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BANGKOK 20 October 2018 22:09
fellig

O-A Long Stay Visa: start process in U.S. or Thailand?

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I've found several threads here regarding the O-A "retirement" visa, and done some research so I understand the basics, but still have a couple questions: 

 

  1. I'm in Los Angeles now, and would like to travel to Chiang Mai in mid or late December. I'm wondering if it would be better to start the process here, with the Thai Consulate in L.A., or in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.
  2. I was in Thailand last month (October 20 arrival) for a week, without visa; not sure if that complicates things at all.
  3. I can deposit 800k baht in a Thai bank, but other than that, I don't have proof of income or proof of retirement in U.S. I am over 50.

 

Thanks.

Edited by fellig

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If you specifically want an O-A visa, that is impossible to get in Thailand. You must apply for that in the U.S. For that, the 800K in funds is shown in a U.S. bank. You don't need any income if you've got the 800K. 

 

YES, there is another path towards retirement status that doesn't involve ever getting an O-A visa and is done in Thailand. I'll let others address that. You asked about O-A so I took you literally. 

Edited by Jingthing

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I got my Non-Imm O-A from the LA Consulate in Feb.  For me it was a simple process(others will disagree).  If you are in LA now you might consider getting the O-A there.  The 3 key things are completing the following:

 

1.  Financial Qualifier(you can bring evidence of money where you currently have it and it does not have to be in a Thai Bank)

2.  Police Background/Check Letter(the Local police background check was accepted by the consulate)

3.  Medical Examination(I had it done at a local clinic that specializes in US Immigration Visa/Citizenship medical exams).

 

Presented the application packet on a Thursday morning in person and I picked up my passport with the O-A Extension of Stay at 1030 on Friday morning.

 

The other option is the Non-Imm O that can be obtained in Thailand(you can search Thai Visa for the information on this option).  

 

Good luck on your journey

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Thanks JingThing and sqwakvfr. 

 

sqwakvfr, glad to hear it went smoothly in your experience. 

 

  1. Did you have a letter from the bank as specified on the L.A. consulate site, or just a bank statement?
  2.  Where do you get police background check?

 

I did find the requirements at the consulate:
http://www.thaiconsulatela.org/service_visa_detail.aspx?link_id=48

 

 

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  1. Did you have a letter from the bank as specified on the L.A. consulate site, or just a bank statement?

           I qualified under the 65,000 Baht Month Income qualifier and a letter from my pension board was accepted.

 

  1.  Where do you get police background check?  The local police department where I used to live provided the police background letter.  Not all police/sheriff departments will provide this service.  It is sometimes referred to as a "Clearance Letter".  

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From the opening post I don't quite understand the intention.

You travel to Thailand mid December.

And then?

Do you want to stay for an indefinite time from then on?

 

The Non O-A (available only at Thai consulate in the US) has it's advantages in certain situations/intensions.

 

BUT: it seems you are willing and capable to deposit 800k Baht at a Thai bank account (after arriving).

In this case just apply for an ordinary single entry Non-O at the LA consulate (much less effort).

After arriving, open bank account, deposit/transfer money.

60 days later you can apply for a one year extension to stay at the Thai immigration office.

No police check, no health certificate at very most offices.

And even if required it's a farce.

(simplified description)

 

One advantage of the Non O-A: no need to deposit money at Thai bank account.

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9 hours ago, fellig said:

I was in Thailand last month (October 20 arrival) for a week, without visa; not sure if that complicates things at all.

Not at all.

9 hours ago, fellig said:

I can deposit 800k baht in a Thai bank, but other than that, I don't have proof of income or proof of retirement in U.S. I am over 50.

Fine. No problem as described.

(I was 54 in 2011, went the Non O-A route as I hesitated to transfer that amount from the start)

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2 hours ago, KhunBENQ said:

From the opening post I don't quite understand the intention.

You travel to Thailand mid December.

And then?

Do you want to stay for an indefinite time from then on?

 

Yes, plan to stay for a  year or more. 

 

2 hours ago, KhunBENQ said:

 

The Non O-A (available only at Thai consulate in the US) has it's advantages in certain situations/intensions.

 

BUT: it seems you are willing and capable to deposit 800k Baht at a Thai bank account (after arriving).

In this case just apply for an ordinary single entry Non-O at the LA consulate (much less effort).

After arriving, open bank account, deposit/transfer money.

60 days later you can apply for a one year extension to stay at the Thai immigration office.

No police check, no health certificate at very most offices.

And even if required it's a farce.

(simplified description)

 

One advantage of the Non O-A: no need to deposit money at Thai bank account.

 

Yeah, that sounds easier. 

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Agreed, the OP has all that it takes to qualify for the O-A in LA which is definitely the path of least resistance. Then, with the subsequent extension as suggested by Jingthing, he has about 2 years to get the local banking, domicile rigmarole all set up and explore a bit if Chiang Mai doesn't tick all the boxes. Also, if there are any significant changes to the in-country retirement extension process in Thailand that makes it harder to qualify or simply involves more pedantic, bureaucratic hoop-jumping than present, getting another O-A in LA should still be an option.

 

Welcome!

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I have gotten five separate non imm o-a multi entry visas via the LA Consulate and find the process relatively painless.

 

If you have your own doctor that is the best, easiest source for the medical letter. I just print out the letter from the consulate website and my doctor signs it.

 

I am in WA state and can apply for the police clearance via the state patrol website, and for $10 can obtain a notarized copy.

 

I go to my bank and obtain a signed letter from them listing the current value of my accounts.

 

The consulate website discusses notarized copies of documents. I include a notarized cover letter stating that the enclosed information is correct and current and have never had a problem.

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22 hours ago, Jingthing said:

If you specifically want an O-A visa, that is impossible to get in Thailand. You must apply for that in the U.S. For that, the 800K in funds is shown in a U.S. bank. You don't need any income if you've got the 800K. 

 

YES, there is another path towards retirement status that doesn't involve ever getting an O-A visa and is done in Thailand. I'll let others address that. You asked about O-A so I took you literally. 

As you may remember, I lost my visa this year due to lack of an re-entry permit.  I thought it was multi, but it was just a single one and used.  My mistake. 

 

I arrived on the 30 day visa exemption and have converted it to the "retirement" visa.  It wasn't that hard, but did take 2 trips to Bangkok.  Which I always combine with sightseeing.  No medical, no police report.  But can't use the 800k in the bank as it's hard to open a bank account with a tourist visa. LOL

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7 hours ago, Jingthing said:

A big advantage of the O-A is that you can stretch it for almost TWO years (by exiting and entering tactfully) before having to deal with applying for anything at Thai immigration at all (or the need to fund a Thai bank account). I think you should strongly consider the O-A. 

That's correct, just had a German friend who got his O-A Visa at the Thai Embassy in Berlin doing this. He did a border run just before his visa expired and on return got stamped in for another year. Not sure whether such a visa is available at all Thai embassies/consulates in Europe though. Never heard of it being granted in my home country Switzerland....

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Just one other thing for the OP to consider ........if planning to live long term in Chiang Mai .

 

Chiang Mai has a very large ex-pat population and FUTURE dealings with the local immigration office there are ( apparently) a nightmare.

 

I dont live there , so only going on reports from others . But it seems that even for the simplest dealings with Immigration in Chiang Mai means queueing up from VERY VERY early in the morning.

 

My local immigration office is usually in and out in less than 1/2 hour (depending on what you need to do ) almost any time of the day .

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