When does the retirement visa 90-day clock start?
I entered Thailand on March 23, 2006 and was given a permit to stay that expired April 21, 2006.
I later applied for and was granted a retirement visa and my permit to stay was extended to March 22, 2008. I was told I had to return to an Immigration office in Thailand every 90 days, starting from the date the retirement visa became effective: March 22, 2006.
I did as instructed, checking in at Immigration on June 22, 2006; September 22, 2006; December 22, 2006; March 22, 2007; and most recently on June 22, 2007.
On June 22, 2007, I was told by an Immigration officer that I would be fined 2,000 baht because I was late and should have presented myself to an Immigration office on June 15. This he said while stabbing his finger at the date of issue of my retirement visa, March 15, 2007.
I protested by saying that I had always turned up on the 22nd of the month, or the day before if Immigration Office happened to be closed on that day.
I also showed him the supporting entries stamped by Phuket Immigration on a document stapled by Phuket Immigration into my passport.
His solution to this problem was to remove the form with my attendance dates on it and replace it with another.
The man was unwilling to hear any appeal against his decision; repeatedly stabbing his finger at the retirement visa page. It was a case of pay the 2,000 baht fine – or else. So I paid up.
My understanding is that any document affixed to a passport becomes part of that passport and to remove it is considered an offense.
Also, if the officer is right, then why was I originally told 90 days from the 22nd – and nothing was said till my fifth appearance?
And can I get my 2,000 baht back?
John Wright, Wichit.
For foreigners who are in Thailand on an extended permit to stay and must register at an Immigration office every 90 days, the period is counted from the date you most recently entered Thailand.
In this case, I can only assume that you left the country and the officer counted from the date on your most recent entry stamp.
However, this is only conjecture and I cannot give you an exact answer without first examining your passport.
For a full explanation, bring your passport and the receipt for the 2,000-baht fine that you paid so you can show them directly to Phuket Provincial Immigration Superintendent Pol Col Ittipon Atchariyapradit.
If he determines that the officer you dealt with made a mistake the fine will be refunded.
As for the removal from the passport of documents [stapled therein by our officers], this is allowed if the documents are expired or otherwise deemed invalid.
If you have any other questions or require further explanation please call our office at 076-221905.
Pol Capt Krissarat Nuesen of the Phuket Provincial Immigration Office.