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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Retiremet Visa new or renewal pay 20000 or go to Bangkok

    I've heard two stories now about farangs in Pattaya being asked to fork over 20,000 baht for 'expedited' service to get a signature verified by the Thai government. If you don't pay then you are directed to travel to a Thai government office in Bangkok to get the signature verified.

    Both instances occured at Jomtien Immigration office. One guy was applying for a new retirement visa and the other guy just wanted the regular one year extension, So what's up with this? Is anyone else hearing similar stories?

  2. #2
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    What signature would that be, they do not have to be verified. Nobody is going to pay that much if they can get it done for nowt in Bkk.

  3. #3
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    ^Precisely. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest the OP heard this story from some geezer in a bar - as the sun was coming up - who'd heard about it from someone else.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywade
    a signature verified by the Thai government.
    I'm confused. But it doesn't take much these dayz.

  5. #5
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    in order to apply for a retirement extension one either needs an extant visa or time remaining on the last extension, if applicable. Sometimes folk cock up and let things drift and subsequently are told they need to leave the country and to obtain a new visa before beginning the process all over again. 20,000 baht secures a revised opinion, I believe.

    For those who observe the conventional route then 1,900 baht remains the orthodox fee.

    I think that is what the OP may be on about but he probably doesn't even know himself given the tittle tattle folk dribble out in bars etc.

  6. #6
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    @Thai3 It was the signature on an income verification letter, already certified and notarized by the Farang's embassy.

    @Headworx I heard it firsthand from a guy who was in the middle of getting his initial retirement visa, All his paperwork was in order. I also heard second-hand about another guy who had the exact same problem only he was just extending his retirement visa. In both cases the requested 'fee' was 20,000.

    I was ready to dismiss the whole idea when I heard it from the first guy. But after hearing it again just a few days later from a completely independent source I assumed there must be something there.

  7. #7
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    If those guys were tapped for a 20,000 fee you can be assured that their applications did not meet the published criteria contained in the Police Acts etc.

    Only a fucking idiot would pay that if his application was otherwise sound.

    Your information is hearsay, and in the context of expats in Thailand gossiping in bars, obviously bollocks.

    Take a word of advice, this ain't Thaivisa, so keep your crap to yourself.

    Anyway why the fuck would a signature of a consular official certifying an income letter issued on embassy letter headed paper bearing a consular endorsement need verification?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    If those guys were tapped for a 20,000 fee you can be assured that their applications did not meet the published criteria contained in the Police Acts etc.
    Concurred. Look, they're no saints at Jomtien Immigration (or anywhere else for that matter) but putting 20k bites on people who's paperwork and background is all in order is something simply I cannot believe. More so as this seemingly happened at the Jomtien Immigration office. If this was genuine and word of it got to the press, there'd be people moved from the seats they sit on now (albeit to inactive posts , but their gravy train would come to an abrupt halt).

    Without going into details of which I have a lot of first hand knowledge of in this town through various people I may know well, any "extra fees" Immigration get are always asked for and paid off the premises. A lot of that does happen here, but lets just say both parties are normally very happy with the arrangements...

    On a bright note, I had to do a 90 day report earlier this week. Got there at 08:20 and got ticket #409. Ticket #401 was called at 08:30 sharp and by 08:38 I was served and out the door. A win.

  9. #9
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    Okay, there's more than a little b/s mixed in to the story being related.

    Jerrywade because you're a new poser , err poster let's get some terminology sorted out first;

    There is NO retirement visa available inside the country at an immigration office, period full stop.

    There is a yearly extension of stay based on being over 50 (called a retirement visa by every Tom, Dick & Somchai half-wit foreigner and dip-shit immigration officer alike).

    You NEVER EVER renew that. You are granted an extension of stay for a year at a time (because that's the maximum extension ANY foreigner can get here for ANY reason). The next year before your extension expires you apply for another year's extension. The old one expires and you apply for a new one.

    The ONLY place the word retirement comes into it is that b/s stamp they put on your extension. The thai wording of the extension based on being over 50 doesn't even use the word "retire", it says; "in the instance of living out the end of your life".

    Be that as it may, I'll now answer your query;

    If you are using the "verification of income" notary letter from your consulate to meet the financial requirements (65k baht per month) there have been more than a few verifiable reports where a couple immigration offices are asking that you also take the letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and get it "certified" <- stamped.

    Almost all the translation services scattered around the country can and do offer the 'certification stamp' from the MFA for documents. I'm calling b/s on what you heard or think you heard as it most certainly doesn't cost 20K baht to get that stamp on a document. Now as far as "expedited service", I got no idea what you're talkin' about, because the thai immigration's AIN'T the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Those are whores from different go-go bars.

    So to re-cap;
    YES it is true some immigration offices (Jomtien being one) does ask that your verification of income notary letter also get stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As does the immigration office in Nakhon Pathom too. It's just a couple, not everywhere.

    NO; it most certainly doesn't cost 20K baht to get that letter certified by the MFA.

    Any questions?

  10. #10
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    So far, three applications, Jomtien has not asked me for an MFA endorsement of my consular income letter. Indeed, such a policy, to my knowledge, has never formed part of the Memorandum of Agreement/Understanding between the MFA and the foreign legations represented in Thailand.

    have you first hand knowledge of this Todd?

  11. #11
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    dont get im started sa. u know es always right..... es a yank and as said es always right.

  12. #12
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    Seekingasylum; nope there's NOTHING in any rules that says this hasta be done at all.

    Its nothing more than a shake down, because they're offering an "expedited service" to get around the imaginary rule.

    If anyone down there getting extensions actually had a spine and argued with the officers that it's a b/s totally made up rule, I'd bet the officers would quote the line written in the current Police Order (327/2557) which says; "or any other documentation as requested by the officer".

    Although I don't know how being compelled to get the MFA to stamp a previously notarized letter from your consulate could be construed as "other documentation"..

    lob; I'd wager when it comes to visas, extensions and related stuff I'm more right than most people.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels View Post
    Okay, there's more than a little b/s mixed in to the story being related.

    Jerrywade because you're a new poser , err poster let's get some terminology sorted out first;

    There is NO retirement visa available inside the country at an immigration office, period full stop.

    There is a yearly extension of stay based on being over 50 (called a retirement visa by every Tom, Dick & Somchai half-wit foreigner and dip-shit immigration officer alike).

    You NEVER EVER renew that. You are granted an extension of stay for a year at a time (because that's the maximum extension ANY foreigner can get here for ANY reason). The next year before your extension expires you apply for another year's extension. The old one expires and you apply for a new one.

    The ONLY place the word retirement comes into it is that b/s stamp they put on your extension. The thai wording of the extension based on being over 50 doesn't even use the word "retire", it says; "in the instance of living out the end of your life".

    Be that as it may, I'll now answer your query;

    If you are using the "verification of income" notary letter from your consulate to meet the financial requirements (65k baht per month) there have been more than a few verifiable reports where a couple immigration offices are asking that you also take the letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and get it "certified" <- stamped.

    Almost all the translation services scattered around the country can and do offer the 'certification stamp' from the MFA for documents. I'm calling b/s on what you heard or think you heard as it most certainly doesn't cost 20K baht to get that stamp on a document. Now as far as "expedited service", I got no idea what you're talkin' about, because the thai immigration's AIN'T the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Those are whores from different go-go bars.

    So to re-cap;
    YES it is true some immigration offices (Jomtien being one) does ask that your verification of income notary letter also get stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As does the immigration office in Nakhon Pathom too. It's just a couple, not everywhere.

    NO; it most certainly doesn't cost 20K baht to get that letter certified by the MFA.

    Any questions?
    Thank you. Do you know for how long they have been asking for the MFA verification? Most everyone I know, besides those two guys I mentioned, have never been asked and have gotten by fine with just the letter from their embassy for many years.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels View Post
    Seekingasylum; nope there's NOTHING in any rules that says this hasta be done at all.

    Its nothing more than a shake down, because they're offering an "expedited service" to get around the imaginary rule.

    If anyone down there getting extensions actually had a spine and argued with the officers that it's a b/s totally made up rule, I'd bet the officers would quote the line written in the current Police Order (327/2557) which says; "or any other documentation as requested by the officer".

    Although I don't know how being compelled to get the MFA to stamp a previously notarized letter from your consulate could be construed as "other documentation"..

    lob; I'd wager when it comes to visas, extensions and related stuff I'm more right than most people.
    i know,, ur a yank and u told me so.
    because u know, u dont have to be so pedantic like ur brane of jewsa.. loosen u aint convincing me of shit.

  15. #15
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    I googled around some and found reports from the middle of last year where some of the rogue immigration offices (of which Jomtien definitely is) were asking for an MFA stamp on the consulate notary letter.

  16. #16
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    Not looking forward to this years extension at Samut Prakan, they seem to come up with something new every year I never heard of before. 2 years ago it was every single pp page copied, last year not, 5 pp copies to do a 90 day report, and various variations of the 'rules' that never seem to get decided on from one year to the next.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai3 View Post
    5 pp copies to do a 90 day report
    WTF?. Ok I've only ever done 90 day reports at Jomtien, but there's no paperwork involved at all from the PP holders side. Just hand your PP over, they un-staple the old paper with your previous next due report date on it, staple a new one in with the next due date, then about 60 seconds after sitting down you're on your way.

  18. #18
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    SP is different but they all have the same 'rules' to work from of course. They started this nonsense about two years ago

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels View Post
    I googled around some and found reports from the middle of last year where some of the rogue immigration offices (of which Jomtien definitely is) were asking for an MFA stamp on the consulate notary letter.
    This strikes me as bar room twaddle.

    The way it works at Jomtien for retirement extensions is such that one doesn't actually have any direct personal contact with the immigration officer during any part of the process, unlike elsewhere.

    They have a clerical assistant there who mans a position to the side of the desks where the immigration officers deciding and endorsing extensions sit. He takes your queue number, sits you down and takes your bundle of papers etc and does a sift ensuring that all documents and copies are present and conform to the requirements of the relevant para. of the Police Act concerning whichever category of qualification you are seeking. Once he is satisfied you've got everything he takes the fee, gives you a receipt and a numbered token and tells you to come back either the following day, or if busy, after two days to collect your passport. He sifts for everyone and he's been doing it for the past three years. The guy is fast, methodical and compared to the rest of them there, he works his ass off and if there is a hiccup he tells you right away what you need.

    On return, you bowl up to the retirement extension desk and hand your token to one of the immigration officers who in their haphazard way may decide to rifle through the stack of waiting passports immediately or they might make you wait depending upon whim. The thing is, if it's a retirement extension you're after, one never actually needs to speak to an immigration officer in my experience at Jomtien.

  20. #20
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    Seekingasylum, feel free to discount what I found, it's fine..
    I found posts from people using the thai immigration offices in Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi, Jomtien & Suphanburi that all stated IF you were getting an extension of stay using the verification of income notary from your consulate you also needed the MFA stamp.
    It's stamped on the back of your notary letter and evidently looks like this;


    Your mileage may vary, some restrictions apply void where prohibited by law, contents may have settled during shipping, filled by weight not volume.

  21. #21
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    I dont use income verification to renew my extension of stay, but know people who do, and at Hua Hin, some are asked for MFA verification certificates.

    The immigration officers there are becoming increasingly finicky, and seem to take delight in making applicants jump through hoops.

    I had a letter from my bank verifying the required amount in my account along with my passbook updated at the same time as the letter was produced by the bank that morning.

    When I went to immigration that afternoon, they demanded I return to the bank and get my passbook updated again, even though it was only 3 hours since the previous update.

    They also wanted a map to show the location of my condo, and official confirmation of my address, something I have never been asked for in the past. I have a yellow book and they accepted that.

  22. #22
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    Just had a friend in Hua Hin apply for his yearly extension of stay based on being over 50 (retirement) using the verification of income letter notarized by the US consulate. Never asked for the MFA certification.

    So I guess down there it's hit or miss. At least they're fast. He said from the time he sat down until the time he had his yearly extension, his new re-entry permit and his 90 day report done as well it was just 20 minutes.

    The same thing in Bangkok woulda taken a MINIMUM of 2 1/2 - 3 hours dealing with the different sections out at Chaengwattana

    taxexile; almost all the immigration offices started making people update their bank book on the day they submit their application. That was just total b/s making you go update the book again.

  23. #23
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels
    Just had a friend in Hua Hin apply for his yearly extension of stay based on being over 50 (retirement) using the verification of income letter notarized by the US consulate. Never asked for the MFA certification.
    Just checked Roi Et office. No need for MFA stamp. Embassy stamp is all they need.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    I dont use income verification to renew my extension of stay, but know people who do, and at Hua Hin, some are asked for MFA verification certificates.

    The immigration officers there are becoming increasingly finicky, and seem to take delight in making applicants jump through hoops.

    I had a letter from my bank verifying the required amount in my account along with my passbook updated at the same time as the letter was produced by the bank that morning.

    When I went to immigration that afternoon, they demanded I return to the bank and get my passbook updated again, even though it was only 3 hours since the previous update.

    They also wanted a map to show the location of my condo, and official confirmation of my address, something I have never been asked for in the past. I have a yellow book and they accepted that.
    That's the second time I've heard about somebody being asked for a map showing the location of his residence. By the way, what is a yellow book ?

  25. #25
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    ^ It's like a blue book, but yellow. (Blue book = house book for Thais - tabien baan - ทะเบียนบ้าน)

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