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  1. #1
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    Visa "Agencies"?

    Hi all, and many thanks for the informative info on travelling to, and even living in Thailand!

    I have a question regarding the number of "Agencies" that have popped up, offering long-term visas in Thailand, including Retirement Visas, without the need for all of the official requirements, (only large fees)!

    Do they work? Has anybody used them? Can anybody recommend a reliable "Agency"?

    I too, want to retire in Thailand (Canada Passport) and have my money tied up very happily in other places around the world, and would prefer not to break those long term investments right now, maybe a year or so from now, but need the Retirement Visa now, as I am already in Thailand (and loving it!).

    Appreciate the help / advice.

    Cheers, Sam.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the Buffalo Board, Sam...You'll have a lot of info, soon...Do you like the band, KISS?...

  3. #3
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    Of course they don't work ! You will have to satisfy all the conditions for a visa or extension of stay and pay the relevant fees. You will pay extra for getting the agency to do some work for you. My advice is to study the relevant law and do the work yourself.

  4. #4
    Member 2020Fission's Avatar
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    Legal visas done myself for 20 years, it's not expensive, barely takes a few hours , I can walk to immi,, Just recall if you cannot pay the fine don't do the crime .If your minted no need to grease middlemen

    Perhaps you may not want to post all your personal details but many routes education marriage, monk get adopted by a Thai oh yes where there's a will there's awai

  5. #5
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    Yeah
    You pay their fees, 24-30000 bath
    They arrange the account, the money required for ret visa, the paperwork s.forth.
    They need a minimum of 2 weeks.
    Use a reputable agency and its all good.
    I'm refer to Pattaya, I don't know what's cooking other places.
    Its all legal, its a payable service for those who don't want the work of doing it themselves.

  6. #6
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    You say you're in the glorious "Land O' Thaiz" now CanadaSam; what type of visa are you currently on here?

    Your first step in getting a "yearly extension of stay" based on being over 50 (retirement) is getting a 90 day single entry Non-Immigrant Type O <-(other) visa. Then you can apply for your yearly extension of stay.

    Now many agencies can pull off getting the Non-O & the yearly extension of stay in a few days. None that I know of can pull it all off in a single visit and in fact MOST of the agencies here in Bangkok pull the 90 day Non-O here at Chaengwattana, then courier your passport to Jomtien and pull the yearly extension of stay there.

    Of course since they went to Zone Immigration's; getting a yearly extension of stay from an immigration office in a zone where you don't physically live is against the rules, but it doesn't seem to stop people from using the agencies.

    I'll relate how 9 out of 10 agencies work. You show up at a thai bank, an 'rag head, red-dot' indian shows up with a bag of cash. They open an account for you, deposit the requisite 800K, get the bank manager to write a letter stating you have the money in your account, they update the bank book, they pull the money out, and they immediately ferry you to the thai immigration office at Chaengwattana to apply for the 90 day Non-O visa and the accompanying 90 day admitted until stamp.

    Now most people who apply for a 90 day Non-O visa at Chaengwattana based on being over 50 must show that the money originated from overseas AND also have their applications go "under-consideration" for 14 days before you go back to get the Non-O inked into your passport. The visa "agencies" have "greased the wheel" and can get them issued on the spot, without the need of the funds originating from overseas & without the 14 day waiting period.

    Additionally; when you apply for a yearly extension of stay you must have 45 days or LESS remaining on your current admitted until stamp. The agencies can also circumvent this by taking your passport to Jomtien where they're pulling the yearly extension of stay via the back door by also "greasing the wheel" down there. This means once you go thru them you'll have the 90 day Non-O and the yearly extension of stay which equals out to about 15 months in country.

    You can run into problems when you go to do a 90 day report, but the officer sees you pulled your yearly extension from another zone. Filing a change of address gets you around this, BUT suppose the officer asks where you lived in Jomtien? What are you gonna tell them? You got NO idea what address the agency used to pull your yearly extension of stay down there!

    I am not saying that agencies don't work, I'm saying there is a definite risk involved, even though they're real honest to goodness immigration stamps and signatures..

    Case in point; there was a "famous" agency that was pulling Non-O's and yearly extensions based on being over 50 (retirement) from the Korat Immigration office. They specialized in getting them for Nigerians & Arabs. The officer was caught issuing visas/extensions via the back door up there and all the extension's they'd done for a year were canceled without telling the passport holders. The people who held these bogus extension stamps didn't know until they went to exit the country, OR to go apply for a new extension. It caused quite a few of them to come off the rails, get locked into IDC and be deported.

    Another one that was in the news was; the thai immigration dept raided a bunch of hotels, guest houses down in Pattaya famous for it's indian clientele, It was found that 10-15 people had all used the same address when they got their extensions (the address the visa agency put on their passport) but that was not where those people were actually living, and they were fined for failure to file a change of address AND failure to notify the immigration office within 24 hours of moving AND upon further investigation, their paperwork was incomplete and some were also arrested for having a "fake" visa stamp (a real stamp gotten under false pretenses) and deported.

    I'm not sayin' don't use an agency, I'm saying there's no reason you can't actually follow the rules and get both a Non-O and a yearly extension of stay all on your own. There's no requirement that the 800K baht ($23K-USD) you bank for 2 months prior to your application stay in your account for even a second after you get your extension. You could drain the account back to zero right after you have your extension inked into your passport.

    I go out to the thai immigration office here in Bangkok at Chaengwattana A LOT (probably more than 300 times in 6 years) <-ONLY because I like the food court there, NOT because I 'push-paper' I see the same agents, the same rag-head, red-dot indians inside the office and down in the banks time after time. They're certainly NOT hiding what they're doing.

    Sorry this was a long post, perhaps you'll find it of marginal value

    Good Luck.

  7. #7
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    Good info

    So use the good agencies.
    Who would trust Indians/muslims anyway, or an
    agency conducting business with them.
    Use your own address for the residential,
    And so forth
    I talked to to of the old visa companies in Patties,
    A U.K. Guy and a Thai. Trustworthy .
    Then one of the Nepalese guys/Indians s trying to do business within
    the business, offering me a discounted rate. Obviously not trustworthy.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by capitane
    A U.K. Guy and a Thai. Trustworthy .
    wasn't that the start of ThaiVisa?

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capitane View Post
    Who would trust Indians/muslims anyway, or an agency conducting business with them.
    Yes, you should always insist on proof that any agency you use has no Muslim or Indian customers.

    I always wobble my head when I visit an agency I'm unsure of. I observe closely, and if there is any indication of a reciprocated wobble I simply turn on my heels and exit.

  10. #10
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    Heard very good reports about Cambodian Visa/Travel on Soi Beukow (sp) Pattaya.
    Past the new hospital going towards the market approx 500 metres on left hand side.
    Opposite a construction site.
    Take your passport and go and have a chat.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Thai3's Avatar
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    sxxxxy visa and others do it without funds in the banks, obviously a bung to the officer. Bloke on TV was arguing the toss it was legal as the agent was breaking the law not him, lots do it so waiting for the crackdown. Maybe they make too much out of it for that to happen, 14- 20 k seems the going price. Chinese woman near us swears she gets a yearly visa from the Thai passport office, nothing would surprise me here, 10k she knocked them down to 6k last year. I asked her where the office was and it is the passport office, was at central Bangna now at Samrong.
    Last edited by Thai3; 17-04-2017 at 09:37 PM.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat Thai3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digby Fantona View Post
    Of course they don't work ! You will have to satisfy all the conditions for a visa or extension of stay and pay the relevant fees. You will pay extra for getting the agency to do some work for you. My advice is to study the relevant law and do the work yourself.
    Surprisingly they do work, bloke at last condo did it for years, he never ever went to immigration. He paid 20k for an extension based on marriage without the 400k in the bank, saw his extensions. Rather him than me, if you can't afford to keep that much in the bank here then best go home anyway.
    Last edited by Thai3; 17-04-2017 at 09:33 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai3 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Digby Fantona View Post
    Of course they don't work ! You will have to satisfy all the conditions for a visa or extension of stay and pay the relevant fees. You will pay extra for getting the agency to do some work for you. My advice is to study the relevant law and do the work yourself.
    Surprisingly they do work, bloke at last condo did it for years, he never ever went to immigration. He paid 20k for an extension based on marriage without the 400k in the bank, saw his extensions. Rather him than me, if you can't afford to keep that much in the bank here then best go home anyway.
    They work well if you want to be in Thailand illegally and are happy to be deported.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat Thai3's Avatar
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    Nobody I have ever heard of has been deported for getting an extension under the table, it's a racket in a corrupt country

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai3 View Post
    Nobody I have ever heard of has been deported for getting an extension under the table, it's a racket in a corrupt country
    One would have to be a complete idiot to leave oneself open to blackmail and possible deportation for the sake of a little personal effort. Cheaper and safer to ignore the agencies.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat Thai3's Avatar
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    I completely agree, but the consensus of opinion on the other channel seemed to be nothing wrong with it and no risk. They ignore crackdowns on visa runs, ed visas and further back fake re entry visas. Up to them. When it comes to legit agencies I knew one bloke who used to pay one for filling out his 90 day report form, his name address etc. He was ex US military

  17. #17
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    Digby Fantona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai3
    He was ex US military
    That's perfectly understandable as ex US military are not known for their intellect, are they ?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digby Fantona View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thai3 View Post
    Nobody I have ever heard of has been deported for getting an extension under the table, it's a racket in a corrupt country
    One would have to be a complete idiot to leave oneself open to blackmail and possible deportation for the sake of a little personal effort. Cheaper and safer to ignore the agencies.
    Fair point, but maybe some people do not trust Thai banks with 800K baht and would rather keep their money in their home banks where at least they get goverment protection on their savings.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat Thai3's Avatar
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    My Thai bank is owned by the bank of Japan Mitsubishi, being staffed by Thais of course it is not always easy going. In Dec they started to make debits every month, when we went into ask why they claimed I had signed up for the sms service, completely untrue. Thought I'd give it a go anyway but it never worked and never did get an explanation why not, or why they started it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tj916 View Post
    maybe some people do not trust Thai banks with 800K baht and would rather keep their money in their home banks where at least they get goverment protection on their savings.
    You could always use the notary of income from abroad letter your consulate offers. I don't know of a single consulate here that won't issue that letter to it's citizens.

    Now granted some consulates and not as easy as the Aussie, Kiwi, or American consulates where you show up, write what you want on the letter and they notarize it.

    Some like the Canada & the UK consulates make you show them proof and then they write the letter for you.

    Still it's an option.

    Plus seeing as the 800K baht banked needs only be in your account for 60 days prior to your application being submitted (for the first yearly extension) and 3 months for every subsequent extension you could always transfer the money right back outta the country IF you wanted to once you got the extension inked into your passport.

  21. #21
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    I wish to THANK YOU ALL that offered advice and info, I am TRULY GRATEFUL to all of you, especially Mon Capitane and Tod Daniels, but really to each and every one of you!

    Just to clarify, there are a few reasons why I am asking about this service. Firstly, I am here on the 30 day free entry permit they give to Canadians, and will extend by another 30 days by paying the THB 1900, so I have only a few weeks to solve my problem.

    Secondly, apparently, I can not do ANY of this (Change to "O" Visa, apply for Residence Visa, Open a Bank Account here, etc. etc.) without going out the country, and coming back in on the correct visa, so that is going to cost me, and to be honest, at my age, I prefer not to run around the world for the sake of bureaucracy, and carry my bags and travel, etc. etc. rather than just pay them something, and relax in my favourite bar or beach, and let them do it for me!

    And finally, as it is going to take me some months to sell some assets at a fair price, I need this service, really only for the first year.

    So, as it looks like I'm going to have to do something "dodgy" anyway, to change my visa status, and/or open a bank account, might as well go the whole way and get them to do everything, so I'm good for the next year???

    So, a FINAL REQUEST is that somebody point me to some "reliable" agencies, who can do it the amazing prices that some of you have mentioned, because the only company I have found, on the net, has quoted me THB 45,000 for the first year, and I would really love to save the money, but not be foolish about it?

    I could use the balance to invite any or all of you out for some nights of wonderful drinks and dinner here in Pattaya???

    Thank You Again, Really!

    Regards, Sam.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tj916 View Post
    Heard very good reports about Cambodian Visa/Travel on Soi Beukow (sp) Pattaya.
    Past the new hospital going towards the market approx 500 metres on left hand side.
    Opposite a construction site.
    Take your passport and go and have a chat.
    From what I am told, should cost you less than half of what you have been quoted with these people.

    They take no money up front. No Visa, you pay nothing.

    My advice would be to go and talk to them before you do your 30 day extension.

    Good luck.

  23. #23
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    They need 2 weeks, so have at least two weeks left on your extension.
    I guess any agency will provide, Its not illegal, Its a VIP service.
    Key visa next to bigC Pattaya tai quoted me 30000 bath.
    Probably expensive, but trustworty.
    SOI post office, approx 32500.
    The agency in the imigration building in SOI 5 jomtien quoted me 32000 bath.
    Probably white man prices.
    Some people mentioned agencies in SOI buakao, shop around

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