Staying legally in Thailand 2020

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 18 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 a new Visa or a new Extension of Stay (EOS). Last year I did get a 1 Year Multi-Entry Non-Immigrant "O" based on marriage because I had overlooked a small thing when applying for an Extension of Stay. As this would end within 6 weeks from now I started the process for Applying for an Extension of Stay (EOS) based on marriage.

What is an "Extension of Stay"?

Simply .... exactly what it says. And Extension of Stay permits you to stay longer in Thailand. Like I entered Thailand with a 1 Year Non-Immigrant "O" Visa, that permitted me to stay in Thailand until a certain date. As long as this visa is valid I can enter Thailand and get a 90 days entry-stamp. So 1 day before the end of my current visa I had the plan to make a border run and stay another 90 days. The original plan was that I would be again in Vietnam at the end of that 90 days and would then apply again for a 1 Year Non-Immigrant "O" Visa in Vietnam. But the corona criss changed that all. So between 5 to 1 week before the end of my current entry-stamp I applied for an 1 Year Extension of Stay based on marriage with a Thai wife. The application has to be done at the immigration of the province where you are living.

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.

First step was going to the immigration office and ask what I needed to apply for an EOS based on marriage. The immigration office here is very friendly and service minded. They did tell me what I needed and did give me to sets of applications forms. Yes the all application has to be done in duplo. Why? The immigration office here has to send the application to the regional head office so they send 1 application and keep the other application set.

The regional head office has to approve the application, so after application I get a stamp "application under consideration" in my passport. Then after 1 month I have to go to the immigration office again to pickup the real stamp for my EOS.

The new 1 year of EOS will start the day the old EOS or Entry-stamp becomes invalid. Thus regardless the day that you apply for the EOS or the day the you really get the EOS stamp in your passport.

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

  • 1.900 Thai baht application fee (non refundable).
  • 2 Application forms filled in and signed (TM.7).
  • 2 Signed forms of Acknowledgment of Penalties for Visa Overstay.
  • 2 Signed forms of Acknowledgment of Term & Conditions for permit of temporary stay in the Kingdom of Thailand.
  • 2 Maps of location where you are living with the full address written down. 
  • 2 Passphoto (2 inch).
  • 2 copies of ID-page passport, Last visa, Last entry-stamp and TM-card.
  • 1 Letter from my bank 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 2  months before the application and until you really pickup your EOS stamp there has to be minimum 400.000 Thai baht on your bank account. Costs 200 Thai baht.
  • 1 copy of the letter of the bank.
  • 2 Copies of marriage certificate (both sides).
  • 1 Letter of proof that you still married to each other. You can get this at your amphur and it needs to be recent. Costs 10 Thai baht.
  • 1 copy of the letter of proof of marriage.
  • 2 Copies ID card wife (both sides).
  • 2 Copies of House-Book (first page and page with name). 
  • 2 sets of 5 photos of my wife and myself. 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, my wife and myself
    • Close up photo of my wife, myself and the house number
    • Photo of my wife and myself in the living room
    • Photo of my wife and myself in the bedroom 
    • Photo of my wife and myself 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).

    First Step of application

    So I applied and all papers were checked. Then they put a stamp on all papers and within that stamp I had to write my name and my signature. Some papers had to be also signed by my wife.

    There is a kind of interview of what an immigration officer writes a letter and this letter has to be signed by both of us.

    The application was accepted and I did get a stamp in my passport Application under consideration, that gives me permission to stay another 30 days. And I have to contact in person the immigration office at the given date to get my EOS stamp.

    Mind you that 30 days will be 30 days after the end of your previous EOS or Entry-stamp. So if you apply on 10 April and your current EOS is valid until 10 May then you will have to pickup your EOS stamp at 10 June.

    Remark : When signing all the papers I saw that there was a print-out of my last TM-30 (reporting a foreigner staying at a house or hotel). So yes, they checked that. And on this print-out I could see 2 checks ... Blacklisted yes/no and Overstay yes/no. I have in my passport always a print-out of my latest TM-30.

    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.

    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. But due to the corona crisis I do not think there will be much traveling so I did not apply for a Re-Entry Permit.

    Doing my 90 day report

    Foreigners staying longer as 90 days have to report themselves to the local immigration office to state where they are living. It is called "doing a 90 report". Due to the corona crisis there was no need to do a 90 day report so I was now for more as 4 months already in Thailand. My application for Extension of Stay was also considered a 90 day report so in 90 days I have to do a 90 day report again. As it is here always very easy to do at the immigration office I always did it that way. But in the future I am considering to do it by internet. I keep proof of the last 90 days report in my passport.

    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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