By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
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Jun
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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

gerefan wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 6:01 pm
1. At the moment I can get a 90 day visa on line in the UK. Takes a few minutes. Charge is similar to the 1900 baht cost at Immigration ......but none of the hassle and the waste of a day.
Agreed.
To be fair, they have also simplified it, so there is no need to post the passport to the embassy any more. So a step in the right direction.
They could simplify it even further, since for some of us, their records ought to show my passport, a passport photo of me, numerous immigration photos of me plus several copies of my fingerprints.
So with all that, the form ought to virtually auto populate and give me an instant visa approval.

gerefan wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 6:01 pm
2. Why not just give everyone 90 days on arrival? Thais, or anyone else, visiting the UK automatically get 6 months. Why not reciprocate?
I think it's fairly difficult for Thais to get a UK visa ? I must try sometime.
I'm not quite sure about the idea of giving everyone from low income countries 90 days on arrival. It will just be another path for informal workers.
However, I see no reason at all why Thailand could not give those from high GDP countries 90 days, or preferably more on arrival. Just set a limit of 182 days per year before they have to apply for the resident visas.
No border runs, no counting of border runs, no different policies for different borders etc. Just a simple limit on the number of days. Checked on the immigration computer.

gerefan wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 6:01 pm
3. It’s all about the money at the end of the day.
There's no legitimate reason why they can't raise the money via visa fees.
Longer visas, longer fees. No need to visit immigration.

Of course, the real reason why they have limits is for the tea money when people want to exceed those. As you know, when I was wanting to extend my last stay by about 3 weeks beyond the 90, there was no above board route, however I could have got a "solution" via an agency for 14,000 baht.

Gaybutton wrote:
Wed Aug 10, 2022 6:47 am
I wish the authorities would start considering how much more expats could contribute to Thailand's economy if they would release us from being forced to keep 800,000 baht just sitting there in a Thai bank account. It has to be in the account 5 months out of the year. Even during months when some of it can be spent, the account can never drop below 400,000 baht - and has to be brought back up to 800,000 before the deadline.
As we all know, the purpose of the savings is to prove people are solvent. Either prove income or prove there is a lump sum in a bank.

If they didn't have a requirement to keep the money in the bank for long term, people could borrow the money or pull all sorts of similar tricks to make it look like they have the 800,000 baht. How would you stop people doing that ?
If they remove the requirement totally, they will just attract more people who have neither the income nor the savings.
So assuming you accept the need to prove either income or assets, what system would be appropriate for the latter ?

Admittedly, the solution proposed for extending my stay beyond 90 days was a bent retirement visa. Including opening a bank account, crediting it with 800k for a very short period of time from the agency and somehow getting immigration to accept this, even though the money hadn't been there the required length of time. So even the current rules can be circumvented. I suspect the agency fee incorporated some tea money.
(I did not take this option).

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 7:11 pm
assuming you accept the need to prove either income or assets, what system would be appropriate for the latter ?
Seems simple enough to me. Remember when the proof-of-income statements from the embassies sufficed? I don't remember Thailand having any particular problems related to that and as far as I know that worked just fine for many years. But then they came up with their demand for more proof and it would be the responsibility of the embassies to get it. The embassies wouldn't or couldn't deal with that, so that was the end of the proof-of-income statements. I see no reason why they can't go back to the old rules and let the embassies give us those statements again.

Another thing they could do is give us an acceptable guarantee that if we can prove the 65,000 baht per month income, then that won't change. Many of us could easily prove it, but many are afraid to do it because there is nothing to prevent immigration from changing that rule any time they want. For me, and I think many others, stick to the 800,000 baht method for just that reason - there is no guarantee that the rules won't suddenly change.

Some of us may remember that at Pattaya immigration when the embassies stopped giving the proof-of-income statements, we were being told the only thing immigration will accept for retirement visas is the 800,000 baht, despite the fact that the 65,000 baht per month method was still perfectly legal. I don't know if other immigration offices were doing the same thing, but it certainly drove home the fact that different immigration offices follow their own rules and often just make them up, even if the law says the opposite of what they're doing - and if we fall victim to it there's not much we can do about it. I'm not about to live with that kind of Sword of Damocles hanging over my head.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Undaunted »

All the U.S.embassy would have needed to continue income verification was to see your tax return.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 8:23 pm
Remember when the proof-of-income statements from the embassies sufficed?
Another thing they could do is give us an acceptable guarantee that if we can prove the 65,000 baht per month income, then that won't change.
Ah, well how to prove income is a different matter. Ideally any reasonable evidence of income would do.

Whilst I'm not living in Thailand right now, if I ever did, it would be most likely on the 800,000 baht savings method. Whilst I meet the income requirement, getting them to accept income from dividends and rent sounds like way too much trouble.

Now for anyone who is using the 800,000 baht method, if they remove the duration requirement, how do they stop people taking short term loans, or other such fiddles ?
I don't entirely like the idea that they want this in a bank account either, so no option for a stockmarket fund.



Also, unfortunately I don't know of many governments in the world that provide guarantees the rules won't change.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by 2lz2p »

Undaunted wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 9:58 pm
All the U.S.embassy would have needed to continue income verification was to see your tax return.
Give me a few minutes and I can produce an income tax return form showing whatever I want it to show.

Although I don't like defending the US Embassy's decision not to continue providing "income" letters for Immigration, I can certainly understand why they would not want to try to verify a person's documents considering the myriad types of documents that could be used.

Also, as with an income tax return, with a good computer and printer, an official looking document can be made to show whatever you want it to show.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

2lz2p wrote:
Sat Aug 13, 2022 8:57 am
Also, as with an income tax return, with a good computer and printer, an official looking document can be made to show whatever you want it to show.
That is one of the reasons I am afraid to go back to the 65,000 baht per month method. If Thailand decides not to accept legitimate proof of income documents on the basis that it might me tampered with or forged, then everybody will end up forced onto the 800,000 baht method.

What bothers me about the entire process and reasoning behind it is the underlying assumption that so many people will be dishonest and try to cheat that they have no choice other than to use these methods.

Don't forget that the 800,000 baht is there to guarantee that if something unforeseen happens, the money is there to take care of it. But for 5 months of the year if you touch so much as 1 baht of it, you have violated the terms of your retirement visa. You better hope if an emergency happens, it happens during the other 7 months when you can at least use 400,000 baht of it and can replenish it at least 2 months prior to the next time you need to extend your retirement visa..

I resent the assumption that so many people will cheat. While I am aware that a few people do, I see no evidence whatsoever that it is anything more than that, not enough to justify virtually punishing the honest people for what the dishonest people do. It's a bad system and in this day and age of computer technology, it seems to me they could come up with something better.

In any case, I wish Thailand would come up with some other method of checking and verifying that expats have the means to support themselves and release us from being forced to keep 800,000 baht - at present exchange rates the current equivalent of approximately US $23,000 - just sitting there in a Thai bank account.

There must be a better way and Thailand ought to be trying to come up with that better way.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:09 am
What bothers me about the entire process and reasoning behind it is the underlying assumption that so many people will be dishonest and try to cheat that they have no choice other than to use these methods.
Whilst I wouldn't like to try, I'm sure people could get by in Thailand on quite a bit less than 65,000 per month.
Therefore there would be an incentive for some to cheat & Thailand would have a significant number of low budget expats who are cheating. Still a minority, but from what I gather, not the type of people who Thailand is trying to attract.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Sat Aug 13, 2022 3:31 pm
not the type of people who Thailand is trying to attract.
Of course not. But Thailand is trying to attract people who have money and are willing to spend it in Thailand. That's where expats come in, or at least ought to come in. While Thailand obviously doesn't want to attract people living on bare minimal incomes, I believe the vast majority of expats living in Thailand do have the means to support themselves, do have adequate medical insurance, are being honest with immigration and follow all the rules. That is precisely why I think everyone would be much better off if they would drop the 800,000 baht requirement and let us start spending that money in Thailand rather than just sitting there in a bank account. Better for Thailand and better for the expats. And Thailand would have far more money going into the economy as opposed to the money being forced to remain in bank accounts and nothing from that going into the Thai economy.

Thailand is looking for much more money going into their economy. What are we then, the "Forgotten Expats"?

For me the bottom line is Thailand needs to find a better way of doing this - for their benefit as well as ours.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Brits say they are confused by latest Thai visa news

By Barry Kenyon

August 20, 2022

The news that from October 1 British tourists will be visa-exempt and able to obtain for free 45 days on arrival without any paperwork is causing some scratching of heads. At present they can obtain 30 days free on arrival, but can extend at local Thai immigration offices a further 30 days (total 60) on payment of 1,900 baht or five pounds. The new regulations don’t specify how many days can be added to the 45 for longer stayers.

The latest revision applies to almost 60 countries in addition to UK, including the United States, most of mainland Europe and Australia. A spokesman for Thai immigration, answering a hotline enquiry, said that no clarification was yet available on the extension to 45 days. However, she thought it likely the matter would be addressed on publication in the Royal Gazette in coming days. “The issue is important,” according to the UK-based Expat Explore, “because if the extension is a further 45 days, there will be no need for our clients to obtain prior visas at Thai embassies.”

A further area of ambiguity is whether those arriving without a prior visa must show evidence of an airticket to the next destination. Thai immigration has an old standing rule that these tourists should show proof of their exit, although it is rarely enforced these days. However, some airlines have been known to refuse boarding to travellers without a visa or to require them to purchase a new and separate ticket out of Thailand. Reports in Thai social media suggest that “what’s your next destination?” rules have collapsed as the pressure grows to maximize the number of visitors after the Covid pandemic. It’s a classic bums-on-seats scenario.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, the top committee headed by the Thai prime minister, has also improved the tourist lot of other 19 countries – including India and China – who are not visa exempt but currently receive 15 days at the airport by filling in paperwork and paying a fee. From October 1, they will receive 30 days but their extension will be limited to a further seven days on payment of 1,900 baht and is a warning they must now leave. Although Chinese tour groups are still banned by Beijing for health reasons, Indians now constitute the largest number of arrivals at Bangkok airports on a daily basis. Their favorite destination is Pattaya as the number of Indian restaurants in the resort is now once again approaching 70.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ews-407270

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by gerefan »

As a Brit I’m interested in this but it’s crap.

At the moment I can get a 90 day visa electronically from the Embassy before I leave. It’s roughly the same price as an extension but none of the hassle of going to Immigration. I intend to do that rather than use their proposed system.

The article says the visa extension is 1900 baht or 5 UK Pounds. WRONG... it’s nine times that.

1900 baht is currently £45.23...but then it is a newspaper article.

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