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About JackThompson

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  1. "Bringing a witness every year" - but maybe other offices too. And maybe only if you don't have children. There is no way a "bad guy" with a fake marriage could pay a 2nd person to show up and lie - right? Sigh. The home-visit makes sense, though. That would actually create more difficulties for "bad-guys." The irony is, pick a good Thai gal and keep her around long enough for the visit, and he might realize they are good companions - then, no need to fake anything.
  2. Bangkok Bank sells them. You can cash them at many places - I'd inquire at Bangkok Bank as to their fees for purchase and redemption, though maybe currency-exchanges have a better rate on cashing them. I bought some 10 years ago and still have them - useless, except to use for entering Thailand, due to an antiquated idea of what a tourist would carry in the digital-age. But they never expire, so the only long-term downside is the gradual depreciation of fiat-currencies.
  3. So far, since they began the "2 per calendar year" rule, entering on Visa Exempt through friendly border-points has been easier - though I would use Laos - not Malaysia. If that plan failed (unlikely, based on recent reports), you could always turn around and go get a TR Visa. Proof that the foreign-money is what you are spending here. Bank-transfers or account-statements showing withdrawals. I always carried a Bangkok Bank book showing foreign-transfers coming in - but if you don't have a Thai bank-account, then your foreign-account statements showing the money going out. Maybe a few ATM slips that match the foreign-statement - hopefully showing the acct# on the slip.
  4. The Tourist Visa in your Old Passport will not affect your next one at Vientiane. They will count a new one as #2. They will almost certainly give you the visa, based on reported policy, and are unlikely to add the extra "This person travels to Thailand frequently on Tourist Visas" extra stamp on your second (again, based on reports to-date). That extra-stamp will block you from further TR Visas at the consulate that put it there, plus some others (Vientiane will not issue a TR Visa if they or any other consulate has put that extra-stamp in). If it were me, I would continue using different consulates, and Penang would be one option. HCMC Vietnam is another. Note that unlike Vientiane, most consulates require additional paperwork - a flight out of Thailand and/or bank balance showing 20K Baht (or $1000 USD, in some cases), and/or a Hotel booking or Rental-contract. But since you have only 2 Visas in your current passport, and depending how long you intend to stay, I would suggest using the "more difficult" consulates, first - if only to get as many TR Visas as possible before getting the "This person travels to Thailand frequently on Tourist Visas" extra stamp, which requires you get a new passport from your embassy to be assured future TR Visas. As to entering the country - this is another thing entirely. Immigration will have a full-record of your stays here. Currently, only Airports and Poipet are creating problems for people who have stayed here longer on TR Visas in the past- to spite this being entirely permitted by law. The 20K Baht and, sometimes, proof of where you will stay, is all that is required from every other point of entry, because the others Are Following The Laws / Rules on the Books. Crossing from Laos is one of the best points of entry. From Cambodia, Ban Laem, Ban Packard, and the point across from Koh Kohg are OK. From Malaysia, the primary difference is a more consistent request to see the 20K Baht. By entering at a land-crossing, even if denied, you could try again at a different crossing, or a week later at the same one, etc. As we never know when things might change at any crossing, it may also be a good idea to have copies of bank-records showing you are "loaded" and don't need to work here. Also, records showing the transfer of funds here can erase all doubt about where the money you spend here originates.
  5. By tying in your permission-of-stay to that job, it also increases leverage. "Going to work that over-nighter we want you to work for free, or not?" Same thing is done in my country with work-related visas. Also see how it is played in the case of this fellow in another thread: Note - he actually has a multi re-entry permit on an immigration-issued extension of stay - if you don't want to read the whole thread, where that is eventually determined - so that is why they have him by the short-hairs, to some extent. Bottom line, I would not give up my Non-O for a job. Whether it is the HR folks ignorance that you can work on one, or a scheme to get leverage, it is not a "win" choice for the foreigner.
  6. You would think so - but no. The policy varies depending on what immigration office serves the area where you are staying.
  7. There was a 90-day in 180 days on "Visa Exempt" entries at one time, but that was overridden by a later order (15 days only at land borders), which was then updated by yet another order (30 days for G7 at land-borders), which was then overridden by yet another order (2 land-border crossings max per calendar year) all having ONLY to do with Visa-Exempt entries - NOT Tourist Visa entries. There is now, nor has there ever been, a rule in place limiting how many "tourist days" can be spent in Thailand on Tourist Visas, nor how many Tourist Visas can be issued in a specified period of time. As far-fetched as your story sounds, and to spite no long posting-history, I do not dismiss your report out-of-hand. There was at least one report (awhile back - I cannot find it) of someone being questioned on entry, stating they intend to leave on X-Date, and "promising" to leave by a date earlier than the "permitted stay" stamped in their passport. There are some in Immigration who evidently think their *should* be a limit, and seem to be trying to create one via Immigration-policy, because they cannot get it through by law. I wish we could hear the conversations / debate on this issue, occurring behind the scenes.
  8. Note that my agent said they look more favorably on those who can show a bank-account balance of over $1000 USD (not 20K Baht). Perhaps not coincidental, the Manila consulate now has this as a consulate-requirement for a TR Visa (https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/994073-problem-at-manilla-thai-embassy-july-14/). Add an airline ticket to that, and you are probably good to go with an agent. Worst case, the consulate may ask you to appear for an interview and/or put the "This person travels frequently to Thailand on Tourist Visas" stamp on their visa.
  9. It is speculation that people on a retirement extension now, would get the same "grandfathering" treatment as those who obtained extensions before the last change did. It is also speculation as to whether the rules for current extensions will be changed, or changed significantly - given significant change would put countless Thai businesses and families in a world of hurt. It really depends on whether the "foreigners out" clique can get their way. So far, they cannot even manage to get a legal-limit on Tourist-Visa use per-year, so have resorted to bending and breaking rules at some checkpoints and immigration offices, to try to achieve a limited victory in line with their greater objective - a "foreigner-free Thailand" (well, maybe a few HiSos will be allowed). If that clique ever gets the upper hand, then any "grandfathering" would be limited to non-existent. But as it would seem this clique must compromise with other factions, who care more about the Thai economy and Thai families whose survival is predicated on foreigner-spending from foreign-wealth, perhaps "grandfathering" is a possibility. If we assume "grandfathering" is part of any future changes to retirement-extensions: By switching to a marriage-based extension, you would be betting on that marriage - not only you and your wife's continuing mutual commitment to the marriage, but her health and survival, as well. There are no "widow's rights" or "divorcee's rights" here for foreigners, so if you ever had to go back to a retirement-extension, it would be under whatever scheme is active at that time.
  10. There is nothing to check, because there is no legal limit to the number of tourist-visas one can use - in a row, in a year, etc. The only limits are per-consulate rules, as they can add their own particular restrictions. If you had wanted to make a stink at immigration, you could have asked them to show you the law / ministerial order limiting how many TR Visas you can have. But as you intend to be here long-term (via retirement), that would probably have been a bad idea.
  11. Checking into a hotel might be a common workaround to the many who have absentee-landlords.
  12. Back where you just flew from. I'd make it a short-hop. Those last-minute tickets aren't cheap, and you don't want to have to travel too far back to make a trouble-free crossing at a land-border.
  13. Doesn't it all really boil down to whatever the IO in the local office says it means? You want something from them - extension, 90-day report, etc? In that case, they tell you when/if they want you to file a TM-30, and may even show you a pamphlet where TM-30 and TM-28 rules are cut and pasted together, to "make it your problem." I just do it.
  14. Yes - it has happened on the Malaysian border. I haven't seen reports at airports. But the cost of 20K Baht in Travelers Checks is not that high - cheap insurance to quickly settle any dispute.
  15. So, they gave you a 30-day extension, but said you really only have 7 "in the computer"? If you sent pics, it would only be of an ordinary 30-day extension. We only have your 9-post history as "credibility" on the computer story (sorry, but it's true). If that happened to me, I would test it - at least by 2 days (a small price to pay to call the bluff). Then I would send pics of the 2-day overstay stamp, next to the 30 day extension which was still running.