bus station? 

Yes , just down the road from the Consulate .

All the day buses leave in the morning and there is one night bus (going by memory) 

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20 minutes ago, hogfrog said:

I won't need a copy of this will I if I go to Vientiane? The school registration document? Because I already submitted this to the consulate here and didn't think I needed copies of those papers. 

Your newly issued visa should be enough in Vientiane.

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1 hour ago, jackdd said:

The problem is that every embassy / consulate does what they want, so it won't help OP much

Here for example Jakarta http://www.thaiembassy.org/jakarta/en/services/64473-Non-immigrant-visa-O.html

 

 

And I don't think studying Thai is considered full-time,unless you are taking a full load at a Uni.

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15 minutes ago, moontang said:

And I don't think studying Thai is considered full-time,unless you are taking a full load at a Uni.

2.11 In the case of being a family member of an alien who has been permitted a temporary stay in the Kingdom for study in an educational institution according to Clauses 2.8 or 2.9 hereof (applicable only to parents, spouse, children, adopted children, or spouse’s children):

 

Based on this 2.11 it seems that they should be able to issue my family a visa, after all in Savannakhet the reason they gave me was it had to be a degree program nothing to do with hours or full time study. I think full time study now is defined as at least 8 hours a week or they are are not able to get you an education visa. I think this is a case of them just not wanting to issue a dependent visa to us for some reason. As ubonjoe said he knows people who have dependent visa's on language student visa's.

 

I have been trying to call the Vientiane Thai embassy many times already, no one answers.... I will try again in the morning.

Edited by hogfrog
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At my uni...full time was considered 12 semester hours, or more, which is close to how many class hours you would have.  8 is just the visa requirement for studying Thai....been abused to death..and doesn't sound like you did all your homework.

 

The difference between quoting the law to the Thai Consular staff and bringing them a box of cookies?  You might actually have a chance with the cookies.

Edited by moontang
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4 hours ago, hogfrog said:

This is just terrible. I am guessing that we have no choice but to try to get her on a student visa and come back in a month and try to do this again. One thing is for sure when I finish this language course we are never coming back again, what a terrible way to treat people just following the law. What a waste of time and money for us now. Be warned about this anyone trying to study language with family!

Why not just apply for a METV for your wife? Simple and easy. Costs something like $275 and she can have up to 9 months in Thailand (with leaving and entering back into the country every 3 months). After 9 months send her to Laos and get a SETV that will cover her for another 3 months. Therefore she can be here 12 months like you. Problem solved ?

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So if so easily you are "never coming back" it could not have been that important to spend a year learning Thai anyway, maybe just an easy way to stay for a year.

There are some excellent programs on the net if you really wish to learn

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28 minutes ago, bbi1 said:

Why not just apply for a METV for your wife? Simple and easy. Costs something like $275 and she can have up to 9 months in Thailand (with leaving and entering back into the country every 3 months). After 9 months send her to Laos and get a SETV that will cover her for another 3 months. Therefore she can be here 12 months like you. Problem solved ?

Can we apply for this in Laos? I thought I heard METV can only be applied in your home country? 

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30 minutes ago, natway09 said:

So if so easily you are "never coming back" it could not have been that important to spend a year learning Thai anyway, maybe just an easy way to stay for a year.

There are some excellent programs on the net if you really wish to learn

What are you talking about? Classroom time is only a fraction of language learning. What you learn in the classroom needs to be reviewed and practiced for many hours and the best place to do that would be in country with locals. Can't do that online. Is there a problem with us wanting to stay a year in Thailand to get a good experience of the country through a little bit of language learning and staying while on and ED visa? And yes, when we are done we are not coming back because of this nightmare experience where we have simply followed the law and as a result of what seems corruption or something else, I could be wrong, it has soured my opinion. Not with Thailand or the Thai people in general but if immigration is this way it's not worth the hassle to deal with in the future.

Edited by hogfrog
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4 minutes ago, hogfrog said:

Can we apply for this in Laos? I thought I heard METV can only be applied in your home country? 

No 

You are correct. 

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5 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

No 

You are correct. 

Well thanks anyways for the suggestion for the METV and thanks again to you ubonjoe and others, you have provided a lot of useful information even though it seems to be out of our hands. I do appreciate all the helpful answers here. Hopefully we can get someone to pick up the phone tomorrow at the Vientiane embassy and if not it still might be worth it to go there and try. 

Edited by hogfrog
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1 hour ago, hogfrog said:

Can we apply for this in Laos? I thought I heard METV can only be applied in your home country? 

METV in your home country and SETV in Laos or any other country.

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Or if in Laos just apply for SETV for your wife, gives her 3 months. Need to leave after 3 months anyway so go back to Laos again and apply for another SETV for another 3 months. Do it again and again until you get the whole 12 month time covered.

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3 minutes ago, rwill said:

Elite visa if you have money to throw away.

 

Yes. Plenty of if, and as rwill says, to throw away.

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9 minutes ago, bbi1 said:

Or if in Laos just apply for SETV for your wife, gives her 3 months. Need to leave after 3 months anyway so go back to Laos again and apply for another SETV for another 3 months. Do it again and again until you get the whole 12 month time covered.

Or get his Wife to go back on a SETV which lasts for 60+30 days , leave at the end of December and come back on a VES and do that twice again next year and then go and get one more SETV and that will give 12 months

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This is normal for this country. If officials don't know their job properly, they won't make any effort to find out, they'll either start shouting at you or just refuse you out of hand. Apart from a few, most are too idle to try to help you, it's part of the face and me, me, me culture. I'll do anything rather than ask for help from a Thai immigration official. The first stop is always here BEFORE going to the appropriate office.

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Thanks again for the advice everyone. I think first I am going to try to follow through with trying to get my wife the non-O visa in Vientiane. Hopefully I can get through to them on the phone tomorrow to get a better idea before we make a trip all the way there. If it doesn't work out whether we go there or not then it looks like the only other option is another tourist visa for her. I will keep everyone posted on how things work out with Vientiane when I know something. 

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I contacted the embassy in Vientiane and they said that they can get my wife the non-O visa but now there is another problem. The embassy wants a letter from my school with their stamp saying that I and my wife are together here in Thailand and that I am studying in the school. I told them I will have the student visa this afternoon and they said it doesn't matter if you have the visa they still want the letter from the school for her. So it looks like we will have to head back to Pattaya to get this letter from the school and then come all the way back to get the Non-O visa. 

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31 minutes ago, hogfrog said:

I contacted the embassy in Vientiane and they said that they can get my wife the non-O visa but now there is another problem. The embassy wants a letter from my school with their stamp saying that I and my wife are together here in Thailand and that I am studying in the school. I told them I will have the student visa this afternoon and they said it doesn't matter if you have the visa they still want the letter from the school for her. So it looks like we will have to head back to Pattaya to get this letter from the school and then come all the way back to get the Non-O visa. 

Any chance the school could do the letter and email it to you. Perhaps the embassy would accept it if you explained you were already out of the country.

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I would try UJs suggestion of getting the letter via email - a scanned letter attached to an email, with a hand-written signature (hopefully in blue ink), so you can print out a color copy of it.  The contract-info of the person who signs should also be provided, so the consulate can verify the validity of the letter.  Any additional documentation, such as a signed-copy of the signer's ID, or even their school business-card might help.

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17 hours ago, hogfrog said:

The embassy wants a letter from my school with their stamp saying that I and my wife are together here in Thailand 

 

How would the school know if you are in Thailand with your wife ... wouldn't your passports & ID  confirm this.

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On 8/29/2018 at 10:23 AM, ubonjoe said:

Any chance the school could do the letter and email it to you. Perhaps the embassy would accept it if you explained you were already out of the country.

Vientiane embassy told me it had to be an original with the stamp from the school so I couldn't risk a long overnight bus trip and more hotel stay just to possibly get rejected trying that. I just can't trust the Thai law or even what they say anymore because it is obvious they are just doing whatever they want. Even Vientiane told me straight out "We don't know why are they not able to do it in Savannakhet." Vientiane staff were thinking that it was a problem with my paperwork and I told them that the reason given was I was not in a degree based program and asked plainly "Can I get the non-O for my wife if I am on a non-ED studying Thai?" They said yes. So it is obvious that they know what they are doing in Savannakhet and rejecting on purpose.  Savannakhet staff's final suggestions to me was for her to get tourist visa's, a non-b visa, or for me to find work. 

 

It reminds me what I heard a few years ago in India but don't know if this is the same situation or not. They would give the husband a visa but deny family members. It was rumored to be a sneaky way to keep foreigners out because they knew that the husband would likely not want to stay if his family couldn't stay was well, and they got the bonus of keeping the money for giving him a visa. 

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18 hours ago, JohnThailandJohn said:

 

How would the school know if you are in Thailand with your wife ... wouldn't your passports & ID  confirm this.

This is why I don't understand the embassy asking for this letter from the school. I already have the letter saying I am a student from the school that I applied for my non-ED visa and I have my certified marriage certificate proving we are married. It seems like nonsense that I am somehow required to get the school to write a letter saying Dear Royal Thai Embassy Vientiane, Mr. xxx is married to Mrs. xxx, they are husband and wife and the husband is enrolled to study Thai language for 1 year at xxx language school. 

 

How does the language school writing a letter and putting their stamp on it have any weight on her getting a non-O over my valid non-ED visa and our certified marriage certificate? Really makes no sense at all but that is what they asked for at Vientiane. 

 

Plain and simple we are now thinking that it might be best to just try to get her on the non-ED as well and study Thai language with me even though she will have to juggle her online college with this as well so it is not what she was hoping for. We just can risk anymore long trips out of country that we may be denied again based on the whim of an agent regardless what someone said to us on the phone. Who knows if we bring that paper if when we get there it's another requirement needed, or there is something wrong with the way it's addressed, etc. At least if she was getting on a non-ED that even though we would have to leave the country again to get it that she would more than likely be guaranteed getting it. 

 

Thanks for your help everyone, I hope our bad experience can serve as a warning to anyone trying what we have in the future. 

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55 minutes ago, hogfrog said:

How does the language school writing a letter and putting their stamp on it have any weight on her getting a non-O over my valid non-ED visa and our certified marriage certificate? Really makes no sense at all but that is what they asked for at Vientiane. 

I think this is CYA of some sort.  Savannakhet may just be avoiding the "problem" entirely.  What is "the problem," you might ask?

 

A story was made-up and pushed that ED visas were a way that "evil foreigners" were staying in Thailand (and stinking up the place?), and this had to be "stopped" because of all that welfare money they were ... oh, wait, I forgot, foreigners don't get welfare - just spend foreign-sourced capital into the economy, which helps Thais.  Anyhow, the changes amounted to higher "no hassle / no-receipt" fees to some immigration offices for ED-Visa extensions (but I'm sure that's just a coincidence). 

 

Additional pressure may have been put on the MFA (who issues Visas) to "crack down" on "abuse" of these language visas (versus those for University programs).  That would be my best guess as to why you are having these issues.  I'm glad you didn't waste a trip to Vientiane for nothing.  And, yes, every consulate (and immigration office) can modify/invent rules - so best to just expect this.

 

But on the upside, your wife can get a Tourist Visa now, an extension of 30-days 60-days hence (if desired), and then you can take the silly letter to Vientiane and get her a Non-O in 3 months - or the Non-ED you suggested.  Also, as long as you enter by land-borders other than Poipet/Aranya (i.e. not Bangkok airports, especially), she can enter with a new Tourist Visa again without issue; many have been doing this for years.

 

55 minutes ago, hogfrog said:

Thanks for your help everyone, I hope our bad experience can serve as a warning to anyone trying what we have in the future. 

Yes, this has been very informative, and should help those with similar circumstances in the future.  Thanks!!

Edited by JackThompson
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On 8/30/2018 at 10:26 PM, JackThompson said:

A story was made-up and pushed that ED visas were a way that "evil foreigners" were staying in Thailand (and stinking up the place?)

That is interesting. If they are so worried about this ED visa then why don't they just cancel it completely? It's crazy that first time language students such as ourselves who were hoping to just spend a year in Thailand to study the language and learn more about the country and culture have already been made to feel like garbage and treated with such contempt and disrespect.

 

Without a doubt we are going to be spreading the word about this back home and telling people DO NOT come to Thailand. I have heard this country is called the land of smiles and we are not getting this impression. The impression we are getting is that we have been scammed and now they are smiling at us, the stupid foreigners. We very much torn because I have paid 1 year tuition and don't want to waste this because there is no refund, however we very much just want to get out of this hell hole. 

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4 hours ago, hogfrog said:

That is interesting. If they are so worried about this ED visa then why don't they just cancel it completely? It's crazy that first time language students such as ourselves who were hoping to just spend a year in Thailand to study the language and learn more about the country and culture have already been made to feel like garbage and treated with such contempt and disrespect.

 

Without a doubt we are going to be spreading the word about this back home and telling people DO NOT come to Thailand. I have heard this country is called the land of smiles and we are not getting this impression. The impression we are getting is that we have been scammed and now they are smiling at us, the stupid foreigners. We very much torn because I have paid 1 year tuition and don't want to waste this because there is no refund, however we very much just want to get out of this hell hole. 

There is a "clique" within different official posts - amphurs, immigration, etc - who want all Western people to leave - or at least only come for a short time to spend a lot and quickly go.

 

But do not confuse the bad-apples in "officialdom" - some of whom, not all, hate Westerners and try to make life hard on us - vs the ordinary Thai people.  I have only encountered 2 anti-Western racists among the general population in several years here.  

 

We regularly read about the denial of entry to Westerners with valid visas at airports, which is financially-insane and generally pointless.  And when I and my now wife (Thai) began the process of getting married, I found that the problem was greater than just a few bad IOs in immigration.  At some amphoes, it was similar to Jim-Crow USA South.  Then, problems with moving to a marriage-based extension (not sure if just corruption or racism or both in that case). 

 

So, yes, this "hate" problem within officialdom is something one must contend with here - but I think it is worth it, given dealing with those types is rare.

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