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Enormous Shakeup Of Visa And Immigration Rules


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Some twenty years ago, I used to visit Nepal to go the Himalayan mountains.

Their rule was that you could only be a tourist in their country for 180 days in any one year.

It makes sense for any country to prevent people being unwelcome de-facto residents by using back-to-back tourist visas.

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Your guessing?? that don't mean much..

I think they will look and see that you have the 800,000 in the bank 3 months before and that's it. They will for sure check that it is all there. These are not new regulations, they are just going to enforce the ones on the book.

I just did my 90 report today and all they did this time was stamp the back of the previous 90 day report to report back again in 90 days!! No forms, no copies and juts 1 minute here in Phuket.

Guess some of us will need to visit the loan shark 3 months in advance and juts pay the interest LOL

Anyone want to take bets when they will bring back the tax clearance after 180 days as before???

Lifelover; I agree - 1M Baht then....

I am guessing they will not "count each Baht" but rather check the history of the finances by looking in the bank book - and within resonable consumption range/amounts accept it. Intention of the rule is clearly to stop the "borrow 800k for a few days and cheat the system"-applicants.

But it remains to be seen.

Cheers!

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Interesting that tourist visas will now be valid for a full 90 days. That saves the 1 mth extension fee of 1900 Baht (2 mth+1 mth). I presume a tourist visa costs about that 2000 Baht. I.e. for the 30 day visa runner/2 times tourist visa the costs just fell 3800 Baht compared to the 2+1 system.

Investment visa: glad that they will grand-father renewals.

Cheers!

The single entry used to cost 1000 Baht, and we paid in multiples of 1000 Baht for each addional entry allowed.

With more frequent flights to neighboring countries necessary to secure tourist visas, the overall costs have probably gone up.

The BIG question on my mind is whether it will be possible to secure many back to back tourist visas in, for example, Penang before they decide you've stayed in Thailand long enough and it's time for a break. It's not a big deal to go for a quick trip every 3 or 6 months to get a visa, but I'm not confident that this process can be continued indefinitely.

The new regulations making it more difficult for a man to stay in Thailand with his Thai wife might be doing a lot of men a big favour by reducing the amount of frivolous marriages.

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Phuketrichard; yeah - guess is all we can do. Your guess might be the right one. The 90 day reporting has nothing to do with checking financial requirements and has always been easy. Can even be done by mail.

Tropo; yeah, the visarunner-cost have gone up, but not really that much? Before 12 x 2000 = 24k/year. Now maybe 2 airasia flights of 5k+hotel+1000 Baht visa + 6 x 2000k = so maybe 30k/year instead?

But as you mention; question remains whether they will allow all those tourist visas/stamps in the passports after a while. Recent reports seem to indicate it is getting harder...

Cheers!

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I wonder what the future for the Condo, market will be? With no more investment visa's being issued, and no new threshold set, who in their right minds, is going to buy a Condo, and those who's stay is based on such an investment, will be trapped, into holding on to theirs. How many Thais opt for Condos over houses?

market for condos for foreigners was overheated anyway especially since so many were skirting the law by selling 100% to foreigners e.g. most of the low grade developments in Pattaya. Better a correction now to 'fair values' than a bubble needing to be burst when prices are running at 150,000b per sq. m for View Talay slum developments.

Check out LPN et al; aimed solidly at Thais and doing pretty well too. no effect on the markets there.

For all your comments about someone here 27 years somewhere else; if they WANT to meet the requirements then apply for citizenship they can. Otherwise they can do the yearly renewal. Up to them.

As to the tone of this whole article ' 'will affect most farang???!' I doubt it. Of the people I know, I can only think of 1 that comes here regularly and will now need to get a visa; the rest either have WPs, visit infrequently or have PR/citizenship.

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I want to know how they intend on enforcing the 3 months money must be in your bank.

first I always assumed that the 800,000 was to be deposited into my bank and then I draw on it through out the year at 65,000/month so when time comes to renew I place the fresh money to top it up. NOW I will need to make sure I have 800,000 in the bank 3 months BEFORE I apply and not use any of it so I need to bring in over 950,000 3 months before the visa is up .

PLUS what if my extension is up this month or next month and as of now I don't have 800,000 in the bank.

will i be refused and given 7 days to sell my house, sell my car, pull my daughter out of international school, pack all my stuff and leave??

TOT

Hi

Everybody keeps refering to the Baht 800,000 deposit however if you are married to a Thai spouse it is in fact Baht 400,000 as per OP.

IMHO I think that the majority of farangs who are genuinely committed to Thailand fall into this category.

See extract...

The so called married man’s visa.

This allows the foreign, legal spouse of a Thai national to extend a non-immigrant visa for up to 12 months from the date of the last entry into Thailand. The minimum cash in a Thai bank is 400,000 baht. As with the retirement variant, checks will be made in future to ensure that the cash is not simply put in a bank and then removed. This visa is issued in Bangkok only and, during the waiting period, checks can be made by immigration police at your bank to see if there has been a big cash withdrawal! If the funds have disappeared, you may be ordered to leave Thailand in 7 days. Local immigration officers will also visit your home to verify that you really do live together as man and wife.

So in fact reduction in deposit. Apologies if this has been covered already but I have lost the will to read all the postings :o

TBWG :D

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and what can I do? I'm only 41. I get money from an invalidity insurance, approved by the embassy. At the moment I have a Non-B visa, which I want to change to Non-O, because I can't work anymore, that's why I get the money...and last week they told me at the immig. off. that I can invest the 3 mio. or because I have a son who's going to school here, I can go out, get an non-O when he gets a non-immigrant-educational visa based on a paper from the school he visits.

He's born in Thailand, he never left the country, he doesn't need any visa until he's 15 (they told me 1 year ago).

I'm bit confused of so many different infos from the same office.... :o

It starts to be very difficult for younger people to stay in thailand...

Hope some1 can help me with an acceptable solution.

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In addition you seem to mistakenly believe that Thais do not like condos..? That is certainly NOT the case - in fact, as you probably know no apartment building can have more than 49% foreign ownership, so who do you think own the rest? (here we are talking the fancier/foreigner style ones - there are many more buildings with 100% Thai ownership - why would there be if they do not like condos?).

Cheers!

Well, most if not all of the newer, fancier condos fall in one of the following three groups:

Some were finished before April 2004, therefore allowing 100% foreign ownership.

Some are owned by 49% foreigners and 51% "Thai companies"

Some are owned by rich Thais as a means of speculation as well as rental purposes.

I know quite a few Condo buildings in Pattaya, but hardly see any Thai family or Single living there!

Sunny

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Ferret; the 3 M baht investment visa has now been stopped - so forget that for now.

If your son is Thai (half) then you can try to obtain a non-o based on that - based on your indication that he needs visa (education) and later that he only needs when 15....and then you say that he is born in Thailand - I am slightly confused on this option though...

But you are right - being single under 50 with income from investments/pension/savings abroad is not a niche that the current emmigration rules cater for.

Cheers!

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I have never felt hard-done-by that Thailand wanted me to have a reserve of money, or a guaranteed income, that would keep us provided for. I would even accept 'and' in place of 'or'.

Long ago when I was a lad, we were brought up to have 'something put by for a rainy day', and that has continued to make sense to me.

The thing I don't like, though, is having to keep it lying in the bank account. I would much rather have it in little gold bars in my safety-deposit box in the bank. The gold price fluctuates, but it does keep up with inflation, whereas cash loses purchasing power all the time.

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Marttaff; you are fine. 65000 B/mth OR 800k in bank. Cheers!

PLUS what if my extension is up this month or next month and as of now I don't have 800,000 in the bank.

will i be refused and given 7 days to sell my house, sell my car, pull my daughter out of international shcool, pack all my stuff and leave??

Given the timing, I wouldn't expect that to be enforced to the letter. Also (I may be wrong) but I think that there is a certain amount of individual discretion on the part of the officials. So in some cases certain restrictions would be overlooked - or an appropriate extension would be given to allow one to meet the requirements.

I am getting confused over the 'retirement' visa. If you are receiving 65,000 per month pension, do you still need to show 800,000 in the Bank? or will the proof of income be enough. On extension If they check the bank and find it empty will they also accept the income of 65,000.

Forgive my confusion but it all seems bits and pieces to me.

Thanx Firefan...I feel an easing of the mind :o

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@SCRATT UA.

you are below 50 and have money, you get 10 year RESIDENCE VISA without hassle, money under table or however.

Mon 02 Oct 06, 5:33 p.m.

You have hit the nail on the head Lapamita! IF you have the money! It's a mighty big "if" for an enormous number of people. Looking back at the thousands of posts on this subject over the years, the only really substantive issue is money. Now, as in the past, if you have some money, you can get what you want, whether it is via retirement, marriage, investment, starting some kind of company (genuine or just on paper), or whatever the next loophole will be. Granted, your description of the Malaysia rules seem a lot more generous, however, if you have the 3 M baht that Malaysia requires, you are not going to have any problems finding a way to stay in Thailand if that is your preference. No one in their right mind would do monthly visa runs or other indignities if they could afford a more elegant solution.

Aloha,

Rex

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I want to know how they intend on enforcing the 3 months money must be in your bank.

first I always assumed that the 800,000 was to be deposited into my bank and then I draw on it through out the year at 65,000/month so when time comes to renew I place the fresh money to top it up. NOW I will need to make sure I have 800,000 in the bank 3 months BEFORE I apply and not use any of it so I need to bring in over 950,000 3 months before the visa is up .

PLUS what if my extension is up this month or next month and as of now I don't have 800,000 in the bank.

will i be refused and given 7 days to sell my house, sell my car, pull my daughter out of international school, pack all my stuff and leave??

TOT

Hi

Everybody keeps refering to the Baht 800,000 deposit however if you are married to a Thai spouse it is in fact Baht 400,000 as per OP.

IMHO I think that the majority of farangs who are genuinely committed to Thailand fall into this category.

See extract...

The so called married man’s visa.

This allows the foreign, legal spouse of a Thai national to extend a non-immigrant visa for up to 12 months from the date of the last entry into Thailand. The minimum cash in a Thai bank is 400,000 baht. As with the retirement variant, checks will be made in future to ensure that the cash is not simply put in a bank and then removed. This visa is issued in Bangkok only and, during the waiting period, checks can be made by immigration police at your bank to see if there has been a big cash withdrawal! If the funds have disappeared, you may be ordered to leave Thailand in 7 days. Local immigration officers will also visit your home to verify that you really do live together as man and wife.

So in fact reduction in deposit. Apologies if this has been covered already but I have lost the will to read all the postings :o

TBWG :D

I am not married anymore so have no thai wife. I do have a my half thai daughter in school here and I live here so... I can apply for the extension based supporting a thai national on that as well but it is ONLY done in Bangkok ( as is the marriage one).

I have been here for over 22 years. part of the time on a work permit, part on marriage visa, part on tourists visas, now for 6 years on a retirement extension. You call that committed or ....

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PLUS what if my extension is up this month or next month and as of now I don't have 800,000 in the bank.

will i be refused and given 7 days to sell my house, sell my car, pull my daughter out of international shcool, pack all my stuff and leave??

Given the timing, I wouldn't expect that to be enforced to the letter. Also (I may be wrong) but I think that there is a certain amount of individual discretion on the part of the officials. So in some cases certain restrictions would be overlooked - or an appropriate extension would be given to allow one to meet the requirements.

I am getting confused over the 'retirement' visa. If you are receiving 65,000 per month pension, do you still need to show 800,000 in the Bank? or will the proof of income be enough. On extension If they check the bank and find it empty will they also accept the income of 65,000.

Forgive my confusion but it all seems bits and pieces to me.

The notorized letter from your embassy along with copies of every page of your bamk book and a letter from the bank where you opened your account replaces the need for 800,000 baht requirement.

They will examine you bank deposits to show that money is flowing into your account, it need not show a monthly deposit of 65,000 just the fact that you are living on the money that is being deposited into your account will suffice.

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Tropo; yeah, the visarunner-cost have gone up, but not really that much? Before 12 x 2000 = 24k/year. Now maybe 2 airasia flights of 5k+hotel+1000 Baht visa + 6 x 2000k = so maybe 30k/year instead?

But as you mention; question remains whether they will allow all those tourist visas/stamps in the passports after a while. Recent reports seem to indicate it is getting harder...

Cheers!

Firefan, when I do visa runs to Penang for example, I have to factor in a lot of additional costs eg. Taxi to and from the Airport. When I'm in Penang, I usually stay for at least 2 days and spend a lot of money on hotel, eating, shopping and transport. I know I could do this on a shoestring, but that's not my style lol. I go with my Filipino girlfriend.

On the other hand, I can consider this as a mini-vacation and not factor in the additional costs at all.

The fact that we cannot be confident about securing back-to-back visas is unsettling for me, because I rent a condo and need to know that I can at least stay out my lease. It certainly makes me think twice about buying too much stuff.

If things get too difficult in Thailand, I'll consider Malaysia as a place to settle. Penang has a certain charm.

Cheers.

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My main point was I do not see these visa changes affecting the condo market in general.

So you see a crash coming as the 30 day visa-runners now have to spend 5-10k more per year to go to penang for visa? I don't. They never bought the condos we are discussing here anyway.

The lack of investment visa? Nah, I never thought of that when I bought myself - and most foreign buyers will already have (good) job in Thailand, abroad(so only want to visit) or be ready for retirement (w. the visa).

Cheers!

In addition you seem to mistakenly believe that Thais do not like condos..? That is certainly NOT the case - in fact, as you probably know no apartment building can have more than 49% foreign ownership, so who do you think own the rest? (here we are talking the fancier/foreigner style ones - there are many more buildings with 100% Thai ownership - why would there be if they do not like condos?).

Cheers!

Well, most if not all of the newer, fancier condos fall in one of the following three groups:

Some were finished before April 2004, therefore allowing 100% foreign ownership.

Some are owned by 49% foreigners and 51% "Thai companies"

Some are owned by rich Thais as a means of speculation as well as rental purposes.

I know quite a few Condo buildings in Pattaya, but hardly see any Thai family or Single living there!

Sunny

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I agree with Lapamita that Malaysia seems to have much friendlier enviroment for inviting foreigners in. I presume that Thailand have found that they have reached a point where they will be more selective.

I still prefer to live in Thailand though.

Marquess; valid point. I do not think that many considered the investment visa when looking for apartment in Thailand. Most foreigners either have job in Thailand already, have job abroad and only plan to use for visits or plan to retire here (obtaining retirement visa).

Therefore there are still many foreigner groups that could be interested in buying a condo.

In addition you seem to mistakenly believe that Thais do not like condos..? That is certainly NOT the case - in fact, as you probably know no apartment building can have more than 49% foreign ownership, so who do you think own the rest? (here we are talking the fancier/foreigner style ones - there are many more buildings with 100% Thai ownership - why would there be if they do not like condos?).

Cheers!

I agree that there are a great many Thais who own apartments / condominiums. Having said that I believe that there are many Thais (female) who form relationships with expatriates and they do try to steer one towards a house on a plot of land.

This was the case from my personal experience and my wife would have dearly preferred a house because she was well aware that I could not own it and she could.

I was as deep in with this lady as anyone who marries a Thai but I still had some hesitation in putting my money into a house. We ended up with an apartment in my name.

I would say to her (taking out the possibility of separating / divorcing) but just where would I be if she were hit by a car. Where would this leave me. (if we purchased a house)

I wasn't familiar with ufastructs at that time.

The long and short of it was that we separated some time back and I am still in my apartment.

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PLUS what if my extension is up this month or next month and as of now I don't have 800,000 in the bank.

will i be refused and given 7 days to sell my house, sell my car, pull my daughter out of international shcool, pack all my stuff and leave??

Given the timing, I wouldn't expect that to be enforced to the letter. Also (I may be wrong) but I think that there is a certain amount of individual discretion on the part of the officials. So in some cases certain restrictions would be overlooked - or an appropriate extension would be given to allow one to meet the requirements.

I am getting confused over the 'retirement' visa. If you are receiving 65,000 per month pension, do you still need to show 800,000 in the Bank? or will the proof of income be enough. On extension If they check the bank and find it empty will they also accept the income of 65,000.

Forgive my confusion but it all seems bits and pieces to me.

The notorized letter from your embassy along with copies of every page of your bamk book and a letter from the bank where you opened your account replaces the need for 800,000 baht requirement.

They will examine you bank deposits to show that money is flowing into your account, it need not show a monthly deposit of 65,000 just the fact that you are living on the money that is being deposited into your account will suffice.

Your part right that the deposit replaces the 800,000 in the bank BUT it does need to be 65,000/month incoming...

What i don't exactly get is the combination part. say I have 40,000/month coming in and 400,000 in my bank. will that work?

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I look forward to the day, when some has the balls, to take the immigration department to the International Court in the Hague, for seperating a man from his legally wedded wife!

Good luck with that.. But be sure to bring a case against virtually every country in the world when you do it..

You don't get an automatic right to live in any country just because you are married to someone..

This has been the case since the middle ages almost.

I don't know what Hague will do about it but what you say is bull. Tell me one other country that does not allow you to live in it if you are married to one of their nationals.

This is allowed in all of the Americas, North and South and in all of Europe. Asia may be differen, Africa too, I don't have som much experiene there, but "virtually every country in the world" is just bull, pure unadulterated!

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Any advice appreciated for the following scenario:

I have a return ticket to Thailand duration 86 days. I intend to travel outside of the country during my stay, but have no proof of this.

If I turn up are immigration going to demand a visa with a validity in excess of 86 days?

Cheers,

Ace

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Am I right in thinking with my non-immigrtant O i still have to leave once every 90 days and renew the thing once a year?

Sounds about right but from what i understand im not sure if you will be able to renew it in Penang anymore . May have to go back to home country for the same thing etc ...........I have the same O but will change to a married visa when mine is near expiry . Still not too happy about all this change though ..........

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The notorized letter from your embassy along with copies of every page of your bamk book and a letter from the bank where you opened your account replaces the need for 800,000 baht requirement.

They will examine you bank deposits to show that money is flowing into your account, it need not show a monthly deposit of 65,000 just the fact that you are living on the money that is being deposited into your account will suffice.

I assume by that I must have a Thai bank account then

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Tourist Visa - Singapore (before OCT 1)

Having just been on 19 September to Singapore for a 60 day Tourist visa I noticed that the officials had written a comment by hand on the full page visa stamp.

It states that since June I had been getting my stamp in Cambodia, at the border. This seems to be some form of record keeping as to how many VOA i had or at least some form of check and since it was prior to OCT 1 it makes it unclear if previous stamps are counted or if everything begins on OCT 1....

/ff

post-7837-1159787132_thumb.jpg

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The Thai government seems to act at times as if it doenst want foreign investment unless the foreigner concerned stays out of the country! However the reality seems to be that the only real reason why people invest in Thailand is to be able to stake a claim to live there. I can see many problems arising from these new rules which wont necessarily be solved by getting a lawyer or paying the money. A big one relates to gay relationships as I believe I am correct in saying that thailand does not recognise gay unions in the same way as many european countries. For example in the UK you can apply for civil partnership visa and after a period of tiume to establish the relationship is real the thai national can gain the right to work and live in the UK permanently.

All countries (not just thailand of course) need to be pressured to open their borders and ease restrictions on movement - after all we are all world citizens and the concept of national borders is something which should be reducing in importance.

It is quite justifiable to pressure the country in which you live to change their rules - I happen to live in the UK and sure wish they would make life easier for us all.

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I would like to know why all the people living in thailand on a so called permanent basis do not become a citizen of Thailand and saves themselve the hazzle of forever obtaining vizas

Simple , cos its virtually impossible to get one as a foreigner :o

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One thing that seems to be a problem with the reitrement and married person's visas is the statement that they are "...to extend a non-immigrant visa for up to 12 months from the date of the last entry into Thailand."

So that would mean that if somebody were to enter Thailand on (say) January 1, and apply for a visa extension on December 30, they would get only a two day extension????

It seems as though there is a problem with the wording of the article. Agreed?

WELL WHAT THE U.S., ENGLAND and AUSTRALIA NEED TO DO IS TO MAKE IT EQUALLY HARD ON THAI PEOPLE IN THE ABOVE REFERENCED COUNTRIES. IN THE U.S. WHEN THAI PEOPLE ARE OVER-STAYED, THEY NO DOUBT GET TREATED TO A STEAK AND LOBSTER DINNER WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS ON THE BACK OF AMERICAN TAX PAYER CITIZENS. THE COUNTRIES IN THE WEST NEED TO TIGHTEN UP THE RULES FOR THAIS. BUT MY GUESS IS THAT AFTER A WHILE THINGS

WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL...THAT MEANS FRAUD, CORRUPTION, AND EXTORTION BEING THE MAIN STAY; THE ECONOMIC BASE.

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