Staying legally in Thailand 2019

This is about staying legally in Thailand. I love living in Thailand, it feels like my home. But although I am now living here more as 17 years, I still not have (and probably never will have) a permanent residence status or Thai passport. So that means that every year I will have to apply for an new Visa or a new Extension of Stay. Last year I did apply for an Extension of Stay based on marriage and that was a bit difficult due to change of rules of my embassy. So I prepared better this year and I was not expecting much of a problem this year. But I overlooked a small thing ....

What is an "Extension of Stay"?

Originally I entered Thailand with an Non-Immigrant Visa, that permitted me to stay in Thailand until a certain date. Just before that date I did go to the immigration office of the area where I was living in Thailand and applied for an Extension of Stay (EOS). How long you can extend your stay depends on the kind of visa you originally had and for what reason you apply for it. My last EOS was based on marriage. This kind of EOS can not be fully approved by the local immigration office of the province where I am living, the regional immigration office has to approve it. So I will have to apply for it and later pick it up.

Applying for my new Extension of Stay

Disclaimer : This Is Thailand, so the fact that I did get my EOS the way I tell does not guaranty that I (or you) will get it in the same way at another day or at another immigration office.

So about 2 weeks before the end of my current EOS I did go to the local immigration office and did apply for a new EOS based on marriage.

What I needed for an Extension of Stay based on marriage?

First of all you need to pay a 1.900 Thai baht non-refundable application fee. And you need a lot of papers, about the size of a good book because your will need 2 complete the same sets as application with :
  • Application form filled in and signed (TM.7)
  • Signed Acknowledgment of Penalties for Visa Overstay
  • Signed Acknowledgment of Term & Conditions for permit of temporary stay in the Kingdom of Thailand
  • Signed Letter of Support & Guarantee from your wife
  • Passphoto (2 inch)
  • Full copy of all used pages of passport
  • Proof of income (in my case my Thai bank account) : Letter from bank (this did cost me 200 Thai baht) with print out of the last 3 months. This statement has to be from the same day that you apply. For marriage visa there has to be minimum 400.000 Thai baht for the full 3 months.
  • Map of location where you are living with the full address written down. Although I had already made a map they did give me an special paper for this.
  • Copy of marriage certificate (both sides)
  • If your wife changed here name when married : Certificate of change of name
  • Letter of proof that you still married to each other. You can get this at your amphur and it needs to be recent. We did get it the day before we went to the immigration office.
  • Copy ID card wife (both sides)
  • Copy of House-Book (first page and page with name). My wife is the owner of our house, so they have already a copy of the ID card of the house owner.
  • 5 photos of your wife and yourself. And this becomes a bit difficult as the requirement for what photos they want depends on the immigration officer. My recommendation is to take more photos and take them with you, so they can choose what photos they like. I was required to have
    • Photo of the all house and your wife and yourself
    • Close up photo of your wife and yourself and the house number
    • Photo of your wife and yourself in the living room
    • Photo of your wife and yourself in the bedroom 
    • Photo of your wife and yourself in the kitchen
  • Of course of all the copies there need also to be also the original papers (although they did never ask for that).
All papers need to be signed. And here they will put a stamp on each paper and within that stamp I had to write down my full name and my signature. Some papers also had to be signed by my wife.

    First Step

    So I applied and all papers were checked. The application was accepted and I did get a stamp in my passport Supporting Thai Wife, Application under consideration, that gives me permission to stay another 30 days (starting on the last day of my current EOS). And I have to contact in person the immigration office at the given date.

    Mind you in my case I applied 2 weeks before the end of my current EOS so I will have to pickup my new EOS about 6 weeks later! Yes 6 weeks. That is 30 days after the end of my current EOS, not 30 days after application of the new EOS! And in the 30 days of consideration I do not have a valid Re-Entry Permit, so if I would to exit Thailand within that 30 days my application will become invalid.

    Last Step

    The last step is easy, just picking it up. As everything is checked the chance that the application is rejected is very small. Actually I never heard of it. They will put another stamp in my passport for Extension of Stay based on marriage for 1 year counted from the last day of my previous EOS.

    Be aware that this kind Extension of Stay expires the moment you are leaving the country. Example if I go on holiday to Vietnam, the immigration at the airport does not see a valid re-entry permit and will stamp all current Extension of Stay as VOID. Then when I come back I will be just be a tourist and get a 30 day permit to stay.

    To prevent this from happening you should apply for an Re-Entry Permit. You can get this at your local immigration office as Multiple or as Single. A Multiple Re-Entry Permit costs 3.800 Thai baht and gives you the right to re-enter Thailand within the time of your Extension of Stay as many times as you like. So after receiving my Extension of Stay I always apply for an Multiple Re-Entry Permit for in case I like to go traveling or if I have to go to my home country for an emergency.

    Doing my 90 day report

    While I was at the Immigration office anyway and had to do my 90 day report within 1 week I did that also. And that did go much easier as before. No copies of anything. Just the application form and my passport were needed. Done in 2 min.

    Disclaimer : This Is Thailand, so the fact that I did get my EOS the way I tell does not guaranty that I (or you) will get it in the same way at another day or at another immigration office.

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