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Immigration Woes


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1 hour ago, xyzzy said:

But I'm probably just being paranoid.   

I think in general, a little bit of paranoia isn’t a bad thing in Los for keeping life simple.  Presume the worst, expect the unexpected and be ready for the unforeseeable and anyone should be able to deal with most things that are thrown at us.  

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So, on a tourist visa you can still get the 60 days, but when you want the extra 30 days extension is where the problems start unless you stay at a place which has reported your stay with them?

Like redrock said, those damn visa-runs are insane. I don't wanna do another one. I'm happy I have survived 4 of them. Better to take a flight to Singapore or Vietnam.

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two land entries a year is ridiculous.  Unless  you are trying to keep away backpackers and people who might use Bangkok as a hub for SE travel. Are you sure about that? Few years ago it was this many entries per six months...then they ditched that. Lately it's "not too many in/outs"  Still don't know what too many is. Now people are worried about the money requirement (It's been on the books for years but I've never been asked about it). Now usually they come on strong then it's forgotten about but the fact is they are a PAIN IN THE ASS.  From one to another they can't agree on the regs.  It amounts to random enforcement and you gamble if you break this or that reg AND have to worry about if NOW they are starting to enforce this one, but not always. Pain in the ass. Now maybe "big joke" is trying to look good in his first days, but there is a LOT to be said for consistent regulation enforcement.  Letting it ALL slide until all one has to do is produce baht to get out of almost anything and then overnight busting some tourist for using HIS E cig is just...well, a good way to get people with more money than brains to visit.  They don't tell you how many shirts you can pack for your vacation, but they'll tell you what you can smoke and that you can only bring enough in to last a short time. And they don't carry my brand OR any type of snuff unless you can find Snus, which ain't quite the same.  Imagine pulling a 10 year hitch in jail for using an E cig. No civilized nation outlaws that OR shisha.  Maybe he's not a big joke, but the current situation is beginning to make the nation look a bit like a joke. Every year there is less reason for me to spend 30 hours flying to a place that makes it so difficult. 

So you don't think Im police are roaming around tourist areas checking papers? Hope not. But at a time like this with Mr Reputation showing off we can never know what regs will be suddenly enforced.  And we KNOW they can be a pain cuz even you are considering the $700 thing.  

Curious if you HOLIDAY here they only demand $700, but if you want to long stay here it's $2000 a month.  I fully expect the holiday requirement to go up in the not so distant  future.  

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On 10/20/2018 at 6:11 PM, seven said:

So, on a tourist visa you can still get the 60 days, but when you want the extra 30 days extension is where the problems start unless you stay at a place which has reported your stay with them?

  If the place that you stay doesn't report your stay it can cost you 1600 baht. That sucks but it's been the ignored law for a long time. The guy who owns the guesthouse where I stay once told me that Thaksin really relaxed the rules. A return to civilian government would probably be a good thing.

On 10/20/2018 at 6:55 PM, JustSumGai said:

two land entries a year is ridiculous.  Unless  you are trying to keep away backpackers and people who might use Bangkok as a hub for SE travel. Are you sure about that? Few years ago it was this many entries per six months...then they ditched that.

  I'm pretty sure the two land entries in a one year period is correct. I see comments every now and then about it on thaivisa.com. What they are trying to do is prevent people from living in Thailand on border runs and tourist visas. That is why the old multi entry visas were replaced with the newer METV. You can only get a METV in your home country and then it's still a pain in the ass.

  One is more like to be asked to show 20,000 baht on entry at the airport if it looks like they have many entries in their passport. I read the the consulate in Phnom Penh has started rejecting an unusual amount of tourist visa applications recently. That used to be an easy place to get a TV.  

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3 hours ago, xyzzy said:

I read the the consulate in Phnom Penh has started rejecting an unusual amount of tourist visa applications recently

Never had to deal with the Thai consulates or embassies in any country except the USA.

What I've heard about Phnom Penh is don't even bother trying to do it yourself.  A travel agency will handle it for you for a very a very small markup.

For Cambodian visa extensions, some guys recommend a travel agency which sits on the corner of Street 130 and Street 19.  However there is another travel agency right next to the corner agency  that I've used numerous times that is reliable and less expensive.

I've also heard that dealing with the embassy directly is quite difficult.   My guess is having a go-between facilitates the gratuity process.    Supposedly there is a guy standing outside t  he embassy who will handle it.  I wouldn't feel comfortable handing over my passport to a guy hanging out in front of the embassy..  

 

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18 hours ago, Pdoggg said:

Never had to deal with the Thai consulates or embassies in any country except the USA.

What I've heard about Phnom Penh is don't even bother trying to do it yourself.  A travel agency will handle it for you for a very a very small markup.

For Cambodian visa extensions, some guys recommend a travel agency which sits on the corner of Street 130 and Street 19.  However there is another travel agency right next to the corner agency  that I've used numerous times that is reliable and less expensive.

I've also heard that dealing with the embassy directly is quite difficult.   My guess is having a go-between facilitates the gratuity process.    Supposedly there is a guy standing outside t  he embassy who will handle it.  I wouldn't feel comfortable handing over my passport to a guy hanging out in front of the embassy.. 

  It's apparently gotten worse recently. Many guys that do frequent visa runs don't use agents. However they reported some agents also having problems when they also got rejected while they were at the consulate. I've used an agent in PP before and had a few recommended. An agent adds a few days unless you pay for express service and then maybe it will only add one or two days. I would always use an agent. But if you are trying to get in and out in two days an agent is a problem. 

  I think a lot of the small agents actually use Lucky Lucky Motorcycle shop on Monivong to do the actual work at the consulate. I got a Cambo tourist visa extended once at Lucky Lucky. I went inside and behind the girl working the agent desk was an old fashion safe that was maybe five feet tall. The door was open and it was packed with passports. Not sure how many but it was an impressive amount of passports.

 

7 hours ago, seven said:

 Can/will they deny you an extension if stay not reported?

No

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can't deny you based on this? so another money grab then. Ongoing attempt to weed out those with money to burn.  And who do you think mostly owns backpacker guesthouses that might suffer from less poor youth (etc.)?  I think it's part of the ongoing war against the Redshirts for their trouble making. They ran off half the street food vendors and sidewalk table sellers.  I'd bet a majority of those originally came from Issan.  They would like to see all the "buffalo" that are not obedient and quiet servants go back to Issan *I* think. I've met quite a few new working stock in from Myanmar or Laos. Much easier to control than national citizens. I think they're trying to put the genie back in the bottle, pre western influence days.  Run off the rice country people, eject the Nigerians and Ugandans, put up barriers to budget travelers, etc.

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On 10/23/2018 at 4:34 PM, JustSumGai said:

can't deny you based on this? so another money grab then. Ongoing attempt to weed out those with money to burn.

  I think there are two things at work.

#1 They want to know where visitors to their country are staying. All types of lodging are suppose to report their guests anytime they are staying there. 

#2 There has been a crackdown on guesthouses who I think are believed to be big violators or #1. Theoretically one can only stay at a guesthouse for a minimum of one month! Unclear if this is a new thing or another enforcement of an old rule. But I'm told it caused some of the guest houses on Soi Lengkee to remove their street side signs advertising their guesthouses. I think most guesthouses are now carefully working around this rule but it was open season on guesthouses for a while.   

 

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as an aside, referring to that 2 border crossings in a  year reference...I offer this tidbit, which seems to KILL any worry about not being able to home base in Thailand while visiting around SE Asia.

https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50542008/cambodia-thailand-single-visa/

" Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to promote the use of single visa for foreign tourits, particularly among those traveling within the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) countries. "

Now...how can you tell someone they can only leave the country and visit a neighboring country 2 times when they have such a visa? 2 border crossings? Me and gf hit Laos. That's one. I later go to Cambodia, there's 2.  Get invited to VN or Myanmar? sorry, can't do it unless I can fly. Seems this stupid law plays right into Air Asia, et al's hands. I THINK the fuss is over IN/OUT border crossings. I'm still looking into this for sure. Telling everyone to just get a Tourist visa is stupid. Once you leave the country that thing is DEAD.  Also they seem to want to increase tourist visa income.

And in the same vein, if you just love to go where the whim drives you, getting the ax because you accepted a local person's offer to stay with them a night or week or whatever, is, well, obnoxious.  Tourists explore no? Are they saying you can only go where state registered accommodations are to be found?  What's next? you can only travel with a government "minder"? I know, but you get the idea.  On one hand they talk about encouraging tourism, like with this regional multi entry visa, and then on the other they clamp down. The uncertainty IS a damper.

At one time I found and read the reg on reporting a farang visitor, and the fine was levied on the person who HOSTED. Guess they figured they would only go to US and put their hand out.  I had my host come with me on the last two trips to Imm to get my extension. No fine money changed hands. Will they? they CAN, won't they? it's a bugger

 

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Theoretically one can only stay at a guesthouse for a minimum of one month! 

WHAT? care to rethink that? minimum? Impossible. According to regs you should be able to stay anywhere that registers you with them.  I think this is a bit like the food vender crackdown in Bkk.  Registered, dues paying businesses do not LIKE to see others take their customers while paying nothing in.  I suppose it's the same for hotels and such. MY suspicion is that they are attempting to kill the "gray" economy.  It makes things cheap and affordable to "budget" tourists. I'm sure they would love to see the MANY higher end venues be more prosperous.  Plus the budget types are probably seen as fueling the drug and prostitution (at least the "in yer face" kind) trades.  Come, stay in NICE hotels, eat at trendy resto's, spend a lot of money and get the fu*k out.  That's my suspicion an I'm sticking to it. Seen many changes and "crackdowns" which seem mostly aimed at foreigners. They don't crack down on drinking and driving, highway carnage in general. IF the police did their job and caught lawbreakers, well then, you would not need crackdowns much now would you? Why can't they just hit the computers, and find overstayers, and tell the cops to go pick up John Doe.  Much easier to use the shotgun approach. As all the crackdowns seem to go, it'll peter out I suppose.  Remember the no advertising in bars of liquor, even empty bottles for decoration or ashtrays? If they could hire cops that did not collect money from people and just wrote tickets and looked for real criminals, it'd be different I think.  It would take a while tho.

I'm eager to see if any of the forum members have any run ins on this staying at non registering places rule. I wonder if they heavily fine or jail anyone running a guesthouse that fails to register guests? 

 

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Old fashioned visa runs seem to be a fate worse than death!!!  Just thinking about sitting on a bus, or worse one of those fucking death trap vans, makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.  For me even schlepping out to the main immiigration office in Cheang Wattana was a biridge too far. I would probably still do it if I werent paranoid about the arbitrary nature of all this stuff. I got two 30 day extension recently for 1900 baht.  It seemed civilized enough. However, the last time the gatekeeper i. the one that gives you your  number in the queue inspected my passport for 45 seconds.  Who is to say someone has a big up their ass and denies you another 30 day extension?

I jumped through the hoops here in Farangland and got a non immigrant 0-A.  I have had guys tell me I need an "exit permission" or some bullshit like that. Dont think its the case since i paid more for it.  The visa CLEARLY says under number of entries-MULTIPLE.  under the date of the entrance stamp the immig office wrote exactly one year after.  however that doesnt make sense since the visa would ahve expired before then.  Who knows maybe you get a year to renew one year after its first used.  Everything is so murky.

While it was nice NOTbhaving to get up and schlepp to the immig office, I wouldnt mind doing that over and over again until the time where I can spend MORE than 60 days at a clip........

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17 hours ago, JustSumGai said:

as an aside, referring to that 2 border crossings in a  year reference...I offer this tidbit, which seems to KILL any worry about not being able to home base in Thailand while visiting around SE Asia.

https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50542008/cambodia-thailand-single-visa/

" Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to promote the use of single visa for foreign tourits, particularly among those traveling within the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) countries. "

Now...how can you tell someone they can only leave the country and visit a neighboring country 2 times when they have such a visa?

  That would be good. When do they actually come out? How long does the visa last? What is required to get this visa?

  "In the second Cambodia-Thailand tourism Ministers meeting held in Kampot, the two sides said they planned to bring up the idea of using ACMECS single visa for foreign tourists to the Asean Tourism Ministers meeting."

 Until something changes you get two 30 days stamp land entries in a years time. For a while it was cut to 15 days. But it changed back to 30 (not sure if just for G7 or all countries that qualify for a 30 day entry)

13 hours ago, JustSumGai said:

Theoretically one can only stay at a guesthouse for a minimum of one month! 

WHAT? care to rethink that? minimum? Impossible.

  Do you read any other forms than this one? One guesthouse thread, on another board, had future guests asking if their short stay reservations were still good.

  It is perhaps a loss of tax revenue backlash issue caused by AirBNB, et al who are paying no taxes and not reporting guests. Theoretically it's always been illegal for condos to rent for less than a month. Something I'm sure has the likes of Dancewatcher, etc concerned. Here is a link on thaivisa.com:

https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1041443-hotel-raids-continue-in-south-pattaya/

 

10 hours ago, ArchieBunker said:

Old fashioned visa runs seem to be a fate worse than death!!!

  I did a border run last trip. A van with six comfortable bucket seats in the back. The bitch is you have to be there at 6 AM for the run. I slept part of the way there. They went to some tiny border crossing with Cambodia where there was no crowd. I'm not going to post the details of how easy it was to get stamped in/out of Cambodia to protect the operation but it was beyond easy. I've always dreaded border runs but this one was pretty easy except for the 6 AM thing. I have to do one exit next trip and unless I fly to AC or something I will probably use the same service. My biggest regret is 6 AM. The run wasn't fun but it wasn't terrible. I keep dreaming of a six month winter visa for us snowbirds. But hell, and Pattaya, will likely freeze over before that happens.

 

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you can show that nice $200 a month income they require, or around $24,000 in the bank at least 3 months before you renew. (guys were taking loans, droppin the money in, leaving it til they got the next year visa and pulling it out again). This just means they closed the "lie to your embassy about having the required dosh" loophole.  Someone finally figured out the US gov was not trustworthy :)

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56 minutes ago, xyzzy said:

  That would be good. When do they actually come out? How long does the visa last? What is required to get this visa?

I'M NOT HOLDING MY BREATH 

 Until something changes you get two 30 days stamp land entries in a years time. For a while it was cut to 15 days. But it changed back to 30 (not sure if just for G7 or all countries that qualify for a 30 day entry)

*****it's obnoxious. TWO? Ok, I'm in Udon nowhere and the boredom gets to be too much, I scoot over to Laos for a few, ok, love that 45 baht big bottle Beer Lao. A few weeks later the boredom of rice and cane fields gets to me again and I boogie down to Bangkok and over to Cambodia.  That's IT?!!! So forget VN or another trip to Laos, etc.  AND FORGET doing another trip this same year unless you can fly any time you wish to check out a neighboring country.  I think it's for the benefit of AIr Asia :P     No problem if you fly in and out. It's just the land cross they f**k with you on. TWO? in a YEAR??  Even 2 in one short trip makes backpackers and budget travelers kill their plans to drift around SE Asia as the whim takes them. Pretty much forces  you to go with planning and itinerary.  I've been told, hey, just get a Tourist visa. Fine, you leave and that TV is DEAD Bubba.  So THAT kind of forces you to stay at least the 2 months.  Maybe they don't like us spending any money in the neighbor countries?

hmmm, can't reply IN the quote very well...anyway...about this border run you made...you get stamped OUT right? then ENTER Cambodia right? having to pay, what is it now? $30 or 35? and then you get back across, into the van and back to where you got picked up in Thailand right? Didn't it used to be possible to get stamped out of Thailand and turn around and come back in getting the arrival stamp WITHOUT entering Cambodia and paying the money for a month visa? (they have no visa exempt for free). I'm pretty sure it was but that nicety was squashed in recent years.  

So you've got to Plan Plan PLAN all the time. Luckily I had no border entry in my spring trip this year but I have to leave and come back around Dec 21. So it's pay bux to travel to Cambodia and fly back IN, or only stay there SHORT, a few days and bus it back in cuz if I wait til after new years, that's one border by land and I'm fucked for the rest of the year, told to pony up money for flying or tourist visas, which by the time you travel to say Laos and stay the couple days or so it takes to get a Tourist visa AND the tourist visa costs ya over $100 EASILY, more like twice that. So I'm gonna pay 100 a month to stay in Thailand 2 more months. 

I am sure in the near future I will let the Chinese have both Cambodia AND Thailand as the food sucks in Cambodia and prices are getting STOOPID as they feel they are big time now and the clusterfuck that is Thai Imm regs for visitors takes a lot of the fun out of being there. 

I wonder if this is part of their 20 year national strategy plan?

might be my last trip I spose.  Sure was fun in the beginning tho :)

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  A slight follow up. One is supposedly allowed two land entries per calendar year and not in a year's time from the first entry. If my info is correct

  And I did a little more reading on the guesthouse thing. If a guesthouse allows stays of less than 30 days they apparently need to have a hotel license (which many/most didn't/don't). I am posting another link below but that forum has a pretty high noise level so there are a lot of worthless posts with some real info spread here and there.

http://www.pattaya-addicts.com/forum/topic/324692-changes-to-guesthouse-rules-crackdown/

  If the US Embassy will no longer supply income letters one will have to have 800k baht in the bank for three months before applying for a retirement visa. And do the same thing every year when renewing the retirement visa. If I'm wrong about that pdoggg will likely correct me. I considered getting a retirement visa once just so I don't have to do those stupid extensions and border runs. I was going to use the US Embassy to avoid putting 800k baht in my Thai bank account and having to report my Thai bank account on my US taxes as it would be a large enough amount it needs to be reported. But I would have to stop in BKK every year and and go to the embassy so I scrapped the idea. I think one also must start filing taxes in Thailand if the earn a certain amount of interest on the money they have in the bank? Once again pdoggg will know better.  

JustSumGuy I'm going to send you a PM about my border run.

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I know about the 2 per calendar year thing but as my trips ALWAYS start end of one year and end beginning of the next year I can make use of that I suppose, but the means if i use one in January, to stay for Feb that I only have ONE when I return later in the year for the next trip. 

There IS a Thai Elite "solution" which costs ya around $15,000 for 5 yrs and it seems another 5 in extensions or something.  They supposedly breeze ya thru Immigration and take you to your hotel and other such perks.  This again is a lot of money, but then it would save you spending 1000 or so each year for one trip I suppose. Providing you LIKE being there 24/7 all year.  Personally I got tired of rice and noodles after 8 months.  For me 6 months would be good. People gripe about checking in with Imm every 90 days but it's nothing compared to border hops. 

So for someone going for only a short term but wishing to have freedom of movement and control over one's holiday time the current state of affairs is a result of hubris on the part of a you know who and the 20 year plan they are shoving down the nations throat. And there are still suckups saying "it's their country" blah blah blah. Oh yeah? Just who is "they" at this point. 

Immigration woes might soon be simplified to a few choices. Never a dull moment :)

I don't think the interest would amount to enough to have to declare.  They'll find a way to fee, fine or otherwise keep you from getting use of it.

they say I do not have permission to view this content on the pattaya-addicts site, but thaivisa has a similar page. Interesting, reminds me of the semi-eradication of street food vendors and sidewalk sales tables.

 

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12 hours ago, xyzzy said:

If the US Embassy will no longer supply income letters one will have to have 800k baht in the bank for three months before applying for a retirement visa. And do the same thing every year when renewing the retirement visa. If I'm wrong about that pdoggg will likely correct me. I considered getting a retirement visa once just so I don't have to do those stupid extensions and border runs. I was going to use the US Embassy to avoid putting 800k baht in my Thai bank account and having to report my Thai bank account on my US taxes as it would be a large enough amount it needs to be reported. But I would have to stop in BKK every year and and go to the embassy so I scrapped the idea. I think one also must start filing taxes in Thailand if the earn a certain amount of interest on the money they have in the bank? Once again pdoggg will know better.  

 

On certain types of accounts, Thai banks withhold  taxes once you hit 20,000 baht a year in interest.  A number of years back, when interest rates were higher in some special accounts, I fell into this trap.  Since at that time, income of less than 150,000 was taxed at 0% I was able to apply for a refund, and was able to do it retroactively for three years.  The Taxation office is near the small Tony's gym off Jomtien 2nd Road near Hanuman Statue.  You apply for a tax ID number, fill out some forms etc,, and a few months later mail you a refund to a Thai address. 

To avoid the withholding you can open multiple accounts so that none of them earns over  20,000 in interest.  This was recommended by my bank and multiple accounts with the same bank are fine.

Only certain types of accounts cab be used for proof of having 800K in the bank.  I don't think time accounts (CDs) are eligible.  The Yellow has an account called Mee Tai Dai which currently pays 1.3% interest which for years was quite good compared to American banks.  But since interest rates have shot up in the USA in the last year this is no longer a great rate. At one time the Mee Tai Dai was paying 2,5% which is how I fell into the tax trap.

======================

Americans must pay taxes to the IRS for any foreign interest earned.  So the $32 bucks you might earn is theoretically reportable.  The last time I opened accounts there was a special extra form I had to fill out.  Was told this was because of USA regulations or because I was a USA citizen.

There is also a special form that you must file with the USA Treasury Department every year if the total amount of money in foreign bank accounts is more than the equivalent of 10,000 USD.  Long stayers could possibly hit this threshold and would recommend  that if one is bringing over lets say 12,000 USD that you avoid putting more than 10,000 in the bank.  There is no guidance I could find about how to calculate whether you hit that treshold since exchange rates are constantly changing.  So to be on the safe side and fully compliant, it is probably best not to put more than around $9500 baht in the bank.  

This form used to have a June 30th deadline but now is April 15th with I belive an automatic 6 month extension which would be Oct 15th

============================================

The 800K must be in a Thai Bank for 3 months except before the initial one year Extension of Stay which is only 2 months.  The reasoning for this is that the Non-Immigrant OA Visa, commonly referred to as a Retirement Visa, begins with a three month visa in your home country.  So when you arrive in Thailand, you would not have enough time to have 800K in the account for an entire 3 months.

====================================

Lastly, one little trick since the Bank Letter for Immigration uses yesterday's balance and Immigration wants to see you balance updated today and wants the amounts to match.  So one needs to update their bankbook for interest the day before,  and the very helpful lady at the bank suggested that I deposit 100 bank in my account and then withdraw the 100 baht on the day I was going to Immigration so that activity would both be up to date and match the letter.

=======================================

Immigration was very picky about my residence.  They did not like my printout from Booking.com.  Some condo owners are now using Booking.com like AirB&B and the owner of the unit where I was staying for two nights would not give me a letter, She said I had to stay at least a month to get a letter from her. The guy atImmigration said I would have to show proof of long term residence. Perhaps short stayers must show proof of only short term residency.  Note also that each Immigration Office enforces rules differently and different Imm Officers within the same Imm Center might do things differently, and the same guy might do things a bit differently on different days.  

Therefore, it's a good idea to smile, shave, and dress nicely when going to Immigration.

While these are irritants, its only 10 minutes and 10 baht to get from Pattaya to Jomtien.  What if you are living in the sticks?  Or on an island and Immigration is on the mainland?

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my digs in Udon are 13 miles from Udon Thani.  While that would take me about 15 minutes HERE, there it takes an hour avg time waiting for songtaew, then like a 30 or 40 minute ride to UT outskirts where we have to hop another smaller songtaew. Worst case it can take up to 2 hours to get to town and Immigration there.  The question in my mind regards this recent news of FINES for staying unreported places, such as my gf's? or the family I stay with in KK? And what if you stay at a guesthouse or hotel that reports for a couple days before you go for the free exemption type ? 1900 is already a pretty hefty fee for 30 more days, but to add 1600, geez. be better off flying to PP or something and back.  Any idea about this? 

that's great info you gave there, stuff like this is MOST useful :imNotWorthy:

just found this based on someone's mention about Hotel bill probs. Note the lead story.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThailandHotelAct/

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14 hours ago, Pdoggg said:

On certain types of accounts, Thai banks withhold  taxes once you hit 20,000 baht a year in interest.  A number of years back, when interest rates were higher in some special accounts, I fell into this trap.  Since at that time, income of less than 150,000 was taxed at 0% I was able to apply for a refund, and was able to do it retroactively for three years.  The Taxation office is near the small Tony's gym off Jomtien 2nd Road near Hanuman Statue.  You apply for a tax ID number, fill out some forms etc,, and a few months later mail you a refund to a Thai address. 

To avoid the withholding you can open multiple accounts so that none of them earns over  20,000 in interest.  This was recommended by my bank and multiple accounts with the same bank are fine.

Only certain types of accounts cab be used for proof of having 800K in the bank.  I don't think time accounts (CDs) are eligible.  The Yellow has an account called Mee Tai Dai which currently pays 1.3% interest which for years was quite good compared to American banks.  But since interest rates have shot up in the USA in the last year this is no longer a great rate. At one time the Mee Tai Dai was paying 2,5% which is how I fell into the tax trap.

======================

Americans must pay taxes to the IRS for any foreign interest earned.  So the $32 bucks you might earn is theoretically reportable.  The last time I opened accounts there was a special extra form I had to fill out.  Was told this was because of USA regulations or because I was a USA citizen.

There is also a special form that you must file with the USA Treasury Department every year if the total amount of money in foreign bank accounts is more than the equivalent of 10,000 USD.  Long stayers could possibly hit this threshold and would recommend  that if one is bringing over lets say 12,000 USD that you avoid putting more than 10,000 in the bank.  There is no guidance I could find about how to calculate whether you hit that treshold since exchange rates are constantly changing.  So to be on the safe side and fully compliant, it is probably best not to put more than around $9500 baht in the bank.  

This form used to have a June 30th deadline but now is April 15th with I belive an automatic 6 month extension which would be Oct 15th

============================================

The 800K must be in a Thai Bank for 3 months except before the initial one year Extension of Stay which is only 2 months.  The reasoning for this is that the Non-Immigrant OA Visa, commonly referred to as a Retirement Visa, begins with a three month visa in your home country.  So when you arrive in Thailand, you would not have enough time to have 800K in the account for an entire 3 months.

====================================

Lastly, one little trick since the Bank Letter for Immigration uses yesterday's balance and Immigration wants to see you balance updated today and wants the amounts to match.  So one needs to update their bankbook for interest the day before,  and the very helpful lady at the bank suggested that I deposit 100 bank in my account and then withdraw the 100 baht on the day I was going to Immigration so that activity would both be up to date and match the letter.

=======================================

Immigration was very picky about my residence.  They did not like my printout from Booking.com.  Some condo owners are now using Booking.com like AirB&B and the owner of the unit where I was staying for two nights would not give me a letter, She said I had to stay at least a month to get a letter from her. The guy atImmigration said I would have to show proof of long term residence. Perhaps short stayers must show proof of only short term residency.  Note also that each Immigration Office enforces rules differently and different Imm Officers within the same Imm Center might do things differently, and the same guy might do things a bit differently on different days.  

Therefore, it's a good idea to smile, shave, and dress nicely when going to Immigration.

While these are irritants, its only 10 minutes and 10 baht to get from Pattaya to Jomtien.  What if you are living in the sticks?  Or on an island and Immigration is on the mainland?

Where to start here... I got my Thai bank account years ago (before Patriot Act) so never had to fill out any extra form. My US tax software asks if I have a foreign bank account. I answer yes then it asks me if if is worth more than US$10k. When I answer no to that question the foreign section is then complete and it skips to the next section. The software at least doesn't seem to care if I have interest. Perhaps I was suppose to enter it somewhere else.

I see how no one could avoid the Thai interest income limit if they have 800k in an account. I guess you could split it up in several accounts (as you mention), under US$10k, and then at least US tax law would ignore it. Then put it all back in one account before renewing a retirement visa.

BTW I usually don't "smile, shave, and dress nicely when going to Immigration". I have become a very lazy c**t. I go to the visa shop next door to immigration in Jomtien. I used to go there and have them do all my paperwork for immigration for 300 baht. However I now pay them 4000 baht (1900 baht for extension + 2100 baht for services rendered). They fill out my paper work, take my passport to immigration, do the first half of the process, come and get me when it's time to have my picture taken (last time the girl from the visa shop took my picture at a desk inside immigration), go back outside and wait until they return my passport with extension. Total time about 60-90 minutes. Total time inside immigration approximately one minute.  

12 hours ago, JustSumGai said:

my digs in Udon are 13 miles from Udon Thani.  While that would take me about 15 minutes HERE, there it takes an hour avg time waiting for songtaew, then like a 30 or 40 minute ride to UT outskirts where we have to hop another smaller songtaew. Worst case it can take up to 2 hours to get to town and Immigration there.  The question in my mind regards this recent news of FINES for staying unreported places, such as my gf's? or the family I stay with in KK? And what if you stay at a guesthouse or hotel that reports for a couple days before you go for the free exemption type ? 1900 is already a pretty hefty fee for 30 more days, but to add 1600, geez. be better off flying to PP or something and back.  Any idea about this? 

that's great info you gave there, stuff like this is MOST useful :imNotWorthy:

just found this based on someone's mention about Hotel bill probs. Note the lead story.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThailandHotelAct/

I expect you would have no problem if you aren't doing an extension. If you do an extension and your stay hasn't been reported I would expect the 1600 baht fine. Unless they hassle you when you entering the country. In years past one could just put Pattaya (or where ever) on the arrival card at "Address in Thailand".  But that doesn't get by as much at the airport now. They were asking for phone numbers for a while but I think they stopped. I put the address of my guesthouse, without the name of the guesthouse, which may or may not mean anything to them. It just looks like a bunch of numbers to me. But it at least fills the space with information. But I still think the amount of hassle one gets on entry depends on whether it looks like you are trying to live permanently in Thailand on visa runs. 

It's possible for you and your girl to go to immigration and register you. Is that worth saving 1600 baht to you? You and I maybe have a different view of 1600 baht as I party nightly in Pattaya and you stay out of town with you girl. I certainly don't want to pay 1600 baht but if I got caught out it wouldn't be a huge thing. Having said that I do make an effort to make sure my stay is registered and sometimes that requires someone from my guesthouse to visit immigration. If you are going to stay at a guesthouse for a couple of nights before doing an extension you better make damn sure it's a place that can get you on the system fast and will that even help. I'm not sure how that all works.

The Portland consulate I mentioned before is one of the very few that will issue a SETV via mail, without a financial statement or travel itinerary. So you can get 60 days that way with a minimum of hassle if you are sure you won't do an exit/entry within 30 days of arrival. But I think your trip is getting near so maybe not enough time to apply? 

In your last link I wonder how long it will take for this database to be operational? Last year all internet traffic in/out of Thailand was going to be funneled through a single location so it could be monitored. Perhaps this new tracking database can be done just as soon as they get around to the internet one... They have been talking about making sure known criminals don't enter Thiland for a year or two but not sure anything has actually been done. I do hate bar closures but this country is in serious need of elections.

thaivisa.com is a good place to keep up on the latest legal happenings.

Just curious, how much does a driver charge you from your girls house to/from UT on the Grab Ride app?

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Not sure about Grab, we just get the most reasonable guy we can find at the bus station. 300 or 400 baht. It's worth it cuz it's right to our door with luggage and in aircon that works.

The problem as I see it is that while they make the excuse it's about satisfying international concerns about terrorists hiding in Thailand and so on, what it REALLY is is another money grab. With millions of tourists, and extra 1600 here and there is big money. Plus this will make people use the Tourist visa more, which costs around $50. MORE big money,  It's basically a corporate decision as I see it. NOW..eventually they will punch the keyboard and ask you where you were on this and that day, it is unreported.  This is like being in school again and asking the teacher if you can go to the bathroom or worse (I'm thinking of a certain time in German history). This will strangle any chance you have for a free flowing, spur of the moment movement which is SO TYPICAL of tourism and exploring a country. 24  hour reporting will make you spend hours over time researching WHERE you can report or trying to report online with a system that is down half the time or won't let you complete the log in procedure. Mail it in? Well that's planning a week in advance.  Send it off, wait days and days.  I suppose you would need to get their reply/acknowledgment they have recorded this BACK before you can leave. It's liable to make moving around Thailand about like moving thru a flooded rice field, or hardening cement. 

It's vital to many peoples planning to hear from people who have had problems OR NOT.  I strongly encourage members to post experiences on this topic. 

I wonder how I would be able to get one Thai host to report, he's on a rubber farm in Loei near Phu Luang and just this last months got electricity. Still no internet reception. 

/me raises hand  Herr teacher, may I go to my friends rubber farm? 

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