D’oh! Almost Couldn’t Extend My Thai Visa

Expat forums have cautionary tales by those whose mistake preventing them from extending their retirement visa* for another year. The usual mistake is to leave the country without a re-entry permit. The other way? Forget until after the 7 day grace period.

I remembered it was coming due, and the date (10 days from now) I could first request an extension. But I did forget to keep an eye on my Thai bank balance. One way to meet the visa’s financial requirement is a Thai bank account where the balance never drops below 800,000 THB (~$23,000) in the 3 months before applying to extend.

As always, I’d set calendar alerts up the wazoo before and during the 3 month period. But somehow, after returning from the Spain trip, I managed to see the last few and not act.

My Thai bank sends an SMS after every ATM withdrawal, showing the amount and the new balance. Sometimes I ignore them for weeks before putting them in the account spreadsheet. Two days ago I thought I should check this… 809,237 THB. Yikes! That was close.

It was easy to fix: withdraw using ATM cards from 2 US banks, deposit into Thai bank. Repeat daily until comfortable with the excess. Next year, assuming I’m still here, my alerts will include inputting the SMSs on the day they’re received.

* Visa pedants take note: I simplified terminology and processes for readers not like you. Go back to thaivisa dot com.

2 Responses to D’oh! Almost Couldn’t Extend My Thai Visa

  1. karstenaichholz says:

    The re-entry permit is really one of the most puzzling and cumbersome parts about long-term visas and even residence permits(!): Even if you have a residence permit you still need a re-entry permit. It just makes it way too easy to mess this up in my opinion. I also don’t quite see the rational behind it.

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