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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawIs an Agency Necessary to Seek a Thai Retirement Visa?

Is an Agency Necessary to Seek a Thai Retirement Visa?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas and specifically discussing whether or not it is a necessity to utilize what is called a Visa Service or Visa Agent or Agency to obtain a Thai Retirement Visa. 

A recent comment that we saw, this was a comment off our YouTube channel, to quote directly: "A friend just told me that Jomtien Immigration said he cannot renew his Retirement Visa himself; he has done exactly that for 10 years plus. They told him he must use an agency. Is that the official policy?" 

Well first of all I can't speak for Thai Immigration, so let me be clear right there. Secondly, this is sort of third-hand so, a friend told the person who is making this comment that they were told that they had to get a Visa Agent. Now I don't know the context of this. I don't know exactly what happened in the conversation. What I suspect may have happened is at the individual in question went to apply for a Retirement Visa extension and due to the fact that there a certain rule changes or the individual in question may not have had all their documentation lined up, basically the Immigration Officer suggested, rather bluntly if you will, that it would be better to use a Visa Agency.  No, to the best of my understanding, it is not required that one utilize an agent when processing through the Thai Immigration system. 

That being said, it can greatly streamline the process. A facilitator, can basically make the process a lot smoother, it can make a lot more pleasant for lack of a better term and generally, a reputable service provider who deals with the Immigration Service on a regular basis can be quite a benefit. That being said, it is not a requirement how and they may be useful but the other thing to keep in mind is some Visa Services and Visa Agencies can be a real problem as there have been. not a few who have had problems with filing fraudulent documentation and just causing all sorts of issues for their customers and clients sometimes due to incompetence, sometimes due to inability, sometimes due to just being generally unethical. So while I do think it is generally a good idea to go ahead and utilize a service to go ahead and get ones visa and other documentation, travel documentation sorted out, it is also a good idea to do one's due diligence and check the references of those who one is going to in order to ascertain whether or not the individual in question is going to provide good service. 

So the thing to take away from this video, No, it is not a requirement but especially with the heightened complexity associated with the Thai Retirement Visa System, I personally think it is probably a pretty good idea to go ahead and utilize a professional in order to get one's Immigration status sorted in Thailand in the most efficient manner possible.