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  1. #1
    Newbie gurney's Avatar
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    Korat Immigration - My Experience

    G'day Folks, This is my first post. I would have hoped for it to be a more positive subject. I just returned from my first annual visa extension visit to Korat Immigration. I've had time to count to Ten Thousand so you may get the gist of what is to follow.
    First a bit of background. My wife and I live in Pak Chong and have done so for some 10 years out the 20 we've been together.
    Wed in Scotland in 1997...Makes 10 years also as a legally married status.
    We live in our fairly recently built house on a good plot. We also built a house for my wife's 83 year old Mother for her comfort during her elderly years in which she is also very happy and close by to look after.
    I personally have been in Thailand at some time or other since the 70's but more or less full time since mid 80's. This country however has been my base for those 20 years from which I traveled to worldwide jobs following the money as ya do.
    The latter 10 years though I've been prematurely retired due to accumulated injuries and live here full time.
    For the past 10 years I have been afforded an annual visa extension from two other immigration offices with absolutely NO trouble.
    Initially we used to travel to the Nong Khai Office, a 2 day jaunt and apart from the long drive a pleasant enough trip.
    Latterly we found that the Pattaya Immigration would "do" our application regardless of our North Eastern location. Pattaya being quite some distance closer that has been the routine for the last 4 years, again with no problems whatsoever.
    I shall add here that Bangkok is complete anathema to me and avoid the City like the plague but that's just my preference.
    Imagine our delight upon learning that there is an office within 1 hour's drive that we're assured are friendly and helpful.
    I shall also add that competence would have sufficed.
    Not so. Read on.
    The rules for a retirement or Marriage Visa state that a certain income and proof thereof shall be furnished. OR a certain ammount of money deposited in a Thai Bank...800,000 minimum IS the figure.
    For the past 10 years we have always conformed to this requirement, as this year.
    At some stage in the past it was suggested to us that a joint account would better serve us and I agreed considering I'm not so young any more and in pretty dire health. Therefore this was set up a number of years ago. In my English name and my wife's Thai name...and script.
    According to the officer who "dealt" with us at the Korat Immigration Office if the bank account is so set up then ONE MILLION and SIXTY THOUSAND BAHT is required to be in the said account...ie...800,000 for the foreign holder AND 800,000 for the THAI holder.
    Now THIS has gotta be a first. A THAI citizen married to a foreigner has to also hold that gross amount of cash in a joint account.
    THEN the officer stated that I would have to go to Bangkok after all to have my British [please do not let or hinder] Passport validated by the Consul there.
    This a Passport I have held for the past 45 years and has NEVER been a requirement in ANY country.
    You might think by this stage I was becoming agitated but alas no...I just sat there still grinning wildly at the suggestion that Ten Billion Baht in the bank may not suffice this "jerk".
    I had recently read in forums various that there could well be a hiccup with the people of the KORAT IMMIGRATION...stories such as...take a photograph of your house, standing in front pointing at the house "name" [like at a murder suspect in death weekly] with your name as resident there-on painted clearly.
    That the female supervisor is a witch...I wouldn't know...it's difficult to tell who's who when the officer dealing is consulting a woman in a TRACK SUIT.
    In summary. I was given a SEVEN DAY extension. to get out of the country?
    after TWENTY YEARS? We shall now travel to a legitimate immigration office. One with sane staff who don't formulate the rules as they go along...or depending on their state of pre-menstrual tension...and I AM talking about the male officer here.
    What this guy is effectively saying is that ALL the previous immigration officers during the last TEN YEARS are incompetents and/or corrupt.
    In fact he went so far as to ask my wife if the officer in Pattaya [who actually outranks this guy] accepted bribery from us.
    That WILL go down well when I tell her. We are very good friends on a personal basis, regularly keeping in telephone contact for day to day reasons. no visa pressures involved.
    I shall also be making a formal complaint about the service to us "guests" in Thailand and the total lack of respect afforded by the Thai Officers of the KORAT IMMIGRATION "SERVICE"...service ???...it's a bloody JOKE...BE WARNED !!!

  2. #2
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    forreachingme's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this, but the good news is that they will close soon.

    She's to be

  3. #3
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your problems.
    I have had similar problems at two immigration offices in the past.
    I let them do the ranting and then calmly walk out and go to another office that doesn't make up silly rules. I managed to get one officer moved by complaining but wait until you have your extension before going down that route.

  4. #4
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    I went in to the Udon offce two years ago to do a marriage visa with wife and kids, presented all paperwork including my daughters birth certs, my name on both.
    The arsehole who was doing it looked throuh the paper and then asked my wife "are these the farangs children?" she said yes, he then asked, "do both have the same father?"
    I just gathered the paper together and walked out, booked a ticket to Oz and did it at the Thai embassy in Brisbane.
    These people are a bunch of retarded xenophobic misfits, the ones that I ahve had anything to do with are jealous, small minded people who hate the job of dealing with people who have more money and higher intellect than their themselves.

  5. #5
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    Thank you Gurney. I have mentioned this office before on TD and got slated, everyone thinks they're good. Their arrogance is beyond belief and my wife agrees, even though she's Thai. I avoid the place as best I can. I hope Chiang Mai gets on better with the supervisor than I did when she was in Korat. Bless her

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan View Post
    the ones that I ahve had anything to do with are jealous, small minded people who hate the job of dealing with people who have more money and higher intellect than their themselves.

    I know the **** you're talking about. You should have seen the look on his face when he asked my wife how old I was.
    Wife: 42.
    ****: He can't be retired then.
    Wife: He is.
    ****: He can't have a retirement visa.
    Wife: He's not asking for a retirement visa.
    ****: So you're married then -- how many months have you been married.
    Wife: 6 years.

    Went on like that for a 30 minutes. Till we got to the bankbook part. Mind, I had just arrived to Thailand had just bought a truck and was in the process of buying a house.

    The **** looked at me like I was a fcuking dope dealer. His voice went up two octaves and he started grinding his teeth. Amazing Thailand.

    Nice post OP. Keep yer chin up. Thai Immigration is only 72% ****s, you're bound to get a good one within the next seven days.

    Ivor B -- When I lived in Udon, I went to Bangkok Immigration once to avoid the ****s in Udon Thani and they demanded photos of my house inside and out with me and my wife in each photo. (wtf?) There was a lot of shit thrown around the hotel room that night. I ended up going to Nong Khai.
    Last edited by Texpat; 08-02-2008 at 08:39 PM.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat
    Nice post OP. Keep yer chin up. Thai Immigration is only 72% ****s, you're bound to get a good one within the next seven days.
    Kap Cheong is brilliant.

  8. #8
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Thanks for the story gurney. I have been getting all my visa work done in Bangkok for the last 16 years and although crowded and is a whole day wasted, I can say I have never run into any of the nonsense I am hearing about the other offices in the country. I was contemplating getting my next extension in Mukdahan but after your story and Texpats I will bite the bullet and head for Bangkok.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  9. #9
    I am in Jail

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    ^Agree completely with Norton. I only deal with Bangkok for several years now. You may spend all day, but you never get screwed around.

    The immigration guys in Phuket are are different animal entirely. Very arrogant, smug, always cracking jokes in front of farangs, and sort of taking pleasure in the unease of most of the farangs on their hands and knees. In the end, they do act fairly efficiently, but dealing with the games isn't fun. Bangkok is best.

  10. #10
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    Never been to BKK immigation but half way is Kap Choeng

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    So Norton, are you required to show pics of your lovely and your house to Bangkok Immigration as you're not BKK residents? That's what I was told last year after driving all the way from Udon. I had never heard of the photos requirement and the lady said, if you don't live here, we have no way of checking where you live. ****.

    Who knows what horseshit they'll come up with next.

  12. #12
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat
    So Norton, are you required to show pics of your lovely and your house to Bangkok Immigration as you're not BKK residents? That's what I was told last year after driving all the way from Udon.
    No I'm on the retirement visa so they have never asked for a photo of the house. I do however take the lease agreement and Tambien Baan on the place though just in case they ask. After all the years I have been getting visas/extensions of one sort or another, when all my friends see me show up in the office they just motion me over even if my number is 492 and they are only at 23. It does help to deal with people you know in any of Thailand's government agencies.

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    And Gurney, welcome to Teak Door.

  14. #14
    Member minime's Avatar
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    For BKK immigration you will need photo's of you and the Mrs in all rooms of your house and outside. Last year we didn't but this year we were told to do that. I have a non o married visa showing over 40 k per month with letter from British embassy and that I pay tax here.

    I hate reading horror stories about immigration as I know it will happen to me one day.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    That whole picture requirement thing is a load of crap. wtf? It's more difficult for me to get a one-year visa to live in the hallowed confines of Thailand than it is for my wife to get a 10-year, multiple entry, visa (work ok) to the United States.

    If I'm granted the coveted one-year visa, I have to personally check into Immigration every 90-days.

    When my wife was granted a green card, she never has to check in for 10 years and the renewal after 10 years is practically automatic.

    What's wrong with this picture?

  16. #16
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat
    What's wrong with this picture?
    Here's a couple pictures that are examples of the mentality of Thai Government regarding foreigners.

    Ticket 20 baht. In Thai, "free"




    Zoo, price 100 baht for foreigners. Thais 50 baht.


  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
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    Gurney, sorry to hear about your plobrems and hope they get sorted. Had some minor move the posts around hiccups in Pattaya, but nothing that couldn't be resolved with patience and blood curdling respect.

  18. #18
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    They really aint worth dealing with if you can stay away from them, your thai wife or girlfriend may be more educated than them but as they are with a farang they must be a whore and treated as so, which aint good I might add, but when you learn enough thai and understand the conversation that will probably be going on between your wife/ girlfriend you will probably want to kill the **** that is doing the talking, they are foking scum Thai immigration, but remember, we are just white scum to them.

  19. #19
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    Interesting story, I have no personal experience but the good folk on the local forum are full of praise for the Korat office and are currently petitioning to keep it open.

  20. #20
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    I had the displeasure of trying to get a visa renewed at the Aranyaprathet office, OMG were those women incompetent. I had all the requirements and even a printed copy of the rules from the Thai Government website. They told me silly requirements untill I pulled out the printed sheets to show them what they should know. The one officer asked me where I got the info from and I told her it was from the website. She said the government doesn't have a website I had to restrain myself from laughing. My wife said it does and they asked me to show them it on their computer. Needless to say after showing them the site we decided to get things done in Bangkok.

  21. #21
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    More sordid tales of the visa process. I've been lucky I assume.

    Maybe its only me but have had absolutely NO problems with retirement extensions or regular extensions on an O visa.

    Both Pong Nam Rong and Samut Prakan offices are damn efficient and most helpful I've found. I asked specifically in Pong Nam Rong if I had to return there for subsequent retirement extensions.... No sir you can do them anywhere at any office, no need to go to any specific office. I asked again, informing them that I would likely move from the area and the answer was the same. No need to go to any particular office because of where you are domiciled.

    Not sure, but its possible that offices dealing mainly with Farang visa extensions of one type or another are more liable to give you a hard time. In both offices mentioned above I've seen very very few farang. Mostly they deal in immigrant workers (Pong Nam Ron) or folks off the ships (Samut Prakan). It does seem that they are glad to see someone else use their services.

    I realize that this info isn't too good for those of you in the North or Northeast or anywhere other than East of Bangers. However, if your going to Bangers anyway it will save you some time to go to Samut Prakan. Took all of 15 minutes to get a retirement visa. No photos, no nuddin other than a letter from the embassy stating monthly income.

    Must be all of 150 baht taxi ride from Sukumvit area so it won't cost you an arm and a leg.

    E. G.
    "If you can't stand the answer --
    Don't ask the question!"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakeopete
    I had to restrain myself from laughing. My wife said it does and they asked me to show them it on their computer. Needless to say after showing them the site we decided to get things done in Bangkok.
    When I mentioned that the Thai rules didn't say what she was requiring of me, the officer female said that it made no difference what the printed rules were, that they could require different rules if they wanted and she did require that I have BOTH a bank account and the 65,000 baht per month proven income, so to go and put 200k in a thai bank account and return in 2 weeks with proof of the account, which I did, next year she still wanted the same stuff, but I got an extension after I went back to the embassy and got a new letter of income, and then I have went to CM every year since and no more surprises.

  23. #23
    ding ding ding
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackgang
    the officer female said that it made no difference what the printed rules were, that they could require different rules if they wanted
    Fcuking amateurs, every last one of them.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackgang
    they could require different rules if they wanted
    This is not unusual. Bureaucracies work this way. It gives decision makers latitude to require evidence that is convincing given the circumstances.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by buad hai
    It gives decision makers latitude to require evidence that is convincing given the circumstances.
    That would be fine if there was some consistancy with their decisions, in that you can get refused at one office only to be accepted at another without changing anything that was shown at the first office. Seems like bad training in my opinion.

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