Extended Visa for 1 Year

The Kingdom of Thailand has graciously allowed me to stay for another year. Don’t know if I want to. Am not thinking about leaving or staying but the existing extension was about to expire and I need to stay within the law. Asking for another extension to my current visa was by far the easiest, cheapest, least time consuming option. It’s also the only one open to me where any rule changes shouldn’t affect me for at least a year. Actually 354 days because they can’t grant an extension past a passport’s expiration date. I don’t want to get a new passport because in the 10 year old photo my hair is still brown.

Income and/or assets in a Thai bank are requirements for both of the so-called Retirement Visas. The American embassy provides a form and notary for the income method. The embassy does not ask for any proof of income. How many Americans perjure themselves when they sign the form? That’s unknown.

One clue about the .. uh .. ‘interest’ in changes to this arrangement can be found on Thaivisa.com Some merry prankster posted bogus new visa procedures that required the applicant to provide both the embassy letter and supporting evidence to Thai Immigration. Ten weeks later the thread is 36 pages long.

The dollar strengthened against the baht last spring to a level not seen for many months. Took advantage of this window and moved enough funds into my Thai bank account that I didn’t need an income letter from the embassy. Saved myself a day trip to Bangkok and a notary fee that’s doubled since last year.

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