Archive for the ‘Thai Visas’ Category

A Link to The How I Got My “Retiring In Thailand Retirement Visa”

This page only exists to provide this readily accessible link to the Retirement Visa “Retiring In Thailand Retirement Visa” Post which I can never find myself when I want to!

It’s the story of how  the Thai Immigration made a mess of my valid Multiple Entry Visa rendering it invalid and how the result was that I obtained a Retirement Visa – something I didn’t know I could get from here in Thailand.

The Paradise Lifestyle Continues With The Retirement Visa Extension

Yesterday (20 January 2015) I went to the Thai Immigration Office at Nakhon Ratchasima where they extended my Retirement Visa for another year thereby extending my paradise lifestyle by another year too.

Image of Alan's One Year Thai Retirement Visa Extension

Alan’s One Year Thai Retirement Visa Extension

But this event may signal the end of this website and this could be the last Post on this website as explained below.

How I Got My Thai Retirement Visa Extension From The Thai Immigration Office

This is not a story about how I got my Retirement Visa in the first place.

You can read about how I got my Retirement Visa “Retiring In Thailand Retirement Visa” Post. That came about unexpectedly after the Thai Immigration made a mess of my valid Multiple Entry Visa. A story in itself.

I went with my Thai wife Kanyah to the Thai Immigration Office (The Thai term is Immigration Bureau) in Nakhon Ratchasima (AKA Korat. I could never understand how Nakhon Ratchasima could be called Korat, but when you look at it it’s a bastardisation of NaKhOn RATchasima) early on 20 January 2015 to make sure I was first in the queue. (I was).

The Office opened at 0830 although this is not signposted anywhere.

At about 0930 I was all finished with the brand new one year extension to my Thai Retirement visa you see in the scanned image above.

Getting the retirement visa extension is quite straightforward when you know what documentation is required and you have all the documents correctly.

I presented the following documents as listed in Form TM7:-

  1. Completed Form TM7 “Application For Extension Of Temporary Stay In The Kingdom”.
  2. Current Thai Retirement Visa in Passport.
  3. Evidence of not less than 800,000 Baht in a Thai bank account for at least three months prior to the sate of application.
  4. Copy of personal details page and all other pages in applicant’s passport that have Thai immigration stamps.
  5. And of course the application fee of 1,900 Baht.

Further to those documents I had to provide the following although they are not listed in TM7 nor listed in the document “Documents to be presented to the Thai Immigration Bureau when requesting extension of stay for retirement” that I obtained from the Immigration Bureau in Nakhon Ratchasima on 5th January when my previous application was rejected:-

  1. Wife’s House Book and signed photocopies thereof.
  2. Wife’s Thai ID Card and signed photocopies thereof.

Very Important Aside

Residency Dependence

The requirement to provide these latter two documents is both very important and unwelcome for me.

In the first place if I need to produce them every time I extend my stay I assume I must bring along Kanyah (Mrs Brown) to sign the photocopies and present the originals.

Now, this means that not only must Kanyah still be alive, but that she must be willing and able to make the trip and sign the documents.

The implication is that I am dependent upon the availability and good will of Kanyah to continue my residency in Thailand.

Residency should be granted irrespective of my marriage to my Thai wife and other people have told me that it is.

So something is seriously wrong here that I must get to the bottom of.

Certificate Of Residence

Another person told me of a Certificate Of Residence that I assume (dangerous to assume) certifies that the applicant is living in Thailand and has his address recorded. Presumably (dangerous to presume) this can take the place of the Thai spouse’s ID card and House Documents.

So it may be worth applying for that Certificate Of Residence document.

Bizarre or Merely Obtuse?

And where do you think you apply for the Certificate Of Residence?

Yes, you got it. At the Thai Immigration Bureau!

By the way I just downloaded the appropriate application Form from the Thai Immigration Bureau website.

On the website the application Form is called “Certificate of Residence Application (TM.18)”.

When I opened it:-

A) I couldn’t understand it even though it is English and Thai

B) When opened it is called Form TM 1 “Application for Substitute of Certificate of Residence”, which is another Form I downloaded as is called TM 20! The two Forms are not the same.

Your Application May Be Different

Because the method of providing proof of income and/or capital may be different in every case and also because there are options to demonstrate financial stability on the application form your application may well be different than mine.

Here is a copy of the document “Documents to be presented to the Thai Immigration Bureau when requesting extension of stay for retirement” . To see a large pdf version that you can print out click here.

Image of Thai Retirement Visa Extension Requirements List

Thai Retirement Visa Extension Requirements List

Download Page of Forms and Information Documents on the Thai Immigration Bureau Website

There is a wealth of information on the Thai Immigration Bureau Website and even a download page where you can download various Policy Documents and Application Forms.

Here is the link to the Download Page:-

Thai Immigration Bureau Website Download Page

Here is a link to download the Retirement Visa Extension Application Form, TM7:-

Download Extension Of Temporary Stay In The Kingdom Application Form (TM7)

List of Forms and Documents Available For Download

To see a complete list of documents available for download from the Thai Immigration Bureau website

  • Information Conveyance (TM.2)
  • Passenger List (TM.3)
  • Extension of Temporary Stay in The Kingdom Application Form(TM.7)
  • Re-Entry Permit into The Kingdom Application Form(TM.8)
  • Permanent Residence in The Kingdom Application Form(TM.9)
  • Endorsement of Re-Entry Permit Application Form(TM.13)
  • Certificate of Residence Application (TM.18)
  • Substitute of Residence Certificate Application (TM.20)
  • Non-Quota Immigrant Visa Application (TM.22)
  • Extension of Temporary Stay During Resident Consideration Application (TM.25)
  • Form for Aliens to Notify Their Change of Address or Their Stay in the Province over 24 Hours (TM.28)
  • Notification Form for House Master, Owner, or the Possessor of The Residence Where Aliens Have Stay(TM.30)
  • Form for Alien to Notify of Staying Longer Than 90 Days (TM.47)
  • Application for Change of Visa (TM.86)
  • Application for Visa (TM.87)
  • Transfer Stamp to a New Passport Form
  • Lost or Stolen Passport Form
  • New Passport Form
  • Application Form For Residence Certificate In Thailand
  • Transfer Stamp To A New Passport Form (For Residence Certificate)
  • Personal Date Form (For Residence Certificate)
  • Acknowledgement Of The Conditions For Permitted Continuation Of Stay In The Kingdom Of Thailand

A Millionaire’s Lifestyle

You know the list of things you would do if you won the Lottery.

  • Give up working and retire
  • Pay off all your debts
  • Go on holiday to some warm and exotic land
  • Buy a dream house – for cash
  • Spend every day doing just what YOU want to do

etc etc

Well I have done/still do all those things. I (we) truly do live a millionaire’s lifestyle. I’m not saying all this to boast. Just to put on record that I am living in Paradise and have to ask myself when I wake up every day to a glorious sunny morning ‘when will it end?’.

It’s Christmas Day Every Day

So many people look forward to the week-end every week.

Two days off work and do as you please.

Friday is a time to celebrate the coming weekend.

And Christmas day is the day you look forward to all year. The day to relax.

Maybe the time to indulge a little in doing the things you really like. A little bit of luxury and the chance to buy gifts for yourself and others that you normally wouldn’t be able to afford.

Well the week end and Christmas days are not special days for us. Every day is a weekend and a Christmas day.

If we won the Lottery it wouldn’t change our lives much.

We are already living a dream life – a life in paradise.

Sure, a million (£s or US$) in the bank would make us feel a BIT more secure. I would be able to travel to UK frequently to go to the Traction Engine Fairs and sample the English beers. A million would enhance our lives a bit but not drastically change it.

I would still spend 10 – 12 hours a day in the workshop making my model traction engine and Kanyah would still go to work in the fields.

Here is a photo of a model traction engine very similar to the one I am building:-

Photo of 6" Scale Little Samson Steam Model Traction Engine

6″ Scale Little Samson Steam Model Traction Engine

Just to clarify: That is not my traction engine and that is NOT ME at the wheel.

Funny Story About Kanyah Working

By the way here is an extract from an email I sent to the Mel, Landlady of The Plough, my local pub in England:-

Mel, it’s worth reading to the end on this one.

.
I have often complained to Mrs Brown that she over-pays the neighbours to do jobs around the house, typically moving the lawns, trimming the hedges, cleaning the house.
.
But raising this subject is like a red flag to a bull. You want a bit of distance between you and her if you mention it.
.
Anyway a few weeks ago when she went corn picking one day they were rained off in the afternoon about 4 pm. She came home early and soaking wet. Dead tired and cold.
.
Because of the enforced short day they only paid her 250 Baht (about £3) instead of the normal 350 Baht (£7).
.
Totally naively and unprepared for the outburst of wrath that followed I made the point again.
.
Why should she go out to work all day (six hours in this case) and make herself tired just for a meager 250 Baht when she will gladly pay the neighbours 250 Baht for two hours work to clean the house or 400 Baht to cut the lawn which only takes three hours?
.
I was totally unprepared for the answer.
.
“I don’t pay the neighbours to clean the house or cut the lawn. You do“.
.
What more can I say?

Mel was a bit indignant that I let Kanyah (AKA “Mrs Brown” in The Plough) go out working in the fields and wanted to know “what I was going to do about it?” and more stridently in a later email so have you done anything about it yet?????“, to which I replied:-

Mel, look at it this way…
  • She’s out of the house and out of my hair all day.
  • All day she can’t moan and complain about me. (She can but I won’t hear it)
  • When she gets home she’s too tired to moan and complain about me.
  • If fact she’s so tired when she gets home she goes straight to bed.
  • And she makes some pocket money.
So what do you think I’m going to do?
Send her out to work again!

Kanyah really loves going to work on the farm. It’s the way she was bought up as a child and now she does it to keep interested, keep herself fit and it never hurts to earn a little pocket money does it? Look at her grinning in this photo:-

Photo of Kanyah Grinning Ear Top Ear As She Is Ready To Go To Work

Kanyah Grinning Ear Top Ear As She Is Ready To Go To Work

And I had to add this photo to show you the lovely country setting where we live in Pakchong (Pak Chong):-

Photo showing Kanyah Walking Down Our Road On Her Way To Work

Kanyah Walking Down Our Road On Her Way To Work

We already are ‘living the dream’. Oh! Just to be sure, take a look at the photos of our garden, below. All Kanyah’s work. So it was great relief yesterday when the dream was extended for another year.

Our Lovely Garden

And when she isn’t out working in the fields Kanyah loves to tens and develop our lovely garden. Here are a couple of photos:-

Photo of Sunrise In The Garden Of Our Our Retirement Home

Sunrise In The Garden Of Our Our Retirement Home

Photo of Orchid Flower At Our Retirement House In Pakchong

Orchid Flower At Our Retirement House In Pakchong

The Last Post From Me On The Retiringinthailand.Net Website?

Let me explain I am no longer retiring in Thailand. That was a journey that began 8 years ago at the LamTakahong Dam near to Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, on Christmas Day 2006, when this whole retiring in Thailand idea started. That’s finished.

With this retirement visa extension I am now classifying myself as permanently Retired to Thailand.

I can’t write any more about retiring in Thailand because I have now done it. It’s over.

The Retired To Thailand Story, Though Continues Here

The Retired to Thailand story continues on the ModelEngineeringInThailand.com website where I write about Model Engineering in Thailand, and LittleSamsonTractionEngine.com  where I report all the details of making the half sized Little Samson Traction Engine model.

If you pressed me to I could write here about being retired in Thailand and I do have a stock of photos, videos and stories (see below) that I never had time to write on our retiring in Thailand journey. So I could write those up and some (most) of them would be funny and all of them interesting.

It’s Your Turn To Decide

If you want me to continue writing up the stock of stories from the retiring in Thailand journey or to write up the ongoing Retired to Thailand events please let me know. It takes a great deal of effort to keep this website going (and indeed all of them). I’ll only do it if there is sufficient interest. My writing here for no one to read and appreciate it is just a waste of time. So please let me know what you would like. Post your comments below or email me using the Contact Form if you don’t have my email address.

Unfinished Stories

Here are some of the stories I have in stock or never finished from the retiring in Thailand story:-

Stories I Haven’t Started

  • The Cambodia Visa trip
  • The Alex Get’s His Thai Birth Certificate and Thai Passport story
  • The madness of the motorcycles in the local market and Tesco! (Terrific twist at the end)

Stories I Started And Never Finished

  • Kanyah’s great aircraft hangar project
  • Confessions Of A Die-Hard Brit Retiring In Thailand
  • Cheap Phone, Cheap Calls, Cheap Internet
  • Nightmare Cut-Throats Barber
  • Thai Non Immigration (Non ‘O’) Retirement Visa Requirements
  • How To Succeed In Thailand
  • The Cost Of Land In Thailand
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Thailand Confidential

The Perfect Lifestyle – Retiring In Thailand?

I have been here in Thailand pretending to retire for just over 6 months now and it is beginning to appeal to me, much to Kanyah’s relief.

On a previous holiday visit to Thailand, before I came to Thailand to “retire” (quotes because I haven’t really “retired” at all) I had a list of severe reservations about retiring in Thailand. I even listed them and wrote about then on the “Why I Can’t Retire To Thailand” Post.

When I first came here to retire permanently in July I wanted to go back to the UK. I hated it here.

Gradually, over the months that list of concerns on the “Why I Can’t Retire To Thailand” Post have been either overcome or are in the process of being overcome.

Now, after being here just over six months I don’t want to leave.

I have a great – if simple – lifestyle.

I get up around 0630 (when it starts to get light) and go to the computer maybe continue designing my steam models or workshop tools or update my two websites (RetiringInThailand.net and ModelEngineeringInThailand.com) or correspond with my friends here in Thailand.

Then I go to the model engineering workshop and work at building my model steam engines or making tools for the workshop.

I don’t have to drive to work. I don’t have to get on trains. No suit, no tie. Shorts, sandals and T shirt cuts it out here.

And I just know that it’s going to be warm and sunny today. It’s warm and sunny every day.

In fact it’s getting warmer every day now after the ‘cold’ winter where the temperature struggled to top 20 deg C in the daytime and dropped to a shivering 15 deg C at night. Now instead of sleeping under a blanket we sleep with the fan on and yesterday it reached a comfortable 32 deg C in the afternoon.

Photo of the Sunrise Today Over Our Pakchong Retirement Home Garden

Sunrise Today Over Our Pakchong Retirement Home Garden

How Those Reservations About Retiring In Thailand Are Turning Out

Now I’m going to go through all the reservations I had about retiring in Thailand as listed on the  “Why I Can’t Retire To Thailand” Post and explain where we stand today.

In Thailand I’m Completely Dependent On My Wife

Kanyah is slowly releasing her total control over my life as I gradually take control myself. I should explain that she doesn’t and never did intend to ‘control’ me; it’s just that unless and until I am able to take control I will always be dependant upon Kanyah. The details are below.

Knowing Thailand And The Thai Language.

I am getting to know Thailand and the Thai people better as you expect after six months living in the country. We have travelled quite a bit including Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) ,Pattayah, Bangkok and even one trip to Cambodia.

But learning the Thai language is a different matter. I feel like I knew more Thai before I came here than I do now!

I have been learning Thai now for more than 30 years. I have dozens of books on the subject and at least three or four courses including audio courses and CDs. I have completed (for example) the “Thai for Beginners” and “Thai for Intermediate Learners” by Benjawan Poomsan Becker, and the Linguaphone course, for example.  I know thousands of Thai words.

But when I come here to Pakchong it’s like they’re talking a foreign language!

Some of it is down to the local dialect, some of it down to me being ‘tone deaf’ and mostly because since I came here I have not studied the Thai language like I used to when I lived in the UK. Just too busy ‘retiring’.

When you go to live in a completely different county halfway round the world there are many things to adjust to, many things needing your attention. To name just one I still have my house in the UK which needs attention and administration to do with silly things like the central heating, the garden, the Utility bills and the mail, to name just a few.

Taking two hours out a day to sit down and learn the Thai language is something I haven’t got round to yet, but I realise that I must do it before too long.

Security Of My Investment In The Property

I have long been well aware that my huge investment in the land, house and even the car here is at risk since none of it belongs to me and there isn’t a reliable ‘heir’ to pass it on to should anything happen to Kanyah.

Not only that, Kanyah has at times reminded me very well that all this belongs to her and not to me. I’m dependant upon her good will to be able to continue to live here. Not very secure at all.

That is changing on two fronts.

Firstly, after a lot of hard work, our son Alex has obtained his Thai Nationality. He is officially Thai and his name is on the house papers. He now has a Thai Birth Certificate. Alex is in the process of obtaining his Thai Passport and ID card from the Thai Embassy in London.

So Alex could now inherit the property.

On the other front, Kanyah has agreed to sign what is called a Usufruct and I’m having that drawn up by a solicitor as I write this. A Usufruct is a legal and binding document that will give me the right to use the land and house as if it was my own. I can’t be kicked out and Kanyah can’t sell it (without my permission). When that (the Usufruct) is signed I’ll feel much more secure.

 Driving In Thailand

I have now passed the Thai Driving Test and have a Thai driving license.

What a story that was, passing the Thai Driving Test.

Anyway now I can drive anywhere (not only in Thailand but anywhere in the world) and that is a whole life-changer itself.

 Getting A Thai Bank Account

This was another concern of mine, I didn’t have a Thai bank account.

As it turns out this was one of the easier things to do and how I did it is all explained on the “I Open A Bank Account In Thailand” Post.

Thai Visa’s And Thai Retirement Visa In Particular

This has turned out to be a real winner after a disastrous mistake by Thai immigration at the Cambodian Poipet border crossing.

I’ll not go into the details here because the story about “My Retiring In Thailand Project Changed Dramatically Yesterday When The Visa Issue Suddenly Disappeared And Now I Can Stay Here Forever” has a full Post in it’s own right but the outcome is actually better than I could ever imagine.

I came here to Thailand with a one year multiple entry visa I obtained in the UK. It allows me to stay here in Thailand and to come and go as I please but it has the restriction that I must leave and re-enter at least every three months. (Hence the trip to Cambodia).

But it was only valid for one year. My plan was to return to UK after the one year and renew it. I would have to do that perpetually because I didn’t qualify to obtain a Retirement Visa in the UK. (And still don’t.)

After the mess up by Thai immigration at the Cambodian Poipet border crossing I had to find an answer to the mess they had put me in and (missing out all the details that are revealed in that “Retiring In Thailand Retirement Visa” Post) I ended up with a Thai Retirement Visa!

This means that:-

  • I don’t have to go to the UK (or anywhere else) every year to get a new visa – I can renew this in Thailand
  • I don’t have to prove that I am married to a Thai in order to renew the visa – the visa is completely independant of Kanyah
  • I also have a multiple entry visa so I can come and go in and out of Thailand as I wish.

Another life-changer!

Healthcare In Thailand

This was another big concern of mine and whilst a couple of recent incidents have diminished my concern about minor illnesses it is still an issue for the unknow ‘big problems’.

But lets look quickly at those recent incidents that are a tribute to the Thai healthcare system and the thai people themselves.

Alex’s ‘Fever’

When our son Alex came to visit us last October to claim his Thai Nationality he developed a fever. Hot, shaking and very ill.

We took him to the local Pakchong Nanah Hospital in the evening around 1900 hrs. He went straight in to see a doctor – no waiting or asking questions – and was diagnosed with food poisoning. They gave us a prescription and  few minutes later were on our way home.

We had to pay for the prescription (antibiotics plus a few others) which only cost around 300 Baht and Alex was much better the next day and fine in a couple of days.

My Painful Leg Joints

I had been suffering from terrible pains in my right knee joint and my right hip. And I mean terrible pain.

I had been a bit silly at the turn of the New Year jumping up and down and generally prancing around with the Thai kids from next door inspired by the loud CCR music we had on for good party spirit.

A few days later the painful joints surfaced. I wondered if I had done the cartilages some damage.

As is my way – to avoid doctors and hospitals like the plague – I suffered the pain for a month hoping it would go away. It didn’t. in fact it got worse.

So it was off to the local Pakchong Nanah Hospital again to face the medicine.

There was a wait to see a doctor – the place was packed and very busy – but they asked no questions relating to me not being Thai (like how would I pay for the visit) – in fact before I could see a doctor I had to register. I now have a Thai Medical Card!

Image showing Alan's Thai Medical Card

Alan’s Thai Medical Card

Above is a scan of my Thai Medical card I received when I registered at the pakchong Nanah hospital at Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand. My name printed on it in black Thai typeface.

The time came to see the doctor and we told him the story. I also mentioned that previously in the UK I had suffered from Sciatica in my left leg.

(Sciatica results from injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve in the spine cause by the spinal discs being out of position. The sciatic nerve tells the brain that there is pain in the leg(s) even though the leg(s) is (are) healthy. The pain can be – and was- horrific. Sitting down or lying down makes little difference.)

Anyway I want to know if I had damaged the ligaments or if it was sciatica again.

I was sent off for some Xrays. No queue. No need to make an appointment and come back another day as Kanyah had too at Saraburi hospital. No straight in and at least 6 xrays taken of my joints and spine. No waiting for films to be developed. the xrays went straight into the central computer where they could be accessed by any doctor in the hospital on his PC.

Back to the doctor again and I was diagnosed with Degenerative Spondylolisthesis which causes sciatica pain. Apparently my spinal discs are out of position. the doctor said I might need an operation to pin them back in place but he would make an appointment for me to see the orthopedic doctor tomorrow.

He gave me a prescription that included some painkillers amongst other goodies. Total cost? Just over 1,000 baht (about £20).

The following day I duly visited the orthopedic doctor who after looking at the xrays and doing some physical checks on my legs and back proclaimed my condition was mild and not serious.

He gave me another prescription that would help me sleep better.

It’s only two weeks later now and I’m fine. No pain at all.

All in all I have great faith in the Thai health care system. The doctors (and nurses) all speak English, they are very compassionate and they know what they are doing.

I’m truly impressed.

So although I would probably have to return to the UK if a big problem surfaced I know that for the occasional ailment I can rely on the Thai health service.

Good Food And English Beer In Pakchong (Pak Chong)

I previously bemoaned the lack of decent places too eat in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

Since then I have found a few places to get good food in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

One of them is called E.A.T. and they do English food and English beer as reported on the “EAT Paradise in Pak Chong” Post.

Of course they do other types of food also and also have a vast range of beers from all round the world. buy my treat is to be able to enjoy a little bit of England. Lamb chops, mashed potato and Fullers ESB Beer.

New! English Beer By Mail Order In Thailand

And if I’m too lazy to go down to E.A.T. in Pakchong (Pak Chong) to buy some English Beer I can now order it online and have it delivered to my house!

Here are just some of the beers available:-

  • Fuller’s ESB
  • Fuller’s Imperial Stout
  • Fuller’s London India Pale Ale
  • Fuller’s London Porter
  • Fuller’s London Pride
  • Wells Bombardier NRB
  • Wychwood Ginger Bread
  • Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
  • Young’s Special London Ale

I have just picked out my favourites, there are many more available, plus this is just from the english Craft Beer range. thhey also have similar ranges form other countries, like America, Australian, Belgian, Danish, Dutch, English, German, Italian , Apanese, New Zealand, Norwegian, Scottish, Singaporean, Spanish, Sri Lankan.

And there are also sections on the website for Fruit Beers, Cider, Mead , Beer Club, Discovery Cases, Mixed Sets.

Here is the website:- http://www.wishbeer.com

Stuck In Pakchong (Pak Chong) And Enjoying It

On that  “Why I Can’t Retire To Thailand” Post I complained about feeling ‘stuck’ in Pakchong (Pak Chong), but now I really am getting used to just staying at home and can understand why Kanyah doesn’t want to go out.

I have got into a little routine of doing a bit of work (like writing this Post) on the computer interspersed with building my steam engine in the model engineer’s workshop. I have also started another blog called ModelEngineeringInThailand.com so if you want to know in more detail what I’m doing as a ‘retiree’ in Pakchong (Pak Chong) then hop over to the ModelEngineeringInThailand.com website.

Sometime soon we have to make a visit to the UK – to bring the rest of our personal belongings over (my model engineering workshop mainly) and to get the house ready for renting out – and I’m not looking forward to it.

When I first came here to Thailand on my retirement trip I would have jumped at an excuse like that to go back to UK. Now I’d rather just stay here. Strange isn’t it?

That’s all for now – I just wanted to update you with how our retiring in Thailand project is going and  to report on those reservations I had previously.

 

My Retiring In Thailand Project Changed Dramatically Yesterday When The Visa Issue Suddenly Disappeared And Now I Can Stay Here Forever

The Thai Visa issue has been one of my main concerns since retiring to Thailand on 30 Jul 213.

In fact it was always a worry even before that inaugural flight – which was most delightful I must say flying Business Class on Thai Airways from London to Bangkok.

It’s a long story that really came to a head on my last (and only) visa run to Cambodia three months ago.

But the story can follow, first let’s look at how significantly my life changed.

Image Showing Thai Immigration Office Receipt Nakhon Ratchasima

Thai Immigration Office Receipt Nakhon Ratchasima

The above receipt proves my new Thai Non O Non Immigration Retirement Multiple Entry Visa is legitimate and it also proves the Thai Immigration system. I can renew this Thai Non O Non Immigrant Retirement Multiple Entry Visa every year and stay in Thailand forever.

  • No need any more to leave the country every three months (so called visa runs).
  • No need to return to the UK to get another Thai Non O Non Immigrant Retirement Multiple Entry Visa.
  • Not dependant any more on Kanyah anymore to get the Thai Non O Non Immigrant Retirement Multiple Entry Visa.

This last point is of massive importance to me. I have always been worried that if anything should happen to Kanyah (or to our relationship) that I could be forced to leave Thailand and lose my lifestyle and investment in our retirement house here in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

To renew this Thai Non O Non Immigrant Retirement Multiple Entry Visa I don’t have to rely on Kanyah. I don’t have to produce any marriage certificate or any proof of being married to a Thai. As long as I have 800,000 Thai Baht (about £15,000 or US$24,000) in the bank I can renew the visa.

Freedom!

The photo below shows my magical Thai Non O Non Immigrant Retirement Multiple Entry Visa in my passport:-

Photo of my Thai Non O Non Immigration Retirement Multiple Entry Visa

Thai Non O Non Immigration Retirement Multiple Entry Visa

How I Got My Thai Non O Non Immigrant Retirement And Multiple Entry Visa

There’s a bit of a story here – there always in in Thailand – and getting this Thai Non O Non Immigrant Retirement Multiple Entry Visa is quite a story.

It all started when I went to Cambodia at the Aranyaprathet/Poipet border crossing on a visa run. This is because under my Thai Non O multiple entry visa I obtained at the Royal Thai Consulate at Birmingham, U.K. I have to leave Thailand every three months.

For us living in Pakchong (Pak Chong) Poipet was the nearest border to any country. We drove by car and intended to take the car into Cambodia and visit Phnom Penh for a couple of days.

When we arrived at the border late in the afternoon and checked into the @ Border Hotel at Aranyaprathet (the only hotel in the area that we could find). Alex did some research on how to take a car into Cambodia. That’s another story in itself but briefly the paperwork involved is horrendous and we didn’t have all the documents required so we decided to leave the car in the hotel car park and walk over into Cambodia the next day.

About The Thai Aranyaprathet/Cambodian Poipet Border Crossing

This was possibly the most strange places I have ever been in my life and I have traveled a lot including some esoteric places like Iraq, Nigeria, Lesotho.

And once over the border and into Cambodia it got worse. The dirtiest, unkempt, weirdest dump I have ever seen.

I sat down and took long videos of the place to put on the website – it was so strange. Because this was such a bizarre place I’m not going to show anything here – it warrants a full page to itself.

But it wasn’t all bad. They had beer and cigarettes for sale at unbelievably cheap prices and we even bought a few cans of that rare Guinness Foreign Extra Stout that you can’t get in Thailand.

No let’s get back to the visa story.

How The Thai Immigration Messed Up My Thai Multiple Entry Visa

“Messed Up ” is a rather polite phrase. Other words come to mind to describe the complete and utter **!!-up they made of it but let’s leave it at “Messed Up “.

Getting out of Thailand was easy.

Getting into Cambodia (officially) less so.

I say ‘officially’ because as soon as you come out of Thai immigration  control you come out into what looks like no-man’s land as you would at any other border crossing. But when you go through the Cambodia immigration  control and get your Cambodian visa you just come back to the same ‘no-man’s land’. So is it ‘no-man’s land’ or Cambodia? beats me. Told you it was bizarre.

As I said getting the Cambodian visa was not straightforward. We had heard about Visa touts at the border and yes we were approached several times by people wanting to sell us a visa for 1,000 Baht. What was strange was that all these people selling visas were dressed up in some military Officer’s uniform.

So we passed up on the visa toutes and went to the Cambodian immigration number but directly where we filled out an immigration card. There was a box to write your Cambodian visa since we didn’t have one we left it blank. The official at Cambodian immigration looked at my passport and the card and handed it back to me, and waved me aside.

No explanation, no words at all.

So we figured out it would be worth the 1,000 Baht (per person – me and Alex – but not Kanyah – she was on a Thai passport) so we went to one of the desks on the street attended by two Army Generals (or so it appeared) and handed over the 2,000 Baht and the two passports. One of the Officers then went down the street into another building which was apparently the place where visas are issued.

He came back with our visas and immigration card properly filled out and we went through Cambodian immigration with no trouble only, as I said to come out onto the same street.

We waited a couple of hours before going back into Thailand and i whiled away the time taking the movies and drinking that  Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.

I Was Annoyed By My Cambodian Visa Too

Not only by the cost – 1,000 Baht is about £20 or US $30 – but also by the size of it. It took up a whole page in my passport.

Image of My One Month Single Visit Cambodian Visa

My One Month Single Visit Cambodian Visa

Why do they feel so important that they can take up a whole page in my passport for just a single entry into their country? Normally a visa is just a little stamp. Full-page visas are normally only given for multiple entry or very important visas. Not for day-trip visas.

I’m not being silly about this. That is valuable real estate they have squandered in my passport. There are not so many pages in a passport and under my current Thai Multiple Entry Visa I would have to lose one page every three months for the Cambodian visa. It wouldn’t be long before I would need another passport.

But things only got worse. It was then time to re-enter Thailand. We went through Cambodian immigration with no problem and they stamped my Cambodian visa “USED” as you can see in the top left of the photo above.

Thai Immigration On Entering Thailand At The Poipet /Aranyaprathet  Cambodian / Thai Border Crossing

I was a bit nervous about entering Thailand because we had only been in Cambodia for a couple of hours. it would be obvious to the Thai immigration that we had simply do what is called ‘ a visa run’.

I handed my passport over to the young female Thai immigration officer and reminded her in bad Thai that I expected a three month leave of entry. She seemed not to know what she was doing and a more senior officer went over to her to help.

Passport back in my possession and back into Thailand with a feeling of relief I checked my passport for the three month stamp and it was there. entered Thailand on 26 Oct 2013 and admitted until 23 Jan 2014. “No problem” then I thought.

I was dead wrong.

My Thai Multiple entry Visa Had Been Stamped “USED” By Thai Immigration

It was not until I got home and looked again at my passport that I discovered that the Thai Immigration officer at the Thai Aranyaprathet immigration office had stamped my precious Thai Non O Multiple Entry Visa as “USED”. Here it is:-

Image of Stamped Used At Aranyapathet Poipet Border Thai Non O Non Immigration Multiple Entry Visa

Stamped Used At Aranyapathet Poipet Border Thai Non O Non Immigration Multiple Entry Visa

You can imagine I was not very pleased at that.

I set about trying to find out what that actually meant. I posted the story on the Thai Visa Forum and started doing research on the Internet.

The general conclusion I reached from several people offering advice was that officially it is a ‘dead’ visa but that if I went through the same immigration office at  Aranyaprathet  / Poipet they ‘might’ agree that it was a mistake and let me into Thailand again. That’s a bit risky to say the least. The last thing I want to do was to be stranded in Cambodia.

This is an extract from one friendly email I received from a website called www.siamese-visa.com :-

Image showing "USED" Visa Advice by Email from Siamese-Visa.com

“USED” Visa Advice by Email from Siamese-Visa.com

I thought that even armed with this piece of sweet-talk it would be too risky to re-visit Cambodia and I might have to go back to the UK to get another Thai Non O Multiple Entry Visa at very great expense.

More Help About Thaii Visas From Siamese-Visa.com

Later I went back to re-read the email above because the second part of it (shown below) intrigued me:-

Image showing Offer By Email From Siamese-Visa.com To Get A Retirement Visa

Offer By Email From Siamese-Visa.com To Get A Retirement Visa

So I replied to the email from Akkamon at Siamese-Visa.com.  After some clarification emails he offered to get me both a Retirement Visa and a Non O Multiple Entry Visa within a few days.

This was too good to be true (and probably was I thought) but just look at what was on offer in addition to getting those visas:-

  • I would not have to go to Cambodia again and risk being stranded there.
  • I would not even have to go to Bangkok and visit any Foreign Office or other Passport Office.
  • I would not have to fill out any Visa Application Forms.
  • I would not have to go to the UK to get another Non O Multiple Entry Visa.
  • I would not have to have the 800,000 Baht in my bank account for three months. (A normal stipulation).
  • I would have to get Police Certificate from the UK. (A normal stipulation).

All I had to do was to follow Akkamon’s simple instructions and send my passport and other easily obtained documents to him in Bangkok and he would get my visas and send them back within a few days.

I couldn’t believe it and I was a bit apprehensive.

But it all worked out just as Akkamon said. There was a bit of a delay in getting my passport back because of the demonstrations in Bangkok closing down government offices it took less than a week.

I can recommend Siamese-Visa.com as a satisfied customer if you need a visa and will definitely be using them next year when this visa expires.

 

 

 

Cambodia, Draught Guinness, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Pattayah, Bangkok, Thai Nationality  and a Model Engineering Workshop

What An Amazing Week

Our son Alex visited us for three weeks to apply for his Thai Nationality. At the same time I had to go to Cambodia to renew my Thai visa and I wanted to see a friend I had met via this website who was a fellow model engineer and lived in Pattayah.

We made and followed a blistering itinerary and here is the story.

Awaiting text and media. this will take a while!

Visit To Cambodia To Get My Visa Renewed

The two border towns at the Thai/Cambodia border are Aranyaprathet on the Thai side and Poipet on the Cambodia side.

There is nothing much to say about Aranyaprathet  but Poipet is a different animal altogether. The border crossing and particularly on the Cambodia side reminds me of an old Wild West movie. It’s dirty, dusty and well… just wild.

But, just to set the scene, lets see a movie taken on the Thai side:-

And a movie taken on the Cambodia side, a walk down the high street at Poipet:-

 

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