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Marriage Visa or Retirement Visa?


davidge

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Trying to advise a friend in case this 'crackdown' turns out to be a serious problem and would welcome info from the guys here.

 

He is over 50 and married to a Thai. They have a child. They also have a house in Northern Thailand.

 

He works in the Middle East but visits Thailand 3-5 times a year. Up to now he has been getting Visa Waivers at the airport for stays under 30 days and a tourist visa for the one visit a year that is over 30 days. He has been doing this for more than a decade so has a lot of stamps in his passport!

 

He should be OK in terms of this latest crackdown, but just in case of an awkward immigration officer, would you recommend getting a retirement visa (even though he is not retired!) or a marriage visa?

 

Which is easier, and what are the latest requirements?

 

From what I can see, it seems to depend on where you go to apply for the visa!

 

Thanks.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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will be curious to see the input you get!

 

sounds like the life I am headed for, not married but can see that happening possibly...   old enough for the retirement visa, not full time in Thailand but can see being there 6 months or perhaps more every year, soon.

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   I  have been told it's easier to get the visa when inside Thailand .  I got my visa from the Thai Embassy in London .  I had to produce bank statements to show enough money that I would never need to seek work in Thai .  A police check to show no convictions  . A medical certificate also .   All these papers to then be countersigned by a lawyer .

 

   I have a one year multiple entry visa .  I still have to do a 90 day report  every 3 months to see that my address is still the same  .  I hope that come October I don't have to go through it all again .  The visa itself is £ 125 ,00  then pay for police record check , doctor to produce medical cert.  then lawyer fees to prove they are genuine . 

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He's never in the UK, although he's British. He could get the visa in the Middle East, in Thailand or, I guess, in Laos or Cambodia?

 

If it takes some time, then it would have to be in the Middle East as the longest he's in Thailand at any one stretch is about 7 weeks.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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I had a retirement visa before but am now on my 4th year marriage visa, a bit more paperwork than the retirement but worth getting as they understand your much more than a tourist, paperwork includes any house papers, marriage papers, divorce from your home country papers if any, 400,000baht in a Thai bank, letter from bank proof, a map from Immigration to your home, hand written, photos of you wife and children if any, all details on form # ? from immigration.

All that goes off to BKK to be checked by whoever and you go back 1 month later to get your stamp, then same as retirement visa every 90 days to immigration at Jomtien.

Canterbury Tales Guesthouse ... email; canterburytalescafe@hotmail.com

 

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I had a retirement visa before but am now on my 4th year marriage visa, a bit more paperwork than the retirement but worth getting as they understand your much more than a tourist, paperwork includes any house papers, marriage papers, divorce from your home country papers if any, 400,000baht in a Thai bank, letter from bank proof, a map from Immigration to your home, hand written, photos of you wife and children if any, all details on form # ? from immigration.

All that goes off to BKK to be checked by whoever and you go back 1 month later to get your stamp, then same as retirement visa every 90 days to immigration at Jomtien.

Thanks for that.

As he's not living in a Thailand, how would the 90 day reporting work?

He would be out of Thailand for longer than 90 days at a time eg sometimes from August until December.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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^^^

90 day reporting wouldn't apply if he leaves Thailand before it's due.

The clock starts ticking again when he returns.

Due to trips out I haven't done address reporting since 2011 or earlier.

 

 

 

Assuming that he can put the 800k in a bank account for 2 months before applying, a Retirement Extension obtained in Thailand is by far the easiest option.

 

Bank balance is easiest but can also do proof of income or combined income and bank - just bank is easiest.

 

Preferably come in on a Tourist Visa (O Visa if possible) then convert to O visa then apply for Retirement Extension - 7 weeks is ample.

 

Marriage Extension takes longer and is more complicated.

 

The Extension costs 1900, but he'd need to add a Multi Re-Entry Permit at 3800 to be able to come in and out without killing his visa.

 

http://www.pattaya-addicts.com/forum/topic/61167-12-month-extension-of-stay-retirement-in-5-minutes/

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Thanks for that.

As he's not living in a Thailand, how would the 90 day reporting work?

He would be out of Thailand for longer than 90 days at a time eg sometimes from August until December.

you can obtain a multi entry marriage visa and just fill in a simple form when going out, not too clear on what happens next but imagine your next 90 days would run from re entering Thailand, best pop down to Jomtien or email someone like Key visa who would know the form more clearer than I do.

Canterbury Tales Guesthouse ... email; canterburytalescafe@hotmail.com

 

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   Best for him to go to the Embassy , explain his situation and they will advise him as to what visa suits him best .   Seems like he has a good track record and would be welcome .

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   Best for him to go to the Embassy , explain his situation and they will advise him as to what visa suits him best .   Seems like he has a good track record and would be welcome .

 

Embassy in Bangkok?

 

He just needs to go to the Immigration Office he's going to apply to, Pattaya or wherever, but if he does his homework he doesn't need to ask any of them.

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Embassy in Bangkok?

 

He just needs to go to the Immigration Office he's going to apply to, Pattaya or wherever, but if he does his homework he doesn't need to ask any of them.

 

   I mean go to the thai embassy in whatever country he is in , somewhere in the middle east  OP said .   Of course there isn't a thai embassy in BKK 

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I mean go to the thai embassy in whatever country he is in , somewhere in the middle east  OP said .   Of course there isn't a thai embassy in BKK

As you explaibed yourself, it's much easier to do it in Thailand and 7 weeks is ample.

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Thanks for replies so far.

 

It appears that Marriage Visa is preferable to Retirement Visa but more work to get, assuming you have money in bank for Retirement Visa.

 

IF friend can get Marriage Visa at Embassy in Middle East this would appear to be best option. If not, then Retirement Visa as it is more likely to be completed in the time he has in Thailand.

 

???????

 

Correct?? Comments welcome :-)

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Thanks for replies so far.

It appears that Marriage Visa is preferable to Retirement Visa but more work to get, assuming you have money in bank for Retirement Visa.

IF friend can get Marriage Visa at Embassy in Middle East this would appear to be best option. If not, then Retirement Visa as it is more likely to be completed in the time he has in Thailand.

???????

Correct?? Comments welcome :-)

Both Marriage and Retirement are Extensions of Stay for 12 months.

 

You cannot get either of them outside Thailand.

 

You can get a Retirement Visa outside Thailand but only in your home country and its more trouble than its worth.

 

As I said earler he should come in on a visa and then convert and apply for Retirement Extention.

The marriage one is too complicated.

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Both Marriage and Retirement are Extensions of Stay for 12 months.

 

You cannot get either of them outside Thailand.

 

You can get a Retirement Visa outside Thailand but only in your home country and its more trouble than its worth.

 

As I said earler he should come in on a visa and then convert and apply for Retirement Extention.

The marriage one is too complicated.

Edge, thanks for giving the most coherent advice I have seen about all this visa stuff....

 

It is confusing, but you have cleared it up nicely for me!

 

Much appreciated!

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Both Marriage and Retirement are Extensions of Stay for 12 months.

 

You cannot get either of them outside Thailand.

 

You can get a Retirement Visa outside Thailand but only in your home country and its more trouble than its worth.

 

As I said earler he should come in on a visa and then convert and apply for Retirement Extention.

The marriage one is too complicated.

 

 

 

Thanks for that. I'll pass on advice. It's difficult looking up on embassy websites as they're often wrong!

 

Much better getting info from people who have done it!

 

BTW Had to cut and paste your comment as my Quote button has stopped working again!

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Both Marriage and Retirement are Extensions of Stay for 12 months.

 

You cannot get either of them outside Thailand.

 

You can get a Retirement Visa outside Thailand but only in your home country and its more trouble than its worth.

 

As I said earler he should come in on a visa and then convert and apply for Retirement Extention.

The marriage one is too complicated.

Totally agree - I just transferred from a 2 months Tourist Visa - to Retirement Visa at the Jomtien Office - NO PROBLEMS. There is a Farang Gentleman inside - (when entering the Office, go past the first Desk on the left, then just around the Corner, the Gentleman has his Desk), who is extremely helpful and willing to assist with all the Forms - great Service!!!

It took only 3-4 days to get the change-over!! Avoid Mondays or Fridays, as they are usually more busy - and go there early.

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........................................................the longest he's in Thailand at any one stretch is about 7 weeks.

 

 

I had a retirement visa before but am now on my 4th year marriage visa, a bit more paperwork than the retirement but worth getting as they understand your much more than a tourist, paperwork includes any house papers, marriage papers, divorce from your home country papers if any, 400,000baht in a Thai bank, letter from bank proof, a map from Immigration to your home, hand written, photos of you wife and children if any, all details on form # ? from immigration.

All that goes off to BKK to be checked by whoever and you go back 1 month later to get your stamp, then same as retirement visa every 90 days to immigration at Jomtien.

 

Just to elaborate on why I think the Retirement Extension is best in the circumstances the OP described :-

 

I haven't done a Marriage Extension (phew!) but from what I've read and from those I know who have, it is much more complicated than getting a Retirement Extension and 7 weeks in Thailand may not be enough, especially for someone living in Isaan.

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Just to elaborate on why I think the Retirement Extension is best in the circumstances the OP described :-

 

I haven't done a Marriage Extension (phew!) but from what I've read and from those I know who have, it is much more complicated than getting a Retirement Extension and 7 weeks in Thailand may not be enough, especially for someone living in Isaan.

The marriage visa is definitely more complicated.  I converted my visa from a marriage visa to a retirement visa about 6 weeks ago because it was easier and they did not require as much paperwork.  If you are renting a house or a condo, they want a copy of your landlord's house book, in addition to everything else.  This seems to be a new requirement and was not required when I initially got a marriage visa over a year ago.

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Also, the "retired" part just means you don't plan on working inside Thailand. Being here on my third retirement extension, I agree with it being the simplest option if you are over 50.<br /><br />Sent from my too expensive Samsung tablet.<br /><br />

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As some recent posts stated above, what the OP's friend needs to do is deal with Thai Immigration (the local office where he lives) on getting a 1 year extension of stay based on either 1. retirement or 2. legal marriage to a Thai.

 

If he's already on visa exempt entry or tourist visa status, he can go to Immigration and convert those into a Single Entry Non-O visa right there at Immigration. Then, assuming he meets the criteria for retirement or marriage extensions, Immigration will then convert the Non-O into one of the two types of extensions.

 

Retirement extension is easier to get and renew, but has higher financial requirements. Marriage extension is more complicated and involved to get, but involves lower financial requirements. Both are one-year renewalable stays. With either, he'd also need to purchase a multiple-entry re-entry permit from Immigration to keep his extension of stay alive/valid during his various trips out and into the country.

 

Once on retirement or marriage extension, he'd have no requirement to leave the country. But he would have to do a 90-day report to Immigration at his local office or by mail anytime he was staying in Thailand for 90 consecutive days or longer. If he was traveling outside Thailand for work every month or two, because of those trips, he'd have no required 90 day reports, since the clock for those is reset every time a person leaves the country.

 

Retirement extension requires 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account documented by a bank letter and account statement, or 65,000 baht per month in income, as documented by a letter from his country's consulate in Bangkok or, depending on the country, Chiang Mai. Also can do a combination of monthly income and Thai bank deposits.

 

Marriage extension, I believe, requires 400,000 baht in a Thai bank account or 40,000 per month in income, as documented by a consulate lettter, along with various other documents proving the existence of a real marriage.

 

----------------------------------

 

Just how Immigration is going to handle this supposed crackdown on visa-exempt entries, especially back to back ones, is not entirely clear at present. But from what's been reported, someone living in Thailand and traveling outside for work and then returning frequently on visa exempt entries could well face difficulties with Immigration's latest debacle.

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Just a small note about the immigration leaflets.  We had a leaflet from immigration about the married visa which was written in Thai and English, I read the English to my Thai wife and she read the Thai equivalent to me.  One of the sections was different in the Thai and the English so nothing is certain at immigration!

 

Although genuinely married and living full time with my wife in Issan we did have to jump through hoops to get the married visa from immigration and it took six weeks to come back from Bangkok even though all demands had been met in full.  We were told to attend the immigration office after four weeks and this was stamped in my passport but when we arrived there after a 120K trip, we were told no visa as yet, come back when it arrived.  My wife rang every day after that and had to wait a further two weeks until it came. The retirement visa I had before was sorted in a matter of a couple of hours including all the waiting time.

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the "crackdown"  does not affect those with a real job outside of thailand. its meant to prevent people from working illegally in thailand. check with your profesional visa advisor :GoldenSmile1:

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Thanks for all replies. I'll pass on the advice and then it's up to friend what he decides to do.

 

TBH, I was surprised he was still using visa waivers etc when he's been married for 15 years :-)

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Great thread. Thanks to all those who contributed. I'm eventually going to face the same issue, and have wondered which of the two visas is better. Still not sure, but at least now I have a lot more info to go on.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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