Visa Confusion

I am hoping somebody can help me on Visa application
Let me explain my confusion:
I hope to retire to Thailand in May 2018 with my Thai Fiancé, that's the easy part. (I'm 60 now)
We are visiting our home in Korat in Feb for 29 days  and hope to open a Thai bank account during that time in readiness for May retirement - I have my own funds for this.
Now then, To open a bank account I'm told I must have a 60day Non-Immigrant visa which if needed can be extended to 90 days, I'm only there for 29 days so wont need to do this. Would this not get queried as I'm only there for 29 days so why ask for a 60 Day Visa?
So I'm ready to go to London perhaps to attempt this visa application but I have 2 choices of Single Entry or Multiple (Non-Immigrant or Tourist??) but multiple requires bank details so I guess its Single I need ?
That's one part of my query
Secondly, I assume that come May I will need to repeat this process to get my 60 day Visa then extend to 90 day and then apply for Retirement Visa?
Hopefully you can see my confusion but I'm perhaps creating problems by worrying - I want to get it right   
The Thai Embassy website says I can apply via Post but worry again about this, do you have any experience on this?

Sorry to land this on you but hope you will be full of Christmas cheer and take pity on a confused soon to be Expat - Assuming I get this right

I don't know what the rules are in the UK, but the consulate in LA tells me that multiple-entry visas are not offered anymore.
What's the difference between a 60-day "tourist" visa and a VOA? The tourist visa is pre-approved and the VOA is not.
Surely the different banks have some flexibility on this.

Hi and thanks

I actually rang a bank in Korat today and although I didn't get a lot of flexibility they said I need a Visa - Still no idea which one though
Non-Immigrant  Single Entry
Non- Immigrant  Multiple Entry
Tourist - Single
Tourist - Multiple

All are listed on the one form and you pick the one you are applying for, but nobody as yet has assured me of which one I need.



Keep in mind that the banks make their own rules; they aren't Thai immigration offices. :)

I understand Kasikorn is a little more flexible in this regard.


It was Kasikorn in Korat that I phoned, oh well I will keep researching and hopefully get it right



You could do it with a 2-month tourist visa, get established, apply for a retirement (easier) or marriage visa (complicated) when you are here. You may have to make a jaunt to Vientiane (easier) or Penang (far more pleasant) to complete the whole process, but I still think it beats the new 6-month visa mess.

I recommend talking online or telly with the folks at ChiangMaiBuddy for advice and services.
They are planning on opening offices in other places in Thailand as well.

To get a bank account, you'll need a TM30 (residency certificate). Get your TM30 independently within 24 hours of moving in if your landlord/manager is unaware or non-compliant (otherwise you pay a 1600THB penalty). I recommend Bangkok Bank as they have branches in London and New York as well. Chiang Mai Buddy has a hand-holding service here in C.M. When you get established here, you can open other accounts with other banks such as SCB or Kasikorn.

Good Luck!


If it was me, I get a NoN O Single - 90 days Visa from where you at, If you can meet the requirements for it.

Then in the last 30 days (Some Immigration 45 days) of you 90 days, Go apply for a 1 year Extension on the ground of retirement.
Again if you can meet the requirements for it.

This is the easy way i think.

Then the *Hard Way*

If you get a Tourist Visa Single (60 days)
Or get 30 days for flying in with no Visa.

Not all Immigration office can change that for you.
As you first need to change it to a NoN O 90 days, Then a 1 year Extension.
There are some Special requirements for it, Like you need to have 15 days left to stay in Thailand, Need 2 trips to Immigration office.
And as i say, Many Immigration Office can´t do it, So they might send you to Bangkok to do it, Or you need to go out of Thailand and apply for a NoN O Single (90 days.).

About Banks, Some open account for you easy, That same Bank can say NO to the next one asking, It is the way things are here in Thailand.
One have to keep trying asking Bank Branch after Bank Branch.
Don´t listen to if the Bank say you need this or that to open, This is the law in Thailand.

Here is Bangkok Bank requirements.

2. Foreigner with Long-stay or Tourist Visa

A Letter of Reference issued by: (One of the following)
Embassy or international organization
Customer’s home bank to Bangkok Bank via the SWIFT messaging network
Person acceptable to Bangkok Bank e.g. branch officer, customer, government officer or company executive
Educational institution located in Thailand and acceptable to the bank
Company that is acceptable to the bank, confirming the customer is in the process of getting a work permit

That may be by-the-book (which changes often), and, things can get done on the ground here if you know where to go and who to talk to... I know from personal experience and having a Thai wife who has worked for a concierge company.

Many ways to skin a cat...

Great info - Many Thanks


Many thanks for your comments.


What is the process of getting the Retirement Visa? Is it as simple as getting an affidavit from the US embassy on monthly income?  And taking that to Immigration. Is it necessary to pay @$1300 to have a legal service do this procedure?
Are there downsides to having the Retirement visa?

Honestly: I went into the U.S. Consulate with all paperwok in perfect order, submitted what was necessary, signed an affidavit, held up my hand, said "yes", got a stamp and walked out without any documented proof of bank. I did have my ex-wife make a document for me to show that I have income from my former company, but I doubt it was even given a glance, much less read.

Get help for paperwork from Chiang Mai Buddy. No need to pay so much.

This is Thailand. Downsides are variable depending upon the day and person you may deal with. No guarantees, but no drama as long as you play it cool (and "correctly").

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