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About soisanuk

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  1. At Jomtien Immigration office, the answer depends on which Immigration Officer you talk to or ask - for several months people receive conflicting information. So who do you believe? The one you talked to that said no you don't have to report or the one that your dealing with later that says "no - you were required to report, you must pay fine of ...baht" (that also seems to differ, but most often reported as 1,600 baht). Because of this continued inconsistency, the Pattaya City Expats Club recommends that if you want to avoid the risk of being fined, you make the report within 24 hours or next business day.
  2. At Jomtien, from several reports I've received from folks that went in to report within a day or two, were told since they came in soon after arrival, there would be no fine -- this appears to be at the discretion of the Immigration Officer.
  3. Chonburi (Pattaya) Immigration will accept the TM.7 if printed on two separate sheets - I've used 2 separate sheets completed on and printed from my computer for the past 12 years with no problem. I also have the photo taken next door on the day I apply for my annual extension and the Immigration Officer attaches it to the form. Also, for 90 day reporting, if you have the bar coded receipt from your last report, you don't need a form - just your passport and bar coded receipt - they scan the bar code and print out a new bar coded receipt to replace the old one - usually takes about a minute or so -- although you can have a bit of a wait if there are many people ahead of you in the queue, but the longest I have ever waited at Jomtien Immigration office is about 10 minutes.
  4. A fixed deposit account, so long as it does not restrict withdrawal of funds (may lose the stipulated rate of interest if kept to full term), it is accepted by Chonburi (Pattaya) Immigration. The notice mentioned is the Pattaya City Expats Club announcement is based on several reports from individuals who had always kept the 800k in a separate account from the one they use for regular transactions. The Immigration Officer refused to accept the bank account as evidence as there were no recent transactions; thus they were required to go to the bank and make a transaction so that the passbook would show recent activity. The reports did not relate specifically to fixed deposit accounts. also, since they now have 2 or 3 different Immigration Officers reviewing the documents, it could be that it is only 1 of them imposing the requirement. If you have another bank account that you use for regular transactions, it is possible if you use both accounts with a bank letter for each, so you can show you do have activity,
  5. Yes as to the residence letter. As to the reaction and perception tests, this depends on the Land Transport Office - Banglamung (Pattaya) sometimes omits the perception test if they have many people - although some I know said they didn't have to take either. When I last renewed my 5 year license, they didn't require me to take the perception (lateral vision) test.
  6. December 5 has been renamed "National Day" and is still being recognized as a Government Holiday with the usual closures including Immigration Offices.
  7. money transfering

    You do not open an account with Bangkok Bank's NY Branch, it is not a retail bank. You open an account at a Bangkok Bank branch here in Thailand - with an O-A Visa (or any long stay extension), Bangkok Bank will set up online banking (they call it Bualong Banking or iBanking). If you do not have the Thai account before you leave USA, then be sure you have internet banking with your US bank that will allow you to set up an ACH transfer. Once you have your Bangkok Bank account, you can then set up your US bank transfer - you use your Bangkok Bank account name, Bangkok Bank's NY Branch ACH number, and then your Thai Bangkok Bank account number. As with others, I too have been transferring funds from my Chase bank account in USA (my pension and social security funds are direct deposited into that account), I log on to my Chase account through the internet and send whatever amount I want (using ACH, it will be in US Dollars) through the ACH transfer system. Bangkok Bank's NY Branch receives the funds, deducts their fee, and transfers the funds in US$ to Bangkok Bank here in Thailand, they convert the $ to Baht and deposit it in my Thai Bank Account (I use a Pattaya Branch). The fees are much less than doing wire transfers using SWIFT -- NY Branch charges "0" for up to $50, for $50 to $2,000 it is $5, for $2,000 to $50,000 it is $10 (If I recall correctly, it is $15 for the next increment and maybe $20 as maximum). Bangkok Bank here in Thailand charges a 1/4 percent fee with a minimum of 200 baht and maximum of 500 baht. Please note, when you are setting up the link, your bank will send two small transfers of less than $1 which you will need to confirm the amounts to your US bank to finalize the set up. For those small deposits, there are no fees involved. You will either need to set up Bangkok Bank's SMS text messaging for Int'l transfers OR call the bank to get the US$ amount which is needed to know the amount to confirm for the two small transfers made during the set up (iBanking will only show the baht deposited to your account which varies with each transaction depending the Bank's conversion rate at the time they make the deposit to your account).
  8. When financed, the bank holds the blue book. It is my understanding the bank is shown as the owner. After the loan is paid off, they request the documents necessary to have the the Land Transport Office change the owners name from the bank to the purchaser's name. In my case, the loans have been in my Thai partner's name and upon loan payoff (3 vehicles over the past 14 years - same bank for each), they sent the paperwork to be completed, sent back, payment of fees needed for the transfer. Shortly thereafter, we received the blue book in Partner's name. It is also my understanding that the Land Transport Office will accept, if blue book is to be in a foreigner's name, a Certificate of Residence from Thai Immigration (or their Embassy) OR a Work Permit. Have you asked the lending bank about providing the Certificate of Residence in lieu of the Work Permit?
  9. Remembrance Sunday

    Contact the Chonburi Chapter of the Royal British Legion - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/royalbritishlegionthailand/ Telephone contact per their Facebook page: 038 376 600 The Chairman of the Chonburi Branch is speaking about remembrance at the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, 5 November - visit www.pcec.club for meeting location and time.
  10. This form has been in use at Pattaya Immigration for at least 2 or 3 years. When applying for the extension, I've never had it in advance, the Immigration Officer hands it to me and just asks me to sign it (if I recall correctly, it is blank and they either fill it in later - or maybe just staple to the paperwork - once my queue number is called, it takes about 4 minutes for them to go through the paperwork and have me sign the form - then its out the door with a come back tomorrow to pick up my passport).
  11. The Thai Washington DC link above state it can also be applied for in Thailand, but as mentioned, Thai Immigration Offices apparently have not been issued any guidance. Further, I don't know why anyone would want the O-X Visa - if you read the DC Embassy information you still have to report to Immigration with documents every year to show you still meet requirements - if not, it is cancelled. Further, you still have to do 90 day address reports. So, other than eliminating the need for a Re-entry permit (it is multiple entry for 5 years and presumably will still be so when applying for the 2nd 5 year period - not clear, but will probably need the 3 million or 1.8 million in Thai bank for the 5 year renewal) - you still have to trek to Immigration with the same frequency if you are here on one year annual retirement extensions PLUS you have to continually keep 1.5 million baht in the bank vs the 800,000 for 2 or 3 months for a retirement extension (or nothing if solely using the 65,000 baht per month to qualify). To me, it is all negatives except perhaps the ability to do volunteer work without the need for a Word Permit as they mention under the benefits at the bottom of their website - as to the buying of a vehicle or condo, you can do that anyway.
  12. I believe this is incorrect - the NY branch act as a conduit - they receive the funds electronically, deduct their fee in US dollars and then transfer the remainder in dollars to Bangkok Bank. Bangkok bank does the conversion to baht, deducts their conversion fee in baht, then deposits the remaining baht into your Bangkok Bank account. I receive a text message when funds are deposited which shows total received by NY branch, their fee deduction in dollars, the remaining dollars received by Bangkok Bank, their conversion fee, and the amount deposited to my account.
  13. There is a difference - it depends on whether you are transferring funds from another US Bank (can go to your regular Bangkok Bank Account and you can use online banking or ATM for transactions). BUT, if you have arranged for your Social Security or other pension to be direct deposited to your Bangkok Bank account, Bangkok bank requires it be put in a special account and you must withdraw funds in person (it is my understanding this is based on Bangkok Bank being allowed to accept such direct deposits) - the funds withdrawn can be deposited into a your regular Bangkok Bank account which then allows you to do online and ATM transactions). Also, when using the NY Branch, they charge a fee depending on the amount being transferred to your Thai bank account (not sure if that applies to direct deposit of social security or government pension) - if I recall correctly, it is $50 or less, no fee. If it is $50+ to $2,000, fee is $5. If it is $2,000 to $50,000, the fee is $10. Going to the Bangkok Bank links re how to make transfers, there is link or page that shows the NY Branch's fees for the amounts mentioned and fees when transfer is over $50,000. The funds are transferred through the NY Branch in US dollars - Bangkok Bank here charges a fee of .25% of the amount with a minimum of 200 baht and maximum of 500 baht for converting the dollars to baht before depositing in your account. Also, when setting up the transfer protocol, as explained on the Bangkok Bank website for setting up the transfer, the sending US bank will usually send two small deposits of less than US$1, which you must then confirm to the sending bank before they will link the two accounts for direct transfers (I have done this with two of my US banks for transfers from my account at the sending bank to my account at Bangkok Bank) - in those cases, no conversion fee was charged by Bangkok Bank. It also possible if your bank permits, to set up transfers without the need for the two small deposits - i.e., the method that allows you to send money to another person/company's account through the ACH system.
  14. IDP vs IDL to drive in Thailand

    The International Driving Permit (IDP) is based on a United Nations Convention - it is not a license - it is a translation of your government issued driving license into several languages - it also notes the type of vehicle(s) your government license allows you to drive. The IDP is valid in countries that have agreed to the UN convention. Several Governments, such as USA, UK, Australia) have delegated the issuance to automobile organizations, e.g., American Automobile Association. The US Federal Trade Commission explains the IDP and cautions against scams selling International Driving Licenses (which are not a legally recognized document). Here is a link to the FTC web page: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0050-international-drivers-license-scams#idp scams