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Thoughts on non-O retirement via agent...


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Early-retired UK citizen (over 50 year old) and I have travelled in and out of Thailand numerous times over the years - years ago on visa exempt or business visa.  After I married a Thai in 2015 I always used the 12 month Multi-Entry Non-O Visa ('visiting family') issued in London which allowed up to three months in the country.  This was convenient because it was pretty quick and easy to get and we travelled around a lot and so never in Thailand for more than a couple of months at a time.

Of course London stopped issuing the 12 month ME Non-O (in 2019 IIRC) and then along came COVID.  Wife and I have been in UK since April 2020.  We are hoping to get back to Thailand for a three-month visit early next year and so I have to apply for a 90 day Non-O ('visiting family') via eVISA system.

 

Looking to the future we would like to travel back and forth between properties in UK and Thailand, probably staying in Thailand more than three months on occasions (I can imagine Nov. - Mar. in Thailand - 5 months).  A non-O based on retirement with a re-entry permit looks like the best option ??  I have a pretty decent pension (UK government employee) but I don't want to be making monthly credits to my Thai bank when I am out of the country.  And I am very much opposed to the idea of depositing 800k THB in a Thai bank - with rising inflation across the globe I would prefer to have the money invested somewhere rather than 'donating' it to the Thai banking system - even with a very risk-averse strategy I have returned just over 10% on my money over the last 24 months. 

 

So there seem to be a couple of options:

1. My wife has a few millions THB in her Thai bank accounts and is agreeable to keeping 800k in an account in my name.  Would this work or do immigration check the source of the money?

2. Use an agent.  Are there any downsides to this apart from the cost? - and what kind of cost are we looking at?

 

Any other suggestions?  Basically I want the least hassle and maximum flexibility to come and go as I please.  I am aware of the Elite visa, but it seems more aimed at those under 50 who can't get a retirement or family visa and I guess the cost of it would pay for a lot of agent applications.

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Something for nothing...?

 

The opportunity cost of the 800K in the bank is not an unreasonable price to pay to be able to live in Thailand with next to no hazzle. It is not a human right to live wherever we choose without any cost to ourselves. My opinion only, YMMV.

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57 minutes ago, HappyExpat57 said:

I always say using an agent should be the last course of action. Its legality is a grey area and if Thailand one day decided to clamp down with no warning (easily within the government's attitude towards us "dirty farangs") people could be left in a very bad place with little options left available to them.

Actually agents are not in the grey area! I know a lot of persons myself who use agents only because they want to deal with the government as less as possible. But they have all requirement. only use the agent to wait in line, and help and check the documents. 

But yes, I guess there are also a few (maybe more) who use the agents because they can not or not want to fullfill with the money aspects!

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You don't need an agent since you have the ability to put 800k baht in the bank.

You could apply for a extension of stay based upon marriage to a Thai that only requires 400k baht ihe bank. It also does not have the same rules for keeping the 800/400k baht in the bank requirements after you apply for it,

It would be easier to apply for a single entry non-o visa based upon marriage than the one for retirement.

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OP, clearly your aware of the options.

Thinking that you want affirmation that using an agent is OK and safe. It is, however you have other options and imo it's not difficult. 

The one option you did not highlight is extensions based on marriage. 

That only requires 400k for 2 months in bank plus under consideration period. That can then be used. Have your wife put 400k into bank account in your name and leave it ongoing. It's possible for her to have legal access to those funds (separate topic). 

With proper timing and reentry permit this is a simple ongoing deal. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, HappyExpat57 said:

I always say using an agent should be the last course of action. Its legality is a grey area and if Thailand one day decided to clamp down with no warning (easily within the government's attitude towards us "dirty farangs") people could be left in a very bad place with little options left available to them.

Using agent is for those who can not provide the correct papers on their financial status, to lazy to do it themselves, or they of other reasons do not manage to do it themselves. 

 

Im to lazy to do it my self, so my gf do everything, and for that reason Im bound to her for life 😉

 

When first started with an agent, are you stuck with an agent, or can you for next visa start doing it by yourself without restart the whole process? 

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4 minutes ago, Hummin said:

When first started with an agent, are you stuck with an agent, or can you for next visa start doing it by yourself without restart the whole process? 

If you use an agent to take care of the financial proof for a extension based upon retirement you will have to keep using them unless your leave the country and start all over again with a new non-o visa. You would  not have proof of the 800k baht in the bank for 3 months after your previous application and then 400k baht until you top up the account to 800k baht 2 months before the extension application.

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7 minutes ago, Hummin said:

When first started with an agent, are you stuck with an agent, or can you for next visa start doing it by yourself without restart the whole process? 

If the OP, decides to use an agent, then the non O and extensions would be done based on retirement.

He can easily decide to do it himself in the future however would require him to have funds in the bank for one year prior to applying for extension. 

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33 minutes ago, HampiK said:

Actually agents are not in the grey area! I know a lot of persons myself who use agents only because they want to deal with the government as less as possible. But they have all requirement. only use the agent to wait in line, and help and check the documents. 

But yes, I guess there are also a few (maybe more) who use the agents because they can not or not want to fullfill with the money aspects!

Everyone I know who uses an agent is cuz they don't have the monthly income or 800k to put in the bank. Yes, I don't know everybody in Thailand, but I would bet my bottom satang that more people use agents because they don't have the resources rather than the inconvenience of doing it themselves.

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9 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

If you use an agent to take care of the financial proof for a extension based upon retirement you will have to keep using them unless your leave the country and start all over again with a new non-o visa. You would  not have proof of the 800k baht in the bank for 3 months after your previous application and then 400k baht until you top up the account to 800k baht 2 months before the extension application.

not necessarily, you could put 800k in for the whole year before the extension

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3 minutes ago, HappyExpat57 said:

Everyone I know who uses an agent is cuz they don't have the monthly income or 800k to put in the bank. Yes, I don't know everybody in Thailand, but I would bet my bottom satang that more people use agents because they don't have the resources rather than the inconvenience of doing it themselves.

I agree that most use agent because they cannot meet the financials, however there are many that use an agent for other reasons. 

One seriously rich chap I know uses an agent for everything.

He laughs at me with my 850k in FD Thai bank account for extensions retirement. 

The opportunity cost is a non brainer reason to use an agent.

In any event the OP can make that call for himself.

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4 minutes ago, scubascuba3 said:

not necessarily, you could put 800k in for the whole year before the extension

Could you explain how that would work if you used an agent that did not really put 800k baht in the bank when the extension was done. and then left it there for a year.l

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2 hours ago, Lite Beer said:

No need for dodgy agents.

Easy and cheap to do it yourself.

Filling one form out taking less than 3 minutes, going to the office yourself and paying 1900 baht seems a challenge to some, you do not need agents if you have the funds. For one thing I would never trust somebody else with my passport, the risk of it being lost would be too stressful.

Edited by clivebaxter
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@HauptmannUK

 

The cons of using agent is that if a new immigration head comes in and do an auditing, you might be blacklisted for 'falsifying documents'.

 

Another con is you have to use the agent continuously without stopping for many years because they need to see the past 12 months bank statement if you decide to go the legal way.

 

So if your past 12 months bank statement doesn't show the required money, they will be questioning how you got the renewal in the first place.

 

Edited by EricTh
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4 hours ago, scubascuba3 said:

The non imm O retirement via agent could one day be stopped, unlikely but possible, Big Joke tried to stop it and he was taken down. Cost for 15 months non imm O plus retirement extension 25,000,  26,000 single entry, 29,000 multi entry, then yearly 12,500,  13,500 single, 16,500 multi.

 

I switched to 800k method as i decided to leave cash in the bank in case of medical emergency

 

Was that the main reason Big Joke got taken down? Where did you get this info from?

 

 

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Just now, clivebaxter said:

Filling one form out taking less than 3 minutes, going to the office yourself and paying 1900 baht seems a challenge to some, you do not need agents if you have the funds. For one thing I would neve trust somebody else with my passport, the risk of it being lost would be too stressful.

lol why would I want to lose money by keeping 800k in a Thai bank account getting zero interest when I can get at least 10% pa by investing it wisely? that's just plain silly

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10 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

Could you explain how that would work if you used an agent that did not really put 800k baht in the bank when the extension was done. and then left it there for a year.l

the logic is Immigration will check approx the last year, they aren't going to go back several years when originally you got the non imm O, remember they are signing the 800k off every year

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8 minutes ago, EricTh said:

 

Was that the main reason Big Joke got taken down? Where did you get this info from?

 

 

Probably several reason around that time, but at that time he was big on cracking down on agents, bringing in the financial 3 month check and the seasoning changes, all that did was push more people to use agents

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14 minutes ago, Lemsta69 said:

lol why would I want to lose money by keeping 800k in a Thai bank account getting zero interest when I can get at least 10% pa by investing it wisely? that's just plain silly

That would only work if a person used an agent and put the 800k baht in the bank themselves before the application  was done. Then they would only need the meet the rules for next year and do it themselves.

The cost of the agent though might be more than what it would cost to leave and re-enter the country.

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21 minutes ago, Lemsta69 said:

lol why would I want to lose money by keeping 800k in a Thai bank account getting zero interest when I can get at least 10% pa by investing it wisely? that's just plain silly

where can you get 10%?  getting an extension illegally from another province by paying a bribe seems rather silly to me

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41 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

That would only work if a person used an agent and put the 800k baht in the bank themselves before the application  was done. Then they would only need the meet the rules for next year and do it themselves.

The cost of the agent though might be more than what it would cost to leave and re-enter the country.

So if you paid an agent to get the Non O and the 1 year extension (15 Months) and then deposited 800,000 baht or had 65,000 baht per month coming into a Thai bank account for more than 12 of those 15 months the following year you could do it yourself ? 

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2 hours ago, DrJack54 said:

If the OP, decides to use an agent, then the non O and extensions would be done based on retirement.

He can easily decide to do it himself in the future however would require him to have funds in the bank for one year prior to applying for extension. 

Or embassy letter statement of income!

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52 minutes ago, LoeiI said:

So if you paid an agent to get the Non O and the 1 year extension (15 Months) and then deposited 800,000 baht or had 65,000 baht per month coming into a Thai bank account for more than 12 of those 15 months the following year you could do it yourself ? 

If you have the money in the bank or proof of income for the first first extension you do not need an agent to provide the proof of money in the bank. You could find an agent to assist with the applications if you wanted to.

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2 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

You don't need an agent since you have the ability to put 800k baht in the bank.

You could apply for a extension of stay based upon marriage to a Thai that only requires 400k baht ihe bank. It also does not have the same rules for keeping the 800/400k baht in the bank requirements after you apply for it,

It would be easier to apply for a single entry non-o visa based upon marriage than the one for retirement.

I'm in absolute agreement with that. Why tie up 800K Baht for much of the year when you only need to tie up 400K for 2 or 3 months?

 

True, the paperwork is just a little more complicated, but it is not difficult and once you're used to it, it's easy. IMO definitely the O/Ps best option.

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3 hours ago, clivebaxter said:

where can you get 10%?  getting an extension illegally from another province by paying a bribe seems rather silly to me

 

I would like to get that 10% without any risk. Stock markets doesn't guarantee profit.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Moonlover said:

I'm in absolute agreement with that. Why tie up 800K Baht for much of the year when you only need to tie up 400K for 2 or 3 months?

 

True, the paperwork is just a little more complicated, but it is not difficult and once you're used to it, it's easy. IMO definitely the O/Ps best option.

There are two categories of people, one richer and one poorer.

 

For the richer ones, putting 800k isn't a problem but for the poorer ones, having a marriage visa is more suitable.

Edited by EricTh
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