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I live in Miami. Have been to Thailand two times. Looking to retire there. How do I deposit 800k bhat in Thai bank ninety days before applying for visa. I need to have a Thai bank account to deposit the money but I can’t understand. I can’t open a Thai bank account from the USA. Do I need to fly to Thailand just to open an account. Confused? Any help will be appreciated. 

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Check Bangkok Bank's website. They used to have a way of doing it. I don't know if they still do. They have a branch in New York. To my knowledge, they are the only Thai bank that does.

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in order to open a bank account in Thailand you have to be in Thailand, now the tricky situation is if you are in Thailand and want to open a bank account the bank will ask for a Non O visa and/or work permit and letter from the immigration...... but, there is always a but... to apply for a Non O visa you need a bank account.... which one come first the chicken or the egg

good luck

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I would get a one-year multi-entry visa in the US before arriving in Thailand. You don't need the money then in a Thai bank account. This is also a 2-year visa because you are given one year everytime you arrive. You will need to find a place to stay first though for 6 months. The Thai embassy needs that. 

 

When you arrive in Thailand head to your Embassy and obtain a letter from them saying you are a resident in Thailand. 

 

Letter in hand and passport go and open a bank account. Mine was Bangkok Bank. 

 

Next stop then is for a Driving Licence. 

 

You will get 2 years to decide if you like it or not. 

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OP, if you are doing an OA visa in your home country, the funds are shown to the consulate in home country, in home bank account. (you dont need a Thai bank account for up to 18 months later)

If you are entering thailand on an O visa from home, you have 90 days to open an account and funds in bank for 60 days (1st extension).

If you are entering Thailand on a tourist visa then converting to an O visa, then an extension, there is usually a window to open an account and transfer funds. first extension its usually a 60 day requirement, then 90 days for subsequent extensions.

Worst case scenario, you may need to find a bank that will open an account on a tourist visa.

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As said you can obtain a multi entry non immigrant O-A visa from one of the official Consulates in USA (not Miami) with proof of funds in US account or income of 65k and a police report and medical certificate.  This provides a one year stay on any entry during the year visa is valid (so as said an entry near end of validity could get you almost 2 years stay.

 

Other option is to just get a tourist visa (or enter with visa exempt) and then change that at immigration in Thailand to a non immigrant O 90 day entry.  That would allow time to open account and put funds into it (no time in account requirement for change) and then normal extension after in account 60 days.

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35 minutes ago, miamiray said:

I live in Miami. Have been to Thailand two times. Looking to retire there. How do I deposit 800k bhat in Thai bank ninety days before applying for visa.

If applying for a 90 day non immigrant visa (category O) entry at immigration the money only has be in the bank on the date you apply.

When applying for the first extension of stay based upon retirement during the last 30 days of the 90 day entry from a non-o visa the money only has to be in the bank for 60 days.

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1 hour ago, miamiray said:

Do I need to fly to Thailand just to open an account. Confused? Any help will be appreciated. 

If you can’t get a Non-Immigrant ‘O’ or ‘O-A’ Visa in the US you will need to travel to Thailand as a Tourist, and once you’re in the country you can deposit 800K in a Thai bank.

 

Once you’ve deposited the 800K you can apply for a non ‘O’ visa from immigration. The money does doesn’t need to be in the account for 90, or any number of, days prior to applying for the visa.

 

When the visa is issued you’ll be given permission to stay for 90 days. You then need to keep a minimum of 800K in your account for at least 60 days before applying for the extension of stay.

 

IMO getting a Non-Immigrant Visa in the US is the best way to go; and with a category ‘O-A’ visa you’ll not need to worry about transferring funds to Thailand or applying for an extension of stay for 1-2 years after arriving in the country.

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I would second others' suggestion that you get a Non-OA Visa from a Thai Consulate in the USA before coming here.  This will save you much trouble, later.

 

If you choose to come on a Tourist entry, instead, then I would suggest you stay in Bangkok while getting a Non-O stamp (pre-requisite to the retirement-extension) so you are in the jurisdiction of the Chang Wattana immigration office.  Some other offices (Pattaya/Jomtien, Chang Mai, and others) have been reported to make that step difficult or impossible, unless paying 10x+ the actual-cost to a "visa-agent" to get it.

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1 hour ago, allane said:

Check Bangkok Bank's website. They used to have a way of doing it. I don't know if they still do. They have a branch in New York. To my knowledge, they are the only Thai bank that does.

I don’t know if any situation where immigration would accept an account held in a foreign country. Even if a Thai bank.

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I think that at least for a brief period in the past, Bangkok Bank NY used to allow applicants to complete the necessary forms, and then transmit these to HQ in Bangkok, where an account was then opened.

Edited by allane
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6 hours ago, Peterw42 said:

If you are entering thailand on an O visa from home, you have 90 days to open an account and funds in bank for 60 days (1st extension).

Does the OP have family connection (wife or children) in Thailand? If not, no Thai embassy or consulate office in the USA will issue an O visa. 

 

Here is what I did without any problem and it is according to the book. 

a) Get Police report. Go to your country office and get it from the clerk (my county does not charge for it)

b) Get a Health report from an immigration doctor. Tell the doctor you want a physical exam to get out of USA permanently (he will be surprised because he only deals with people who want to come to the USA not with people who want to leave the dreamland called the USA) Print out the form from Thai DC embassy and have the doctor sign it. (My health insurance paid for the physical check up fees $85).

c) Print out your bank account statements (must show at least 800K baht equivalent in US dollars. I had 50K US dollar. No issue)

d) Fill up application form and send it to DC embassy with $200 application fee. (Though they say it should be sent to your zone specific consulate issuing O-A visa, like LA or Chicago, it is not enforced). 

e) Get your shinny O-A visa valid for one year. and come to Thailand. The visa is good for one year and each time you enter Thailand, you're permitted to stay for one year.

f) Lease an apartment for at least 3 months in Bangkok area. You can lease a shit hole for a few thousand Baht/month. 

g) Go to the US embassy and get an affidavit of your US address (costs $50).

h) Go to a Bangkok bank branch (not express bank branch. I went to the one near Sukumvit soi 10) branch and present your passport, embassy letter, and rental lease  to open an account. You don't need embassy affidavit if you know somebody who has an account in the same branch. 

 

Now happily transfer money from your US bank to Bangkok bank for your daily maintenance using transferwise. The visa will allow you to stay in Thailand for almost two years legally if you plan it right.  Read TV and don't get confused. Ask question if you have any doubts. We can discuss how to extend it every year after you're a seasoned resident of Thailand.

Edited by onera1961
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Good info, but I would add...

4 hours ago, onera1961 said:

f) Lease an apartment for at least 3 months in Bangkok area. You can lease a shit hole for a few thousand Baht/month. 

I found an "OK" furnished room there for 5K Baht/mo w/air-con and a short bus-ride to the nearest skytrain on a month-to-month lease.  It was cheaper if renting on a longer-lease.  My full deposit was returned.  I would not stay there long-term, but good for checking out the city for awhile at low-cost.

 

3 hours ago, onera1961 said:

g) Go to the US embassy and get an affidavit of your US address (costs $50).

... affidavit of his Bangkok Thai Address - not US-Address - to use at the bank.

 

3 hours ago, onera1961 said:

Now happily transfer money from your US bank to Bangkok bank for your daily maintenance using transferwise. The visa will allow you to stay in Thailand for almost tw

One can also transfer it by ACH to the BKB branch in NY.

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4 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

One can also transfer it by ACH to the BKB branch in NY.

I have difficulties transferring it using Bangkok bank ACH. Trial deposits from my Citi Bank, Ally bank, Capital One bank, and chase bank were all rejected by Bangkok bank. They said it is not in International ACH format. If you know any US bank that uses international ACH format, please let me know. 

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15 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

affidavit of his Bangkok Thai Address - not US-Address - to use at the bank.

Thai address is already verified by lease document. Bangkok bank wants verification of US address to comply with FATCA. My affidavit from US embassy is for US address only. Bangkok Bank will not accept State Driver's license. I try to convince the Manager to accept my US address in State Driver's license but she refused to accept it. For countries other than US, I don't know what they want (I talked to the Manager and she told me for US citizens, they have to comply with FATCA). For Indian nationals they want to sell an insurance and if you buy the insurance, you can open an account without any embassy letter. 

 

Edited by onera1961
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12 minutes ago, onera1961 said:

Thai address is already verified by lease document. Bangkok bank wants verification of US address to comply with FATCA. My affidavit from US embassy is for US address only. Bangkok Bank will not accept State Driver's license. I try to convince the Manager to accept my US address in State Driver's license but she refused to accept it. For countries other than US, I don't know what they want (I talked to the Manager and she told me for US citizens, they have to comply with FATCA). For Indian nationals they want to sell an insurance and if you buy the insurance, you can open an account without any embassy letter. 

 

The insurance is usually great way to get an account opened, the bank sell accident insurance to their customers (account holders) and the staff get a commission on selling insurance, mention you are interested in some insurance and magically an account gets opened.

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11 minutes ago, onera1961 said:

Bangkok bank wants verification of US address to comply with FATCA. My affidavit from US embassy is for US address only.

I suppose that is new, or branch-specific.  Thanks for the heads-up.

 

I had to supply a US-address and sign an IRS form, but no verification of a US Address.  One branch asked to see a cert-of-residence - but for a Thai address.  I went to another branch which didn't ask for that.  This was last year, to open my 2nd acct with them.

 

16 minutes ago, onera1961 said:

I have difficulties transferring it using Bangkok bank ACH. Trial deposits from my Citi Bank, Ally bank, Capital One bank, and chase bank were all rejected by Bangkok bank. They said it is not in International ACH format. If you know any US bank that uses international ACH format, please let me know. 

I use a credit-union.  I had to go to a branch and get a printout of the transfers to figure out how many "cents" the trial-deposits were.  But this was my first account, a few years ago - before they even started asking to sign the IRS form.  Subsequent transfers have not been a problem, ongoing to now.

 

@miamiray As you may be surmising by all this, bank-policies here can vary wildly from branch to branch of the same bank, as well as over-time.  I would plan some "bank branch shopping".  If you come with the Non-OA, you will have plenty of time.

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34 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

I had to go to a branch and get a printout of the transfers to figure out how many "cents" the trial-deposits were. 

What branch and what printout? NY branch Bangkok bank rejects the trial deposit with a comment that the ACH transfer is not in international format. It never goes into my Thai Bangkok bank. 

They have started rejecting US ACH transaction for trial deposit and all accounts set up earlier will stop accepting US ACH transaction from April 1, 2019. 

  • With effective from April 1, 2019, New York branch only process ACH with appropriate IAT format and all non-IAT transactions will be returned.       
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