Living in Thailand and staying here legally
Yes, although I am more or less living here for more as 15 years I still every year have to arrange a new "Visa" or "Extension of Stay". In the beginning I would return to my home country every year and get a "1-year Non-Immigrant "O" visa" at the local consulate. Since I am married to a Thai national I can applied for an "Extension of Stay based on Marriage" at the local immigration office. And since I am older as 50 I can apply for an "Extension of Stay based on Retirement". And the latter is what I did last week in the place where I live in the North-East of Thailand. It all went very smooth and easy. The immigration office here is very well organised and works fast, friendly and fair. Very well done sir!
The first and most important thing you need is that your need to be staying here based on a Non-Immigrant visa. What else I needed for my 1-year Extension of Stay based on Retirement?
- Application form
- Application fee of 1.900 Thai baht
- Copy of passport (holder-page, visa-page, TM-card)
- Proof of income of 800.000 Thai baht per year
- Proof of address (copy house-book, copy ID from owner of the house, rental contract)
At my local immigration office there is a open-air office where are all the application forms (but you can also download them) and there are some student girls helping you. There also is a copy machine. And the best there is also an immigration officer helping with difficult questions. So I prepared by going there and asking what papers I all needed. So when I arrived last week I had everything the would be asking for.
I walked in and did go to the "Information Counter" where a girl checked all the paper-work. Then she did give me another application form that I needed to fill-out also. Then I had to take a que number. I had 23 people in front of me. But no problem, I could sit in a nice air-conditioned room. As most people where doing their 90-day reporting it was going very fast. After waiting only 35min it was my turn.
At the counter I was given 2 form that I needed to read and sign. This is to confirm that you know the new over-stay rules and that you will have to make 90-day reporting. Then I had to fill-out another application form for stating my address. All papers were check and they were OK. I paid 1.900 Thai baht and my passport was given to a lady behind in the office. After waiting 5min my passport came back and all was done.
In my passport is now an stamp with "Extension of Stay" until a date next year in 2017. And a small form is added to help me to remember that I need to make my 90-day reporting in 90 days. The immigration officer also informed me that if I would like to travel outside Thailand that I need to come to the immigration office first for a "Re-entry Permit". If you do not do this then your "Extension of Stay" will be invalid after returning in Thailand. A "Multi-Entry Re-Enter Permit" costs I believe 3.800 Thai baht.
Remember this is NOT an extension of your visa but an extension of your permit to stay in Thailand! You cannot extend you visa or get an visa IN Thailand. And this all has NOTHING to do with an work-permit. All together it took me about 1hour and 10min. I am a happy man again!