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A Visit to Chiang Mai Immigration Dept.

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  • A Visit to Chiang Mai Immigration Dept.

    This afternoon I went to the immigration department in Chiang Mai to do my yearly extension. A few observations which I hope will be helpful to others.

    They are in super safe mode because of the pandemic. Masks are compulsory.

    At the entrance you have your temperature taken. Everyone over 37 degrees is directed to sit down in a tent at the side to wait to cool down. I'd parked my car at the petrol station about 100m away and walked in the direct sun to the entrance, the outside temperature was 42 degrees, so of course I failed the temperature test and sat in the tent for twenty minutes along with a lot of others. I eventually cooled down after necking a cold bottle of water and was allowed in.

    So if you have to go to immigration, take a cooler bag with water and anything else you can think of to cool you down as getting in on a roasting hot day is the major hurdle. If you're driving, you can't use their car park so be prepared for a walk in the sun.

    The reason the car park is closed is because of the tent but also because they've set up a drive through 90 day reporting window with vehicles snaking round the building.

    Once inside you see half the seats are shut off for social distancing and the long desk counter on the ground floor, behind which all the immigration officers sit, has a plastic sheet from the top of the counter to the ceiling with small slits at each position to pass documents through.

    It was actually surprisingly quiet in the building with no queues, something I can't remember seeing before.






    I visited TC a few times as a guest but had to stop. It is a sickening place. - Aging One

  • #2
    A friend of mine went to the Jomtien Immigration office yesterday and he had a miserable time of it doing the yearly Retirement Extension.

    To wit:

    "I got to the Jomtien I.O. at 10:00. The sign in front of one of the two tents in the parking lot directed that you first pick up a queue number; then go to waiting area inside for your number to be called. They had a couple of different "snaking" lines (people about a foot apart!) in the 2 tents. One had a small printed sign that said "Retirement Visas and 90 Day Reports". I stood in that line for about 10 minutes before an IMM "clerk" came by to check people's paperwork. When I showed that I was there for Retirement visa extension, she told me to go to the line outside the door of the main building. (No way that I could have know that from the signage posted!)


    That line, once inside the door, split into 4 lines. Again, people no more than a foot apart, AND with traffic pushing through the lines, with plenty of bodily contact, to get from one place to the other! I was amazed to find that the number I was issued for Retirement visa window (#8) was only 2 higher than the number being served! (The only good news of the day!)


    At the window, I waited while the young girl at the desk got some sort of instruction from another I.O. person. After about 10 minutes, I got started. All of my paper work was checked, and approved. Then the "surprises" started!

    First I was handed a paper with a list of requirements for getting a visa extension. (Copy attached) You'll note that, at the bottom, the requirement is shown to return to Immigration on June 30, with a copy of bankbook and passport! This will of course, be my THIRD trip to the crowded facility for this visa extension, since I have to go back tomorrow to pick up my stamped passport! But WAIT, there's MORE! ...

    The Immigration Officer than asked me to give him proof of my income. My mind said "WTF?" My mouth said, "I don't understand. I am using the 800K baht method for financial stability". "Yes", he said, "but" (pointing to items #4 & #5 on the list) you have to show where money come from before you deposit 800K in bank last year." ... Again, my mind said "WTF?! Since I proved my monthly income LAST YEAR, and Immigration approved that, isn't my source of income already established and accepted by Immigration?" My mouth repeated the last question to the I.O.. He gave me an "explanation" that could challenge the old "Who's On First" routine for it's "clarity"!

    Just by way of information for you, my bank passbook shows that I had a balance that ranged between 100K-200k going back years; until I deposited enough to drive it over the 800K minimum back in August. I had to do that because the U.S. stopped issuing the notarized "Proof of Income" letters that we used to use for that purpose. So, I've had 800K+ in the bank since August of 2019.

    All I can guess and assume from the I.O.'s mind boggling "explanation" is that they (at least the Jomtien office) require that, since I did not have the minimum of 800K in the bank for 2 months after my last visa extension, even though it was granted based on monthly income, I must prove the source of the income that allowed me to reach a balance of over 800K, even though I'd proven my source of income in the past!

    Fortunately, I had in an envelope of a copy of my last statement of pension payments from Boeing, which I handed to him. It's more than a year old, but he accepted it without a glance, saying that he could "show this to my sergeant to prove your income." (My mind again asking "WTF?") I (foolishly) tried, for a few minutes, to continue explain the lack of logic in his requirement for this; as well as the fact that the list he had given me does not say that! ... Read Items #4 & #5. Nowhere do they mention any "proof of income" requirement. They only state the requirement for proof of 800K balance for 2 months prior to application.

    So ends the report of a very frustrating day (the first of 3!) in my 13th adventure for a 1-year extension of my retirement visa in the "Land Of Smiles!" Other than the crowded conditions, and resulting COVID-19 exposure , the physical elements of the process were not bad. I won't be certain of the results of the exposure for at least a couple of weeks. Many thanks to Thai Immigration for their gracious welcome, and their consideration for our health"


    I reckon my buddy's 'difficulties' are mostly due to not having the 800K in the bank for the preceding 12 months.I
    It's a lot less hassle to just rat-hole those funds for the entire year.
    And, of course, if you do the Income method, you need another letter from the bank delineating that at least 65K has come in over the past 12 months.
    God, the panic within the Dems, MSM, and left must be horrifying...realizing that Joe is really the best they've got.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post

      I reckon my buddy's 'difficulties' are mostly due to not having the 800K in the bank for the preceding 12 months.I
      As per your comment, Chiangmai has a big sign up for retirement extensions saying:

      1: Bank Statement for last 12 months
      2. Bank Letter
      2. Bank Book

      Anyone changing the visa qualification like your friend, from income to lump sum would probably suffer the same issue. Safest thing going forward is to keep 800k in the bank at all times.

      I visited TC a few times as a guest but had to stop. It is a sickening place. - Aging One

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by lamphun View Post

        As per your comment, Chiangmai has a big sign up for retirement extensions saying:

        1: Bank Statement for last 12 months
        2. Bank Letter
        2. Bank Book

        Anyone changing the visa qualification like your friend, from income to lump sum would probably suffer the same issue. Safest thing going forward is to keep 800k in the bank at all times.
        Can you get the Retirement Extension completed in one day there in CM? In other words, no return trip to Immigration to pick up the passport?

        God, the panic within the Dems, MSM, and left must be horrifying...realizing that Joe is really the best they've got.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post

          Can you get the Retirement Extension completed in one day there in CM? In other words, no return trip to Immigration to pick up the passport?
          I "cough" employed an agent to smooth the path, so can't comment to that.
          I visited TC a few times as a guest but had to stop. It is a sickening place. - Aging One

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lamphun View Post

            I "cough" employed an agent to smooth the path, so can't comment to that.
            Ah hah!

            Considered using one of them in the past but after going through the drill myself a few times, it's pretty much a piece of piss to do on your own so long as Immigration doesn't change the forms/rules again. Then too, here in the sticks, my IO is two-room affair and there's basically no waiting.
            God, the panic within the Dems, MSM, and left must be horrifying...realizing that Joe is really the best they've got.

            Comment


            • #7
              Never been asked for a bank statement for 12 months, what's the point when they have the bank letter, bank book along with photo copies?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by crazy dog View Post
                Never been asked for a bank statement for 12 months, what's the point when they have the bank letter, bank book along with photo copies?
                Maybe they're worried that unscrupulous people will print their own bank books.

                I've always been curious about what they do with all the paper photocopies that you have to submit with the visa/extension applications/

                I visited TC a few times as a guest but had to stop. It is a sickening place. - Aging One

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by crazy dog View Post
                  Never been asked for a bank statement for 12 months, what's the point when they have the bank letter, bank book along with photo copies?
                  You only need that 12 month bank statement if you're doing the Income Method.

                  When you've shown that the 800K has been in the bank for the preceding year, just the bank letter generated by your bank within the preceding 7 days is good. And, of course, the bank book updated that day you go to renew the visa.

                  Re all the paper photocopies - man! - that two-room IO I report to keeps getting smaller and smaller with shelves stacked to the ceiling overflowing with paperwork.
                  God, the panic within the Dems, MSM, and left must be horrifying...realizing that Joe is really the best they've got.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I thought it is half, i.e. 400k balance one needs to keep all year.
                    “Don’t get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by serrollt View Post
                      I thought it is half, i.e. 400k balance one needs to keep all year.
                      No it changed last year. I believe 400K is the amount for an extension based on marriage.

                      For retirement extension based on money in the bank its complicated. 800K for a few months then minimum of 400k for a few months then back to 800K a few months before the next years application. Thaivisa will be more informative.

                      I visited TC a few times as a guest but had to stop. It is a sickening place. - Aging One

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lamphun View Post

                        No it changed last year. I believe 400K is the amount for an extension based on marriage.

                        For retirement extension based on money in the bank its complicated. 800K for a few months then minimum of 400k for a few months then back to 800K a few months before the next years application. Thaivisa will be more informative.
                        Yes, Ubon Joe over there is pretty knowledgeable.

                        There was a boy on TD who had the Immigration thing well-sussed. His avatar was the band Kiss. Forget the name...
                        God, the panic within the Dems, MSM, and left must be horrifying...realizing that Joe is really the best they've got.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post

                          Yes, Ubon Joe over there is pretty knowledgeable.

                          There was a boy on TD who had the Immigration thing well-sussed. His avatar was the band Kiss. Forget the name...
                          Todd Daniels.
                          I visited TC a few times as a guest but had to stop. It is a sickening place. - Aging One

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lamphun View Post

                            Todd Daniels.
                            That's right...I recall he was/is sweet on the cashier gal at the American Embassy ACS building.

                            She always appeared a bit rude to moi...
                            God, the panic within the Dems, MSM, and left must be horrifying...realizing that Joe is really the best they've got.

                            Comment

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