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FAKE VISAS? ADVICE NEEDED!


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Urgently need your advice as I think my friend is going to do something for what will regret later...
We both are from Moldova,live in Thailand for about a year and have educational visas.Learned the Thai language for the future life in this country.We are planning to continue staying in Thailand on the retirement visa,we are 55+.
As it is hard for my friend to show 800.000 for 3 months and his income is less than 60.000, he found two companies who promise to help him to get retirement visa without any funds,both  for same 25.000 [!] bath for their service.
Ok, suppose he can pay that amount even it is too expensive
But I told him that it is a very dangerous scheme because it is illegal,it cannot be legal if by the law you have to have the 800.000 on your own account and 60.000/month  income you have to have yourself.
Both companies told my friend that their service is a standard procedure, they did it many times, many years,they officially post ads in English language Thai websites, and one of that companies can do that procedure even <possible company name removed>
I don't name that companies as don't want to advertise their services.
I will be grateful if anybody with long experience in visa issues can advise to use these companies service or to run away from them.
And sorry for my  English.
Edited by ubonjoe
removed possible company name
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Many people use those agents to get their extensions based upon retirement.

I personally do not recommend doing them that way. Not exactly illegal bu fraudulent IMO.

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4 minutes ago, onera1961 said:

And their businesses will boom next year when TI stops accepting embassy affidavit or embassies stop issuing them. 

And get considerably more expensive.

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4 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

As far as I understand some of these agents have special arrangements with bank (managers). So they can get a document showing the right amount of money in your bank account for long enough time.

I guess what they do is illegal. But as far as I see the illegal part happens with the bank and not with the immigration.

The immigration officer will see the bank document and act according to that.

So the visa you get is probably 100% real, but obtained with not exactly perfect documents.

 

If that was true, why pay around 15K baht to immigration rather than the normal 1900 baht?

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3 minutes ago, VBF said:

Agreed, in UK parlance, the bank officer is committing an offence and the visa applicant is "aiding and abetting" the offence (for their benefit).

 

Clearly, the applicant must know that the information in the document was not factual (they knew that they didn't really have the money) so if they denied knowledge of the offence, they could be told "ignorance of the law is no excuse" and also accused of the same fraud, or of being an accomplice to it.

 

But, that's UK and, as ever,  TIT🤔

 

True, in said situation the actual Thai law is the same.

 

However application of the law is another story. 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, scorecard said:

Whilst folks continue to foster / support / use illegal processes nothing will improve.

 

It makes me laugh, so many folks complain about the regulations and complain about lack of ethical / fair justice processes, but in the same breath have no hesitation to engage in and support illegal unethical processes. 

Illegal yes, unethical, I don’t think so.

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18 hours ago, jojakez said:

If that was true, why pay around 15K baht to immigration rather than the normal 1900 baht?

So that brings a good question; would any bank, in Thailand (perhaps globally) have policies / regulations allowing local bank managers to issue letters like this which state an account balance whih is untue?

 

I very much doubt it?

 

Why? Simple answer, risk management is very serious and a very high priority for any bank and all professionally operated banks analyse the overall daily national / branch activities every day for any incidents of any type of risk or actions breaking regulations, and any flags which could indicate the possibility of the same happening today or tomorrow.

 

All banks, Thailand and everywhere do have regular internal staff incidents (basic counter staff and local managers) which break / severely break bank policies and regulations and break national laws. 

 

I somehow doubt any bank would have policies which plainly allow risk. 

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29 minutes ago, Mark1066 said:

There are many more important things for you to spend your time looking down your nose disapprovingly at, before worrying about this small misdemeanour. Let’s say, for example, a father who wants to stay in Thailand and support his family has to get a little creative with his visa paperwork in order to achieve his aim - you’d question his ethics? Seriously? I’d question your humanity if that’s really your opinion.

Don't try to put it back on me. Yes the situation you describe is sad, even heartbreaking without doubt.

 

Many folks (and Thailand seems to attract a few) never think in advance and get their ducks in order and then find themselves in serious troubles. 

 

The really sad point is when innocent children suffer in terms of daily love and care and lack of funds to have proper nutrition, go to school etc.

 

I've had an incident in my own family, about 20+ years back, my Thai wife's female cousin met a guy from Australia (she was not a bar girl, she had a bach. degree in business (English program) and more and spoke excellent English), he had some limited experience as a newspaper reporter, the OZ guy had told his gf all sorts of BS about his qualifications. They got married.

 

One day at my house he asked what was the blue book on my desk. I replied it's my work permit. His Thai wife and his two little kids were present.

 

He laughed and tried to make me look stupid 'your too serious' 'only fools worry about things like this', etc. He was in fact working at one of the local Pattaya newspapers as a reporter. 

 

The next day his wife told my wife she had asked her husband 'do you have a work permit' he laughed and told her reporters don't need WPs and told her to mind her own business.

 

A few months later imm. officials turned up at all the Pattaya newspapers and took into custody many farang working as reporters, none had a WP.   

 

He got deported, partly because didn't have a WP and partly because his visa had expired by many months and instead of being polite he abused both junior and senior officials.

 

The heartbreaking point is that his two little kids suffered and for the next couple of years we supported them to stay at an OK school while his wife was getting herself established in what became a successful restaurant. 

 

All attempts by the wife and other people to contact the guy in OZ to ask him for some monetary help were totally ignored. Never ever heard from him.

 

 

Edited by scorecard
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6 hours ago, JackThompson said:

The way it works - they put the 800K in an account in the applicant's name for a day, and get a bank-letter stating this.  This is a valid document, and no one at the bank did anything fraudulent - nor did the agent, at this point. 

 

If applying in-person, you must show the money is "seasoned" for 2 or 3 mo (1st ext or subsequent, respectively).  An IO with sufficient-rank can "waive" the seasoning requirement legally, a step which, by some miraculous means, always seems to happen when agents submit applications (after taking a large-fee to do so). 

It's not rocket-science to see how this "arrangement" works, but the only "illegal" part would be a monetary incentive involved in getting the seasoning waived, which is not provable without evidence.

 

It probably has to do with operating within a system that rewards unethical actions.  And, no, I've never used an agent - and went to the trouble to get a Non-O-ME to avoid exactly that, when the office I used decided I needed to use an agent, or they would not accept my application.  But I can't say I blame others for playing the crooked-game, which is the path the system rewards.

I never stated that the bank was doing anything fraudlent, or the agent for that matter. Why would immigration waive the seasoning requirement, which they can do in "exceptional circumstances" but I wouldn't have thought that they would do that on such a grand scale and I wouldn't have thought that an "express service fee" would fall into that category. Maybe it's just me.

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1 hour ago, jojakez said:

I never stated that the bank was doing anything fraudlent, or the agent for that matter. Why would immigration waive the seasoning requirement, which they can do in "exceptional circumstances" but I wouldn't have thought that they would do that on such a grand scale and I wouldn't have thought that an "express service fee" would fall into that category. Maybe it's just me.

An earlier post suggested agents pay for a "fake" bank-letter.  I don't think this is (usually) how it is done.  But I completely agree with your logic on how the "waive the seasoning" rule would be used.  But many report not receiving this when in favorable circumstances (illness, one-day short, tiny-bit under for a day, etc). 

 

An investigation would definitely be able to find stacks of applications with no money-seasoning shown, and then trace up to some "excessive spending" by those in the supervisory chain of those applications.  But given these agent-offers are public and ongoing for decades, it would appear that the "investigators" are in the recipient-chain.  How could they plausibly "not know" this was ongoing?

 

The only security someone using this to get a visa has, is the knowledge that for him to go down, those who took the money to waive the seasoning for years (not low-level IOs) would be caught-out as well.  I'm definitely not recommending this casino-bet, even if the odds of problems are slim because, at the least, banning would be likely.

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7 hours ago, scorecard said:

Don't try to put it back on me. Yes the situation you describe is sad, even heartbreaking without doubt.

 

Many folks (and Thailand seems to attract a few) never think in advance and get their ducks in order and then find themselves in serious troubles. 

 

The really sad point is when innocent children suffer in terms of daily love and care and lack of funds to have proper nutrition, go to school etc.

 

I've had an incident in my own family, about 20+ years back, my Thai wife's female cousin met a guy from Australia (she was not a bar girl, she had a bach. degree in business (English program) and more and spoke excellent English), he had some limited experience as a newspaper reporter, the OZ guy had told his gf all sorts of BS about his qualifications. They got married.

 

One day at my house he asked what was the blue book on my desk. I replied it's my work permit. His Thai wife and his two little kids were present.

 

He laughed and tried to make me look stupid 'your too serious' 'only fools worry about things like this', etc. He was in fact working at one of the local Pattaya newspapers as a reporter. 

 

The next day his wife told my wife she had asked her husband 'do you have a work permit' he laughed and told her reporters don't need WPs and told her to mind her own business.

 

A few months later imm. officials turned up at all the Pattaya newspapers and took into custody many farang working as reporters, none had a WP.   

 

He got deported, partly because didn't have a WP and partly because his visa had expired by many months and instead of being polite he abused both junior and senior officials.

 

The heartbreaking point is that his two little kids suffered and for the next couple of years we supported them to stay at an OK school while his wife was getting herself established in what became a successful restaurant. 

 

All attempts by the wife and other people to contact the guy in OZ to ask him for some monetary help were totally ignored. Never ever heard from him.

 

 

I'm putting your unethical comment back on you because that's what you said. I'm not recommending being creative with paperwork if it's not necessary but to imply there are morality issues at stake is taking it too far in the example I gave. We are talking about people who can't afford to meet the financial criteria for a visa using an agent to get round their problem. With so many sick people in this world, I'm not going to call that immoral and I don't think you should either.

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2 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

An earlier post suggested agents pay for a "fake" bank-letter.  I don't think this is (usually) how it is done.  But I completely agree with your logic on how the "waive the seasoning" rule would be used.  But many report not receiving this when in favorable circumstances (illness, one-day short, tiny-bit under for a day, etc). 

 

An investigation would definitely be able to find stacks of applications with no money-seasoning shown, and then trace up to some "excessive spending" by those in the supervisory chain of those applications.  But given these agent-offers are public and ongoing for decades, it would appear that the "investigators" are in the recipient-chain.  How could they plausibly "not know" this was ongoing?

 

The only security someone using this to get a visa has, is the knowledge that for him to go down, those who took the money to waive the seasoning for years (not low-level IOs) would be caught-out as well.  I'm definitely not recommending this casino-bet, even if the odds of problems are slim because, at the least, banning would be likely.

I nearly chose to go down that route last year because it was more convenient at the time but I'm glad I didn't. I have an acquaintance who did and when 2 immigration officials at Bangkok were moved to inactive posts recently because it had been discovered they were 'helping' people who could not meet the financial requirements for marriage and retirement visas, he spent a few sleepless nights. The stupid thing is, he could easily have transferred 800k to a bank here when he applied for his retirement visa but he decided not to. I would never look down on or criticise people who do it because they have run out of other options but in his case, it was difficult to sympathise.

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7 hours ago, Mark1066 said:

 I have an acquaintance who did and when 2 immigration officials at Bangkok were moved to inactive posts recently because it had been discovered they were 'helping' people who could not meet the financial requirements for marriage and retirement visas, he spent a few sleepless nights. 

do you have a source for this or is it just speculation?

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2 hours ago, notamember said:
9 hours ago, Mark1066 said:

 I have an acquaintance who did and when 2 immigration officials at Bangkok were moved to inactive posts recently because it had been discovered they were 'helping' people who could not meet the financial requirements for marriage and retirement visas, he spent a few sleepless nights. 

do you have a source for this or is it just speculation?

I would guess they were doing their "help" outside the standard pyramid-payment-scheme of the agent system.  If an offer of this sort is not in the tens of thousands of baht (enough to cover the full recipient-chain), it is likely a freelance-offer.

 

2 hours ago, KittenKong said:

As mentioned, extensions obtained this way are entirely authentic and entirely valid. I dont think that they are in any way based on fake documents, nor do I think that they can be rescinded for such, nor do I think that the passport holder is doing anything fraudulent by getting one this way. At worst he could be accused of conspiracy to bribe a public official, but it would be very hard to prove this in a county where agents and go-betweens exist and thrive in absolutely every domain.

The foreigner could plausibly claim ignorance - but I don't think that would avoid his extension being labeled invalid if a "one day loan" was evident in his banking-history - hence technically "in overstay" - and from there, the ban.  Many have gotten into trouble due to an IO's stamping-error, which was simply an "error," and in no way the visitor's fault.  But it's impossible to say how it would all shake-out.

 

But for any of that to happen, someone way up the chain would have to run an internal-investigation, forfeiting their income-stream from the activity, and affecting those with a rank sufficient to quash such an investigation. 

 

When you consider that there is an attitude that allows a "buy a visa" program to exist, it follows that "bought annual extensions" would not encounter any objection on-principle, which further reduces the likelihood of this practice going away. 

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5 hours ago, notamember said:

do you have a source for this or is it just speculation?

No it’s not speculation, it was in the Bangkok Post on October 5th. I don’t make things up.

Edited by Mark1066
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very interesting that this topic comes up now , iv just got my third extension on retirement two days ago .

done by my lawyer in CM.

the price went up from 23000thb last year to 35000thb this time , but , i didnt need to even have a bank account this time , just passport and extra photos. 

i was abit surprised myself , but my lawyer told me no problem , its all good , we use our bank account for letter to immigration ,and thats what the extra charge is for . totally worth it .

so , go figure that one . 

 

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