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About BritTim

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  1. Seriously, there is nothing improper (after the event) of dropping off some nice food option for the office to share. Do not confuse this with corruption. It is a very Thai (and admirable) attitude of maintaining good relations in a way that makes life more pleasant for everyone.
  2. If you can negotiate at the time of the sting (one assumes this was a situation of the drug dealer and police working together) it should be possible to get away for about 20,000 baht, maybe less. (It tends to be a lot more expensive than it used to be.) If you fail to do this, and end up at the police station, it is typically very expensive to fix the problem. Unless you have someone with connections to help you negotiate, I can well imagine it costing several thousand pounds.
  3. Yes. You apply in the morning of day 1 (it is easy to arrive early enough in the day for this) and receive your passport back with visa in the morning of day 2. If the visa exempt entries are not back-to-back, then they do not strictly fall under the regulations announced back in 2014. That said, some immigration officials hate long stay expats on visa exempt entries. They may try to invent justifications to deny you entry. I would quite honestly advise you to avoid doing it but, if you do anyway, make sure you are 100% in compliance with all the rules. Most important, have cash or travelers' checks to show, along with financial proof showing you have no need to work illegally while here. You could consider buying throw away tickets (this costs about US$30) to meet the requirement. Frankly, though, I hate doing this myself so, if you cannot stomach the idea, I totally understand. Note, also, that some consulates will accept bus tickets from, say, Hat Yai to Penang. These are cheap.
  4. Either a multiple Non O with Thai spouse, or the extension you have now with re-entry permit seems your best option in most cases. If you are loaded, the Thailand Elite program provides hassle free visas.
  5. Using back-to-back visa exempt entries as a way to stay for long periods in Thailand is very likely to end up with an eventual denied entry. In fact, immigration in mid 2014 was given instructions not to allow back-to-back visa exempt entries in this way (though the Prime Minister advised that this should be "applied flexibly"). There are plenty of places you can go for a tourist visa that require only a single night away from Thailand. Cambodia is actually one of the worst options. With no previous Thai tourist visas in your passport, Hong Kong, and Vientiane (Laos) are two locations where you can easily get your visa. Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bharu (Malaysia), Yangon (Myanmar), and Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (Vietnam) are also good, although you will probably need to show onward flights out of Thailand at those locations. Surely, one of these would be satisfactory for a one-night stay. If you plan to stay a lot longer, do get advice on where to go for visas later on when you already have several Thai tourist visas in your passport. Most locations impose limits on how many tourist visas you can get.
  6. Just a slight clarification: the multiple entry Non O and the METV (multiple entry tourist visa) are not the same. You would not be able to get the latter in HCMC, Savannakhet, or anywhere else in the region.
  7. He should be fine returning to Thailand. However, I would strongly counsel against Phuket, and especially being seen by the same police who arrested him before. If they are short of cash, it could become an expensive trip.
  8. Visa run to Malaysia

    That was harsh! It seems they were relying on the policy introduced in mid 2014 to prevent people living long term in Thailand on back-to-back visa exempt entries. It was advised that this policy should be "applied flexibly", but they are within their rights to claim this is an abuse of the visa exempt process (saying you have no lawful visa) when they have a desire to deny you entry. While they have been known to invent their own rules, this is a real one (albeit almost never applied at land borders).
  9. Thank you for your report. You only applied for (and received) a single entry Non O, right? I note that you were not required to provide any financial proof. Was there any suggestion that a multiple entry Non O based on having a Thai kid might be possible?
  10. Correct. It is one-year from the date of entry, so 15 June 2019. You will need to do the extension during the last 30 days (possibly up to 45 days at some immigration offices) of the last permission to stay you received during the validity period of your visa. If your last entry was 15 June 2018 (thus giving a permission to stay until 15 June 2019) a good time to apply for the extension would be late May of 2019.
  11. To ease your understanding in future, become familiar with the following Your visa and your permission to stay are independent of each other, except that the visa is used to qualify for the initial permission to stay at the point of entry into Thailand. If you have a valid, unexpired visa, you can use it to enter Thailand and get a new permission to stay (in the case of the Non O-A for a full year). If you leave Thailand your permission to stay ends unless you take special measures to protect it. If you want to return later when your visa will have expired, you can purchase a re-entry permit to ensure your exit and re-entry have no effect whatsoever on your existing permission to stay. If, in the future, you get an extension of your permission to stay, this is not a visa. After you get an extension, you will always need a re-entry permit if you want to leave and return while keeping your permission to stay intact.
  12. The cost depends on whether you go for the 5-year, 10-year or 20-year option. The 5-year option is 500k (apparently 100k a year) but you can likely get an additional year out of it which reduces the cost to about 83k per year.
  13. As others have already advised, your initial ideas are almost certainly impractical. However, let me try, as far as possible, to be a little less negative. If you have plenty of spare cash, consider the following: For your wife who genuinely wants to study the Thai language, a Non Ed visa would be possible. How much hassle is involved will depend on the school and the immigration office you must deal with. For a price, the Thailand Elite program will provide long term visas. I must stress that these are not business visas, and you must be careful working or conducting business while using them. However, certain activities are tolerated. Definitely OK is attending trade shows and purchasing goods with the intention of exporting them. A grey area (but currently fine) is working as a digital nomad (i.e. with no Thai employer or customers, but working online from your home or a co-working area). If you start trying to sell goods or services in Thailand without a work permit (which implies a properly constituted majority Thai owned, on paper, company) expect trouble.
  14. I endorse your advice to always check the stamps. However, I am still a little confused. If he had a valid, unused re-entry permit then (even assuming he needed to fly out and return) why was he yet again given a 30-day visa exempt entry?
  15. The ATR 72-600 Lao airlines uses on this route is a pretty small, not very comfortable aircraft, but certainly not a 9-seater. I took it once when (and this is rare) Lao Airlines was offering promotional fares. It carries about 70 passengers, but has little space for cabin baggage.