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Cybervlad

Open bank account in Bangkok without visa

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Hello,
Anyone has latest information about which bank/branch in Bangkok can open simple account with generic debit card without visa (exemption stamp)?
Friend of mine opened an account in Kasikorn 4 years ago, then didn't use it long time. Yesterday he came to Thailand again, tried to put money on his old account, but account was closed. He asked officer "can I re-open it?" and got answer "you must have work permit". Because he came for 2 months, keep money in cash not so god idea...
Thanks for your suggestions.

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Posted (edited)

Avoid very touristy places like MBK and Nana area and most banks will open an account. If one refuses just go to another branch. Also don't look and behave like a 2 week tourist. They'll open an account if they think it's good for their business.

Edited by edwardandtubs
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It's much harder than it was three or four years ago due to a lot of tightening up in the banking industry here. I guess your friend kept less than a minimum balance in there (2000 bt), which would render it closed after a period of inactive use. Lots of fairly recent threads on here giving suggestions of amenable bank branches and their requirements for opening accounts. 

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8 hours ago, edwardandtubs said:

Avoid very touristy places like MBK and Nana area and most banks will open an account. If one refuses just go to another branch. Also don't look and behave like a 2 week tourist. They'll open an account if they think it's good for their business.

False.

Not on exempt stamp only.

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2 hours ago, lamyai3 said:

I guess your friend kept less than a minimum balance in there (2000 bt), which would render it closed after a period of inactive use.

Yes, you are right. When he left Thailand 4 years ago, he has an empty account (or may be 100 THB on it).

But now question is "where can open new?", not "how to avoid account closing?" :)

 

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10 hours ago, edwardandtubs said:

Avoid very touristy places like MBK and Nana area and most banks will open an account.

Many years ago I didn't have visa (only exemption stamp) and tried to open account at some central bank branch (Asoke/Ratchada). They refused. So I went to small branch in BanKhunon and they open account for me without questions.
In the other hand  2 years ago BangkokBank at Nana (VERY touristy ha-ha) opened accounts almost for everyone. Yesterday I asked in a small Kasikorn branch next to me, they also told "must have work permit". This branch is far from tourist places, they even don't speak English at all (I spoke with them in Thai)
So, there are no system. It's why I asked who has latest experience...

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3 minutes ago, Cybervlad said:

Many years ago I didn't have visa (only exemption stamp) and tried to open account at some central bank branch (Asoke/Ratchada). They refused. So I went to small branch in BanKhunon and they open account for me without questions.
In the other hand  2 years ago BangkokBank at Nana (VERY touristy ha-ha) opened accounts almost for everyone. Yesterday I asked in a small Kasikorn branch next to me, they also told "must have work permit". This branch is far from tourist places, they even don't speak English at all (I spoke with them in Thai)
So, there are no system. It's why I asked who has latest experience...

You will get a bunch of he said, she said, five years ago responses.

No one can nail down a specific bank, branch, contact person to open such an account on a exempt.

 

Think about it.  Let's take the USA some guy on a tourist exempt from England walks into Bank of America and wants to open an account??  No way Jose.......

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Bank account opening for non-resident foreigners is definitely under scrutiny and any branch that couldn't be bothered before... and that's a lot of them, now have a better excuse to say 'cannot' now that the WP is broadly touted as the minimum standard.

 

It's been reported that even long-stay foreigners (retirement or marriage extension) are being denied a new account even though they have an existing account of long standing with the same bank.

 

FWIW, here's the 'word' from the Bangkok Bank website. The provenance is much higher.

 

For Thai Nationals
  • Thai Citizen ID card or another photo ID card issued by the government


For Foreigners

1. Foreigner with a Work Permit

  • Passport
  • Work Permit


2. Foreigner with Long-stay or Tourist Visa

  • Passport
  • A Letter of Reference issued by: (One of the following)
    • Embassy or international organization
    • Customer’s home bank to Bangkok Bank via the SWIFT messaging network
    • Person acceptable to Bangkok Bank e.g. branch officer, customer, government officer or company executive
    • Educational institution located in Thailand and acceptable to the bank
    • Company that is acceptable to the bank, confirming the customer is in the process of getting a work permit


In addition, other document that shows the name of the customer can be used as a supported document besides the documents mentioned above i.e. a document showing the ownership of real estate in Thailand such as a unit in a condominium.

3. Foreigner with Permanent Residence in Thailand

  • Passport or Certificate of Residence or Alien Certificate
  • House Registration


Notes:

  • Original documents with valid expiry date are required.
  • Contact addresses for both Thailand and overseas shall be provided (Hotel and P.O. Box addresses are not acceptable).
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1 hour ago, Cybervlad said:

Yes, you are right. When he left Thailand 4 years ago, he has an empty account (or may be 100 THB on it).

But now question is "where can open new?", not "how to avoid account closing?" :)

 

Some suggestions and experiences in this pretty recent discussion...

 

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25 minutes ago, sukhumvitneon said:

Does anyone know if Kasikorn Bank will open an account for foreigners who don't have a long stay visa?

It is very much down to the bank, branch and person you talk to on any given day. Asking if Kasikorn Bank will open an account for a tourist is akin to asking if it will rain tomorrow.

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3 hours ago, NanLaew said:

Bank account opening for non-resident foreigners is definitely under scrutiny and any branch that couldn't be bothered before... and that's a lot of them, now have a better excuse to say 'cannot' now that the WP is broadly touted as the minimum standard.

 

It's been reported that even long-stay foreigners (retirement or marriage extension) are being denied a new account even though they have an existing account of long standing with the same bank.

 

FWIW, here's the 'word' from the Bangkok Bank website. The provenance is much higher.

 

For Thai Nationals
  • Thai Citizen ID card or another photo ID card issued by the government


For Foreigners

1. Foreigner with a Work Permit

  • Passport
  • Work Permit


2. Foreigner with Long-stay or Tourist Visa

  • Passport
  • A Letter of Reference issued by: (One of the following)
    • Embassy or international organization
    • Customer’s home bank to Bangkok Bank via the SWIFT messaging network
    • Person acceptable to Bangkok Bank e.g. branch officer, customer, government officer or company executive
    • Educational institution located in Thailand and acceptable to the bank
    • Company that is acceptable to the bank, confirming the customer is in the process of getting a work permit


In addition, other document that shows the name of the customer can be used as a supported document besides the documents mentioned above i.e. a document showing the ownership of real estate in Thailand such as a unit in a condominium.

3. Foreigner with Permanent Residence in Thailand

  • Passport or Certificate of Residence or Alien Certificate
  • House Registration


Notes:

  • Original documents with valid expiry date are required.
  • Contact addresses for both Thailand and overseas shall be provided (Hotel and P.O. Box addresses are not acceptable).

You will notice in your #2 example "For a foreigner with long term stay or " Tourist" visa "  not visa exempt. Banks that opened an account for me or other friends I recommended a few years ago would not open one for a friend recently without a letter from US Embassy to verify passport info and address.

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3 minutes ago, bkk6060 said:

You will get a bunch of he said, she said, five years ago responses.

Yes, it's exactly what I expect.

 

4 minutes ago, bkk6060 said:

No one can nail down a specific bank, branch, contact person to open such an account on a exempt

2 years ago I read here (TV) and advice about BangkokBank branch at Nana, so my another friend went there and opened account.

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BANGKOK 25 June 2018 08:51
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